Saturday, June 25, 2005

Mad, mad I tell you!

Tests Confirm 2nd Case of Mad Cow Disease in U.S.

Now, this is two out of 1.3 billion cows in the world, so we're not talking about epidemics here. But still, there's a crazy idea out there that will eliminate any need for fear or worry: don't eat cows.

The cows will have less to fear and worry about, too.


  1. You know, I get comments emailed to me whether you delete them or not... if you removed it because you thought it might offend me, don't worry, it didn't! If you removed it because you just didn't want to go there, I'll respect your post-deletion anonymity.

    That said, I will point out for anyone who might have had a similar thought that urging teens not to have sex is 1.) rarely about preventing pregnancy or disease, but hatred of the body, 2.) irrationally based on millennia old Hebrew mythology, and 3.) concerns a decision that only affects the two people who have sex.

    My urging people to be vegetarians is 1.) entirely about preventing harm, 2.) based on the overwhelming scientific evidence that animals can feel pain, and 3.) concerns a decision that affects not only those who eat meat, but also the 90-odd animals they consume yearly and the tremendous environmental cost of inefficient conversion of plants into livestock and the transport thereof.

    In any case, I was just being snarky, so no big deal.

  2. Huh, I guess I forgot about the email thing. Comments on my blog don't get emailed to me anymore, not sure why.

    Nah, I didn't think I'd offend you. It was a cross between thinking my post just wasn't interesting, and not wanting to go further... too late.

    Since I've been a vegetarian before, I know the arguments. Animals feel pain, they suffer, factory farms suck, etc.

    How do you like being a vegetarian? I'll tell you how I liked it: I wanted to eat meat. I felt healthier, and morally consistant, but I wanted some BBQ ribs! So my wife and I started eating seafood, then it was a slippery slope to pork chops and Manwhich meals. I still eat vegetarian meals a lot, but quit carrying the cross (which is exactly how it felt, especially the constant speeches and debates required).

    Oh, one other reason I started eating meat again (and again, this is honesty hear, I'm not trying to say what you or anyone else should do). I came to a realization that in a lot of areas in my life I was hiding from myself, putting up a facade of a "very good person." Being vegetarian was just another way that I was saying, "I'm a really thoughtful, caring person who cares about the world... won't you be my neighbor?" I finally said screw it. I'm me, I'm not perfect. I do x, x, and sometimes I x. This includes eat animals that would prefer to still be alive.

    So how is it working for you?

  3. I haven't had a craving for meat in at least 6 months (it's been about 15 months since I became a vegetarian). So I guess it's working pretty well.

    If you were a vegetarian to make people think you were a good person, even subconsciously, it makes perfect sense that it didn't work out for you! I'm a vegetarian for exactly the same reason you're not a cannibal. Not that I think you're tempted to eat people, but then I'm no longer tempted to eat animals. Even if I don't see animals as morally equivalent to humans, I still see them as morally significant.

    And again, for me personally, I can't just write off my moral flaws because nobody's perfect. I can't imagine saying, "It's okay to murder people out of revenge, because murderers just want to kill and aren't perfect" or "It's okay to rape people because rapists are people and people have flaws." Just because eating a chicken isn't as morally significant as murder or rape doesn't mean I should shurg and say it's OK. I'd argue that eating a chicken is more morally significant than punching someone in the face (since the chicken actually dies), and I don't hit people... so why would I eat a chicken?

    Everyone has to draw their own line, which is why I don't generally prosthletize about it, especially not offline. I've never really even bothered to explain myself to anyone. Actually, nobody asks!

  4. And by the way, in reference to not really wanting to go further, I'm not a jerk like some people. If you are ever in a conversation with me and don't want to continue, I'm not going to accuse you of giving up or declare myself winner or egg you on. I am more than content with agreeing to disagree about things. Just ask Luke!

  5. My original post had to do with contrasting human nature (and my own experience of it) with your "simple" solution to human nature: don't do "it". "It" being something humans have evolved doing (like having teen sex or eating animals).

    Agreeing to Peter Singer's basic arguments is a different subject than any single individual's desire or ability to ahere to a vegetarian diet in a meat eating society. And walking around telling people who do and don't agree that they should behave accordingly is, well, annoying. But I'm sure you already knew that. I did it for six years. Have fun.

  6. doh--I finally found the setting to get comment notifications emailed to me. It had been cleared somehow. I thought they had decided to make that a paid service.

  7. Naturally I don't think it's actually all that simple to overcoming human nature. As I said, I was just being a smart ass.

    In any case, it seems to me that if there were ever a perfect forum for people sharing their opinion, personal blogs are it!

  8. One vegetarian plus: it's one other way of being accustomed to seeing society through an outsider's alienated eyes, which can lead to great writing.