Thursday, July 24, 2008

Poor Little Vegetarian Girl

So there was this blog entry on the New York Times the other day written by a college student who is taking her junior year abroad in Paris. Lucky duck! I wish I'd done that. She explains that she has been a lacto-ovo vegetarian from the age of 8 for ethical reasons. She goes on to say that while in Paris, she has learned that due to the strong adherence to tradition in France, French livestock are slaughtered humanely, do not spend their short lives trapped in miserable feedlots, and aren't treated abominably as they are on giant American industrial farms. So she decided to try eating some flesh.

What shocked me was not that she started eating meat, it was not her ultimate return to vegetarianism, and it was not even the fact that someone's meat vacation was considered newsworthy. It was the vitriol spewing from people leaving comments on her blog! My god, people, don't you have anything better to do than castigate some woman who is simply reconsidering a decision she had made 12 years ago? Don't you ever change your minds?

At one point in her post, the author says, “meat-eating facilitates a sense of connection with other people that tempeh just doesn’t. Taking the life of an animal for food is a morbid, ironic affirmation that we are alive.” This makes sense to me, and I do like to eat meat. I have never gotten excited or nostalgic about a slab of tempeh the way I (and plenty of my friends) will wax rhapsodic over delicate lobster tail dripping with melted butter, a hamburger oozing melty cheddar, or a tender, rare steak. And it's simply the truth that as omnivores, in order to live we must kill. That is by definition a morbid irony. Life = death. Get it?

However, one loser said in response to this that he "cannot express how deeply I disagree with both these statements, and how profoundly offensive I find them." This you find offensive? Wow. I guess you live in a large community of people who have tempeh traditions (where DO you live?), and are incapable of seeing irony. Maybe you should get out more. Or get therapy.

Nonetheless, I found her blog post to be entertaining and, shall we say, food for thought.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Even as a vegetarian of almost 21 (!) years, who lives in possibly one of the most liberal, hippie-ish places in the country, I too am shocked by people's judgment of this poor veg-turned-omnivore!