Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 4-2-12
Throughout history, folks have created magic belief systems as a way to live longer than non-believers. The contest is still going on. Nobody has figured out who wins. Everybody, however, is convinced their way is the only way.
Ethical Lacto-ovo Vegetarians do not eat meat, but chow down on plants, eggs, and dairy.
Ethical Vegans eat only plant foods. No honey, dairy, or eggs enter their digestive tracts. Ingesting any meat food would be a serious serious Vegan moral lapse.
Ethical Lacto-ovo Pescatarians eat plant foods, eggs, dairy, and fish. No meat, poultry, pork, or other animals. (What about turtles?)
Ethical Flexitarians are part-time vegetarians. They eat whatever their mood tells them. (Gotta love the Flexitarians).
Ethical Fruitarians eat only fruit, nuts, and other “self-reproducing plants that are not destroyed in the process of being eaten.” It works like this: Eat a carrot and the whole plant is consumed, therefore it can’t reproduce itself. But if the Fruitarian eats an apple, the apple tree continues to live and produce more fruit. (I’m confused, does that mean they do or do not chomp on apples?)
Ethical Raw Foodists eat “only food that is not heated above a temperature of approximately 115 degrees Fahrenheit” (which is pretty tepid). These true believers are sure that vital components of plant food are destroyed by heat. (A Raw Foodist kid at camp can’t eat a wiener on a stick or any S’mores).
Ethically speaking, whatever belief system one adopts, acquires, learns at Mama’s knee, soaks up from pals, sees on television, experiences as a divine revelation, reads in the New York Times or Martha Stewart Living – that belief carries with it ethical principles of right and wrong. Ergo, whatever conviction guides one’s life, that conviction is true and the only truth. Ergo others who do not agree with the principles of another’s belief system are ergo wrong headed and ergo unethical. Ergo eating meat is ethical.
Why It’s Ethical to Eat Meat
(Patterned after “The Owl and the Pussycat.” Recite with a singsong lilt).
Twas a beautiful day and the sun shown bright
As believers sang their song
Of what to eat and how to defeat
The Reaper when he comes along
The Vegetarian shuddered, he shook
And said all meat was bad
Twill clog the arteries, clog the arteries
And we all will die, how sad, how sad, how sad,
We all will die, how sad.
The Vegan complained to the Raw Foodist
How horrid you don’t heat up
Your food really hot, you must like it a lot
When on tepid cuisine you sup.
The Lacto-ovo Pescatarian
Shouted to the Flexitarian
You can’t be moral, or even temporal
If you eat fish again, fish again fish again
If you eat fish again.
As for you Fruitarian, aren’t you worried
You might gobble a wormy treat
Hiding inside a peach or root
Why, you’d be swallowing meat!
Let me dine on beef and poultry and lamb
Devour them with joy so sweet
For I am skeptical and it wouldn’t be ethical
If I denied myself a treat of meat,
a treat of meat, a treat of meat.
Denied myself a treat of meat.