Or at least oysters, according to Christopher Cox, writing in Slate today about how he keeps a completely vegan diet except for oysters, because they don’t have a central nervous system. He gets his information from Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation, which is basically like God Himself giving you a gentle punch on the shoulder and saying, “Go for it, bro,” I mean, right?
While Our Lord Singer has noted that there is “a scintilla of doubt” about the oyster’s perception of pain, it is so small as to be nonexistent, so he says, go for it. The argument being that anything without a CNS is basically a plant, and if we are all right eating plants, then we should be fine eating their non-flora equivalents. Right? RIGHT? Because otherwise it’s just a “fashion” diet.
I am going to continue not to eat oysters, because they’re still animals; I don’t kill bugs unless I really, really have to (thankfully I don’t live in a place where bugs and I battle for supremacy). The line is fuzzy, fine, but I would rather be too careful and do as little harm as possible. We’re not just individuals, after all; we have a collective responsibility to our communities, our planet, and each other. Compared to that, what are a few moments of gustatory pleasure? Especially when there are so very many delicious, cruelty-free foods to enjoy.