Meat is murder and I don’t care yet  »

I read this piece today on Treehugger, "Why Vegans Are Welcome to Call Me a Murderer" by Sami Grover. Just wanted to let you know what I’ve been doing with my day, that’s all. Just kidding! I have thoughts about it! You know me, always with the thoughts!

First let me say that Grover’s Treehugger bio says he’s a committed environmental activist. It’s my opinion that you’re not an environmental activist if you eat meat and dairy. It’s like being an environmentalist and driving an SUV, they just don’t go together. However, in Grover’s post he says he is an occasional, sustainable-meat eater. If he is actually diligent about this, it’s very impressive considering the minuscule (ed.: MINUSCULE) amount of meat that is raised sustainably. But I have to wonder, does he also only eat sustainable dairy? Dairy is TERRIBLE for the environment. Oy, that’s a lot of work. Might as well be vegan and not worry about it!

I always have to question a supposed environmentalist who eats meat or dairy. Does not compute. Grover’s main point is that maybe people are right to call meat murder but maybe it’s not helpful for the cause to actually say that. He finishes with this sentiment:

So while ideas like a weekday vegetarian diet may strike many non-meat eaters as hypocritical and strange (who says murder is OK on the weekend!?), I’d suggest they are a very real step forward—whether you believe we should eat less meat, or no meat at all. I recognize that is a hard step for those who believe in the murder-analogy to take, but it may be one that ends up saving a lot of animal lives.

I don’t disagree with Grover at all on these points. Meat is murder but society doesn’t view it as such and maybe you’ll turn more people off by telling them that. Like him, I’m not sure if this is true but I’ll give it a solid, “maybe.” And while in my heart of hearts, I can’t stand vegetarians (what makes one vegetarian that shouldn’t translate into being vegan?), I applaud and am very proud of my family and friends who have committed to Meatless Monday. For someone who isn’t a serious environmentalist and doesn’t have ethical qualms with eating meat to slow their roll, look at the environmental impact and try to reduce their meat consumption is a great step forward.

So now you’re like, “OK, Megan Rascal, where are these thoughts of yours?” Well, this post of Grover’s brings up what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately; so often, when we talk about veganism, it becomes a discussion about whether or not killing animals is wrong—I think this conversation is premature! The main reason I am vegan is because the way animals are raised for meat and dairy is inhumane and horrifying. Until all animals are treated in a humane manner up until the day they are killed, we are not ready to have the discussion of whether or not meat is murder.

Grover brings up the death penalty, which is a comparison I often use to explain my point. I’m against the death penalty—not necessarily because I don’t think the government should kill people but because the death penalty is RACIST and INNOCENT PEOPLE GET KILLED. When we have a 100 percent foolproof way to ensure that only guilty people get the death penalty and it is without a doubt sentenced fairly across race and class lines, only then should we begin to discuss whether or not the government should kill people at all. Until they find a way to do this, the death penalty should be abolished. In this same way, until it can be guaranteed without a doubt that animals are raised humanely, we haven’t reached the point where we need to discuss whether or not killing animals is wrong. As long as money and people are involved, I doubt all animals will ever be treated decently but while we wait, I think I’ll just be vegan.

[graph from the Death Penalty Information Center]


Tucker Carlson, demigod, can’t decide if Michael Vick should live or die  »

I don’t pay attention to many right-wing political commentators, but I fondly remember Tucker Carlson from the AMAZING Crossfire episode with Jon Stewart. Last week Carlson was back on TV, declaring on Fox News’ Great American Panel that Mike Vick should have been executed for his dog-fighting crimes:

Oh my jesus, I love this guy! He’s out of his mind. Where did they find him? I mean everyone knows I hate Mike Vick but really, the death penalty? I don’t believe in the death penalty, partially because it’s COMPLETELY RACIST, but mostly because I don’t think the government should go around killing people. Are there vegans that do believe in the death penalty? I’d be curious to hear about it. I do think Vick’s career as a public figure should be over. All sorts of scandals ruin peoples’ careers, but electrocuting defenseless dogs doesn’t? Go figure.

He does make one good point: why is the president weighing in on this? It is a bit weird. Like, this is the example of redemption Obama wants to publicize? It seems like there are better causes out there. It makes me think he’s like every Philly dude who just cares about football. Sports are such a joke! I mean, sports are fine, but it’s basically reality TV and the extent to which people get emotionally involved in them is ridic. Get a life. Or at least, get some morals.

Don’t worry guys, this nonsense has a happy ending: Carlson retracted his comment! “‘This is what happens when you get too emotional,’ Carlson said, ‘I’m a dog lover…I love them and I know a lot about what Michael Vick did…I overspoke.* I’m uncomfortable with the death penalty in any circumstance. Of course I don’t think he should be executed, but I do think that what he did is truly appalling.’”

OK, I love dogs and I understand that the brutal murder of a dog can make you emotional, but in the video where he’s making the execution statement, homeboy seems calm enough to contain himself. He’s just crazy.

*For extra credit, there’s a nice piece in the Language Log about "overspoke" and how it’s a real word.

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