you are not my typewriter
{Monday, October 17, 2005 . oooooh}


I just had one of those realization moments.

So, for those of you who are new to the blog, I have been a vegetarian for about seven years and a vegan for six. Most people who have known me for any amount of time have had the "why" conversation with me: "Why don't you eat animal products?"

So I explain why. And people nod their heads.

And then they come back at me with questions like, "Well, what if the animal lives well and dies painlessly?" or, "What about people who for some reason have to eat meat?" or "What about people who have to be cruel to animals, as part of their religion?" or "If you were stranded on a desert island, and the only food were a cheeseburger, would you eat it?"

And I always respond to these questions with things like, "Well, of course, there are always exceptions..." and then wonder silently why the person would even bother to ask such an impractical question.

And it just occurred to me that it is because they don't really consider in real terms what I have just said to them.

I talk hypothetically about how animals usually suffer, and how people in general should not eat them for this reason. I don't get too specific because I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, and I don't want my friends to feel like I am blaming them. Because I like them.

But what I am really saying, in veiled terms, is that YOU - the middle class Americans to whom I usually speak, who don't experience any of these exceptional circumstances - the animals that produced the food YOU are eating suffered, and that YOU personally don't have any reason to eat animal products.

But people don't really think about their direct involvement in what I'm talking about. They think about it in broad, hypothetical terms. But it isn't a hypothetical issue.

So to all the people who have had that conversation with me, rethink the conversation and replace every "people" I said with "you."

Does that change things?


P.S.

Today is the StarvedArtist's 18th birthday!!!! Go tell her to have a happy one.


posted at 3:18 PM by Alison

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