Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Well, it's official, the fall semester is well underway. I haven't written in the blog in a while because I've been using every spare moment to read something for one of my classes. I'm just starting in my journey to earn a master's degree in English. Oh, the things I've forgotten. I earned my bachelor's degree in 1998 so I'm basically playing big-time catch-up. Being back in school is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. I was worried the other day at work because I had been asked to attend a lunch meeting that started at 11 a.m. No one would do anything for the oddball vegan, and I couldn't exactly eat lunch beforehand at 10 a.m. I was getting mentally ready to be hungry and miserable for a long period of time. The organizer of the lunch came to talk to me about what I'd be doing at the lunch and made the comment, "I know they won't be serving your preferred cuisine." I responded back (perhaps with a little too much vitriol) with, "I know; it'll be painful." Perhaps it was my bad attitude, but I got a call later that I wouldn't have to attend the lunch. Wahoo! Whining does work. Really, veganism is not simply a preference. This is the core of my ethical beliefs. A vegan is who I am, much like a Jew is Jewish. Really, would people make that sort of comment to a person who had a religious conviction? The lunch is pork and the organizer tells the Jew, "I know it's not your preferred cuisine," how would that person react? Would there be grounds for a discrimination complaint? Also on my mind has been this ridiculous argument by meat-eaters that plants have feelings, too, and vegans are wreaking more pain than meat-eaters. Ummm, no. Say the meat-eaters are correct and plants do have feelings, what is the weight of their argument? Not very good. Take cows, for instance. Of all the corn and soy beans that are fed to the cow, only about 20 percent of those calories are available in the animal's flesh. That means, instead of feeding those plants directly to humans, five times as much cropland have to be used to get the same amount of calories from the cow. In other words, you have five times as much plant suffering from the meat-eater, and you still have the suffering of the cow. Being a vegan would actually cause less plant suffering, believe it or not. Plus, we know the environmental destruction being caused by razing of rainforests to clear the way for land to grow crops for domesticated animals. We have far more farmland than we need right now to feed the world a vegan diet. The same can't be said for feeding the world an American-style meat-centric diet.