Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Pollan, Slow Food: I have some qualms (bonus: gay marriage and Dennis Kucinich!)

(Now is as bad a place as any to say that I have no idea why WordPress capitalizes odd things in my subject lines. It’s not me, I promise! If you know how to fix it, please tell me.) (Meh. I figured it out. It’s dumb.)

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In the past few years I have watched the Slow Food movement’s rise with a mix of happiness and outrage, and it’s time to boil down exactly why it boils my blood so. First, read a little about the Slow Food movement if you are not familiar with what we’re talking about.

I love Slow Food, really I do. How could I not agree that “we are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods….A firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life.” I like quiet material pleasure. I hate fast food. I’m down!

Except when I’m not. Except when I hate Slow Food. Fucking richie white people’s movement – count me out! Fucking European elitists who only want to “save” “heritage breeds” of animals so they can eat them.

Isn’t there something sickening about that? I know I’m supposed to say that yes, people are going to eat meat, and since they are I should be happy that they are eating them in responsible ways, blah blah. Of course a part of me believes that, but this is my primary beef (um.) with Slow Food – they are stealing vegetarians! Both practicing and could-easily-become vegetarians are being lured away by this whole “ethical meat” michegas bullshit and it’s time that us passionate vegan foodies stand up to be counted in the Slow Food movement so we can change it from the inside.

There are so many wonderful things about the Slow Food thing – better quality food, fair wages for farmers, producers, pickers, etc etc, environmental sustainability – all the shit that vegans are totally down with. But the truth is that Slow Foodies are fucking snobs and look down on vegans because they think they have found The Secret: you can eat as many dead rotting animals as you want if you just find Slow Food-approved ones. They cost a lot more and there’s no way that everyone will be able to eat a Naragansett turkey for Thanksgiving ($4 per lb, which I understand is a lot for a dead turkey. I hope when I die my flesh gets sold by the pound, fun fun fun.), but that’s a small matter. Rich people can eat meat with impunity! Phew!

Not so fast, richie whitie snobs. Vegans aren’t vegan because we want animals to be treated better. You’ve got us all wrong (notice how I hesitate not at all to speak for all vegans) – we don’t think people should be eating animals. Period. It’s a stupid and backwards thing to do, and you’re stupid and backwards if you do it. Vegans work for the abolishment of factory farms only as an intermediary step toward vegan nirvana.

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Oh fuck, and now I hear those little voices in my head going on about how people are always going to eat meat and all that shit. It’s just like gay marriage. Or Dennis Kucinich. Gay marriage is a horrible idea, and…well, this is going to take a while to explain. I’ll save it for a separate post.

But Kucinich. Everyone I know likes him the best out all the Democrats (I’ve done a great job weeding people out of my life solely based on overly simplistic political positions, hooray!) – but most of them won’t admit it, because of some stupid word: “electability.” Oh enough with fucking electability already. Why don’t people see that (in the past at least) we are the ones who decides who gets elected, so if we stop whining about “electability” and instead focus on “electing” the person who best fits our values, there would be a real chance that that person could get “elected.”

Same with the damn dead turkeys. We’re so busy finding “better” dead animals to eat that we’re ignoring the larger issue, which is of course that we shouldn’t be eating animals. Simple! No one should get married, Kucinich should get elected, and we shouldn’t be eating animals. Done! What else can we work on today?

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Well, that’s the Slow Food thing. Prime examples of the Slow Food problem can be found in several recent books. Let’s talk about them a little bit.

Michael Pollan, I know you know him. He’s a really wonderful writer, and has a lot of excellent points to make about what’s wrong with how we eat today. He just wrote an amazing piece about the Farm Bill for the New York Times Magazine. The Botany of Desire was awesome. That book about building his own house was just fine. Then we got An Omnivore’s Dilemma. Most of it is pretty wonderful. Then he goes into this whole long-ass part about whether or not its ethical to kill and eat animals – and of course he ends up in the Slow Food camp, and here is where I heave a big giant annoyed sigh move on.

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(potato tasting – how much more Slow Foodie could you get?)

And so we move on to the lovely and brilliant Barbara Kingsolver. You’ve definitely heard of this Animal, Vegetable, Miracle book. (There are two annoyances already right there in the title, aren’t there?) There are a lot of fascinating tidbits in this tale of the year she spent growing her own food with her (breeder alert!) husband and kids who contribute to the book as well. I of course adore her other books, so this whole let’s-kill-our-own-hogs thing comes as somewhat of a slap in the face. Sadness.

Two more examples and we’ll be done. Slow Foodies love this Nourishing Traditions book, by Sally Fallon. If you fall in with a certain group of Slow Foodies and admit you’re vegan, they will push Nourishing Traditions at you faster than my group will push extra garden zucchini on you in July. The sad thing is that there is a lot I like in the book – it teaches you why fat is your friend, it explains the dangers of too many overly processed soy foods, it really pushes coconut oil. But they seem to think that just because traditional foods like lard can be healthy, no one should be vegetarian. I actually do believe that lard is most likely healthier than trans fat-laden shortenings. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to eat either one!

Update. The perennially perfect John Robbins has a great article explaining how crazy the Nourishing Traditions/Weston A. Price people are – check it out. The best part is at the end!

And finally, my friend Sandor Katz, who wrote the bible on fermented foods. He’s also written a great book called The Revolution Won’t be Microwaved. As a lovely reader recently pointed out to me, this book has a truly horrifying chapter on the virtues of meat. While I’ve been busily praising the book I had totally forgotten about this chapter because I didn’t read a word of it. I did, however, notice that the chapter is called “Vegetarian Ethics and Humane Meat” and the first two references are to my pal/hero Carol Adams and my pals/heros from the Bloodroot Collective, a feminist-vegetarian collective restaurant owned by friend of mine and where I’ve worked for years. So I know that Sandor is veggie-friendly and not hostile, unlike so many other Slow Foodies. He’s maybe just lost his way a little.

All these books (except for Sandor’s) are just incomprehensible to me. So many smart people, who are ordinarily so right on. How could they have failed to see this super simple thing, something I saw with absolute certainty when I was twelve, though I am clearly so much less brilliant then they are?

I am afraid it comes down to laziness (wanting to eat the foods you think you like), and some vague Christian idea of dominion. How sad when people you have so much in common with don’t share deep, fundamental values with you.

38 Responses to “Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Pollan, Slow Food: I have some qualms (bonus: gay marriage and Dennis Kucinich!)”

  1. Fireweed

    I am so thrilled that a friend just forwarded me this blog entry…I am so very disappointed you don’t believe in marriage, because while reading your rant about slow food’s perpetuation of animal flesh and byproducts I simply had to yell outloud, “Oh my God! I want to MARRY this person!”
    But don’t worry, that’s really just a metaphor for “Right Fucking On”!!!! And besides that, I’m already married (immigration thing, I swear, although yes we’re in love!) Seriously, I wrote my friend back and said “I couldn’t have said it better myself! Complete with appropriate expletives”! Gotta run right now, but you’ve made my day. I”ll be checking back for more…thanks again! -Fireweed
    PS LOVE the Bloodroot Cookbooks, LOVE Carol Adams…
    You might enjoy checking out my latest blogspot…
    http://www.re-membering.blogspot.com

    Reply
  2. WolfGirl

    The easiest way to discredit a movement is to claim that it is exclusive to white, middle class people. Ironically, this claim has been leveled against vegans too. Any evidence to support either claim? Statistics, data, a freakin’ survey?

    Also, your link on Slow Food was Americo-centric, if that’s a word. The Slow Food movement actually began in Italy, and cannot be fully understood without understanding Agriturismo and the effort being made to save Italian farms and vineards from overdevelopment.

    Secondly, the absolutist stance that you take on food choices– that veganism is the One and Only Ethical Food Choice for Everyone Everywhere at All Times– is frighteningly lacking in nuance or in an understanding of food economy– which of course varies from nation to nation, and region to region within each nation.

    You’ve noted the brilliance of the authors you’ve cited– Kingsolver and Pollan in particular. Don’t you think they might be on to something?

    Reply
  3. lagusta

    Heya WolfGirl,
    Yes, I should point out that I was talking specifically about the American branch of the SF movement. Also that I’m a blogger, not a journalist. Therefore, I am free to not give you stats on SF, but can freely call things as I see them in my little corner of the world.

    Also, veganism is not one diet. It’s a million different ways of eating. I can’t see how it’s “absolutist” to believe that people should not eat dead rotting flesh.

    And of course I think Kingsolver and Pollan are onto many many things – it’s just that they are wrong about the meat-eating thing.

    Best to you,
    Lagusta

    Reply
  4. WolfGirl

    >I’m a blogger, not a journalist. Therefore, I am free to not give you stats on SF, but can freely call things as I see them in my little corner of the world.veganism is not one diet. It’s a million different ways of eating. I can’t see how it’s “absolutist” to believe that people should not eat dead rotting flesh.<

    This is a red herring. Of course vegan diets are variable. I’d go further and say that an emphasis on variety (especially when it comes from eating foods that are in season) is at the heart of many vegan diets. But the insistence that “people should not eat dead rotting flesh” is clearly absolutist. It is a “should,” and it is one that you apply to “people.” All people, presumably. Everywhere. Under any circumstances. You can try to gross people out and make meat-eating seem obviously wrong by using the phrase “dead rotting flesh.” But this is just name-calling. Besides, there is quite a difference between “rotting” and “cooking.” Of course meat is flesh, and of course it’s dead before you eat it. Sure it’s an intense reality, and clearly its a reality that you can’t stomach. I respect that, but I really wish you’d check your arrogance and come down from your high dietary horse where you judge others, and then put a humerous spin on it just to make your sense of superiority seem more acceptable.

    Reply
  5. lagusta

    Ah, WolfGirl, I so hope you keep reading the blog and we can agree to disagree. I am an absolutist about meat eating, totally. Or at least, there are very very few times when I think it’s OK to eat dead animals. That’s not that say that I equate, say, Eskimos catching their own fish, or people who are about to starve to death if they don’t roast a squirrel or something, with modern factory farms and yuppies eating their heritage turkeys – of course not. It’s just that I don’t believe that we have dominion over animals, and since it’s so obvious that we can live without eating them I don’t see why everyone shouldn’t be trying to do so. That’s not a “dietary high horse” – it’s just common sense. Don’t kill. Nursery school stuff.

    And as far as the arrogance – can we agree to differ on that one too? Because I’d rather more “arrogance” that comes from a thinking place than what we have now, which seems to be vast swaths of humanity who have totally taken leave of their senses and live without any creativity, common sense or intellect whatsoever and say that those who do are “arrogant” just because they have strong, yet carefully thought-out, opinions and speak up about them. (I’m not accusing you of being one of those people – it’s clear that you are a thinking person.)

    I don’t want to be arrogant. I want to be right. And what’s the point of having beliefs if you don’t believe they are the right beliefs? I’ve never understood the argument that people who have taken the time to think things through and pipe up about the fact that we have gotten off course and should right ourselves are judgmental or arrogant.

    I’m going to keep merrily on with the “should”s as they apply to “people” and I think you’re smart enough to see that while some people are great parents and should be having kids, some people are eating meat in conscious ways, but both are pretty distasteful to me. (But, of course, standard disclaimer: one of those I am totally for if done in the right way and the other I am always “absolutely” (if you prefer) against.)

    Would you agree that we “should” not murder others? Is that “should” out of place? That’s how I think about the meat question. If you think I “can’t stomach” eating meat, I plead 100% guilty. The bigger question is: why can you?

    Reply
  6. WolfGirl

    >>lagusta Says: December 1, 2007 at 8:32 pm: “I can’t see how it’s “absolutist” to believe that people should not eat dead rotting flesh.”

    >>lagusta Says: December 3, 2007 at 3:12 pm: “I am an absolutist about meat eating, totally. Or at least, there are very very few times when I think it’s OK to eat dead animals.”

    For the record, I agree 110% that the current factory farm system is hideous. Don’t think I’m not aware of the treatment of animals in these situations, of their living conditions, of the conditions of the slaughterhouse, and of the ecological consequences of all of the above, not to mention the humanitarian issues surrounding the fact that god only knows what percent of our cropland a) used to be wilderness i.e. habitat, and b) goes to feed “stock” animals rather than starving humans.

    However, I disagree that the most effective way to change this is to condemn all meat-eaters, or meat-eating in general. Rather, I think the problem is the lack of reverence, the sense of entitlement, the objectification of other animals, the sense of dominion, the notion that humans are somehow separate from, and superior to, other animals and nature as a whole. I imagine that on this count, we agree. Anyway, I think it is this attitude that needs to be addressed. And I think you’re right in that, when many people begin to consider this reality more deeply, they will reconsider their diets and become vegetarian or even vegan. And that’s great. That’s what I did when I first learned about all this stuff back in college, (I was a vegetarian for 11 years, making allowances for the occasional sushi binge). But some people will, after considering this reality more deeply, come to a different conclusion– they might believe that what is required isn’t vegetarianism, but a deeper participation in the life/death cycles of our planet. And this includes hunting, horticulture, small-farming, and other practices that involve the hands-on killing of other beings as a source of nourishment and sustenance.

    >>I don’t want to be arrogant. I want to be right. And what’s the point of having beliefs if you don’t believe they are the right beliefs?<<

    The problem with this is… well, here’s an example. Religious Fundamentalists are absolutely certain that they are right, and this certainty then leads them to believe that they have the right to force their beliefs and practices on the rest of us.

    I get that bearing children and eating meat are “distasteful” to you, but since when did your personal taste become a moral/ethical absolute to which the rest of us need to submit?

    Reply
  7. WolfGirl

    What i meant to include above, as far as the problems with the factory farm system– and I’d say this is muy importante– is the system of capitalism and private property that gives humans the false notion that they can own a piece of the earth as well as other beings, and treat them as mere commodities that are here for no other reason than to increase their wealth. To change the factory farm system, I’d say we definitely need to dismantle the institutions of capitalism and of private property.

    Reply
  8. lagusta

    WolfGirl, I think our differences when it comes to meat eating are pretty tiny. If everyone thought as you did, life would be a hell of a lot better. My personal ethics just preclude me from being OK with people eating meat. Obviously everyone is not going to think this way. I’ve made my peace with that, as well as with my own beliefs.

    And about pushing my beliefs on others: I’m not saying anyone needs to submit to my beliefs. I’m not a crazy Christofascist trying to pass laws to force people to behave like I think they should. I’m a nonviolent cook and blogger telling truth as I see it. And note that I didn’t say I was “absolutely certain” that I am right about everything – I said I want to be right. I’m far from perfect. But I’m willing to tell the truth: most people have stopped aiming for perfection or anything close to it. So it’s time to do some truth-telling, in my mind. Americans have settled for a shitty government and an increasingly shitty country, and I’m not a settler. So I’m doing my tiny bit to speak up. I’m not forcing you to read my blog, and I would not support any laws that would force you to do so!

    Reply
  9. jenny s.

    mainstream american eaters should be condemed for contributing to the horrible farm system..maybe only then will they realize that they actually can make a difference with their choices. or should we hold their hands and cuddle meat with them and quietly suggest that they change their diets.
    people can eat meat, but they should be aware of the kind of meat they are eating. they are doing a lot more damage to our earth than vegans and vegetarians..so why shouldnt we enlighten them.
    wolfgirl—you seem to have the right answers for everything. while i dont agree with everything lagusta says..i dont think that she is trying to tell her audience that she is completely right and we should all follow her. i learn from her and take what i want from her blog. she is doing a lot more than the avg person…i would like to say thanks to her, instead of making her feel bad because she doesnt have all of the right answers and beliefs for you or anyone else.

    Reply
  10. WolfGirl

    jenny, your defense of lagusta is very sweet. I don’t know why you would interpret my criticisms of this blog as “making her feel bad.” When an author publishes her thoughts and ideas in a public sphere, s/he ought to expect and be able to handle criticism– it’s part and parcel of the whole blogosphere.

    I’m also perplexed as to why you think I want lagusta to “have all of the right answers and beliefs for [me] or anyone else.”

    I’d also like you to point out where, in my post, I come across as though I “have the right answers for everything.” My main point is precisely that different people are going to come to different conclusions about the best way to rectify a horrific situation, in this case dietary decisions as it relates to transforming the mass-agricultural system. My other main point is simply that condemnation is not an effective tool of social transformation. Better choices might be education and empowerment, offering “mainstream american eaters” different alternatives and new possibilities, alternatives that they can incorporate into their individual lives in realistic ways. How about meeting others with respect, and starting with the assumption that they are intelligent beings who have, for whatever reason, gotten caught up in the whirling treadmill that is employment, production, reproduction, consumption, and repetition. Why not compassion rather than judgment?

    Reply
  11. jenny s.

    wolfgirl,
    your response to my response is soooooo sweet and almost makes me feel like i am watching an alternate ending to babe, in which the pig dies.

    its more fun and a lot easier to judge than to have compassion…but you are right..in an ideal world we would have compassion and they wouldnt laugh at us for thinking meat is bad.

    you make some very good points. most people are caught up in life and we can only try to put our energy towards a few things outside of the 9-5.

    ive got to tend to that meat eater that i locked in the basement.

    Reply
  12. WolfGirl

    >>your response to my response… almost makes me feel like i am watching an alternate ending to babe, in which the pig dies.<<

    HUH??? What the hell are you talking about???

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  13. jenny s.

    you said my response was sweet. i said your response made me feel that way. emotions have no explanation sometimes.

    Reply
  14. lagusta

    OK, so WolfGirl said: “condemnation is not an effective tool of social transformation. Better choices might be education and empowerment, offering “mainstream american eaters” different alternatives and new possibilities, alternatives that they can incorporate into their individual lives in realistic ways. How about meeting others with respect, and starting with the assumption that they are intelligent beings who have, for whatever reason, gotten caught up in the whirling treadmill that is employment, production, reproduction, consumption, and repetition. Why not compassion rather than judgment?”

    1) Other people are doing just that. I’m thankful they are there so I can do what I do snarkily. Also, when I’m doing, for example, Green Party work, I am that sweet kind person trying in a nonconfrontational way to persuade people to do what is best for them and their community. The idiocy on the part of the electorate to make the right decisions is, in part, what has driven me to blogging.

    2) I don’t think people are intelligent beings. I think we have the potential to be, but we’ve gotten way off track. By and large and with glorious exceptions (a certain “jenny s” comes to mind), we’re idiots and need to be told so.

    Reply
  15. jenny s.

    1) “what has driven me to blogging”

    i dont know. why are you asking us??? maybe you were just bored or wanted to change our minds.

    2) “i dont think”

    how can you not think. if you didnt think then you couldnt write this blog or even wake up in the morning.

    as seen from above, you cannot be taken seriously as you have no clue what you are writing about. wolfgirl will prob accuse me of taking yr words out of context.

    Reply
  16. WolfGirl

    >>jenny s. Says: December 5, 2007 at 1:04 am: wolfgirl will prob accuse me of taking yr words out of context.<>jenny s. Says: December 3, 2007 at 8:00 pm: mainstream american eaters should be condemed for contributing to the horrible farm system..maybe only then will they realize that they actually can make a difference with their choices. or should we hold their hands and cuddle meat with them and quietly suggest that they change their diets.<>lagusta Says: December 3, 2007 at 7:01 pm: WolfGirl, I think our differences when it comes to meat eating are pretty tiny. If everyone thought as you did, life would be a hell of a lot better. My personal ethics just preclude me from being OK with people eating meat.<<

    See, this statement seems to be inherently contradictory. You are not ‘OK’ with people eating meat. I am a person. I eat meat. So clearly you are not okay with my meat-eating. And yet you say “I think our differences when it comes to meat eating are pretty tiny.” I agree with the latter. I agree that our dietary differences are tiny, but this seems incompatible with your ‘personal ethics’ which ‘preclude [you] from being OK with people eating meat’. So I guess what I’m asking is, perhaps you can include ‘tolerance’ into your code of ethics. I like this concept because it doesn’t imply acceptance, embrace, or anything like that. It just implies that you are willing to tolerate the fact that some ecologically conscious, politically aware and active people have come to conclusions with which you don’t agree, but you are still willing to work with these people as allies rather than regard them as enemies just because of that disagreement.

    This is rampant on the left. If you’ll excuse me to go off on a rant for just a sec– (I know, I know… “get yer own blog!”). Look at the left. You have the anti-breeders against parents. The anarchists against the socialists. Naderites against Cobbians. Progressives v. primitivists. Spiritualists v. atheists. This factionalism is one reason that the left has been completely marginalized– sure, mainstream media has done a good job of erasing this perspective, but christ, we’ve done a lot of it to ourselves.

    The answer, in my humble opinion, is NOT to try to get everyone on the same page, but to embrace the fact that we are incredibly diverse and plural in our outlook, and thus in our choices and conclusions about how best to proceed. I mean, at the end of the day, we’re all just imperfect humans doing our best to make it through the madness.

    Reply
  17. jenny s.

    hey wolfgirl,
    its not like she is going to leave a meateater to die in the rainforest if she comes across him/her. i mean she could because they could always eat their own rotting flesh since they are so familiar with the taste. shes just typing her views. if you think fixing lagusta is going to fix the world and the “left” then you are out of yr wits. you should just become a politician instead of trying to come to some understanding on this blog.
    now go eat some tempeh before i have to take some seitan and smack your ass.

    Reply
  18. WolfGirl

    Jenny, I quit. I really don’t need the sarcasm and smart-assness. Been there. Done that. Grew up.

    Have a nice life.

    Reply
  19. jenny s.

    wolfgirl,

    you quit
    you hate sarcasm and smart-assness
    youve been there and done that
    you grew up

    ive learned a lot about you from this post. thank you.

    Reply
  20. lagusta

    WolfGirl Says: December 8, 2007

    lagusta Says: December 3, 2007 at 7:01 pm: WolfGirl, I think our differences when it comes to meat eating are pretty tiny. If everyone thought as you did, life would be a hell of a lot better. My personal ethics just preclude me from being OK with people eating meat.<<

    See, this statement seems to be inherently contradictory. You are not ‘OK’ with people eating meat….So I guess what I’m asking is, perhaps you can include ‘tolerance’ into your code of ethics….”

    Well, you caught me. Totally inconsistent. The truth is – I was trying to be nice! I am definitely more accepting of people like you who consciously eat meat, but I am not totally accepting of it – I will never understand or be OK with it. So I can’t be tolerant of it.

    And your point about the left is totally true – infighting is destroying us. I don’t want to be mean to those with whom I have some political common ground. I just want them to be better. I’m not (as I’ve said 1,000 times) against “breeders” (and for the record I was using that term in a kind of tongue-in-cheek way, because I am aware of the reclaiming of that word that “hip mamas” are doing, but I also like to point out…well, things about having a baby that are too long to go into now and that i’ve written about elsewhere (http://lagusta.com/rants/babies2002.html) – I’m against people who are not raising children in a conscious way.

    So, I have to admit that I’m not totally accepting of everyone’s different choices. I value diversity very much, but I don’t value stupidity. And it really crisps my bacon (as my grandmother would say) when lefties try to tell me that instead of getting righteously angry about shit goin’ down, I should settle down and understand that people are in “different spaces” and have “tolerance” for their “diverse choices” or something like that.

    But I understand that there is a fine line between calling people out and contributing to the culture of tearer-downers that we seem to be mired in on the left. I’ll try to walk that line a little better.

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  21. Vegetarian Meal

    I have a lot of respect for people who question the status quo. Most people are sleepwalkers. I have been a vegetarian for decades and decided long ago not to have children, and strangely this seems radical. (I am 51)

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  22. Melanie A.

    I’m a longtime vegetarian delighted to see that somebody else shares my biggest frustration with the Slow Food movement. I would love to attend the local Slow Food events near me, which purport to celebrate heirloom foodstuffs– but it seems every delicious, locally sourced vegetable has to be cooked with some bit of a dead animal. Even if that animal is also locally sourced, and maybe petted and given free range and called nice names before slaughter, and is of some breed my great-grandparents would recognize, I still don’t want to eat it!

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  23. Jonathan Foley

    1) In general, why do people need a ‘movement’ to act in a just and ethical manner? Slow Food has all the trappings of a fad, its hip at the moment and its blend of hedonism and leftist *seeming* politics appeal to those who can’t help but recognize the unethical and unsustainable nature of their ways but can’t quite bring themselves to go as far as they could. Instead, the choose to couch themselves in ‘traditional’ cooking that ‘connects’ them to their food under the myth of ‘just’ and ‘ethical’ animal products. Enjoy your artisan suffering.

    2) Given the current energy crisis, veganism wins on purely environmental grounds, Nevermind the fact that as sentient beings who can rationally choose our dietary destiny we are *obligated* to choose the most just path in not consuming our fellow animals. Slow or not, animal agriculture is killing the planet. It doesn’t matter how sustainable you *think* your animal products are, the simple fact is that animals require a high degree of energy input and are fairly poor at converting that energy input into nutrition that you eat. Plants by comparison have evolved to be highly efficient in the conversion of solar radiation into animal digestible nutrition.
    The UN back me up on this: http://www.fao.org/ag/magazine/0612sp1.htm

    If you want to read more they have a nice little report titled the ‘Long Shadow of Animal Agriculture’

    3) Slow Fooders: face it, you can’t bring yourself to do the right thing. You can’t give up the entoxifying qualities of animal fat and milk products. You can’t actually work for change. You can’t allow yourself to discover the varied and truly sustainable diet that veganism provides. It’s like telling everyone you’ve climbed Everest, when really you just went to the base camp. Slow Food is not a revolution, its a fantasy. The upcoming SlowFood convention in San Francisco is a hedonisitic holiday where everyone will go around with great smugness because they *know* that they are better than those other people. You aren’t. Its like saying you don’t have slaves but you have very well treated indentured servants. SlowFood disgusts me and for once I am angry with something that has been imported from Europe. Shame on you, you know better.

    4) I agree that vegans need to stand up and claim the SlowFood movement and rightfully theirs. So if you are vegan, stand up, be proud. Please work to distribute vegan pamphlets alongside of the SF literature so that people can see the abject ridiculousness of the movement.

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  24. wolfgirl

    just wanted to share info:

    https://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=115

    The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith

    “We’ve been told that a vegetarian diet can feed the hungry, honor the animals, and save the planet. Lierre Keith believed in that plant-based diet and spent twenty years as a vegan. But in The Vegetarian Myth, she argues that we’ve been led astray–not by our longings for a just and sustainable world, but by our ignorance.

    “The truth is that agriculture is a relentless assault against the planet, and more of the same won’t save us. In service to annual grains, humans have devastated prairies and forests, driven countless species extinct, altered the climate, and destroyed the topsoil–the basis of life itself. Keith argues that if we are to save this planet, our food must be an act of profound and abiding repair: it must come from inside living communities, not be imposed across them.

    “Part memoir, part nutritional primer, and part political manifesto, The Vegetarian Myth will challenge everything you thought you knew about food politics.”

    Reviews

    “This book saved my life. Not only does The Vegetarian Myth make clear how we should be eating, but also how the dominant food system is killing the planet. This necessary book challenges many of the destructive myths we live by and offers us a way back into our bodies, and back into the fight to save the planet.”
    –Derrick Jensen, author of Endgame and A Language Older than Words

    “Last week I went to hear Noam Chomsky in Oakland and on a table outside the theatre I found The Vegetarian Myth. I’ve been reading it for the past week. I think it is one of the most important books people, masses of them, can read, as we try with all our might, intelligence, skill, hope, dream and memory, to turn the disastrous course the planet is on. Or rather that we are on because of our abuse of the planet. It’s a wonderful book, full of thoughtful, soulful teachings, and appropriate rage. My admiration for Lierre’s sharing of life experience and knowledge is complete. Thank you.”
    –Alice Walker

    Reply
    • lagusta

      puke puke puke puke puke puke puke puke x infinity. Do some research on that book. You’ll be surprised what you find.

      Reply
  25. wendy

    I’ve gone back & forth about meat eating for much of my life. I have 2 questions (I am being sincere, not sarcastic or stating ‘gotcha’ questions). Animals die. Is it worse for them to die, if done in the most humane way possible, to be eaten, then it is for them to die of starvation or from being hit by a car? And when you talk about us not having dominion over animals, well we are animals & animals of all sorts eat animals of all sorts. Is a shark arrogant for eating fish, that sort of thing. If an animal can be given a good quality of life & humanely slaughtered (that animal is never going to like dying- no matter how it occurs), aren’t we eating as nature intended, only because we’re human animals, we can try to do it in a less traumatic way?

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Hello Wendy!

      Well, here are my thoughts. Yep, animals die. But I feel it’s my responsibility as a person with a heart to not needlessly kill animals. And no one can argue with the fact that animals do not need to die in order for us to eat. Our modern agricultural system creates many more animals than we need. If we stop eating them, in a few years we don’t have so many of them because we won’t be making so many of them.

      Your point about raising animals more humanely is true, but I don’t believe that we have an ethical right to eat animals at all since we don’t need to, since we can live so much more joyfully and healthily and happily without flesh.

      Animals of all sorts do eat other animalsbut they’re carnivores. We’re omnivorous animals, so we have a choice. And I’ve made the choice to be an herbivore.

      I hope that makes sense!

      Reply

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