Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A mess of misinformation

I am rather new to this whole vegetarian thing. The people close to me are vegetarian, but it is apparently rather the same as watching someone else ride a bicycle. According to the International Vegeturian Union "[f]or the purpose of membership of IVU, vegetarianism includes veganism and is defined as the practice of not eating meat, poultry or fish or their by-products, with or without the use of dairy products or eggs." But I had a hard search to get this little answer. It is what I need in order that I can define myself and my choices in relation to the world. Along the way I discovered that being a vegetarian is a very messy subject. I will be taking up a few issues I have discovered on my adventure.

i. Whatever you do, do not go to yahoo for answers!

A commentator on Yahoo Answers says,
"Your correct, it is hypocritical [to eat fish. At least I agree with him there!]. Most things Vegetarians say and do are hypocritical [Most things everyone say are hypocritical]. Some believe they can eat chicken and fish. I never new fish was a vegetable. A lot of Vegetarians are PETA supporters. [A lot of vegetarians don't support PETA because it is inhumane and disgusts us.]

P.S. The reason your getting a lot of harsh answers is because most Vegetarians are angry and mean [False cause. Most people on the internet in ethics debates are angry and mean.] As we know, [we do?] when it needs food, our body indicates this to us with the feeling of hunger. But there are also other signals if specific nutrients are deficient. Meat is the best source of several of these nutrients. When our bodies are deficient in these, we become irritable and aggressive. [I'm both sides and believing neither. Some people are saying that Vegetarians are peace loving because they don't support killing. Now this guy is saying they are violent because they are nutrient deficient. Lots of people are nutrient deficient. It comes from only eating meat. It comes from not eating. It comes from thinking all you need is protein powder.]This is why strict vegetarians tend to be so vociferous. Look at Hitler and Charles Manson (both Vegetarians)."

Beware of appeal to emotion. People know you are angry and take advantage of this fact. When you are angry you will not ask for rational argument but only to have your beliefs affirmed. Always demand facts! Always demand arguments! Even if you cannot understand them it requires the person you are talking to to make an effort and use their brain instead of taking advantage of your willingness to listen.

ii. Vegetarians are malnurished.

Even my mother advised me not to become malnurished. I thought she knew me better. Anyone who goes vegetarian without first learning how to live without meat is stupid. I am not stupid. I did not do that. But you must understand that there are many people in this world who do not have the same advantages I do. There are many people even here in Canada who have no idea how food works. Make it a project to educate them, not damn their choices. Being vegetarian is cheaper and requires you to think more. Those are both good things for the malnurished. My only stumbling block so far has been cheese. I am now on a quest to find rennet-less cheese.

iii. There is an ethical divide.

Hey, guys. I want to be on your team, okay? Nope, you're on the other side of the line now miss vegetarian. I had no idea! I had no idea that in becoming a vegetarian I would become a walking ethical challenge. I don't want to be labelled. I don't want to challenge peoples beliefs with my existence. I just wanted to make a good decision for once. Why is it such a mess?

iiii. Farming animals is monstrous.

Appeal to emotion! Look how dreadful it is. Nasty little pen. You know what? I don't care. What don't I care about? Well, I'm not sure because I never bothered to find out because I know that when faced with those images I won't be able to think logically. I don't want scare tactics to change my way of life. That's stupid.

See the trouble is that if I am a vegetarian due to the monstrousness of animal farms then if I go out and kill the cow myself it is okay. So 'happy meat' is better. Yep, it's better. But I don't want to consume flesh. I thought that was what it meant to be vegetarian.

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