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September 30, 2009

Comments

Jesse Menn

Oddly enough, I'm reading a book now called "The Lives of Animals" by J.M. Coetzee and a bunch of articles dealing with the treatment of animals/food in literature... I have to give an interpretation on Pride and Prejudice through this lens of "Animal Studies."

herculodge

Wow, what an esoteric angle of reading Pride and Prejudice. I've read Coetzee's book. Is it still in print?

Jesse Menn

I don't know, I got it from a friend in class who knew I was doing a presentation on this treatment of animals in P&P. What are your thoughts on the book (not the Austen...)

herculodge

Since I'm a vegetarian, it's safe to say I find the book's arguments, and other books I've read including The Face on Your Plate, convincing.

KR

Due to Herc's recommendation, "Face on your plate" arrived in the mail yesterday. I also ordered that one and I can't recall the title. the animal god didnt make or something like that. I appreciate all Herc's books suggestions and try to buy and read them when possible.

As far as vegetarianism goes, I've been off the wagon since 1999, but before that I was pretty good for 6 years and now I want to get back on the wagon.

What turned me, I guess 16 years ago, was driving home from work on the interstate and pulled off on my exit and there is a live chicken in the exit ramp. I guess it fell off of a chicken truck. I stopped and tried to get it out of the road, to no luck. But then as I thought about all the chicken trucks I saw each day it reminded me of train cars to Auschwitz or something like that for chickens. Anyhow, I don't think you need meat to live and/or perform athletically. I see no difference in performance on either diet, so why kill things.

Jesse Menn

I find appropriating the familiar comparison between Jews in Europe being slaughtered at Auschwitz and the slaughter of cattle to be slightly reductionist. Effectively it reads as "Jews died like cattle, therefore cattle die like Jews." If Jews were treated like cattle, it does not necessarily imply that cattle are treated like Jews. I find it insulting to the memory of dead Jews, as well as a cheap rhetorical strategy.

KR

Jesse, I agree and take your point and could have phrased that differently. But that was my personal thought at the time: death trucks.

Definitely the Auschwitz metaphor is overkill. I guess "chickens checking in but they don't check out" would have worked.

My apologies to anyone offended, period.

Jesse Menn

I'm not offended, it takes a lot to really actively offend me, but a lot of people -do- find it offensive. This argument, over the use of Auschwitz is actually brought up in "The Lives of Animals" I'm reading now. In fact, both your initial use of it, and my annoyance of its use, was nearly word for word from that book. I haven't seen how the main pro-Vegetarian has responded yet, or if she even will.

herculodge

For me, the slaughterhouses are bad enough. I don't need to or want to compare them to Auschwitz or anything like that. The suffering of animals is sufficient without making outrageous moral comparisons.

The complexity of vegetarianism for me is that I know some people who don't feel well on such a diet. They feel better eating meat.

Jesse Menn

Dietary habits, vegan, vegetarianism, omnivore, alone are complex. Social, cultural, economic, religious differences all come into play. Not to raise a flag here, but I don't have too much problem eating raw horse (if I could find a place I felt safe doing it in Los Angeles county), but I won't eat Chilean Sea Bass.

Like everything else, we (as people) generally will pick up and attach ourselves to one political/social/religious/whatever aspect or movement and then adhere to that without considering the other aspects. Environmentalism and the "green" movements are a pretty decent example.

herculodge

Well said. I wonder if I'll stick to it. For now, the contemplation of animal suffering is enough motivation and the abhorrence of eating the meat. But my memory centers from my youth may cling to steak fajitas, cheeseburgers, etc. You have to "die" to meat to be a vegetarian and dying to anything can be scary.

The Atomizer

Who doesn't love a website devoted to radios and being a vegetarian?

Seriously though, I enjoy the radio banter, the rest, well, whatever...

I'm a hunter, a farmer and raise animals for food, I guess you'd better kick me off this website now...

herculodge

I'm in no position to kick anyone off. Currently I'm reading the Vegetarian Myth, which challenges a lot of vegetarian doctrines. More on this later.

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