A twinge of sadness:
The meat department
Warning! This is a rant.
As you may have noticed, I love you all dearly. The last thing I want to do is cause you pain. Because this is a rant, I’m not taking aim at anyone in particular, but if you stand too close, you may get thwacked, I may hit a nerve, or even step on your beliefs. No hard feelings if you bail out at any time.
You could think of this as an address to the jury on behalf of a group of sentient beings facing the death penalty that can’t speak for themselves.
I’ve been a vegetarian for the past six years, and in total, about 15 of my 62 years, but have only been phasing eggs and dairy out of my diet for the past six months or so [as at 2011].
I am grateful to Peter Singer’s classic book Animal Liberation for helping to crystallize my thoughts on the subject. I have drawn freely from his ideas.
Speciesism, like cannibalism, slavery, religious persecution, racism and sexism, is the imposing of the will of a powerful group upon a weaker group - in this case, by humans upon other sentient species. We take it so much for granted that it often goes unnoticed. But it's everywhere - not just on our dinner plates and covering our feet, but also at the rodeos, circuses, bullfights, hunting and fishing trips, the fur trade and clothing stores. Last but not least, the worst atrocities are hidden behind the walls of the factory farms and slaughterhouses.
The idea of animal liberation isn’t new. Plato and Pythagoras were vegetarians for ethical reasons. So was Leonardo Da Vinci. He would buy caged birds sold at the marketplace for food and then set them free. Edison and Einstein were another couple of smart guys that decided they didn't need meat and stopped eating it.