Friday, August 1, 2008

Animals, Vegetables...

See Nick Kristofs NYT piece today.
Nick expounds on his youth as a farm kid on Oregon and how much he enjoys a good burger. I enjoy a good burger as well and I probably won't stop eating them until price or availability makes it impossible.
Lots has been said and written about eating plants vs animals. I find that I don't have much of an opinion. Like Mr. Kristof I wish that animal were raised more humanely. I wish that human greed didn't focus on the bottom line so much--can we make room for kindness for the animals we raise? Why not?
Peter Singer has written the bible on animal rights and I agree with him about respect for animals--all animals--not just the ones that equate with humans in intelligence. (I see it as an oxymoron--human intelligence).
Now here's the weird part: I think that vegetables should be raised humanely too, with lots of good rich soil to bed down in and lots of sweet, clean water--and then they should be gently picked and washed and sent to market (this would mean greater expense and more immigrant workers--which I'm OK with).
I can't remember which famous person said he wouldn't eat anything with a face but whoever he is he's stupid. Someone else said, in a book, that animals suffer great fear when they're about to be killed so we end up eating elevated amounts of adrenaline and cortisol. How do we know that plants aren't experiencing a type of panic when they're being plowed up by the roots?

Well, my point is that I don't think there's much that can't be consumed, aside from the usual taboo items (other people) and things that are just too ugly to eat (other people). The issue is how you raise your food and how you harvest or slaughter it. It should be done respectfully, with the good of the product being the priority. Animal or vegetable, the good of the product contributes to the good of the human.

I have more opinions on animal and vegetable rights--and minerals too--you'll be interested or horrified to know. I'll hold forth on this at greater length in another post.

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