A Conversation for Vegetarianism
ZeroG Started conversation Aug 2, 1999
Because I've been a vegetarian all my life (53 years) I don't discuss it much. It was very unusual when I was a kid, and I got bored with the conversation at every meal. I haven't ever given meat up, so I don't have to replace it in my diet (for nutritious or aesthetic reasons). I also don't have *conversion fervour*. I occasionally eat eggs (people put them in things), and I eat cheese (much to my vegan friends disgust), and I have eaten meat on occasion (in the experimental mode of the traveller).
I am less interested in the food argument (are we omnivores, natural vegetarians, etc?) than in the behavioural one. Anecdotal evidence suggest that meat coarsens sensibilities, but the link to violence probably isn't simple nutrition. It is the tactic of the predator that we aspire to, in Western capitalist societies.(Making a killing, bringing home the bacon) We despise sheep, rabbits, and other grazing animals. Predators have to be smart, agile, cunning, etc.
It's all true, too, but food chains only support a few predators in any particular population. We can't all be predators. I'd like people to have a more positive picture of *veggie tactics for living*. Not all veggie animals are fair game. Their tactics are various: be bigger than the predators (elephants), be much smaller (and disappear down a mouse hole); be quicker (deer); use camouflage (zebras); taste awful; startle: go round in large packs; live alone, appear fierce. How to survive comfortably while foraging, grazing and browsing the plants. That's the problem I think is important, not whether there was a slug in my lettuce.....
Bruce Posted Aug 2, 1999
On the behavioural aspect you might find this interesting
ZeroG Posted Aug 4, 1999
Thanks for the information. I will certainly save and print, as I don't want to read it on-line. I don't feel related to chimps so much. I must admit that Gorillas seem more my thing. (It's only by chance that I wore a gorilla suit for 2-3 years with a clown troupe in the '70s, and I always worked on making her a gentle, lazy soul, not a pack animal like the chimps, but a small-group participant, a lover of extended families. Etc. I'll formulate a clearer reply later, as I don't have references at my fingertips. Pigmy chimps, now, they might look familiar. They use sex as a social bond, and are promiscuous - indiscrimate - to our eyes. And anyway, I was kinda pointing to our link with all vegetarian creatures (I don't mean *us - humans*: I mean us humans who choose our totem animals (our role models) from the vegetarian part of the spectrum. Settlers see wolves as marauders, cunning, ruthless, sneaky, etc. There are sharks in Hollywood, and jackals in real estate. To nomadic peoples, however, wolves are noble, self-sufficient, brave comrades. Konrad Lorenz pointed out the way dogs (and wolves) bare their throats when defeated, and a *code of honour* prevents the winner delivering a death blow. You see, I have nothing against predators (or scavengers for that matter) it's just that I prefer to choose the less-invasive life-style of the browser (in my case, for information...)
Bruce Posted Aug 5, 1999
One of my favourite definitions
'Whats the difference between a weed & a crop?'
'No ones worked out a recipe to make the weed taste good'
ZeroG Posted Aug 7, 1999
That was an enigmatic reply. Isn't a weed just a flower in the wrong place? Ask a gardener.
And check out nettles as a replacement for spinach (Popeye, and all that iron), which people
seemed to eat quite a lot during WW2.
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