Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On the fat word 'vegetarianism'. Living means killing, harming and eating.

We live in a world of fat words. Words that are pregnant of meanings, theoretical and historical backgrounds and thousands of scientists who are specialist on any given fat word. Freedom, democray, health care, love, religion, ethics and vegetarianism are all fat words. Every day all of us make thousands of big and small decisions on fat words. Mostly not realizing it's a fat word. I guess most of us remain unconscious our whole life it's a fat word at all.  

I've 4 kids: 2 boys and 2 girls. My eldest son doesn't eat 'risotto'. My eldest daughter doesn't eat 'boerenkool'. My youngest daughter doesn't eat 'witlof'. And my 4th kid? My youngest son eats everything.  As parents  we oblige our kids to eat their diner every evening. If they don't eat they will get no dessert - it's  a reward not punishment. If that doesn't help they will go to bed without having had their meal. There's only 1 exception to this rule: everyone may choose 1 non-favourite meal. If we're having ones non-favourite meal he or she may eat a sandwich instead.

On not eating animals. On vegetarianism. On not eating parts of cows, chickens and fish.  On not using animal products. Just  be you  - and not some idealized, perfect version of you. If you don't like eating and abusing animals  then don't. May be one day the fat word 'vegetarianism' will enter into my family. What will I decide? My answer will be something like this. Choose your non-favourite meal! It's all up to you. On the other hand I'll use all the tricks I can think up if one of my kids will not eat animals out of religion. I'm personally convinced that living our lives means killing other animals. Species 'homo sapiens' can't live and survive if we don't kill, eat and use other animals. We can't! You may not like it. You may not want to. You may dream of some paradise hidden in  history or in the future. Face! Face the painfull truth that living means killing and eating. We kill, harm and eat animals because we want to survive. Figuratively my kids eat me and my wife for their survival. Don't fly. Don't hide. Wake up and embrace life.

P.s. Even veganist kill for their survival. They kill animals that are hardly perceptible to the eye while moving in their sleep or using a broom. They eat food that can't be eaten by others. On planet Earth there are still millions of other human beings that die because of lack of food. Why don't you give them your meal?


  1. hi jean, good text. makes sense.

    personally, i try not to eat animals too often.
    sometimes, i have a craving for a good beef steak, or a good fresh beef hamburger, or a good bolognese... i try to get organic meat then.

    just as i try to stick to organic (or 'bio', as it is called here in germany, or 'whole food', as they call it in the u.s. or u.k.) vegetables, fruit, pasta, cosmetics, etc.
    i try to support the whole food stores in the neighborhood, as well as restaurants which pay attention to what they put in their dishes, e.g. i 'buy local' as much as i can.

    another consideration is 'local' origin: if i can chosse between flown in from around the world, or driven all the way across the continent, i go for from brandenburg, from germany, from france, from holland -- rather than the same article from e.g. southern spain, israel, new zealand, china or argentina.

    and, if i have the choice, i look for fair trade stuff, rather than anonymous, unmarked, unexplained products, e.g. coffee beans, cotton products, etc. -- where i have to suspect some poor person somewhere has been ripped off, has their markets & community ruined, and while they produce stuff for us, their own families are starving.

    and finally, i try to stay away from seafood stolen from the people of africa, illegally fished in their waters, as well as artificially pumped up asian fish or shrimp, full of antibiotics and other muck & poison (plus again flown all around the world, at a horrible price of pollution), just as i am wary of genetic manipulation of food by the likes of companies like monsanto, inventor of that spray stuff agents which killed half of vietnam and cambodia back when.

    all that to me is part of an attitude to spare the world, to be fair to nature & to people, and not the least to stay healthy, not to grow breasts or cancer, become infertile or die because of an antibiotics immunity.
    that to me is also part of being homo sapiens sapiens, to be smart about tings...

    but of course you are very right that anyone who makes a religion out of any of this is off the sapiens-mark & -chart as well: like any of the above, i try to stear clear of any religious polution & poisoning as well...!

  2. Dirk, thank you for the comment :)
    Reading your comment brought up the metaphor: It's all about polluting & depleting (1) planet Earth, our (2) bodies and (3) mind.
    I'm a bit ambivalent on fair trade. Accoding to me there's no such thing as "fair" trade & "fair" fishing. The best we can do is "win-win" trade. If we don't we plant the seeds for future (already present?) wars.

  3. ... how bout: 'fair depletion w/o excess pollution'?

    to me, if you take too much, so that people die, something's off balance & wrong:
    i find it hard to bear to see starving children where once, very recently, their waters were full of fish -- and on the horizon you see the illegal trawlers who then re-route the catch to illegally enter the EU, who does little about it.

    and why is that? why do we tolerate stealing from people? because here, all the fish you'd ever want is on offer -- all the time, everwhere, at ridiculously low prices. cooled at great environmental cost. and then, half of it gets thrown away.

    i'd say the same procedures & mechanisms apply to e.g. beef, pork, poultry, as well as e.g. flour, fruit, wood, cotton, etc. etc.

    no problem at all to have/get what one needs, craves, enjoys, plus a little more... but overall, isn't it all a bit out of hand...

    ne c'est pas?

    do we have to have everything available all the time? is that healthy? is it 'sapiens sapiens'?

  4. I agree with your comment. Ofcourse we don't need everything available all the time. But what's the key that solves that constraint? Personal greediness? Policemen not doing what they're paid for? Business'externalities? Government that act locally? Missing Earth government? Extra taxes? Or ...?

  5. i'd say, all of the above. most of all: laws to that effect -- and their enforcement...

  6. Enforcement of laws is in my opinion only possible with 1 planet Earth Government. If we don't we'll always have local sub-optimal laws and enforcement & people shopping between the local organisations.
    More than enforcement we need internalisation (in our mind) that we'd better not pollute & deplete the planet we live on.
    I'm so afraid that our mindset is not capable of implementing the above. For millions of years species 'homo' lived in groups of 40-60 people for personal and group survival. Since the agricultural revolution (starting 10.000 BC) this concept is slowly more disputed. For me it feels that we today still act in the old 40-60 group mindset. It's the mindset soldiers fight with. It's the mindset a family works with. It's the mindset we live by on Internet. It's the mindset of Bill Gates and Barack Obama. If this is true we'll never be able to overcome our constraints.
    Maybe we need a new mono-theistic God = Planet Earth

  7. i'm all with you & for it, on both accounts: one planet earth government & fight the mindset.
    considering what home sapiens sapiens has achieved in other fields, i am confident we can... it takes effort, but yes we can!

  8. p.s.: also interesting, in its variety...