Friday, February 02, 2007

Is killing animals ethical?

I’ve had my doubts in the past about some of the things Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have got up to, but this story has really surprised me. Basically, Peta have been taking animals from crowded shelters somewhere in the US and killing them by lethal injection. I guess the rationale is that this is ethical treatment, but is it? Not to me – I mean, those shelters would have to be seriously crowded to be worse than death. I have heard people being rude about Peta on various veggie discussion boards in the past, is this why? Any comments on this? Anyone know more than me?

Peta gets OK over hard-hitting campaign

Well, I might have thought it was too strong, but the Advertising Standards Authority has dismissed complaints against the Peta campaign with the slogan “Feeding kids meat is child abuse”. I must say, I’m surprised, but pleased, I guess. It’s basically an official body accepting the premise that eating meat is bad.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The missing link

Bit old this story, but totally stupid, nonetheless. A lady who has been veggie for twenty years is going to eat a McDonald’s Big Mac as part of an effort to raise money for a cancer charity. Now, if she was doing it to illustrate the link between fast foods and cancer, and it was a moment of sacrifice for the cause, then I could understand it. But no, that link dosen’t seem to have been noticed over in Berkhamstead. No, this is a genuine my-nan-died-from-cancer-so-I’ll-give-up-being-a-vegetarian-and-eat-a-McDonald’s piece of logic. And you know what the best bit is? No, I’ll let the ex-Berkhamstead vegetarian in question tell you: "It's the thought of eating something that was a living animal that's going to make it interesting," she says. The mind boggles.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Newspaper tries to praise vegetarianism

The Guardian newspaper the other day had an article in its leader column headlined In praise of vegetarianism. While it was nice to see a piece setting out to extol the virtues of a practice dear to my heart, I don't think it was done very well.

While I'm quoting slightly selectively, I know, the juxtapositions of the lines "[we] have come a long way since the days of textured vegetable protein. Humane meat is now more popular than ever" is hardly convincing in its "praise". Great, we have humane meat (I guess that's non-factory farmed meat) - it's hardly the bastion of a great argument for vegetarianism, is it now?

The best the piece can do is say "vegetarians still look elsewhere". It doesn't say where. Maybe the writer doesn't know [what he's talking about]. The piece then goes on about the environmental benefits of vegetarianism, which, while worthy, I suspect are not the main reason most vegetarians eschew meat.

The piece goes on to say: "vegetarianism confronts ethical questions that a lot of us prefer to ignore", but the writer fails even to suggest what these are and moves quickly on, completely missing the whole point of vegetarianism in the process. Basically, the piece would have been better called "A little bit of pointless and obvious information about vegetarianism".

By the way, don't bother reading the immense deluge of comments attached to the piece unless you want to hear the "meat-eaters are cruel vs. we have sharp teeth and are meant to eat meat" arguments going round and round in endless cycles of nothingness. Yes, we know you have sharp teeth, you animals.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Don't eat horses is good, no?

Will Peta stop at nothing to get the message out there? The animal rights group have a very creative campaigns team, that's for sure. Their latest trick is for two female members to parade around the freezing streets of Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan, wearing just bikinis made from lettuce leaves, and urging people to go veggie. The Kazakhs, god bless them, were bewildered by the whole affair - vegetarianism not being very common in the central Asian nation. On top of the publicity surrounding the Borat film, they probably thought it was some more foreigners poking fun at them. Still, if it did work, then good for the Peta girls. Look out for a surge in vegetarian restaurants in Almaty in 2007.

Smart move, this veggie lark

This is great. According to researchers from Southampton University, intelligent people are more likely to become vegetarian. Strictly speaking, this places me in the less intelligent category, as I didn't 'become' vegetarian, but I think I should get intelligence points for not becoming a non-vegetarian. Either way, the findings agree with my constant argument (which began here - see "I say, old chap, eating meat is so vulgar" in April's archive) that vegetarianism is part of a more civilised, rational approach to life. Unsurprisingly, the Vegetarian Society agrees, saying: "We've always known that vegetarianism is an intelligent, compassionate choice benefiting animals, people and the environment." You don't say.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nuts to protein scaremongers

We vegetarians have made and heard countless arguments as to why a meat-free diet is healthier, and here is another one to throw on the pile. It's all very official and quite good at reposting those who fall lazily back on the not-enough-protein line. We need protein to grow big and strong and aggressive, of course, but how much? Meat eaters are always fondly recalling the days when we used to roam the earth with spears looking for animals to kill. But how many did we actually kill? I don't know, but I doubt there was roast on the cave menu every night. So we had sharp teeth, granted, and we ate meat, granted, but not all the time. Anyway, time we moved on from the Stone Age, don't you think?