In an opinion piece entitled "The Fervour of the Vegan" a few days ago, The Atlantic's Food Channel producer, Max Fisher, ends up ranting at what he describes as a sort of ascetic righteousness he sees vegans as possessing. Fisher pretty much inadvertently lifts his shirt up to readers to display all of the welts borne of his own obvious self-flagellation, though, when he writes
I know all too well about the cruelties of egg and dairy factory farms, cruelties to which, as I pat myself on the back for not eating meat, I continue to contribute every day.This very quote pretty much says it all. Fisher is acknowledging that he is a hypocrite, but has neither the balls nor the sense of accountability that would entail his having to address this hypocrisy by changing his own life. Instead, he shirks off his self-loathing by directing hostility at vegans for holding the mirror in front of him so that he can see himself.
Facing this basic contradiction of vegetarianism made me recognize a weight I'd been carrying ever since I gave up meat: I resent vegans. I resent that their mere, if rare, existence calls attention to the hypocrisy underlying the vegetarianism so central to my daily life.
That makes about as much sense as a serial rapist continuing to rape occasionally, while ranting about the existence of self-help groups consisting of reformed rapists for making him feel guilty for continuing to rape.
He continues, in an accusatory tone, stating "vegans are a blow to any confidence I feel in my chosen lifestyle" and asks what should, in fact, be a rhetorical question: "If I really cared about animal welfare, wouldn't I be vegan?"
Indeed, Max Fisher. Indeed.