Zimbabwe's Thought Leader (part of the Mail & Guardian online network) featured an opinion piece today that 'ignorant' just doesn't seem to qualify adequately. Sipho Hlongwane's piece "Vegetarians Cause Me Grief" is just one long anti-vegan diatribe. Using 'vegetarianism' and 'vegetablism' interchangeably, the writer at least seems to get that veganism is something altogether different (for whatever little that's worth):
There’s the other type of vegetarians. The really pale, thin ones. Vegans. The fanatics. I like to think of them as the provisional wing of vegetablism. I’ve had the odd run-in with these vegan people. My reaction is always the same. Shame, man. All that malnutrition can’t be fun. And their reaction to that is always the same. They faint, but only after losing too much energy, trying to swing a punch at me. Tsk. Really man, shame.And if you didn't quite get out of that last bit that he's not particularly fond of vegans:
My philosophy is quite simple. Live and let live — in the case of vegans, live and let die. I do me and you do you. I may find your dietary habits odd and perhaps quite insane, but if that’s what you want to eat, then bon appetit. Trouble is, the reciprocal is never true. Vegetarians cause me so much grief. They’re the biggest source of under-the-skin, itchy irritation in my life, more than taxi drivers, traffic cops and government workers. As soon as they see meat on my plate, they’re at my heels, yapping away like a pack of excitable terriers.We get it, Hlongwane. You're snappy and clever and needed to scratch an itch and to earn a buck. We also get that it's not just the cows you mention that are full of methane.
Nosing around online, I uncovered yet another former "vegans" getting their rocks off slicing up nonhuman animals article ("Conscious Carnivores, Ethical Butchers are Changing Food Culture"):
Why go to Jim and Wendy Parker's Dallas hog farm to meet the Red Wattle and scratch his belly, Reed has been asked, knowing you'll eventually butcher that animal?Former self-described "militant vegan" Berlin Reed's obviously spent too much time reading HSUS pamphlets. And that's not OK. There's nothing good about living a life where your only purpose is to end up on someone's plate, guy, whether or not someone scratches your belly before scalding it or slicing it open.
"To me, that's exactly how it should be. At that point, there's no argument against eating meat. These pigs live a good life. They are animals raised to be food. And that's OK."
Word on the street (OK, on the Examiner website, really) is that Philadelphia is going to be the only US city hosting a demonstration on January 30 for the "World Day for the Abolition of Meat". Philadelphia Animal Advocate Examiner Megan Drake touts it as being a good way to encourage veganism, but does it really? It seems to me that the article does a pretty good job of explaining all on its own that it doesn't:
The purpose of 'World Day for the Abolition of Meat' is to inform the public of how much suffering meat eating causes non-human animals and how unnecessary it is to human beings. Goals are twofold: encouraging vegetarianism and veganism as forms of boycotting the products of the animal farming industry and secondly to explicitly request the abolition of meat production.The truth is that singling out meat as a cause of animal suffering side-steps the fact that there is as much--and often much more--suffering involved in dairy and egg production than in raising animals for their flesh. Protesting the consumption of meat to promote vegetarianism also misses this point altogether. Furthermore, saying that one is protesting for the "abolition of meat" to encourage veganism makes about as much sense as saying that one is protesting for the "abolition of yogurt" to promote veganism. You want to promote veganism? Promote veganism!
Additionally, focusing on suffering turns the treatment into the main issue and feeds right into the popular "happy meat" trend, by which many let themselves get lulled by producers and animal welfare groups (like HSUS) into thinking that it's actually just fine to eat the flesh or excretions of some non-humans, since small supposed improvements in the way they're caged or tortured their entire lives somehow validate enslaving them and slaughtering them in the first place. (Whether those supposed improvements actually even lead to less suffering is another issue altogether, best saved for another post.)