Tuesday, October 16, 2012

For the Sake of a Little Flesh...

For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind the first man [...] touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who set forth tables of dead, stale bodies and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds? [...] We slaughter harmless, tame creatures without stings or teeth to harm us, creatures that, I swear, Nature appears to have produced for the sake of their beauty and grace. [...] For the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being.

-- Plutarch, Moralia

2 comments:

franklanguage said...

This is an interesting perspective; since most people in the world either eat meat or wish they could, for most people it's a non-issue because it's a societal norm, and most people love meat—or at least don't think about it. There are a lot of people who simply say, "I don't eat that much meat," and leave it at that.

My issue is with dairy, since as we know its harvest causes more—and more protracted—suffering than simply killing an animal once. Plus, dairy—particularly cheese—is addictive, so people who consume dairy need it. End of story.

J. James said...

I mean, this is beautiful - however lofty.