Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"The Conscience of a Carnivore"

Please go read this article on, it's called "The Conscience of a Carnivore" and it's writen by William Saletan. There have been a lot of books and articles lately written by carnivores who realize that eating meat involves all kinds of double consciousness, denial, or just plain cruelty. One good example is Omnivore's Dilemma, written by Michael Pollan.

For any vegans or vegetarians out there who sometimes want to scream HOW CAN YOU BE SO MINDLESS AND HEARTLESS, this article is a breath of fresh air, proof that against all odds, carnivores do have flashes of insight.

Some choice quotes:

Shrinks call this "cognitive dissonance." You munch a strip of bacon then pet your dog. You wince at the sight of a crippled horse but continue chewing your burger."

Every society lives with two kinds of moral problems: the ones it's ready to face, and the ones that will become clear or compelling only in retrospect. Human sacrifice, slavery, the subjugation of women—every tradition seems normal and indispensable until we're ready, morally and economically, to move beyond it."

"300 years from now, when our descendants look back at slaughterhouses the way we look back at slavery, they won't remember the benefits to us, any more than they'll remember our dried-up tears for a horse. They'll want to know whether we saw the moral calling of our age. If we do, it's time to pony up."

Saletan's conclusion is that humans supposedly can't give up the desire for meat (I don't agree with that) but they should stop slaughtering animals and instead eat meat grown in a laboratory (I agree with this- I wouldn't want any meat, but I'd rather the world ate lab meat than factory farmed meat).

Our kitties, Bijou and Marble wish more people had compassion for animals.

What do you think about the article and whole lab meat idea?

Speaking of cognitive dissonance, Homer Simpson does a nice job of demonstrating it in this video from "The Simpsons." Pinchy is a lobster that Homer lovingly raised, intending to eat him. But then he grew attached to the lobster and felt he couldn't eat him...until he accidentally gave Pinchy a hot bath...



Emmy said...

The whole growing meat in a lab creeped me out. To me I find it so strange that they are even talking about growing meat in labs. Though I'm with you as it's a step above the factory farms. It seems like people want to appease their mind about eating flesh for food and growing meat in a lab is one way? Crazy.

Your cats are adorable :) And the Simpsons video - what a perfect example for cognitive dissonance!!

Urban Vegan's Evil Twin said...

I think people need to try to justify their bad decsions or lack of consciousness. I know, because, sadly, I did it, at one time.

bazu said...

Emmy, I think you are right and lab-grown meat is going to gross a lot of people out. I just think that it's such a good alternative to slaughtering live animals. I'm glad you like the Simpsons clip- I read on your blog that you are a fan of the Simpsons, so that's one more thing we have in common!
Urban Vegan, I agree with you, I think all of us justify things to ourselves and others at some point or another to assuage guilt- what I liked about this article was that a carnivore is calling it like it is, I'm so optimistic that more and more people will start seeing how easy and beneficial it is to just stop eating meat already!

Anonymous said...

I came by the other day and couldn't get your blog to show up. Glad you're all switched over.

I think this is a very interesting concept. I can't ever forsee a time when I would want to eat lab grow and/or manipulated anything, let alone meat. But, it is definitely a better alternative than CAFO's and the brutal slaughtering of innocent animals.

Love the Simpsons video. Classic!

Your kitties are so cute. I just want to pickt them up and hug them to death (in a good way).

bazu said...

Thanks, Crystal. I think this whole lab meat debate is really interesting and I wonder where it's going to go. The kitties say thank you, too. I have to be careful myself not to hug them to death. Sometimes when I'm bugging them by squeezing them too much, I get virtual cuteness by going to Cute Overload!!

KleoPatra said...

I love your kitties!!!!

Anonymous said...

I would never eat lab-grown meat, or factory farmed meat at that. I am a meat eater who has been Vegan in the past. Medical issues and a drastic re-evaluation of the reality of farming systems has lead me to the point where I can kill an animal for food and do so with reverence for the life that will benefit me and my family. I hold no indifference towards the ethics of doing so.
True, our current farming methods are cruel, but not all farmers operate in such a way. Treatment and housing of animals is an important issue that we all must make together. Whether or not to eat meat is a personal decision. I hope we can learn to respect eachother's right to do so responsibly.