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Interesting Comments-Friday

First, Alex Chernavsky made me spit my Amaranth Flakes and Almond Milk (unsweetened vanilla) this morning.

Karen Miltner of the Democrat and Chronicle begins "Meaty Menu's a Jamaican Jewel at Natural Vibes Jerk Hut in Rochester" with:

"As an eternal omnivore, I get a small, secret little thrill when one of my vegetarian or vegan friends breaks down and eats fish, meat, poultry or dairy."

Alex comments:

"To me, Miltner's sentence is roughly equivalent to saying, 'As someone unfettered by any sort of moral code, I get a small, secret little thrill when one of my pacifist friends breaks down and shoots someone in the head.'

There should be no joy in seeing someone abandon their principles."

I might not have said that, or that way, but it certainly is striking.

Next, I was evidently the last person on Planet Earth to hear about the chimp attack, and frankly I don't know where to start so I won't even get into it. However, Bea directed me to "25 of the Worst Attacks by Exotic Pets" by Brian Clark Howard at The Daily Green, which provides plenty of ammunition in the fight against forcing wild animals to become "pets." 

The first comment, however, is:

"You mention dog attacks, but you don't mention that more ppl are killed by horses than exotic pets, that habitat destruction is exponentially more detrimental than collection for the pet trade, and that almost all animals live longer in captivity than in the wild. Exotic pets are easily sensationalized – that is why they are in the news."

There's a lot in there that begs for deconstruction. Anyone . . . anyone . . . 

Finally, I come down on Alternet and other "progressive" sites for conspicuously refusing to address animal rights, even in relationship to the environment. But you've got to see "Is it Possible to be a Conscientious Meat Eater?" It includes:

 "Do humans even have the right to make other living beings into objects of production that we can kill even when it is unnecessary to do so, merely for our pleasure?

The words 'animal rights,' 'vegetarian,' and 'vegan' are some of the most mocked and emotionally loaded terms in our language, even in very liberal circles. One has to wonder if a multibillion dollar meat industry hasn't had a part in making these words and the ideals behind them seem so laughable to so many people.

Soy has become the new evil food, and it is often said that vegans and vegetarians are hypocrites because they eat processed foods that are bad for the environment, and their diets are pretentious.

In fact, many of the studies that show negative effectives of soy are funded by the meat industry, and it is often ignored that the reason soy is so damaging environmentally is because the vast majority of it is grown to feed factory farm animals — this is the soy that is destroying the rain forest.

It's flattering that people think that the demands of vegans could be the cause of such huge global effects. However, it is not the small number of vegans and vegetarians who are misusing soy — it is the meat industry and the millions of omnivores who eat their products."

The comments for this article, though they do contain a lot of the usual nonsense, also have some gems to use in conversation, and all in one place. Check them out!

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dan #

    Alex said it perfectly, and if his words had come to my mind, I most certainly would say exactly what he said.

    I’ve been thinking recently about the vast difference between morality, which I live by and which I figure out by intuition and careful reasoning, and emotionally-based immoral desires and ideas, which almost involuntarily spring to mind and which I reject and by which refuse to live (or die).

    The rational morality I live by inspires my veganism and nonviolent efforts to show people why it is morally wrong to exploit animals and consume animal products and how vegan living is easy and delightful. This rational morality rejects violent efforts of force and punishment. It flatly rejects retributive justice – the eye-for-an-eye, Old Testament conception of justice – as a way of “getting even” on behalf of the tortured innocent.

    The emotionally-based, immoral desires and ideas, on the other hand, are the same emotional desires and ideas that motivate persons like Karen Miltner to 1) be an “eternal omnivore” and 2) “get a small, secret little thrill” when one her so-called ‘vegan’ friends “breaks down and eats” animal products. The immoral desires and ideas that I have aren’t about exploiting animals or consuming animal products; after all, I’m an ‘eternal’ vegan. Rather, my emotionally-based immoral ideas are to see Miltner get her due – to see Old Testament retributive justice inflicted on her and everyone who thinks like her. Emotionally, I’d “get a small, secret little thrill” if I found out that she found herself killed on the other end of the knife – just as horrified as the blade sliced across her neck as the sentient, nonhuman beings whom she eats and for whom she cares so little.

    But I have a choice. I can choose to wish such a fate on Miltner, or I can see that she, like any other indifferent killer, doesn’t have much of a choice, if she has any choice at all; that she’s a victim of her own nasty combination of genetics and environment. I can choose to reject the immoral ideas or desires of retributive justice and wish her the best in life and hope that she somehow comes out of her moral imbecility.

    I choose the latter. I choose to wish that Miltner, despite her moral cowardice, which she comes by honestly, has an enjoyable life and dies a painless death in her sleep after a long and prosperous life. I also wish that she has a paradigm shift, and becomes a more rational, informed, and peaceful person and goes vegan. But Miltner getting informed and peaceful and going vegan would probably take a miracle, and I don’t believe in miracles.

    February 20, 2009
  2. I'm thinking that the fatal episode with Travis the chimp might (hopefully) wake our representatives up – that exotic "pets" need to be made illegal. It's one thing to rescue an animal who can't be returned into the wild, and place them in a natural habitat; and another thing to adopt one as a "companion".

    And about the "secret little thrill" article – It speaks volumes of Miltner's failed morality. If a vegetarian or vegan slip… she need not monitor her own behavior so closely. There's nothing at all objective about her code. And it's very sad when someone's ethics exist by default of someone elses.

    February 22, 2009
  3. The bewildered "eternal meat eater" will get eaten soon enough.

    February 23, 2009
    • All things coensidred, this is a first class post

      August 13, 2012
  4. WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight days after a 200-pound chimpanzee critically mauled a woman in Connecticut, the House moved Tuesday to ban the transport of monkeys and apes across state lines for the purpose of selling them as pets.

    "The measure passed 323-95, with several Republican opponents saying that animal control was a state, rather than federal issue, and that spending federal dollars to prevent interstate commerce would do little to stop animal attacks."

    And the opponents are ridiculous in their logic…

    February 24, 2009

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