Vegan Atheist 40+ Parenting
I was going to change Animal Person to Vegan Atheist 40+ Parenting and come back to blogging. Doesn’t have a ring to it at all, but a young man at Whole Foods yesterday called himself an “animal person” while ordering a roast beef wrap and I thought: Note to self-must change blog name if going to resume blogging.
Hal Herzog writes about how many people who say they are vegetarians will also say they ate meat within the last 24 hours. And of course, many self-identified vegetarians eat fishes and/or chickens. A good friend said he “loved” animals the other day and my response was, “Yeah, you love them grilled.” He laughed, but nervously.
Then there are the people who use the word “sacred” when they’re talking about eating the flesh of other animals. You know, because of the prayer they said for the animal’s “sacrifice.” You say a prayer and Poof! The unnecessary killing of a terrified animal who was likely fighting for his life, becomes he lined up to be slaughtered so you may dine on his flesh. Oooo, pick me, pick me!
My doctorate in Applied Linguistics from New York University puts me at a considerable disadvantage. I pay attention to the words people say–and write. And sometimes I feel like words weren’t made to get that much attention. They can’t handle it. So many of them have become virtually meaningless, or at least unrecognizable from their original intentions.
The first year of Baby Sky’s life was pretty much sans television. Lately I’ve been checking out various shows, some of which appear to be just plain fun, which so far are the best ones. The problems arise when values are transmitted. Some of them are obvious, with clear messages I don’t agree with, such as an entire episode based on the theme: “Everything’s better when you follow the rules.” I couldn’t fly to the remote control fast enough to change the channel.
But it’s the messages that the creators don’t think are the transmission of values that are the most insidious. And they, unfortunately, are the majority of what I’ve seen so far. For instance, there’s a morning show, The Sunny Side Up Show, which stars a chick named Chica. There’s all kinds of barnyard shenanigans and clear affection for all of the creatures who live in barns. During the show they give out Good Egg Awards to kids who’ve performed “acts of kindness.” A good egg is one that is edible. Where did it come from? Who laid it? What happens to male chicks on day one of their lives? Hardly an act of kindness. Think of what an egg is, people! As I often say: I don’t eat my own ovulatory secretions. Why would I want to eat someone else’s?
Then there’s the instructional video sent in by a viewer teaching us how to make chicken cutlets. Right after all of the love in the world for the chickens of the barnyard. The young boy says, “you dip the chicken in the egg . . .” Of course the chicken is not recognizable from the one we just saw and loved. It has been cut up and sanitized. It’s a floppy thing on a plate that has nothing to do with chickens. But it’s called “chicken.” If I’m a nearly 14-month old and understand far more language than those around me realize, what do I do with the two chickens I just saw? No one is making a peep about anything being awry and no one has been harmed in any way, as far as I know. Yet there’s a cute chicken who talks to me and I like her, and then there’s this stuff I eat that has the same name.
I don’t envy Sky, growing up in a world where 98% of people will watch The Sunny Side Up Show and others, and not be at all disturbed.
–Photo of vegan Baby Sky at Tire Kingdom (time to replace the tires on the Element) in her Isabooties, organic BumGenius diaper (though she does do her business on her potty most of the time) and random, hand-me-down T-shirt.