Monday, August 20, 2012


Last night a friend of mine was telling me about reading a book by Peter Singer. I've heard of him but that's all. After looking him up on Google I feel like I'd like to read some of his publications. I'm not sure I'll agree with all of it but is that a reason not to read it?

From what I've skim read about Singer today I gather he is a vegetarian - mostly vegan - and a strong proponent of animal rights and liberation. It's some of his other stuff that I'm not so sure about. But I need to read it properly before passing judgment.

Both of my children are vegetarian for moral reasons. Teenage Daughter knows a lot about the global impact of the rampant meat eating in the western world. She's able to give all sorts of facts, figures and information. I hope in the foreseeable future I can get her to do a guest blog about it. From what I can gather, it isn't just about animal liberation, it's about world hunger and the environment. Pretty powerful stuff.

Over the past 29 years I've flitted back and forth between vegetarianism and meat eating. Much more shallow than my children my own reasons all those years ago were simply that I was sick of eating meat. I haven't eaten red meat since then. I do, however, currently eat chicken and fish. Since both the children are vegetarians, I only do so rarely. It's easier to cook one vegetarian meal for four than two meals. I've got a great smelling bean and veggie soup simmering as I write.

You all know I have something of an axe to grind in relation to fast food chains, particularly multinational ones with golden arches. I don't know the stats but I remember reading an article back in the 1980's about the impact that the demand for cattle to be used for hamburgers was having on the environment and on local farmers in South American countries. I can only assume the problem has increased since the demand for and the number of fast food chains has increased since then.

I wonder how we'd all go if we had to slaughter our own meat. I don't think I could do it. I think fish would be okay; I once ate a trout that I'd seen bludgeoned to death at a trout farm. I might even be able to do that. I don't know. I'm not sure, however, I could kill a chook. I prefer to eat free range chickens and eggs but, in the case of the former, they're still killed. Hmmm, vegetarianism is looking quite appealing again ...


1 comment:

  1. Go vego. You know you want to. And hasn't anyone ever told you your kids are always right :P

    I went vego when I started cutting up cadavers. Meat from animals and meat from humans looks exactly the same which I found pretty confronting. I don't know why this came as a surprise really. I mean we are all flesh and blood, us, cows, sheep etc.

    Every time I was served meat I got olfactory hallucinations of the formaldehyde kind which made it difficult to eat / have an appetite for it, not to mention that I kept trying to analyse my dinner anatomically (much to the annoyance of the rest of my family)....instead of eating it.

    I also went off creamed corn - striking resemblance to adipose tissue (aka fat)....but I digress.

    I have been vegetarian since then. It started with not eating red meat, then white meat (cane toads look a lot like chicken when you are cutting them up), then fish and I have been getting increasingly picky about ensuring I don't eat any products that contain meat / fish derivatives - I am a compulsive lable would not believe the hidden meat / fish products in some things (I mean bread crumbs WTF?)...I eat vegan several times a week (in the same way omnivores may have a vego meal every now ant then) because I like it....I don't plan to be vegan but I appreciate their diet and feel that it's probably cleaner than mine and have reduced the amount of dairy certainly if not eggs - mostly as cheese is high in cholesterol.

    I don't have to cut up or look at cadavers anymore though and that part of my life is about 20 years behind why don't I go back to eating meat?

    Well....for a number of reasons:
    1. Being vegetarian ensures I have a very healthy diet. I always get enough fibre, always get enough fruit and veg and I get my protien and iron from sources that are free from or generally lower in saturated fats and often contain good fats which are needed in one's diet.
    2. Looking after my body is important for my health but also from a spiritual perspective. In the same way I don't smoke or drink excessively or do drugs or harm my body by things I do, I refuse to pollute it with bad food. That's what God expects us to do - respect what God gave and look after it as such, right?
    3. Like your DD, I think more and more about the global impact a high meat diet. It makes sense that way more people could be sustained on vegetarian diets and conversely even just considering the economical impact in the wealthy nations....countries where diet is highly processed and high levels of meat are concerned surely have higher levels of disease (eg cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes.....etc) which then costs money in terms of inpatient care / nursing homes etc.
    4. I love food and I love cooking and I love to eat what I cook or what other imaginative cooks come up with for me. In this day and age there is no excuse for serving a vegetarian something dull and flavourless.

    Sorry for taking over your blog.....look forward to DD high-jacking it too :)