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    • Kelvin Wade

    • January 10, 2014 in Columnists

    No apologies for loving meat

    British singer and animal rights activist Morrissey recently said, “I see no difference between eating animals and pedophilia. They are both rape, violence, murder. If I’m introduced to anyone who eats beings, I walk away.” Well, screw you, too. I’m tired of activist vegetarians or vegans trying to lay guilt trips on those who choose to eat meat.

    The statement is just asinine on its face and designed to shock just like his statement that if you believe in slaughterhouses than you’d support Auschwitz. I don’t see how implying people are engaging in an act similar to child rape by eating a burger or accusing meat eaters of supporting the extermination of Jews is a winning strategy for vegetarians hoping to convert people to the religion of plant consumption.

    I don’t apologize for loving the aroma of ribeyes and hot links sizzling on a grill in the summertime or the smell of thick sliced bacon cooking in the morning. To me, a good quality cheeseburger is almost as good as sex.

    But just because I enjoy meat doesn’t mean I want animals mistreated or condone unscrupulous factory farms abusing animals. What person in their right mind would want animals to be mistreated, abused and tortured? Point me in the direction of laws that will treat animals more humanely and I am so there. I wouldn’t care if it increased the cost of meat.

    In 2012, an animal rights group gave the US Department of Agriculture footage that showed dairy cows being “repeatedly shocked and shot before being slaughtered” at the Central Valley Meat Co. in California, a major supplier of beef to the National School Lunch Program. In n Out Burger, Costco, McDonald’s, Burger King and Jack in the Box immediately dropped them as suppliers. The USDA shut down the plant but let it reopen a week later after the company provided inspectors with a corrective plan.

    Though I’m skeptical that a place caught abusing animals can correct its ways in a week’s time, I am glad that there are animal rights organizations exposing cruelty. These groups help protect us from downer cows with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, otherwise known as mad cow disease. Reporting the truth about factory farms, puppy mills and other instances of animal abuse is important work.

    However, it wouldn’t matter to those groups if cows were put up in penthouse apartments with a private chef,  bottled water, and massage and spa treatments before they were slaughtered.  It’s like death penalty opponents claiming an execution method is cruel, when it wouldn’t matter if the method were entirely painless. The end result is what they oppose.

    Of course this doesn’t apply to every vegetarian. There are plenty of vegetarians who choose a meatless diet for health reasons or they simply prefer not to eat meat. Not everyone who lives a vegetarian lifestyle demonizes those who don’t. iPinion’s own vegetarian chef Randy Graham shares delicious vegetarian dishes like his Baked Pheasant Club Ravioli that is to die for.

    Graham is the norm. For the most part vegetarians and meat eaters coexist, each enjoying what they like. But this column is for the vegetarian zealots.

    “If you love animals then how can you eat meat?” is often a question lobbed at us carnivores. My answer is, “If you love flowers, then how can you eat plants?” Plants are living things, too. They may not be as cute as a puppy or tasty as barbecue ribs but they count as life. It may not be intelligent life but you are consuming living things if you’re a vegetarian or vegan or whatever you want to call yourself.

    The extreme activists like Morrissey who accuse meat eaters of being akin to Nazis participating in genocide and other inflammatory remarks are the vegetarian equivalent of radical pro-lifers who cheer those who kill abortion providers. They cannot tolerate an opposing viewpoint.

    I have no problem with someone choosing to be vegetarian, vegan or pescetarian. I’m not the food police and I respect their food choices. I love fruits and vegetables and eat more of them than I eat meat. But all I ask is that they respect my choices. I don’t want anyone telling me I have to follow the tenets of their faith, their diet, their politics or anything else. We get to make our own decisions when it comes to what we ingest.

    So if anyone wants to preach to me about how I should stop eating meat and accuse me of genocide, save your breath and take your self-righteousness elsewhere. I’ll be over here eating a cheeseburger.

    • Me too.

    • Kelvin – Just saw this. I agree with you about “preachy” people. For me, it does’t matter whether they are preaching food preferences, politics, religion, et al . . . I do not relate to intolerant people. Wonderful column. My wife of 35 years is a meat eater. I cook whatever she wants (including meat/fish) and am glad to do so. You ever get out to Ojai, I’ll BBQ a cheeseburger (for you) that, I’m told, is to die for.

        • Kelvin

        • January 10, 2014 at 11:31 am
        • Reply

        Thanks, Randy. I may have to take you up on that sometime! That ravioli is excellent. And the Pheasant Club in West Sac was one of the first restaurants my girlfriend took me to. Loved the food and the atmosphere.

      • Maya North

      • January 11, 2014 at 3:37 am
      • Reply

      I would be far more at peace with eating meat if we used the system of halal or kashrut (kosher) where the animal is supposed to lead a good life and be given a death free of pain or fear. My husband raised his own steers, then did a *lot* of research to find a butcher who would come out and drop them with a single shot — not one second of fear and pain. I watched the man and I can guarantee it. But the world death industry is literally horrific and because of that, I simply cannot support it. I actually don’t think that eating meat is unhealthy. I ate meat for years and was fine. For me it’s about kindness and ethics and most of the meat that most people buy is worlds away from that. If you want to eat good-conscience meat, your local food coop or health food store — or kosher or halal butcher — is more likely to have it than the supermarket.

        • Kelvin

        • January 11, 2014 at 10:46 am
        • Reply

        We buy beef straight from a local farmer. He’s raising a cow just for us. We ‘re welcome to go see it and even name it (we declined to name it.) not only is our co treated humanely the meat is loads better than what you can get in a supermarket. It even looks different. Same with the eggs we get from a local chicken farmer. We give away some of the beef or else we’d have no room in our freezer.

        But the reality is: am I going to hunt down the origin of every piece of meat I buy in a restaurant? No. That’s not realistic. I have no problem with my conscience. Every single thing I eat was living or came from something living at some point.

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