Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mean Vegans.....Grrrrrrrr!

This is totally frustrating! Lierre Keith, author of "The Vegetarian Myth" was hit in the face by a pie at an Anarchist event in San Francisco. It's ALL OVER the news. Really?? Really? Okay, disclaimer here - I had never even heard her name before this, but WHY is this such a big deal (other than the fact that it's an inherent problem with the media to hype up and make minor things sensationalistic for ratings)? Keith says in this video that the lack of tryptophan in the vegan diet causes vegans to be mean. People are being killed every day - we're in the middle of a war - children are being abused. And guess what?? I unconditionally guarantee you that the HUGE majority of those crimes are NOT being perpetrated by vegans! Yes, this in part is do to the fact that there are so few vegans, but I'd even be willing to bet that percentage wise, we're WAY under the crime rate of omnivores. Because really, with all the factors that contribute to violence, I've never seen any studies highly correlating it to diet (particularly when the diet is centered around compassion). However, I'm not familiar with the tryptophan / serotonin association in relation to veganism (a quick Google search didn't seem to produce anything worthwhile), and I do believe in knowing thy enemy, so I will be looking to my local library for a copy (I considered purchasing it before realizing that I'd be crazy to support something like that). I am curious to see her perspective, and I always enjoy looking at veganism through outside eyes (even when I disagree).

We don't watch the news in our home, though I do like to talk to my kids about thing going on in the world, especially when veganism makes headlines. I'm planning to talk to them about this event, and use it as a time and example to teach tolerance, and about being open and listening to others opinions. Being vegan demands you be accountable for your food choices, and though we may not like it, it helps to be armed with information to defend our position. I talk to the kids often about why other people may not be vegan, and we discuss their reasons. So far, we've always come to the same conclusion; that no reasoning overrides the suffering inherent in animal agriculture, and each time it reinforces our decision to be vegans. Of course, we have to be able to discuss this on a child level - my kids are 7 & 10, so we have more in depth conversations than when they were younger. Generally, it sounds something like this:

Me: Wow, did you guys hear what that guy in the restaurant was saying about how he thought veganism wasn't good?

Kids: Yeah.

Me: What do you think about that? When I asked him, he said that it was the way the world was meant to be, that humans are smarter than animals so we should eat them.

Kids: Well, animals are smart too!

Me: Yes they are. But humans have been eating animals for a very long time. Some people think it's okay because we've always done it.

Kids: But now we know it hurts the animals, so we shouldn't keep doing it.

Me: That's true. The world would never change if we just kept doing the same things over and over, would it? It's a good thing humans are so smart and can change the way they act to make things better. Maybe by meeting us, he'll see that humans don't need meat think about eating less!

Anyways, you get the point. We have these conversations a lot, and I always try to end it on a positive note, and commend them for being a good influence on the world.

** There are some reports claiming the pies contained cayenne pepper. If that's true, it's absolutely wrong. But if it's not, and they were just soy cream pies, then it really is seriously funny : )

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