Not too long ago I was stuck in a traffic jam. Those of you who live in London know how long and frustrating the rush hour commute can be. Just as I stared out the bus window, I saw a demonstration of some group or other calling for more recognition and rights.
I was not the only one leaning over in my seat, there were many more people struck by the colourful parade though some were just impatiently waiting to move. And that was when it struck me- it’s not just those parading, who belong to a pressured minority. In a way we are all close to losing our voices as society has a tendency of rolling over the individual as it careens into the future. I’m lucky that my main concern is with my right to decide what I put in my stomach, but it’s a concern for me nonetheless due to the rapidly rising trend of veganism.
I am non-vegan and proud of it. It makes me happy that some people still eat meat and feel good about their choice. Meat, for me is the ultimate satisfaction and I don’t apologise for wondering how vegans manage to get through the day with their limited diet.
But being stuck in traffic and witnessing people protesting human inequality, I felt for a moment closer to their cause. Anyone who is attacked for doing what to them feels natural can empathise.
For example, just a few months ago one vegetarian cafe in England refused to take the new five-pound note because it contains traces of animal fat. Rather pathetic, considering that animal-derived additives are used extensively in many different types of plastics such as cosmetics, plastic carrier bags, household detergent bottles, and car parts.
Interestingly, the first such banknote were introduced in the 1980s in Australia and there are currently around 20 billion such polymer notes in use around the world. Talk about closing the door after the horse has bolted.
If that wasn’t pitiful enough, one Spanish restaurant posted a warning on their door telling parents not to bottle-feed their kids with animal milk on their premises. Their logic: “We don’t like bottle- feeds based on cows’ milk. Please don’t use them in the restaurant.”
Ridiculous. I don’t think such behaviour is normal, as plant-based milk is known to be harmful to children.
Final example ( I promise) – PETA has recently been demanding BBC bosses make the famous fictional character Dr. Who into a vegan. Apparently, animal rights activists thought that eating meat doesn’t fit with the Doctor’s moral compass. How much more bizarre can it get?
What’s wrong with some people? Since when did a personal choice become confused as a matter of objective principle?
Sure there are health concerns, when almost 30% of the worlds population suffer from obesity and meat has been linked to heart disease etc. In fact, I’m rather partial to having some greens myself. I quite like broccoli and carrots- but as a side rather than the main. The thought of not having the choice to order chicken and beef would be quite upsetting to me.
Choice is the only way to ever experience the thrills of freedom. So, you can understand my frustration when someone tries to remove the essence of choice and replace it with labels and name-calling.
Modern society tries its best to tidy up the jetsam of what’s considered “different”. If you are disabled, homeless, a drug addict or any other minority you are much more likely to be marginalised in society.
Unapologetic carnivores like myself are supposedly in a majority, but it’s feeling less and less the reality. Will meat eaters, fur wearers and any other similar rebels be thrown to the lions of society? Time will tell…
My decision is simple. Like most consumers, I choose to eat meat because I enjoy the taste and it can be beneficial as part of a balanced diet.
Now, excuse me, I shall go and tuck into a juicy piece of medium-rare steak.