Monday, March 19, 2007

A few thoughts on food, part 2: the Revenge

You've probably heard the old expression, "There's no such thing as bad publicity." Maybe it's true. When you say something a little foolish, it doesn't feel as though it's true.

I made an inflammatory statement over the weekend about the relative intelligence of vegetarians. Let's not mince words: I called vegetarians, carnivores, and vegans dumb — which I'll admit is a poor choice of expression. Corvus and Russ' comments on that entry made me strongly reconsider my words. I wrote without considering my words and my audience. Not smart on my part, period.

When I stopped to think about it, I let my mind wander over the people I know who eat different, and why, and I read my words as though I was in their shoes. I know a guy who's a vegetarian for religious reasons. I knew a guy back in high school who was politically vegan and needed to take vitamin supplements due to his chosen diet. My mom doesn't like to eat "anything with a face," which means that chickens and fish are fair game (pardon the pun) to her. I know a guy who lives on hamburgers and potatoes and hates green things. I know different meat-eaters who only eat their beef rare or well-done, both ends of the spectrum. I know people who won't eat certain kinds meat on certain days out of the year. I know a woman who cuts out sugar for health reasons, and I know a man who changed his diet after a gall bladder operation. I know someone who doesn't like bell pepper because "they don't like me!" Are they reading this, but keeping silent? I hope not.

When I saw the first comment, I admit that I had briefly considered the option of deleting my previous post or softening the tone of my remarks. This is teh internets, right? Any electronic information can be readily changed with ease, and it's not unheard of for bloggers or news agencies or corporations or popular websites to enact revisionist electronic history. Bah and humbug, say I! That's no way to run a community, even one so tiny as this. People don't always realize just how much an effect they have on others, and I'd like to not waste this mistake. Learn from your mistakes, lest you have to repeat them. Russ and Corvus don't know me very well, and they misread my intentions. What about the rest of the world, who know me even less well, or not at all? I'd rather this response speak to my character than sweeping it under the rug. Even so, I will update the previous post to point to this one.

Let me also explicitly say a few more things in direct response to Corvus and to Russ- I don't like to comment on my own blog and I'd now rather have this post above the fold. Firstly, I'm going to steal the phrase "meddlesome idiot," and make use of it the next opportunity I can- thanks for the addition to my lexicon! Secondly, yes, the food industry is totally out of whack given the number of people we have on the planet, who all must eat. I wish there was a more efficient way to distribute higher quality food to everyone who needs it. In my heart of hearts, I know that we need genetically modified higher-yield crops unencumbered by patent law or interspecies havoc, or space-age artificial foods like the fungus-based (and tasty) Quorn or textured soy protein or vat-grown animal protein, or gene therapy to eradicate lactose intolerance. Maybe I read too much science fiction, but I really think we-as-a-species need to start thinking more long-term. Thirdly, I haven't heard from any meat-eaters about being labeled "dumb," and I wonder why. Fourthly, I still believe that the human animal has adapted to eating meat and vegetables based on my incomplete understanding of our gut and our teeth- but we're more than just animals, hence the importance of our ability to (more-or-less) rationally choose what we eat. Biologically, meat is a pretty efficient source of protein. Logistically, and in this day and age and given population, too much meat's got issues. Lastly, I just got in an order of Vegemite. Anyone who doesn't like Vegemite is a meddling idiot! :) But seriously, I like eating the stuff. Go figure. I'm from New Orleans and I don't like seafood. Yes, that's a little weird in and of itself.

Thanks for reading, everyone. On a lighter note, I have some didj pictures and another video to post. Expect them up later this evening, unless my muse poops on my head and I'm inspired to write a roleplaying game.


Anonymous said...

Cheers, mate. I just wanted to you consider your words and consider them you did! Thanks for such a rational follow up.

Ken said...

Wow...crankin', dude. Now I'll talk to you at DragonCon again. *grin*

Just KIDDING! LOL. I did read the last post and think "a little harsh"...but I know my Mischa, and he's a stand-up dude. I chalked it up to too much Vegimite. *wink* Like _I_ don't talk without thinking sometimes!?

Outstanding part 2, though. Well-written and thought through. Hope things are well!

Hey...btw, you seen Geekin' yet? Just saw it at a con this past weekend. Recommended. If you haven't, and it screens anywhere nearby at a con or some such, give it a whirl.

John Paul said...

First I'd like to give you props for standing up and eating your crow like a man. omnivorous man.

Secondly I'd like to address this:

I haven't heard from any meat-eaters about being labeled "dumb," and I wonder why.

First of all, I'm going to interpret meat-eaters to mean Carnivores, not Omnivores.

I've found that vegetarians tend to be much more defensive of their eating habits because:

1) Not eating veggies is generally more accepted by mainstream America so Carnies get a lot less flack about it.

2) Vegies/Vegans usually have a well-thought-out reason for their eating habits that they feel strongly about. Carnivores tend to not eat veggies because they don't care about (or are ignorant of) their health, the environment, and what other people think.

I'll bet that even after my mildly inflammatory remarks about them, there still won't be any replies.

I only know of one Carnie who's vehemently defensive of her eating habits, and that's because people give her a lot of flack about being underweight. It may be that she could eat a little more healthily, but I doubt it would change her appearance much. She's just naturally small.