Nerd is my Gender

Responsible Public Debate
Should we eat less meat to help thwart climate change?
Ethical Society of St Louis, 9001 Clayton Rd.
Friday, April 1st, 7pm-9pm
Admission: FREE
Please share this event with anyone.

Responsible Public Debate

Should we eat less meat to help thwart climate change?

Ethical Society of St Louis, 9001 Clayton Rd.

Friday, April 1st, 7pm-9pm

Admission: FREE

Please share this event with anyone.

“My girlfriend is a former Catholic, recent convert to Islam, and a staunch meat-eater, and I am atheist and vegetarian (not vegan). I can see the vegan aspect making it more difficult, since I do eat dairy and (very limited) eggs. But, I respect her choices, and she respects mine, with neither trying to impose or indoctrinate the other. Incidentally, she is also transgendered (but wasn’t for the first 3 years of our relationship), and I formerly identified as “gay,” but now moreso as bisexual…so we’re probably in the minority so small we ARE the fraction. :) We’re coming up on 5 years, and we’re fine. I think it’s really up to the individuals in the relationship, and what each is willing to compromise on/be open to.”
JW Tarin, in response to someone asking for advice about his relationship in which he is an atheist vegan and his girlfriend is a meat-eating Catholic.
How does one cook a Tofurky, anyway?

me: i'm getting this subtle message that there's a certain way to slice this sucker... http://www.tofurky.com/recipes/tofurky_recipes_instructions.html

me: ah, here are some REAL instructions! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=2580731

me: also, i wonder if i can just deep-fry the sucker?

my boyfriend: a sentence not heard much in the deep south

me: :D

YOU: If you have any suggestions for a tasty Tofurky, let me know!

Why Do Vegetarians Get So Irritable, Anyway?

I am not a vegetarian evangelist, primarily because I don’t have time, and only a mild passion for the topic.  But I do think that avoiding animal products is an action where the benefits increasingly outweigh the inconveniences as society moves in that direction.  So, I do a good deal of facepalming when I wander across bad arguments against avoiding animal consumption.

"But I don’t want to eat a salad every day!"

Neither do I, so I don’t.  Definitely not alone, or while laughing.

But this brings me to a surprisingly persistent argument against avoiding animal consumption, which I call the Entitled Prick Argument, but for the sake of diplomacy, I’ll rename to:

The “But I Don’t Like Veggies/But I Like Meat!” Argument

Most people don’t realize the “I hate plants” argument is surprisingly sound.  The reason?  I can’t prove your mental states wrong, short of having evidence that you do in fact gleefully consume a salad in your bedchambers every evening.  If you claim an anti-plant life stance, I really can’t refute that.

The problem is, we have almost as convincing evidence that the meat industry is harmful to our planet as we have evidence for climate change itself, and that hasn’t stopped multitudes of people from not giving a shit about either one of those.  Sometimes they try to summon the forces of selective skepticism against the evidence, but generally it all falls back to “but I don’t want to ___”, thus showing their hand as a matter of personal preference, not empirical conclusion.  They’re literally saying that they see themselves as a person who is more entitled to eating meat than responsible for reducing their negative impact on everyone else.  And someone who is secure in being that kind of person with that kind of life stance isn’t going to give a shit about rational arguments.

Remember the pepper spray incident at UC Davis?  (Of course you do, it just happened last weekend.)  The security personnel who mercilessly sprayed nonviolent people in the face without warning were clearly not taking the time to consider rational arguments for both sides and then go with the side which is supported by the best evidence for helping the most people.  Neither is the general public sitting down and consulting charts and statistics to try to convince them that they were wrong.  No, at some point we realize when someone just doesn’t give a shit, and we move to public shaming, vegetarians included.

But for some reason, when vegetarians point out that “hey, you’re actually hurting everyone by eating meat, so stop already!”, they’re the ones who are vilified.  As opposed to the people who are, you know, actually harming everyone.

PS: Yes, there exist good arguments for why a particular individual can’t reliably avoid consuming animal products. That is not what this post is about.

"Vegan for my Thighs" sounds like an emo band

I’m not against fatness in general.  I don’t even look “fat”.  But my pants are tight and my underwear barely fits and every time I sit on the toilet I get an eyeful of these huge thighs, which triggers some horrible gender dysphoria every time I have to take a piss.  So I’m going vegan.

No, I’m not just indiscriminately going vegan (to all you who are reminding me that a diet of beer and french fries can technically fit in that diet).  I just did a diet assessment and realized that at least 1/3 of the calorie-laden foods I ought to avoid are dairy, and since I’ve been vegetarian for a year and a half now, it’s not a huge leap to go animal-free.  I’m also cutting out restaurant food other than a few specific social events, and alcohol outside of the same.  Simple carbs and processed fats are on the naughty list, with complex carbs on the nice list.

I really need to collect veggies like my life depended on it.  This is where I realize how privileged I am that I can purchase fresh produce.  Yes, there was a time when I was so poor and overworked both that I was underweight and malnourished from the stress.  But the fact is that most of the working poor have far greater access to a huge-ass coffee/donut combo for $1.59 from the corner gas station than they do to brown rice and beans and green peppers and asparagus etc from the “local” grocery store.  I know I avoid thinking about food till I’m running late and fast food is my only option, as opposed to doing the healthy (and delicious!) thing and filling up the crock pot the evening before (which, again, I’m privileged to a stable home life where slow cooking is an option).

So here’s to hoping my ADHD doesn’t get the better of me, and I find a way to make my new-found veganism something that is viable in the long-term.

(Source: ers.usda.gov)