Meat is not my sex
There’s something that really irks me about people making a point to bond over meat, particularly during bbq season as if to ensure that we know they eat meat and to not by any means confuse them for being faint-hearted vegetarians. Someone posts something or other about pig roasts and barbecuing ribs and all of a sudden people start clamouring about how they so adamantly agree: “YES! We also barbecue pig and cow! That makes us super friends!” Well… at the very least, it makes you mutually ignorant.
My cynicism in this post stems from my skepticism regarding someone’s almost lecherous attraction to meat and whether or not it is just another way to assert one’s masculinity. (Men like beer, women/sex, and meat. If you don’t have that in your manly make up, or if you try too hard to be different or — heaven forbid — knowledgeable in other less stereotypical or gender-specific activities, you may find your macho peers questioning your manhood.) Very rarely do you see women getting together and bonding over a bloody steak. And if you do, they come across as kinda butch, no? Of course, I don’t blame men per se for being so meat-oriented. The media has indoctrinated the rougher sex into believing that, well, they are rougher, they like trucks, they like meat and beer, and they like scantily-clothed women who don’t seem to make much sense when they talk. The sexism that still runs rampant in our advertising (including meat and beer ads) must have most of the feminist world (read: enlightened people) gritting their teeth and wondering what we have truly accomplished. Only ironically could I bond with my fellow male vegetarians over grilling a tofu burger or slices of eggplant on the barbie. And perhaps that’s a good thing. I don’t really want to appropriate the macho inclinations of my fellow males, even if no animals are abused in the process.
I truly wish people who ate meat would do so with a bit more shame. If not shame, then at least consciousness. The brazen disregard for the animal that so unfairly and so brutally had to give up its life so that you can have your bbq party is what upsets me most and causes me to constantly question whether or not humans could ever, as a whole, be humane, or whether we will ever reach the heightened state of cognition that is required to truly understand what it means to be compassionate. One of my favourite quotes by Gandhi summarizes this in a way, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
So that being said, I beseech the meat-eating community to take a moment to reflect on what it means to take a life, or rather to have someone else take a life for you so that you can eat meat. And that “someone else” is so unknown to you, and the way that the life was taken is so mysterious, that perhaps you can put aside your assumed compliance with the factory farm industry and finally question how the meat got to your table and whether or not your moral consciousness could ever agree with these methods and whether or not you are willing to continue to support it. If you disagree with me and consider me to be some sort of animal activist crazy, that probably means that you haven’t done your research. It’s a shame that the animal welfare and activist community has to fight tooth and nail to expose the cruelty and the suffering of millions of animals from factory farms and slaughterhouses, as opposed to you choosing to just be an informed consumer. What has happened to our collective will to know the truth?