blue-flag-thumb2_50x50Our side's flag is a thin, airlight blue, drifting almost unseen against the sky. Our military march is a meadowlark's song among the dandelions. --Ken Kesey, The Real War


But Wait… Where Do You Get Your Protein? | Mickey Z.

Photo credit: Mickey Z.Photo credit: Mickey Z.

Mickey Z. -- World News Trust

Jan. 1, 2013

"You tell me you like the taste/You just need an excuse."

- Ian MacKaye

Since I’m doing a talk called Occupy the Climate: Hurricane Sandy, Eco-Activism, & the Vegan Option on Jan. 12 in NYC, I figured I’d preemptively address some common questions and comments:

“You eat what you eat and I’ll eat what I eat. It’s a personal choice.”
Please allow me to remind you that factory farming is the number one source of human-created greenhouse gases -- and that’s just the proverbial tip of the proverbial iceberg.

My fellow Titanic passengers, what you eat cannot be a “personal choice” when every time you order a pizza to one of your rallies or get a quick bite at McDonalds (or any such death emporium) or opt to chow down on Ben & Jerry’s because the owners are so “progressive” or plan a turkey dinner for climate change victims, you are voting with your meager dollars for unspeakable animal cruelty, a human health holocaust, higher profits and more control for the 1%, and irreversible environmental degradation.

“You can’t just infringe other peoples’ cultural choices.”
So, I guess this means since genital mutilation is a “cultural choice” in many places on the planet, we’re stuck with it?

“The sanctimonious zeal of some vegans has been one of the main reasons why I've never become a vegan.”
This is an actual quote. Such an emotional and irrational reaction could be easily dismissed, of course. I could simply point how, by the same logic (sic), after dealing with an overzealous anti-war activist, we should all rush out and enlist.

However, I feel there’s a very useful and important point to be made here: Just because some passionate vegan activists are perceived as “annoying” doesn’t mean all vegans are and more significantly, it doesn’t mean we’re wrong.

Also, why are terms like “zealot” and “militant” so often used when the conversation is about vegans and animal liberationists? Why isn’t a committed anti-racist called a “zealot”? And since when is zeal or militancy a negative quality when the stakes are as high as they are now?

“Veganism is for elitists.”
I’ll urge you to examine how your food choices detrimentally impact the working class you wish to help. Inside the slaughterhouses, the animals are not the only ones suffering. The meat industry, along with its low wages, long hours, and dehumanizing work, has the highest job-related injury rate and by far the highest rate of serious injury -- and at least half the workers are women. adds: "According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly one in three slaughterhouse workers suffers from illness or injury, compared with one in 10 workers in other manufacturing jobs. Slaughterhouse workers are also 35 times more likely to suffer from repetitive stress injuries than their counterparts in other manufacturing jobs." Of course, with many undocumented immigrants and poor Americans working such jobs, it remains unknown how many injuries go unreported.

“I’d like to get involved in animal rights but I'm too busy helping humans.”
A few days after Hurricane Sandy hit the NYC area, I was able to get a ride to Rockaway to help with the early relief efforts. After eating a vegan meal, packing some vegan food in my bag, and dressing in clothes not derived from animal sources, I spent a full day doing my best to help some fellow humans in need.

So, would anyone like to explain how my commitment to veganism and animal rights got in the way of my human rights work?

“What about small farmers who use ‘humane slaughter’”?
Just imagine how much more productive it'd be if vegans and small farm omnivores worked collectively toward an equally palatable goal: End factory farming, battery cages, veal crates, etc. and all the damage this system is inflicting on humans, animals, and the planet. Then -- when Mother Earth can breathe a huge sigh of relief -- we'd be at the point where we could discuss and debate the concept of "humane slaughter" and whether or not animal protein is required for human health.

“What if you were stuck on a desert island and had to kill and eat an animal in order to survive?”
It’s fun when someone attempts to test my moral boundaries with silly scenarios. It’s even more fun to recognize how such scenarios basically prove my point for me.

“Where do you get your protein?”
You can click right here for my dismantling of the protein myth but for now, I’ll answer your question with a question: Does it look like I don’t get enough fuckin’ protein?

You can ask me lots more questions in person on Jan. 12 in NYC at Occupy the Climate: Hurricane Sandy, Eco-Activism, & the Vegan Option.

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

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