Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Unnatural Veganism?

Thomas Perry:

"...To me, veganism is an ultimately imperfect but rational decision to repudiate the cruel, ruthless mass exploitation of animals by modern agribusiness and not benefit by unnecessary cruelty and death. The question, in our society at least, is not what is natural but what is least harmful - to animals, health and environment. Sure, eating meat the way indigenous people practised it was 'natural', was necessary for survival (as was/is cannibalism - see Dr Tim Flannery's book on New Guinea), but how many in our society would seriously consider chasing game with stone-age implements and living in a bark humpy?

Judging by indigenous lifestyles, veganism cannot be called 'natural', but neither can buying a cellophane-wrapped lump of chemically-laced muscle from a genetically-engineered factory farmed animal encased in a fluorescent-lit supermarket display.

What is true in our artificial, technologically-cocooned, sedentary society is that a diet rich in fibre, vitamins, Omega 3 fatty acids, anti-oxidants and phytoestrogens (to name a few), and low in saturated fat, sodium, harmful bacteria, chemical residues and without cholesterol, i.e. a plant-based or VEGAN diet, is much better for human health, takes much less land and agricultural inputs (water, fuel etc.) to produce equivalent food value, and causes, by far, the least amount of cruelty to animals. This may not be 'natural', but it is certainly a lot saner, sustainable and compassionate than the alternative. And if we humans cannot use our gift of intelligence to better our lives and our world, then we do not deserve it."

I can't figure out which Thomas Perry this is, but I love that quote nonetheless.

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