Whether to refer to humans as omnivorous or otherwise is a question of context and emphasis rather than of definition. Some people eat only meat and, despite the ongoing argument in this column, the “carnivore” diet is gaining popularity. Others eat only plants. So what?
Clearly the contributions of whining women and toothpaste peddlers make no difference in a debate without consequences. We need to change our ways by silent example in order to be effective. In any forum such as this, an argument is never won except when an individual discovers the immense power of exemplary behaviour – Mahatma Gandhi comes to mind. People will follow a single shining example, not a chorus of blabbering gasbags (myself included).
Slaughter is never humane
Diana Cornelius is correct that, just because a country has a humane-slaughter law, it doesn’t mean the cows and pigs didn’t suffer, since the law is frequently violated. Besides, the law doesn’t take into consideration how much the cows and pigs suffered at the horrible factory farms before being taken to the slaughterhouse.
Furthermore, the billions of chickens slaughtered in America are not covered by the Humane Slaughter Act. The chickens have their throats slit and are dipped into scalding water, often while fully conscious.
Meat-eaters say it’s okay to eat animals if they didn’t suffer. So let me make them the following offer. If they promise to become vegans until all farm animals and fish are treated humanely, I’ll promise to stop promoting vegetarianism. Deal?