Thursday, December 1, 2011

food for thought

Having an open mind and heart makes it very easy for me to accept someone else's views on a subject, even when they differ in significant ways from my own. But I always have trouble with others who can not, for reasons known only to themselves, accept a difference of opinion without spazzing out over the thing. What gives?

Case in point. Recently on Google plus, I commented on an article that dealt with a vegetarian/vegan subject. I did not to the best of my knowledge, attack the article i simply stated my outlook on the subject. This was my personal choice that I was relating, not a rant against the subject at hand. Indeed, I stated quite plainly that I have become more inclined toward a vegetarian diet as I have gotten older. A response that has been generated by my body, not by any personally held belief.

The response to my little reply had the feeling of an attack, designed in a way to preclude any real intelligent response, and framed in the most ludicrous of illustration. I could not help but wonder why. We are living in world beset with so many problems that the idea of controversy arising over what you eat and why shouts stupidity with a capital S. Let me quote my friend Niell Doherty from a recent blog post on his web site Disrupting The Rabblement:
Some people get upset when I use naughty words on this blog, or when I write about taboo subjects. Or they’ll get offended just because my opinion is different to theirs. And to those people I say: You do realize that thousands of children in the world are needlessly starving to death every day, right? If you’re going to take offense to something, I recommend you start there, not with what some random dude writes on the Internet, that little thing you disagree with, or wish your sensitive eyes hadn’t seen.
Niall was writing in reference to the use of off color wording in blog posts, but the sentiment can be applied to a great deal of the crap people choose to argue about.

Another response to the post went into a long and tiresome deconstruction of another response I made, making use of many sources that were left un-named, asking that I instead do the google search myself. Thanks but I prefer that if you are going to cite sources, name them and link them. Any thing less is an insult to a persons intelligence. It is not I who needs to do your homework.

This poster made statements to the effect that this study and that study had proven the benefits of vegetarianism, and the limiting of protein intake, ad nauseaum. Well a simple google search will provide the exact opposite of those findings, and with just as prestigious a sat of alphabet soup attached to the ends of the articles author.  One such is here.

Finally the attitude that seethes just under the surface of these replies is palpable. People rarely become fanatical or vindictive about something without a good measure of fear and uncertainty behind it. For a good introduction to controversial attitudes around the subject of vegetarian/vegan I suggest you read the interview of Lierre Keith conducted by Ian Mackenzie for The Matador Network. Eye opening for sure.

I do not care so much about your diet. I do care about the quality of the food that you and I and every single other human being on this planet must eat. That is where the crux of the matter stands. The manifold diseases that are a daily threat to our species can be traced to modern agricultural practices and the environmental degredation brought on by un-natural practices. Feed the human race first. Starvation is the most preventable disease of mankind. Food is not political, moral, or ethical, it is a basic necessity to life itself. Stop the nonesense, do the work. Please.

Travel in peace.

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