Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don't Buy the Myth

This is probably all over the vegan blogosphere, but I haven't seen it yet so here goes....

Launched today is a terrific new website, - dedicated to debunking once and for all the myth of 'humane meat', in the vegan community known derisively as 'happy meat'.

Living in New England - surrounded by pastoral charm - I know plenty of folks who subscribe to the happy meat idea, conscientiously seeking out and paying a premium for grass-fed, free-ranging, cage-free, organic cows/chickens/pigs which produce superior steaks/milk/eggs/whatever. And these folks universally believe that they are doing a good thing - contributing to the maintenance of the species, the general environmental well-being of the area and the good of the planet. These are the same folks who purchase a Prius and then cycle to work anyhow, who volunteer at the homeless shelter, who compost and recycle (often 'freecycle') and sport chic apparel made of hemp fiber or recycled plastic.

And they buy into the myth because it eases their conscience. It allows them to kid themselves that they are doing all they can while still indulging their culinary predilictions and not really changing anything. In the face of an increasing global population, strained natural resources, a rapid growth in countries like China and India of the economic 'middle-class' with their concommitant desire for petroleum and meat, the civil conflict that inevitably trails in the wake of scarcity and fear, they content themselves with 'free-range' chicken and an expensive hybrid car, all the while expounding the notion that their 'happy meat' choices are sustainable and sound. is just the latest in a line of wake-up calls. How many more will it take to convince these folks to go vegan?

Stay Vegan, Friends.