Quite often, there are “news” stories that fly through the vegan grapevine with a quickness. More often than not, I get an initial “oh yeay!” reaction followed by a “wait, there’s something here I’m not comfortable with”. A recent example was the “All Red Meat is Bad for You” story.
Prior to this story, most research claimed that reducing red meat consumption was good for your health. So this bold (sensationalized) statement may initially sound like a vegan’s dream come true. An affirmation, if you will, of what we’ve been saying all along. But for me, something just didn’t seem right and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
Then I saw a tweet by Ginny Kisch Messina (Twitter: @TheVeganRD) that helped me pinpoint the issue.
Her blog post “Bad news for red meat is bad news for chickens” reminded me of the reality of what happens when supposed “authority” figures highlight how bad (or good) a certain animal meat or secretion is for your health. I think it’s a normal reaction for a vegan to get hopeful that an omnivore just might stop eating animals. But no matter how normal is it, it’s important to cultivate a more critical eye of a what really ends up happening when one animal becomes “off-limits”. Those who originally ate that animal will navigate towards eating another animal. A lot more of the other animal(s).
It’s the same thing that happens when many omnivores see slaughterhouse or factory farm footage. They tend to think “How can I eat that animal without them having to suffer? I know, I’ll eat organic, grass-fed, free-rage chicken(s)!” and/or feel-good animal welfare laws get put on the ballot because they “demand bigger cages/no cages!”
Abolishing animal abuse is not the same as putting one animal on the “bad” list or “improving” animal enslavement conditions.
I understand that health and nutrition researchers are not interested in ending animal abuse, but I also understand that many people believe that animal abuse is wrong and genuinely want to make choices that align with this belief. Given that this is possible, wouldn’t it be amazing if there were more news stories about how adopting a vegan lifestyle does just that?
Check out: http://www.theveganrd.com/