Why is it unethical to eat meat? That’s the question posed by Our Hen House, one of my fave vegan animal rights blogs. Run by fabulous vegan lesbian feminists Jasmin Singer (I heard her speak at Vida Vegan Con…she’s seriously amazeballs!) and Mariann Sullivan, they’re sponsoring a contest: “Calling All Herbivores: Tell Us Why It’s Unethical to Eat Meat.” They ask vegans to submit a short essay, in 600 words or less, “why it’s unethical to eat meat.”
The essays will be judged by vegan culinary goddess Isa Chandra Moskowitz along with Singer and Sullivan. The winning essay(s) will be published at Our Hen House and the winner will receive a signed copy of one of Moskowitz’ cookbooks.
Our Hen House’s contest was spurred by The New York Times’ contest, “Calling All Carnivores: Tell Us Why It’s Ethical to Eat Meat.” Columnist Ariel Kaminer writes:
“In recent years, vegetarians — and to an even greater degree vegans, their hard-core inner circle — have dominated the discussion about the ethics of eating…In response, those who love meat have had surprisingly little to say.”
In response to Kaminer’s statement that vegans have dominated the discussion on ethical eating, Singer writes:
“Well, I guess that’s true, to the extent that there has been any discussion, which, in fact, most meat-eaters generally avoid at all costs. Indeed, meat-eaters seem to be very comfortable interrogating us as to why we eat the way we do, but never seem to feel it’s necessary to explain why scarfing down a dead tortured animal is defensible.”
I have to say, I agree. While I enjoy dialoguing about veganism, I loathe when some meat-eaters grill me on my way of life – as if they’re trying to disprove my logic or that my eating vegan is an affront to them, or some such nonsense – but don’t tell me why they choose to eat carcasses.
Meat-eaters can argue culture and tradition, as well as advocate for humane treatment of animals and eradicating factory farms, all of which Kaminer points out. And people need to choose what’s right for them, including what to put in their bodies. But perhaps they’ve had “little to say” on the ethics of meat-eating specifically because it’s difficult (some say impossible) to argue the ethics of killing animals and eating tortured animals, especially when people have a choice. And I emphasize choice because not all communities have access to a plethora of non-meat food sources (Indigenous communities living in the Arctic, for example, although they do eat berries, tubers, grass and seaweed).
Veganism is predicated on compassionate consumption. Making choices every day – what to eat, what to wear, what to slather on skin – rooted in a philosophy of kindness towards animals and the planet.
Our Hen House‘s DEADLINE is TOMORROW, Sunday, April 8th. Email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So c’mon vegans…hurry up and get writing!!