Remember when Lisa Simpson proudly declared to her eco-warrior idol that she was vegetarian? He poo-pooed her. When she said she was thinking of becoming vegan, he haughtily responded that he "doesn't eat anything that casts a shadow" and declared that he was a "Level 5 Vegan." When she said she started an organic compost pile at home, he said, "Just at home? You mean you don't pocket-mulch??" While at one time I was able to identify with poor Lisa, I now fear I've crossed the line. Hear my confession, and take from it what you will.
"When creatures don't have an extraordinary beauty, it's because the person in contact with them is not seeing it," said pulitzer-prize winning poet Galway Kinnell, whose poem about pigs ends this episode. It's not an easy episode, but nothing worth talking about ever is. From Original Broadcast: Today’s episode is dedicated to pigs – how wonderful they are, how we misrepresent them, and what affect our perception of them has on our treatment of them. Pigs are exploited and used by humans in a variety of ways: as research tools, as “food animals,” in high school science classes, as entertainment in a blood sport called “hog-baiting” or “hog dogging,” as victims of hunting and the cycle of violence inherent in slaughterhouses. Even our language about them contributes to our abuse of them. Take a listen, share, and let me know what you think. Today's episode, like all episodes, is brought to you by listeners like you. Become a supporter today at patreon.com/colleenpatrickgoudreau.
Just coming up for air as I finish re-writes and edits on The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs. Here are some updates with light at the end of the tunnel. RECEIVE SPECIAL RECOGNITION IN THE BOOK! Become a patron at $20/month or more, and your name will be printed in The Joyful Vegan as my thanks to you!
Being animals ourselves, it makes sense that we share many of the same diseases as our non-human cousins. We aren’t – after all – plants. We aren’t at risk for catching aphids or sooty mold or downy mildew. In fact, many of the major killer pandemics we’ve been plagued with were acquired from non-human animals. Here are just a few: we got tuberculosis from cattle, influenza from pigs and birds, whooping cough from pigs and dogs, smallpox from cattle, and of course cowpox from cows. Even HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is believed to have been first transmitted to humans through the butchering and consumption of infected chimpanzees. It is our very consumption of animals and their products that has bestowed upon us what Guns, Germs, and Steel author Jared Diamond calls the “lethal gifts of livestock.” Our abuse of nature comes full-circle and at a heavy price for both the consumer and the consumed. Listen.
There’s a presumption among some vegans that if you’re vegan, you’re also liberal, socialist, atheist, feminist, intersectionalist, progressive, and leftist, that you’re pro-choice, anti-vaccine, anti-GMO’s — and that if you’re not any or all of these things and everything that they entail, you’re unwelcome — or at least you don’t belong. Or that you’re an imposter. Or that you welcome oppression. We are living in a time when group loyalty and identity politics are valued more than reason, critical thinking, tolerance for another point of view, and compassion. And it scares the bejesus out of me. Today's episode is (yet another) call for compassion. Listen to Food for Thought Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or JoyfulVegan.com⠀