Saturday, February 25, 2006

the lousy vegan

It occurs to me that I might have sounded a bit unrepentant, if I might borrow a word from my earlier days, and defensive regarding my recent leather shoe purchase (see below). The truth is, I feel lousy about it, and was only trying to look on the bright side. I'm pretty much against killing in just about any situations (although abortion gets tricky, as I'm solidly pro-choice, in case you wanted to know), and hate the thought of something having to die for my footwear.

But I kind of blew it, and now I've got these shoes, so I'd better rock 'em until they're absolutely unrockable. Given my luck so far, I'd probably be best to just ride barefoot after that.

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Speaking of complex moral decisions (weren't we?), I've got a quandary for you. There is a fancy restaurant near my house (which, for the sake of argument, could be any fancy restaurant) that serves a tofu or tempeh entree every night (it's one of those places where the menu changes pretty frequently). They also serve foie gras, which is the liver of a duck that has been forcefed with a metal tube until it could no longer stand.

As a young boy I remember watching a family of ducks cross a busy highway. Some of the ducklings didn't make it, and I remember crying and taking it rather hard. I believe I was either on my way to or from McDonald's.

I like to eat a fancy meal now and again, but the idea of supporting a place that serves such a barbaric dish is rather distasteful to me. It does, however, raise a moral question: what's the difference between forcefeeding a duck and slaughtering a cow? Or a pig? I get vegan pizzas from Pizza Luce, and they have a pizza called "The Bear", wherein bears are about the only animal whose meat is not represented on the pie.

I'm not about to boycott every restuarant that serves an animal product, so it seems a bit hypocritical to avoid fancyland because of the foie gras. I'm tempted to argue that the foie gras is more inhumane, but then I start thinking about factory farmed meat of any kind, and I'm right back where I started. Of course, it's rather a moot point, as I don't really have the money to eat out at a fancy restaurant, I just wondered if I could borrow somebody's moral compass. Mine's been a little out of wack lately.

11 Comments:

Blogger veganerd said...

in the 10 years since ive been vegan ive always argued this with people. if a resturant serves vegan food then eat it. if no one does then they wouldnt serve it. it is absolutely self-defeating moronic dumbshitedness to not eat at a resturant because they serve meat. its easy to see why when you apply the same argument to something else. how many vegans shop at grocery stores? how many grocery stores are there that dont sell meat? as a former employee of fast food resturants (many years ago) i can tell you that cub or rainbow sells more meat in a day than a mcdonalds resturant. its just an inconsistent logic. meat is meat. theres no such thing as more humane.

11:24 AM  
Blogger the surly vegan said...

erego, it is absolutely self-defeating moronic dumbshitedness to not eat at "five" because they serve foie gras?

or, by implication, i am an absolutely self-defeating moronic dumbshit for even weighing pros and cons?

an anonymous commenter recently informed me that i am an "idot" and that i need to "get a gripe" because i'm a "moran", so i guess this is consistent with what i've been hearing.

idot...does apple make that?

7:19 PM  
Blogger veganerd said...

i think you may misunderstand. i wasnt calling you an idiot. i was saying that i think it is bad for vegans (and animals) in general to boycott a place that makes an effort to serve vegan food because they also serve meat. all it does is send the message that vegan food doesnt sell and its better to sell meat.

yeah i saw that comment but didnt quite get it.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is becaus you are both dumbases! get it? you frekes tick me off! pisants! uneducated weirdos. i would love to debaet any of you. bring it on! unlike you too morans, i graduated community colledge. you can eat your veggys.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

viva mexico!

8:26 PM  
Blogger the surly vegan said...

i have ascertained the identity of the anonymous poster by utilizing highly controversial remote viewing techniques. i will share this information at a later date.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

if it makes you feel better, here's some insight into "the bear" (I worked as a driver at Luce for a couple years). The owner named the pizza after his dog - the only member of his household who would actually eat the thing - and it was the biggest inside joke for the kitchen staff/drivers everytime anyone would order one. ...as if we were targeting the heavy meat eaters for earlier heart disease.

Unfortunately, as a vegetarian at one point I actually ate foie gras to better understand and participate in the arguments against it. As a participant in the consumption of the process, raising ducks for foie gras is no worse a process than other livestock farming processes (rather, other farming processes are as horrific as the process for farming foie gras).

Maybe the best course of action you could take as a vege/vegan at the fancy resteraunt would be to (very nicely) tell someone there that the foie gras on their menu makes you a little uncomfortable. If 25 patrons said roughly the same thing i doubt it would last on the menu very long.

4:41 PM  
Blogger the surly vegan said...

andrew - thank you for the validation; you talk good sense.

is this andrew from the sunday ride? what's up with those tires?

1:55 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I say, be the best vegan you're comfortable with being. I bought a second hand vegan handbag right when I was going vegan. I went through a million emotions...it's second hand, so the cow isn't going to die TWICE...but by using this I am showing that it's okay to wear leather and that's going to be the first thing out of some idiot's mouth when I tell them I'm vegan...dammit. But it was a $200 purse and I got it for $35. Every vegan bag I liked was over $60 and was brand new.

8:23 PM  
Blogger the surly vegan said...

megan,

thanks, i agree. second-hand is nice for when cash is at a stand-still, but there are some nice vegan wears to be had out there.

i've been meaning to do a vegan clothing/accessories feature, but haven't gotten to it yet. it's hard now that it's getting nice out. at any rate, that will be the next thing i do, so keep an eye out. thanks for the comments.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

You need to blog more, period. Hi, I'm bossy.

9:48 AM  

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