More importantly, animal rights cannot be connected to the pursuit of vegetarian or quasi-vegetarian dietary choices. As Parandekar noted, “Vegetarianism is a personal choice and not a moral obligation. We can try to put ourselves on a moral high ground and say that because we have the ability to behave morally we shouldn’t eat animals, but that doesn’t change the basic biology of humans.”
She added that in developing countries people don’t have the choice of whether to be veggies or not. Their goal is survival, since they do not have the luxury of people in the developed world who benefit from centuries of technological advancement such that a vegetarian diet is a choice we have the luxury to make. “They [meaning the other five billion people in the world] take what they can get,” Parandekar wrote, “and often animal products are the most readily available. I’ve seen meat markets in Southeast Asia that would appear gruesome to many Westerners but are completely necessary for the livelihoods of the people there.”
Me too, and yes, they are.
I’ll let her words provide a conclusion.
“I do respect the viewpoints of animal rights activists, even if I don’t agree with them; I think the existence of radical extremes in our society is important to keep us living in a happy medium.”
True, but I’m not sure how happy anybody is who’s caught up in the ceaseless arguments stirred up by the animal activists. And I know for a fact that it’s pretty lonely for anyone who classifies themself as “medium.”
In this debate, you’ve got to know which side of the fence you’re on.
Read Nikhita Parandekar’s column online.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dan Murphy, who is a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator.