Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Jesus Christ Has Canine Teeth

Nathan Schneider:

Just as Korb was once a vegan, Niebuhr had been a pacifist, but the incarnate evil of 20th-century totalitarianism convinced him that such utopianism was tantamount to standing by at Auschwitz.

Christian love, for Niebuhr, can call us to war; by similar reasoning, Korb tells us that concern for animals can coincide with eating them.

Wow. I, uh... wow. Huh. Maybe the logic would make more sense if I were as God-besotted as Schneider is, but it does seem to me that not only is he trying to imply that eating animals is the best way to show concern for them - awfully convenient, that - but that abstaining from eating them is the equivalent of, uh, failing to oppose the Nazis? And who are these Nazis who will run roughshod over a vegan Chamberlain but quail in the resolute face of a carnivorous Churchill? Somebody 'splain this to me, please; I don't want to be arrested and charged as a war criminal next time I buy some Morningstar veggie burgers.

(I read Korb's essay; it seemed to me to be a very lengthy exercise in saying, "Eh, it's a fallen world, whaddayagonnado, thank God for situational ethics," but your mileage may vary.)

Look. I've long been tired of arguing about this with people; I have better things to do than try to defuse the predictable defensive/antagonistic reactions to people learning of my vegetarianism. I have no illusions that there ever was, or will be, a world in which suffering and death don't exist. I couldn't care less about trying to convert anyone to a meat-free existence. If that's conciliatory enough for you two, perhaps you could reciprocate by dropping the pretense of ethical justification for your choices and just admit that you simply like eating animals, regardless of necessity.