Vegetarians: Keep Your Paws Off My Meat!


Lately, I have encountered many vegetarian and vegan people who preach their opinions and views as some sort of categorical, undisputed truths. Their voices are getting louder and the putting down of meat eaters seems to be a new cool trend, especially amongst younger people; many who are ill informed and who cannot yet see other logical points of view, which do not coincide with their own. Myths are spread and I would like to counter some of those myths and to clear-up some of the confusion by providing another perspective on the meat eating topic – I am a wolf, after all.

To begin with, I would like to say that I have nothing against vegans and/or vegetarians. If You are a person who is able to live without eating meat, that is awesome! By no means am I being sarcastic here: if your environment and lifestyle enables You to stay away from eating meat, it is great. In general especially here in the western world, we eat a lot of meat: too much, yes. We raise so many cattle for slaughter that it is now increasing our greenhouse-gasses emissions and “shifting less than one day per week’s worth of calories from red meat and dairy products to chicken, fish, eggs, or a vegetable-based diet achieves more greenhouse-gas reduction than buying all locally sourced food” (“Super Freakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance”).

So, as the reader may see, I am not a one-sided deal. I believe in Balance and hence, I am writing this piece. I am not seeing much balance from the vegetarian side ... Often, I get the comment that I am insensible; that I am killing Life for my eating pleasures. Really? Do plants not have Life? Self-righteous vegetarians amaze me sometimes. I guess a plant needs to slap them across the face next time, for them to see the Life within.

That is Life though: if I would be walking through the savannah and a pack of hungry lions saw me – I’d most likely be dinner. Same way, if I am in the forest and I can catch a rabbit: I got dinner. I give thanks to Mother Earth and Wakan Tanka for the opportunity and the Life of that rabbit; I remind myself that one day some of my animal cousins will be feeding on my carcass as well and I keep going. I take what I need to survive from the Universe: nothing more, nothing less. Any excess/surplus I happen to have, I give away to those in need.

There is a clearer argument to make for meat eating people though. I remember being in Attawapiskat, a First Nations Cree community here in Northern Ontario. I was there in the middle of a January – temperatures where huddling somewhere around minus thirty to minus thirty-five degrees Celsius and all around all one could see was snow. I was bundled-up in my best mountaineering gear, carrying my big red thermos around at all times, filled with hot tea and still, I could not linger outside for more than about an hour. Then, I would have to go back inside the motel and defrost. Next time, I will remember to bring a face-mask: the wind was ferocious, cutting to the bones.

The lady at the motel I was staying laughed at me and asked:

“Are You a vegetarian?”

I looked at her strangely and said:

“No. Why would You think that?”

“Well, You’re so skinny and the cold is going right through You, You have to eat more game meat: bear, moose, deer; that’s what the Medicine Woman told me when I was having problems with the cold up here.”

Indeed, that is why for example the Inuit people and Eskimos eat so much meat and fat: it is needed to survive. It is not about eating venison at a five star restaurant with a glass of Chianti – sometimes, it is simply about survival. Not all people in this world live in an environment where many vegetables and fruits grow. Like the desert nomads who use camels for meat and milk – would anyone expect them to be vegetarians? What would they be eating? Cactuses and sand? On top of which, the skins and furs are also used for clothing: again, a matter of survival.

We really have to be a little realistic at times too. The Inuit hunt seals and whales. The latter they hunt for survival, unlike the Japanese fishing fleets, which hunt them for pleasure and their exotic appeal. Nobody can expect the Inuit to start farming on ice ...

What we eat depends in many cases on the lifestyle we lead and the environment we live in. For some people not eating meat is not much of a choice and at times it is simply a ridiculous thought. The people of the First Nations here in Canada have been trapping and hunting for centuries upon centuries. Vegetarian is not a word in their vocabulary. Actually there is a joke about this: for an aboriginal person, vegetarian means “bad hunter”.

So, let us please seek Balance. Let us see Life from other people’s perspectives so that we can judge better and not hold grudges against other people simply because we do not understand the lives they live. Let us respect our animal cousins, without whom we would not be able to survive. Let us be grateful for what Mother Earth provides for us and take only what we need: nothing more and nothing less.

May Wakan Tanka guide us All.

Note: My photograph, Timmins, Ontario January, 2011

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Comments 23 comments

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 3 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

You know, ....it's just like any other sort of religious affiliation. People attach a religious sort of affiliation with those radical diets, but veganism is even worse...you realize vegans won't wear leather boots...stuff like that, right?

They're a tad nuts, and I've yet to meet or talk to a solitary one of them that thought of human life as important as animal life.

One minute they're shouting, "all Arabs should die!"....or something...then the next minute it is "EATING CHEESE IS IMMORAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Vegetarians...those folks are TEN TIMES more sane...or, as sane as anyone else on the sane side of the fence...but VEGANS? Those folks are almost without exception...nuts.

What TRULY offended me...was someone telling me they only fed their dog ...vegan dog food.

THAT, my wolf friend....is animal abuse.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

"Eating cheese is immoral" - Haha!! Ya ... I mean, to each their own - really. Just as long as nobody tries to take my cheese away ...

It is also good to point out that the way we have been farming in the last several decades, perhaps to feed an increasing number of grass/grain eating humans, has resulted in depleted soil, an overuse of our water resources to a point of water scarcity, in places such as India and an overall abuse of fertile earth.

"Vegan dog food" takes the cake, I think. Ridiculous humans ... lol

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, Mr. Wesman.

Cheers!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I love the fishermen who won't hunt because they think it is inhumane....hello????

Loved the article my friend; I'm chomping on a rib as I write this. :)

Peace to you, always

bill


Act 3 profile image

Act 3 3 years ago from Athens, GA

There are plenty of self-righteous folks on both sides of just about every issue, from my experience. Thank you for your statements in support of Balance.

from,

your tolerant, non-radical, vegetarian friend who knows several meat-eating hunters that are at least a little bit nuts!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank You, Mr. Bill.

Cheers for the visit and comment! : )

May Light always guide You.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank You as well, Act 3.

Indeed, there are "plenty of righteous folks" ... very well said.

All the best! : )


Violet Flame profile image

Violet Flame 3 years ago from Auckland, NZ

Dear Mr. Happy,

I think you make some very good points here. Don't get me wrong, I am not against Vegetarians, nor vegans (just like you aren't). In fact, a good percentage of my friends and families are vegetarians. I live alongside my Buddhist monk/nun parents and I eat whatever they eat, but they do not interfere with the fact that I still eat meat at my flat. The thing is, I have tried maintaining full vegetarian diet but I got terribly anemic and lethargic. I have to face that fact that my body needs meat at times to be healthy. What really confuses me at times is that some people will look down at you as "not spiritual" if you are not a vegetarian. Then the so called "spiritual person" would turn around and stab someone at the back. At the end of the day, I figured it is not what you eat that matters, it is what we think/feel as we are eating that's far more important. I don't buy into the guilt any more. I agree with you that it is really all about true gratitude, balance and mutual respect, whether it is towards each other or what we dish out on our plate. Thank you xoxo


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

I agree mr. Happy. We should learn to mind our own business.

It's the personality that maters and not what we ingest :)

Interesting hub


Bob Zermop profile image

Bob Zermop 3 years ago from California, USA

Great hub, Mr. Happy, balanced and well thought out. Your view of vegans and vegetarians seems much like the majority of reasonable people I've met - great to see it in writing. I'm a vegan, so I'm one of the nutters on the other side of the fence, yeah? :)

I don't speak for all vegans and vegetarians, but to Wesman Todd Shaw: 'Sup. I don't wear leather, I don't eat eggs or milk, and of course I don't eat meat. Just a personal choice for me - in my memory, have never once preached. If you're interested, you can check out a hub I wrote a while back: http://hubpages.com/food/why-I-decided-to-be-vegan... .

Nice read, Mr. Happy. Keep writing!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Mr. Happy....Your hub full of common sense ,makes me happy. "All things in moderation" and "Different strokes for different folks." It is not anyone's business nor concern what constitutes someone's diet.....I will never ever understand WHY there are those individuals & groups, who insist that because THEY BELIEVE SOMETHING AND LIVE A CERTAIN WAY......EVERYONE SHOULD AND MUST!!

What on earth, is this all about?

You put this all down in print...very nicely, Mr. Happy! Congratulations on a great hub...UP+++


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

I am a vegetarian by preference. I understand reasons for going vegan, but I like cheese and ice cream a bit too much. ;-)

I have written a hub about why anyone would want to be a vegetarian, but I hope I avoided a preachy tone. In my personal opinion, it is healthier, and when I was much stricter about it, I never felt better in my life.

I can understand that where there is snow and ice for much of the year, there are not any vegetarian choices to eat; that is why I do not live in such an area. I don't think those places are fit for human habitation anyway, but that's beside the point.

It is my opinion that ANY animal that must needs kill another in order to survive, is simply a design flaw--I feel that the only flesh-eaters should be the scavengers who clean up carcasses of those dead of natural causes or accidents. But, the universe did not ask me my opinion, and so it is what it is.

I respect your right to your opinion, and I appreciate your willingness to reciprocate. Thank you for an interesting perspective.

Voted up and interesting.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hello Mrs. Violet,

thank You for taking the time to read and leave a comment. I think your experience of trying to go vegetarian and it not being a good diet for You speaks volumes. Not every body is made the exact same way and we all need a specific array and amount of nutrients. I do think we all each know our bodies best and that we should listen to our bodies, in terms of what feels healthy and what does not.

Cheers!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank You for the read and comment as well, Mrs. Ruchira.

Indeed I think personality counts the most, together with our intent.

All the best!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr. Bob, congratulations on your vegan diet! It is certainly an accomplishment because I would not able to live in such a situation. I love my milk, cheese and all that a little too much. On top of which, we do battle some frigid weather up here once in a while ... it is Canada after all.

Thank You for the conversation.

Cheers!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Mrs. Fpherj48,

I am happy You enjoyed the read. And yes, I try to stick to common sense as much as possible. In my opinion, it keeps things simple and clear; never-mind about the fact that common sense is not really that common these days.

Thank You for the visit!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hello DzyMsLizzy,

I found your comment about living environments interesting: "I can understand that where there is snow and ice for much of the year, there are not any vegetarian choices to eat; that is why I do not live in such an area. I don't think those places are fit for human habitation anyway, but that's beside the point."

At 37.9936° N Latitude, You are doing fairly well but not that much further north, the winters get heavy and farming is only possible for small periods in the year. The other thing is, in such areas where one has only one chance per year to farm and collect a harvest, if a failed harvest happens, people are doomed (for that year: i.e. starvation). So, the reliance on meat and storing meat (over the cold months) is critical. Otherwise, all humans on this planet can move in between the 45th parallels lol

I appreciate your attitude though - if You feel better being vegetarian, all the better!

Cheers!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 3 years ago from Isle of Man

I have been a vegetarian at different times in my life but usually that would be when I live in a hot climate. It is not practical or sensible not to eat meat if you live in a cold climate but that is just what I believe. If I am in a third world country I will not eat because I do not wish to be poisoned nor would I drink water that was not boiled. That is just common sense in my books. If I was to live in Alaska I would relish raw meat especially if it kept me warm. I am becoming less and less trusting of the meat we in the west buy over the counter because of what the animals are fed. I believe that the animal meat we are being sold is dulling our senses and is the cause for many diseases. I enjoy eating good meat but show me where the ordinary man can find good meat now that will not poison him and his family. This state of affairs is the result of greed and very short sighted people in authority who have profit before the welfare of their own people. Thank you Mr Happy for bringing this very important issue up.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

You are very right, Mr. Spirit Whisperer: it is very difficult to find helthy meat nowadays. Although, the same may be said of the genetically modified grain, or tomatoes grown under electrical lamps ...

We can and I do encourage people to grow their own food, even if it is in little amounts: anything is better than nothing.

Things will change - I am optimistic.

Thank You for taking the time to read and comment.

All the best!


Dan Barfield profile image

Dan Barfield 3 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

Interesting hub - it has got my brain juices going. I started writing my answer then realized I'd hit about 600 words so I'm gonna go ahead and turn it into a hub in response to this one. Thanks for the inspiration... :)

P.S. I'll drop you a line here when it's done.


Dan Barfield profile image

Dan Barfield 3 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

As promised - I have now completed and published my response to this hub. I have titled it as 'Should I eat meat? That is the question!'


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Mr. Barfield,

I am happy my article here was helpful in inspiring You to write something on this topic. I will head over - thank You for the notification.

Cheers!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Good Evening White Wolf - Excellent, well-balanced discussion, but your essays usually are. You have a gift for finding ways to make your points without offending others. You live and let live and still encourage people to be open to other viewpoints, lifestyles, and choices. Very intelligent, well-reasoned, and enjoyable read.

Sorry to have been out of touch for so long. I spent most of Christmas reading like crazy for a Holocaust seminar in DC that I attended in January. As soon as that was over I started teaching and two weeks later, I came down with bronchitis and then laryngitis (too much work and not nearly enough sleep, I think).

Anyway, I am better but still tire easily. Seems like I don't get much done but my school work. But I have missed reading and writing on HP and in particular missed reading your essays. I hope all is well with you. Blessings!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Mrs. Theresa,

Thank You very much for the kind words. It is greatly appreciated it.

Do take care of your sleep and eat healthy - the only two easy ways to regenerate: food and rest. I wish You Strength and Power!

Always happy to see You stop by to visit and leave a comment.

All the best! : )

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