In Fairness


As I ate my lunch of tofu and noodles I pondered the fate of the Norwegian who was taken to task for the means by which he killed his supper crabs. An animal rights group took offense. Rightly so, this fellow hacked the poor critters into pieces and then dropped the still-living parts into boiling oil [1].

Reflecting on this outrage I wondered about the source of the concern. Was it because of the indignant and insensitive manner in which death was executed? Was it because of a lack of due remorse? Should he have prayed to the crabs spirit after inflicting the outcome to give thanks for its sacrifice? Is it because the crab is a living organism that may have a mind even if only in the most rudimentary form?

I felt secure in my self-righteousnesses as I was eating vegetarian. However my keep of moral superiority was breached as my mind drifted on to recent research suggesting plants too have some sense of their environment and even more, their family and social network [listen to the Podcast]. Trees are known to communicate infestations to others in the forest so those others may initiate the introduction of toxins into their sap before the gnawing beetles arrive.

If presents of mind is the criteria that drives the outrage of the fate of the crab, then what about plants? Is it that they are not able to run? Is it that they don’t have eyes and thus the perpetrator is not able to see the last tears? Farmers hack through their fields with heavy equipment ripping the poor little beasts out of their earthly home often decapitating them without even the sense of an inkling of remorse.

As this realization set in I thought the only recourse was to eat purely manufactured food, that which is the manifestation of some chemical process involving no previously living organic matter. But alas this would result in a diet based solely on low-calorie candies which I’m afraid would not sustain me for any extended period of time.

So, if I shall eat the plant without remorse then so in fairness I will continue to eat the meat of fishes, animals and fowl, and I will so do without remorse as to do so would likely lead to heartburn which would not let me praise the memory of the departed’s spirit.


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