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Stephen F. Eisenman: Confessions of a vegan evangelist

Becoming a vegan took several years and multiple prompts. One was the adoption of my dog Asta. One day, I looked deep into her brown eyes and saw her soul. At that moment, I knew that killing animals for food was wrong, a kind of murder.

STEPHEN F. EISENMAN: What omnivores complain about is true. Vegans are evangelical. Case in point: On the day I ate my last morsel of Parmigiano Reggiano, I was born again, and I wanted everybody to know that my animal-eating sins were washed away. It didn’t matter how many hot dogs, hamburgers, rashers of bacon, pounds of beef and chicken, cheese balls or ice cream cones I ate in my former life, I was now as guiltless as a new-born babe – even more so, since I didn’t drink milk. And in the glow of my conversion, I felt like my other sins were cleansed too…

I flipped my British wife Harriet from omnivore to vegan, aided by a video she happened to see of the inside of a slaughterhouse. Harriet then converted her daughter Daisy in Brighton, who was already an environmental activist. Meat eating for her was elevated from venial to mortal sin, worse than plastic straws or Styrofoam cups. Daisy then nudged her sister Molly to become a vegan. Molly was already trending because of her veterinary education and internship in an industrial farm. She persuaded her father Kumar (Harriet’s ex-) to give up sheep farming…

Becoming a vegan was no damascene conversion. It took several years and multiple prompts. One was my adoption of a Jack Russel terrier whom I named Asta, after the dog in The Thin-Man movies with William Powel and Myrna Loy… My Asta wasn’t nearly as well trained as her Hollywood alter ego, but she was dead smart. She could escape from nearly any room, yard, carrier, or conveyance. Once when I left her briefly in a car, she pressed the button to open the moon roof and escaped that way. As she aged, Asta became more introspective. One day, I looked deep into her brown eyes and saw her soul. At that moment, I knew that killing animals for food was wrong – a kind of murder…

Don’t offer lame excuses for eating meat. Otherwise intelligent people say the dumbest things to justify meat eating. Here are some examples with my typical responses:

“Early humans were hunters, so it’s natural for us to eat meat.”

(Mostly, they gathered fruits and vegetables. But in any case, I don’t hunt. Do you? Just 4% of Americans hunt.)

Our teeth are specifically evolved to chew flesh.”

(They are not. And anyway, we chew vegetables just fine!)

“Humans are the top of the food chain – we eat meat!”

(When did you last see a person on the street, teeth bared, holding a spear, stalking a wildebeest?)

“I just don’t feel right unless I eat meat – I need the protein.”

(Ever hear of peas and beans?)

“We have a moral obligation to eat meat. If we all became vegans, cows and chickens would go extinct.”

(OK, so start a farm-animal reserve. In the meanwhile, let’s prevent the needless suffering and death of billions of animals.)

“I know its cruel, bad for the environment, and produces climate destroying greenhouse gases. But I could never give up bacon.”

(Your pleasure from bacon is more important than reducing air and water pollution, stopping global warming, and ending the torturous death of billions of sentient beings? Seriously?)

To be honest, I enjoy it when carnivores ask me stupid questions because it gives me a chance to pontificate and evangelize some more. So go ahead, make my day. SOURCE…


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