It’s Not Food

It’s Not Food

Even though there are plenty of excellent ethical theories that justify veganism, you don’t actually need any of them.

You certainly don’t need to believe that animals are equal to humans in order to decide not to eat animals.

For example, there are plenty of things that you don’t call food, even if some other people do:

  • Feces – Even though James Orr seems to think that feces are an appropriate food source during court, you probably don’t. And you don’t need to believe in “feces rights” in order to choose not to eat feces.
  • Placenta – Even though Joel Stein did it, most husbands don’t. And you don’t need to worry about placenta’s property status in order to keep placenta off the menu.
  • Urine - While there are fans of golden showers and drinkers of urine, it’s not on any menu I’ve ever seen. And I live in Las Vegas.
  • Boogers - Even if the weird kid in kindergarten ate his nasal secretions, I sincerely doubt you do. And you don’t have to use Utilitarianism to make that decision.
  • Glass - Magicians and suicidal people swallow glass, but admit it, it’s not food. And you don’t need a Theory of Justice to put your empty beer bottles in a recycling bin instead of your abdomen.
  • Natto, Vegemite, and other “acquired tastes” - Though plenty of people love the stuff, even more think it’s absolutely disgusting.

The last time a non-vegan tried to push my buttons and find a loophole in my vegan philosophy by asking if I thought snails deserved rights, I told him, “I’m not going to make a special exception for things I wouldn’t eat anyway. It just doesn’t matter.” And thus was born my credo: Get Real. Get Honest. Get Vegan.

Steak, ham, eggs, milk, cheese, veal, pork, chicken, salmon, ice cream, tuna, beef… it’s NOT FOOD.

Note: this post was originally published in 2009. It has been republished in order to find a new audience.

10 Responses to It’s Not Food

  1. Great rant! I have an Indian friend who’s never eaten animal flesh in his life. He says that eating animals is as strange to him as eating rocks – he would never even think about it.
    Cheers!

  2. Great rant! I have an Indian friend who’s never eaten animal flesh in his life. He says that eating animals is as strange to him as eating rocks – he would never even think about it.
    Cheers!
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  3. No, No, No. I will not stand for it. As an Aussie, Vegemite is an essential of life, like air and water, as well as fundamental to my national identity. A source of B group vitamins and Vegan, and most certainly food. Apart from that, great post.

  4. Haha, Steve, gross! Vegemite is nasty.

  5. Then we’ll just have to agree to disagree, on this small point. Pax?

  6. We can do that, I think ;)

  7. I think something profound happens in the way animal products are viewed once you “get it” that the item was a living being… I can’t say exactly when it happened, but there was a shift in my thinking – And honestly, I just don’t see the same “things” as “food” anymore… I know some might find it sarcastic to put “food” in parenthesis when speaking of animal products – But that’s the way my mind sees it.

    Now, fruits and veggies – right from the source… everything about thems says: *FOOD*. Just goes to show how very quickly indoctrinations can change when you: Get Real. Get Honest.
    Get Vegan :)

  8. …ooops – “thems”

  9. OMG I love you! Feces Rights…LOL! This post is hilarious :)

  10. At first, embracing a vegan life was so difficult but since I started checking out some blogs on vaganism, the transformation was easier. Have you used the technique of making vegan food taste like it is not vegan at all?

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