Perhaps Mr. Lazare who would have us think flesh-and-blood-(meat)eating has given us extended and happier lives but how much time has he spent inside cancer units, cardiac surgical rooms, kidney wards, or breast cancer units?
How much time has Mr. Lazare spent on "farms" where infant calves are chained at the neck in rows of tiny crates, on slatted floors, unable to move, love, play, live, or be free because we humans steal their mothers milk?
How much time has he spent living by the many waste lagoons that dot this nation, filled with tens of thousands of tons of pig manure? Has he ever ventured to the dumpsters behind egg "farms" where millions of male chicks who are not ground alive for feed and fertilizer, are hatching and left to die? Has he randomly visited (if allowed) the kill floors of this, "civilized" nation's slaughterhouses, where sentient animals who feel trauma and agony just as we do, are beaten to restraining devices, hoisted by their hind legs, and chain-sawed apart?
For as long as humans have assumed superiority and power over animals, they have done the same to each other. If Mr. Lazare considers the violent, bloody, inhumane, unsustainable and cruel meat and dairy based diet as optimal for humanity, why are we threatened by war, pandemics, and environmental suicide more now that ever? Here it is in a nutshell: The relationship between the meat-based resource usage and war is dramatized by the following dialogue from Plato's Republic:
...and there will be animals of many other kinds, if people eat them?
And living in this way we shall have much greater need of physicians than before?
And the country which was enough to support the original inhabitants will be too small now, and not enough?
Then a slice of our neighbors' land will be wanted by us for pasture and tillage, and they will want a slice of ours, if, like ourselves, they exceed the limit of necessity, and give themselves up to the unlimited accumulation of wealth?
That, Socrates, will be inevitable.
And so, we shall go to war, Glaucon. Shall we not?
Most certainly, he replied.
Laura Beth Slitt
Bartlett, New Hampshire
Feb 21 2007 - 3:40pm