It often takes me a while to get caught up on all the book reviews in The Nation, but I try to read them all, because for the most part they are literate and informative. Then there are the ones like Daniel Lazare's anti-vegetarian screed, thinly disguised as a book review. People have already asked here, in several well-written "bletters," why Lazare is so hostile to vegetarians and vegetarianism. I believe that the answer can be found in his last sentence. Lazare is apparently something of a gourmet, and this class of people tends to believe that if something can be eaten, it should be eaten, provided it is prepared by a third-generation chef and served in or with an expensive wine. Still, a little guilt often manages to penetrate the fog of chloresterol and alcohol (which, believe it or not, Mr. Lazare, most vegetarians don't abhor when it isn't made using animal parts) that seems to permeate the epicurean brain. This greatly irritates the gastric hedonists, often to the point of attacking that which makes them feel guilty. Lazare's piece has been largely refuted already, but those who still can't see, for example, that nonexistent beings have nonexistent interests, might want to check out the FAQs, originally written by me for usenet, that can be found on the main page of my website. I doubt that Daniel Lazare will be moved to reconsider his menu-based etehics, but others on the left may find food for thought.
Feb 28 2007 - 6:47am