vegan trolls and why i’m not a vegetarian

My daughter Amy has quite a Twitter and Instagram following. I don’t “do” either so I was surprised when she mentioned the other day that she is being trolled by a militant vegan…no, really! She often blogs and tweets about food and had mentioned a goat dish she had prepared and posted a photo. This provoked a torrent of abuse and seriously unpleasant images from some character who calls herself Freelee the Banana Girl. The lovely Freelee (aka Leanne Ratcliffe) has a colourful vocabulary and some interesting notions about healthy eating and, if you think I’m making this stuff up, do Google her.

We clearly eat too much meat in developed countries especially processed, fatty, poor quality meat full of antibiotics and nitrites from animals who have been factory farmed. Factory farming has been made possible by cheap oil which has made it cost effective to crowd poor creatures into feed lots and feed them grain-based concentrates instead of grass. This poor quality meat is relatively cheap so we eat far too much of it and the rest ends up in pet food or landfill.

I eat meat. We rear our own poultry, pork and goats on our holding and we eat our own animals. It is hard to eat an animal you are fond of and I am very fond of all our animals but it also makes you very respectful of their welfare and mindful to use every last scrap. I understand that we are very fortunate to be able to rear our own meat and that this is not an option available to everybody. I also realise that pasture fed meat is expensive but it would do us all good to eat less meat.

So, if I care so much about animal welfare, why am I not a vegetarian? Well, the easy answer is that I like meat! The better answer is that I believe vegetarianism is logically inconsistent. Vegetarians eat milk and milk products and eggs. All of these are produced by female animals. However, roughly equal numbers of female and male animals are born. What are we to do with the male animals if we do not eat them?

Veganism, on the other hand, is a logical choice as far as I can see, but it is one I choose not to make although I completely respect it in others (as long as they don’t persecute me or my family on social media!)

Animals are a crucial part of the cycle of fertility on our little farm. They convert grass and scrub into meat, milk and eggs whilst fertilising our land. We have shallow, poor and eroded soil on our holding. Our animals are helping us to rebuild fertility and biomass and will therefore enable us to grow a greater variety and number of plants here which will, in turn, attract a greater variety of insects, helping us to grow biodiversity.

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5 thoughts on “vegan trolls and why i’m not a vegetarian

  1. I was born in a vegetarian family. Now I am vegetarian by choice.

    I feel even your argument is inconsistent and can be easily refuted but I am not here to debate over what is better over what. These are life choices we make and we should respect choices of others to let them live peacefully. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    LOve and light ❤

    Anand 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was hoping to be provocative but I am so sorry if you felt I disrespected you, Anand. I have great respect for anyone who gives these matters consideration and who treads lightly on the earth. Btw I would love to hear more of your opinion on this subject.

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  3. Thought-provoking rather than provocative, I think. A couple of years ago I saw a comparison of the carbon footprint of someone who eats meat and a vegetarian. That, and a little not-entirely subtle encouragement by a vegan friend, was what made me decide to become vegetarian, especially when I realised that when I ate favourite meals, it was the vegetables and sauce I looked forward to, not the meat. Bacon I can live without, I’m not at all convinced about cheese and yogurt, nor milk in my tea. My theory is, if we all lived like people in the past, eating mostly plant-based food, with perhaps even our own cow, a pig and some chickens, eating meat on special occasions, maybe on Sundays, that would fine. I read Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Animal, Vegetabe, Miracle’ and would love that lifestyle in theory, but I’m no great cook, so all that preserving and pickling and making my own yogurt wouldn’t happen. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t kill or butcher my own meat, maybe milking a cow would be possible. By being vegetarian, I am in some small way compensating for everyone who isn’t (the rest of my family, for instance). In my imaginary idyll, there would be room for male and female animals because they can all be eaten, it’s just industrial farming doesn’t let it happen that way. Though I could imagine we would all be driven crazy by all those roosters crowing at the crack of dawn!

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  4. Indeed. It would be fine if we all ate a little, humanely farmed meat on special occasions but we don’t really “do” moderation in the so-called developed countries, do we? For more on preserving, pickling and knitting your own yoghurt, watch this space!

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