Kill-a-tarianism


Molly asked her blog readers if they are meat-eaters or vegetarian.  I’ve explained my personal stance on meat-eating a number of times to various people, so I thought I’d write it down once and for all for reference.  Note that I’m not evangelizing my position; it really doesn’t bother me at all when others delight in eating meat or not.  In fact, what bothers me the most is proselytizing, so I’ll get along much better with a hearty steak-eater than a vegan who vocally thinks everyone else should be too.  Are you ready?


I don’t eat anything I don’t feel I could personally kill.


That’s it.  It’s pretty simple, really.  No, the rule is not “…with my bare hands” – implements are allowed.  I eat fish because I know that I can respectfully kill a fish to eat it (I’ve done so, actually, in the last year).  I would have no compunction about eating shellfish, because I think they’re basically insects.  🙂  Since becoming a diver in the Pacific Northwest, I will never again eat octopus, because they are beautiful, intelligent creatures in person.


I’ve been accused of being a cute-a-tarian – that is, not eating anything cute – which isn’t too far off the mark.  I don’t generally eat beef, because I think cows are cute.  (But they’re also generally dumb as posts, so every once in a while I figure the planet’s gene pool can use some improvement.)  And there’s another subtlety – it’s mood-dependent.  If I’ve had a bad day, and I’m really mad at the world, I can eat anything I think I could personally kill – so cows, watch out.


I could never personally off a sheep, though, so sadly lamb is out of the question (I used to love to eat lamb).  Rabbit is right out (in fact, I adopted this rule around ten years ago when one of our pet bunnies died), not that I was ever a huge (culinary) fan of rabbit.  Duck is pretty much out.  Chickens, on the other hand, are annoying, so I can munch away (though I don’t eat it too often).  Turkey, too.


I suppose I end up being 1/3 vegetarian, 1/3 seafood, and 1/3 chicken/turkey-eating.  But that doesn’t sound as cool as kill-a-tarian.


Comments (18)

  1. For those of us living in cultures and being of economic means where we have so much abundance food-wise, this seems so damned logical. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who also might kill anything after a particularly bad day. I do think I’d draw the line at cannibalism, though 😉

  2. Garry Trinder says:

    I think the biggest problem has been that too many people think of meat as a substance, and not the flesh of a once-living creature.

  3. Tony Chor says:

    I respect your do-it-yourself attitude, although your criteria for what you are willing to kill seems a bit arbitrary.

    My criteria is far more simple: if it tastes good, I’ll eat it. A zillion years of evolution have honed our taste buds to delight in things that our body needs. Of course, we need to moderate the quantity in this day and age, but who am I to tell generations of my forebearers they were wrong? As the saying goes, if God had meant for humans to not eat animals, He wouldn’t have made them so tasty.

    That said, I agree it’s worth remembering that dinner was once alive and not being wasteful.

  4. Rob says:

    Wow, I thought it was just me. I started following a similar philosophy in 1998 when I realized that I couldn’t stand handling raw dead animals but I had no problem with cooked dead animals. I’d been fishing before and could handle that, so I kept eating fish for a while. Lately I’ve been laying off that too tho.

    I used to tell people if I was going to eat an animal then it may as well be one that deserved it, like my cat, rather than some random animal I’d never met.

  5. ieblog says:

    Hmm, that’s an idea – my cat has been fattening up lately…

  6. Meri says:

    Wow, that sums up my own personal philosophy exactly!

    I still keep eating steak and calamari though, having no compunctions about killing either cows or octopi 😉

  7. Laura says:

    HI

    Thank you for your comments about the octopus.  I agree and, in fact, just put up a small website trying to get people to stop eating octopuses and recognize what wonderful creatures they are. Hope you can check it out.

    Laura

  8. bilgi yarışması says:

    Wow, that sums up my own personal philosophy exactly!

  9. Tweak Vista says:

    Wow, I thought it was just me. I started following a similar philosophy in 1998 when I realized that I couldn’t stand handling raw dead animals but I had no problem with cooked dead animals. I’d been fishing before and could handle that, so I kept eating fish for a while. Lately I’ve been laying off that too tho.

    I used to tell people if I was going to eat an animal then it may as well be one that deserved it, like my cat, rather than some random animal I’d never met.

  10. Webhosting says:

    Wow, that sums up my own personal philosophy exactly!

    I still keep eating steak and calamari though, having no compunctions about killing either cows or octopi 😉

  11. I respect your do-it-yourself attitude, although your criteria for what you are willing to kill seems a bit arbitrary.

    My criteria is far more simple: if it tastes good, I’ll eat it. A zillion years of evolution have honed our taste buds to delight in things that our body needs. Of course, we need to moderate the quantity in this day and age, but who am I to tell generations of my forebearers they were wrong? As the saying goes, if God had meant for humans to not eat animals, He wouldn’t have made them so tasty.

    That said, I agree it’s worth remembering that dinner was once alive and not being wasteful.

  12. Melida says:

    I have a similar philosophy as I am not a hard-core vegetarian. I feel I can’t eat anything I wouldn’t kill with my bare hands. I do have a problem with killing (and skinning) birds and other furry animal, though I don’t have a problem with killing fish to eat (and I loooove salmon). So, that’s my stance, that simple. So, I guess I’m not considered a vegetarian even though most days I do eat vegetarian, even vegan, but once in a while I do eat fish, and if I don’t have a choice (like in a fast-food place or a friend’s house), will eat chicken/turkey.

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