The New York Times reported on an incident at a college in Vermont where an ox–one of a pair of oxen–had to be euthanized after it became ill. That wasn’t the plan; the plan had been to slaughter the humanely-raised creatures and serve them in the cafeteria in keeping with the college’s mission and vision for sustainable-farming. But animal-rights groups protested the move and pressured slaughterhouses not to participate in the plan.
So at the end of the day, an ox is still dead, and no one got to eat him.
(Read the whole article here if you wish)
Steve Thorngate at the Christian Century thinks this is very sad and wasteful. He writes:
I’ve talked before about why I stopped being a vegetarian after many years. In part it’s because yes, pork is incredibly delicious. But it’s also because I’ve come to believe that the cultural goal I favor—much lower meat consumption, which would improve public health and reduce the incentive for cruel and ecologically destructive factory-farming methods—finds more effective ambassadors in flexitarians than in strict vegetarians. (That bean soup is an easier sell with a little bit of uncommonly good bacon.) And in part it’s because I’ve gotten over the identity-marker element that was so important to me when I was younger.
And he quotes Katherine Willis Pershey on fasting and feasting as opposed to claiming identity markers (a vegan is something you ARE, a fast is something you keep, and then break.) Read her post here.
What do you think? Are dietary habits/rules something to take on as practices to be started and stopped, or are they markers of identity? What motivates each?