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Is Meat Worth Murder?

Is Meat Worth Murder?

Alex Jamieson has been getting death threats and scores of emails from people wishing cancer upon her for being such a horrible, uncaring, murderous, hypocritical human being. She has been shunned and ostracized by people who used to follow her and even from those who were her friends after she finally revealed her deep, dark secret. Was Jamieson secretly a Nazi? Was she part of a death cult? Was she abusing children? No. Alex Jamieson was a vegan.

In a recent interview on CBC’s The Current, Jamieson told how she has been vengefully attacked by vegans since admitting that she has started eating some animal products (eggs, cheese, and some meat). While saying that about 75% of her diet is green, she explains in her blog that she began craving animal products in tandem with changes to her body and metabolism, including her menstrual cycle.

Jamieson created a successful career a decade ago as a proponent of veganism and wrote several successful vegan cookbooks. Now, according to the vegan community, she is not just a turncoat, she is fraud, a hypocrite and a murderer. That’s pretty strong language just for eating an egg.

I am part of the corporate carnivore industrial complex that is torturing animals and destroying the environment.

Alex Jamieson

Alex Jamieson

I have some personal experience—though not anything as extreme and vicious as what Jamieson is going through—because I have been a vegetarian for over two decades. I have been mocked, judged and had anger vented upon me by carnivores. I have also been the target of vegans who say that by virtue of the fact that I eat dairy products (eggs, cheese, milk, cream) I am part of the corporate carnivore industrial complex that is torturing animals and destroying the environment. Clearly, you cannot make everyone happy.

To deal with this I adopted a ‘live and let live’ attitude about eating and food. We are all individuals, we are all capable of making our own choices and we are all responsible for those choices. That’s the fun part of being an adult. Personally, I don’t care what you shove in your mouth. However, in the highly politicized world of food activism (that works both ways: vegan/vegetarian and carnivores), the arguments can be contentious and even downright violent in their language.

Meat eaters think that vegetarians are looking down our nose at them for their choices and push back with insults. I have had people literally get up and walk out on me in social situations when I mentioned I was vegetarian. I have had people wave their steak or hamburger in my face while taunting me to take a bite. That has less to do with what they choose to eat and more to do with their mental state.

Intolerance isn’t only found in religious text or the pulpit; sometimes it’s on the plate that is sitting in front of us.

diet_chemo1The same goes for vegans who have berated me for the dairy products I consume or the fact I’m wearing leather shoes. Sorry, I like quality shoes and don’t like sweaty feet and foot fungus from wearing material all day that doesn’t breathe. My favourite story is when a vegan colleague from a former workplace was driving me to the subway one day, saw a woman on the sidewalk wearing a fur coat, leaned across me and shrieked “MURDERER!” at her as we drove past.

After my ears stopped ringing, I couldn’t help but point out that the woman wearing the fur coat may be showing bad taste in fashion, but driving a car and yelling at her about it is beyond ironic, considering how many animals are killed and habitat destroyed to build roads and highways, not to mention the devastation to animals and environment from oil concerns. We all live in glass houses.

While I understand and can appreciate the passion people have for their choices—especially when they perceive those to be based in a political agenda or a movement to save something—I take umbrage with strident intolerance that vilifies people for their individual choices. I also question the motivation. Are you making that choice because you want to improve your own body, lifestyle or environment, or are you using it as a platform for your anger and to judge and lash out at others? Is it a choice or a cloak? Intolerance isn’t only found in religious text or the pulpit; sometimes it’s on the plate that is sitting in front of us. Either way, is it worth threatening someone’s life over?

photo credit: Conanil


andrewv100x100Andrew Vail’s writing career began in Halifax when he was but a child. In Grade 4, he wrote and produced his own series of comic books entitled “Freaky The Frog”, the on-going tale of a little misfit frog and his pals of the pond. Marvel Comics never came knocking but Andrew knew he loved to create and tell stories. Since then, Andrew has worked in advertising, PR and publicity; has interviewed politicians, rock stars and very interesting yet not-so-famous movers and shakers. He has published articles in a variety of local and national magazines and websites.

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  1. Thanks for focusing on this subject matter.
    Jamieson must have anticipated she would not be very popular after her recent blog post in which she ‘came out’ as a meat eater. Maybe she should have kept this to herself.
    Any individuals who may have sent Jamieson nasty emails etc most certainly do not represent vegans and such actions don’t accomplish anything positive. The concept of veganism itself embraces non violence and the rights of ALL living beings – humans and non humans alike.

    I feel I have to disagree with you on a point you’ve made about personal food choices. While many people feel that food choices are a personal matter- choosing to consume animal products does not only effect that one individual, in that they are contributing to the suffering and death of billions of sentient beings, along with supporting an industry that causes massive environmental destruction and detrimentally impacts human health and also contributes to world hunger. I do feel that these choices (“what someone shoves into their mouth”) therefore do have a much broaded impact than we used to think. (Kind of like how we used to think second hand smoke was harmless, although perhaps that isn’t the best analogy).

    To me, it does seem shocking that someone who was vegan and was supposedly informed about such issues (Jamieson?) could and would go back to eating animals, because it truly contradicts what she said she believed in, and there is simply no physical/ biological/physiological reason for her to need to eat animal products…that is simply a fact. Harvard Medical, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, United Nations World Food Org and others have repeatedly recommended that a plant based diet is best for our health (and the planet!)

    What is happening globally to our fellow animals is nothing less than a holocaust, every single day. It is upsetting to me knowing that there are people who are aware of this yet continue to ignore it. We have the ability to make conscientious choices based on much more than just ‘what tastes good” or out of convenience .. choices we can feel good about, that cause the least amount of harm to others (in as much as possible but ie. yes some people do drive cars but we aren’t talking about vehicles right now …although its interesting to note that factory farming emissions contribute to more global warming gases than driving cars does).

    By blogging about what she (Jamieson) eats she may think it’s her own business, but she made it public.

  2. I unfriended her – she is a traitor to the community that welcomed & supported her.

  3. Ladies,

    Ms. Jamieson’s body screamed at her for nutrition, and luckily for her she heard the call. To maintain proper levels of ALL amino acids one must obtain and consume much more nuts than your typical nut can manage. Sadly the first amino to go deficient supports cognitive function, so in essence the vegan diet reduces ones cognition level early so one doesn’t recognize one’s slow inexorable slide into DUHsville.

    Bacon, ladies… it’s your only hope.

    As to the whole horrible death angle, death by man is virtually always preferable to a natural death. Slaughterhouses typically render the animal clinically dead before it completes it’s fall to the ground, as do most hunters. There are no absolutes in life so there are exceptions. Google exceptions by the way, and THINK HARD.

    The vegan lifestyle is both stylish and aberrant… google that too.

    Bacon Forever !!

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