This pescatarian is now a vegetarian. Each unto their own – freedom of choice!! non-judgemental!! – but I can no longer reconcile my animal welfare considerations which stopped me eating meat 20 ish years ago, chicken 19 ish years ago, with my continuing to eat fish (I’m Jewish so swine and shellfish are out anyway). It’s a personal thing, I don’t judge omnivores/carnivores, I have made my own decisions, other people must be allowed to make their own decisions.
Road to veganism? Maybe/probably: life’s a journey.
Tel Aviv has, per capita, more vegan restaurants than any other city in the world (if what I read is correct). Israel has the second highest rate of vegetarianism in the world (India has the most).
The issue which bothers me most here is not the eating of meat, poultry, swine, fish, it’s the laws, rules, regulations, standards in matters concerning animal welfare, industrial farming, animal transport, slaughter etc but, unfortunately, such is the cultural and commercial world in which we live, the realities are hidden and kept away from the public consciousness. People don’t like to see videos of animals being slaughtered. Most people need that ‘disconnect’ between what happens behind closed doors and the food on their plate. Most people find it hard to reconcile the compassion that is inherent in their soul with their eating meat etc so they have to block out the slaughter. It suits the industry and it suits the consumers.
I’m sure that many attacks on halal and shechita (kashrus/kosher laws) are racist in motivation but I’m also sure that playing the racist card is a dishonest, cynical ruse used by religious authorities to defend the morally indefensible, violent, inhumane slaughter of animals. It is grossly unfair and unacceptable to accuse everyone who criticises shechita and halal slaughter of being antisemitic and Islamophobic. As a Jew, I say that we have to be very careful when accusing people of antisemitism! If we bandy the label about too much, too loosely, it will fall on deaf ears when the allegation is appropriate and fair (and it often is very appropriate and very fair!!).
AND, for the record, re non-religious slaughter, I don’t think shooting a bolt through an animal’s head, which can go wrong, ie fail to stun it, electrocuting it or suffocating it with carbon dioxide is worthy of an animal welfare award!
In the next stage of humanity’s development/advancement, in the next ‘enlightened age’, I believe that people will no longer be eating meat, poultry, swine, fish. For now, people will continue to eat it, ok, but surely there are more humane ways of slaughter, surely empathy and compassion can be built into the ‘system’.
People, rightly, criticise the absence of animal welfare laws in, say, the Philippines, the caging, torture, slaughter and eating of dogs in south-east Asia, most people in ‘the West’ find cruelty to dogs completely abhorrent, but those who don’t speak out against the cruel slaughter of animals in ‘the West’, those who turn a blind eye to the violence and cruelty perpetrated against some animals / ‘sentient beings’, how/why do they criticise what goes on in other parts of the world, for example, the slaughter of dogs?
That is not a criticism – it is a genuine question: I DON’T GET IT but, then again, I ignored it, or put it out of my mind, until I was 32/3 years old (I’m now 52) and only now am I ‘giving up’ fish!
I REALLY AM NOT HAVING A GO AT MEAT ETC EATERS!
Heck, I’m not a vegan (yet) so I’m in no moral position to criticise meat-eaters (even if I was a vegan, I’d still say omnivore/carnivore/pescatarian/vegetarian/vegan, it’s a matter of personal choice.
The key words are ‘compassion’ and ‘empathy’: what do I call a place without compassion and empathy? I call it “hell”.