I’ve been a vegetarian and not quite vegan for most of my life. I stopped eating red meat at 15, and white at 16. I had a few years in my 30s where I ate chicken and fish at the insistence of a nutritionist, but never felt happy about it and gave it up again. My reasons are mostly moral and just, really simply, that I love and respect animals. But I know there are many people who eat meat, who would say the same. I rarely push my views about this (if you want to know my opinion, and my ecological and Biblical arguments for vegetarianism, you can read them in Positive Sisterhood) because I feel what a person eats is between them and their own conscience. So, time for me to look at how the other side sees it.
Eating meat is natural, we have teeth made for tearing flesh. It’s part of who we are. It is up to the law to make sure animal husbandry is up to scratch. I’m just the consumer. Not my job to tell farmers how to treat their property. There are tonnes of safeguards and loads of animal rights groups keeping it all in hand. Just as I love my dogs and abide by the laws that protect them. To be honest, I don’t really think about cruelty, because why should I? Pretty much everyone eats meat. We always have. If we didn’t there probably wouldn’t be any sheep, cattle or pigs. If you want to bring God into it, he said we could eat meat after the flood, and Jesus certainly ate fish. So I don’t really see there’s any big deal about it. My body craves it, I give it what it wants.
Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017