To Love Or To Eat?

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I’m back from vacation, and I’ve got lots to share! I’ve also got a to-do list a mile long (laundry, grocery shopping, catching up on reading blogs, etc., etc…). So instead of writing today, I’m posting a powerful quote that I read in John Robbin’s forward to the book, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, And Wear Cows by Melanie Joy, Ph.D. Here’s the quote:

…I have a question that burns in my soul. This is my question: Why is it that we love our companion animals so much, animals that we call “pets,” and get so much deep human value from those relationships, but then we turn around and call other animals “dinner,” and by virtue of that semantic distinction feel entitled to treat those animals with any manner of cruelty as long as it lowers the price per pound? – John Robbins

Photo courtesy of Angloinfo.

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About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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31 Responses to To Love Or To Eat?

  1. Stacey says:

    It’s a question that will always haunt me. Just, whywhywhy?!? Thanks for the quote.

    • Despite the fact that I ate meat until two years ago, the question haunts me now too. I think back and I don’t understand how I never connected eating meat to the animals the meat came from before. I don’t get how I was able to do that, and yet I did it for years. Thankfully I’m awake now, and I’m working hard to wake other people up. Thanks so much for your comment – I really appreciate it!! Celeste 🙂

  2. Renard Moreau says:

    [ Smiles ] To LOVE of course!

  3. june lay says:

    Unfortunatelyy since the time dogs and catss became domesticated because thousands of years ago they served a purpose to us, wegot closeand because of their small size we were able to bring them indoors and get closer and closer to them whereas farm animals are too big and larger animals served the purpose for hunter gatherers for food and whenwe became farmers and settle d down but never getting closer to these animals because one reason of their size then we started to breed them for food further making this a hiarchial Animal Society. today the vast majority are totally disconnected from what happens to these animals and so when they go to the supermarket andsee the animal flash packaged as meat we don’t even call it animal flesh we call it meat imagine calling it animal flesh maybe that would help a little bit , maybe people would buy it and think more about what these animals go through, they feel pain just like all the dogs and cats.
    THK u for the blog

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment!! I absolutely agree with you that due to the small size of dogs and cats, we were able to bring them indoors, which made them more familiar to us. We got to know them – really know them. We could see that they have thoughts, feelings and feel love and pain much the way we do. They became our friends and companions, and you just don’t eat your friends. And like you say, we’ve never become this close to other animals. I’m sure that we know on a rational level that other animals have thoughts and feelings and that they feel love and pain, but we don’t see this up close. They’re removed from us. Their suffering is removed from us as well. It takes place in far off farms and we don’t see or hear it. It’s easy to rationalize that farm animals don’t suffer when we don’t see with our own eyes. But if factory farms had glass walls in the middle of cities, I bet hardly anyone would eat meat. Celeste 🙂

  4. Sophie33 says:

    Welcome back, Celeste! I loved reading your last 6 posts a lot! Xxx

  5. Where did you go? Welcome back! I bet you miss your kitchen!!!

    • I had a fabulous trip to Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver. All vegan-friendly places, so actually I didn’t miss my kitchen at all while I was away. It was nice to let some great vegan chefs do the cooking for me for a week. Of course, I ate way to much on my vacation, so I suppose it’s good to be back in my kitchen making light, healthy food to drop the pounds I’m sure I gained while away. Thanks for asking, and I’ll be writing lots about my trip on future posts. Celeste 🙂

  6. One of my blogging friends in Texas once told me, “I honor the animals that will give their lives so I can eat.” I like how he worded that because he’s not going to be giving up barbecued chicken, pork, and beef anytime soon.

    Keep in mind that different cultures have different values. For example, pigs are worshipped in some cultures, cows in others, and over in some Asian countries, dogs are a great delicacy.

    Back in 1978, I adopted a 6-month-old dachshund from a Chinese couple who were simply fattening her up to eat for Thanksgiving. Everyone in the neighborhood knew that this couple, new to the neighborhood, were going to eat their dogs because the couple said they were. To them it was no big deal. Dog is good. Ultimately, neighbors told family and friends who were able to adopt the dogs. I got the very last one from them. Ultimately, the Chinese couple got adjusted to American ways. When I left Texas in 1993, that couple was still there in Houston, and the neighbors all loved them.

    • Thank you so much for your comment – I appreciate it! It is so true that different cultures have different beliefs about which animals are “pets” and which animals are “food.” I guess for me, although it’s hard to believe that it will ever happen, I’d like to see all cultures treat all animals with respect so that no animal is treated as merchandise. I came to this viewpoint after watching the movie Vegucated and seeing the abusive way modern Factory Farms treat animals. Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t justify animal abuse in my brain. Thanks so much for reading!! Celeste 🙂

  7. Maria says:

    We had a great time and thank you and Paul for letting us stay at your house. I love reading your blogs! Mark and I are not vegans but you inspire us to be more conscious of what we eat and where our food comes from. Thank you ☺

    • Hey there Maria! I’m so glad you guys had fun here – isn’t it a beautiful area!! Paul told me he saw your photos on Facebook of your trip and that it looked like you guys spent a lot of time at the beach. I plan to get on Facebook sometime tomorrow so I can check your photos out. And thanks again for watching Mambo. He was happy to see us, but I’m sure he had a great time with you guys. Like you say, I’m sure he had fun with the kiddo’s. He really loves kids. And thanks for all your support with my blog Maria – I really appreciate it! Celeste 🙂

  8. Maria says:

    And Mambo was such a sweet dog! I think he enjoyed spending time with the kids too 😄

  9. I just bought that book! I can’t wait to read it 🙂 I’m glad the rest of your trip was fun. I’m sure you’ll have some good blog posts coming up. I still need to blog about meeting you and brunching at Plum!

    • Hey Jean! I just finished the book – it was a good read. It helped me to understand how people, including myself for many years, are able to rationalize eating some animals while still considering themselves compassionate people and animal lovers. The brain is amazing – we can convince ourselves of anything! And I look forward to your post about brunching at Plum. Let me know when you write it so that I don’t miss it. By the way, my husband and I went back to Plum for dinner – it was wonderful! I love that place. Celeste 🙂

      • So glad you tried their dinner! Amazing, isn’t it? I’ll let you know when my Plum post is up! Now I really can’t wait to read that book! I plan to read it on my flight.

    • Have a fabulous trip Jean!!

  10. I respect your position, but I have found there is a huge difference between the abuse of the factory-farmed animal and the locally raised animal. The meat I eat is from animals that have roamed in the grass and enjoyed the life they had, free of sickness and stress. The meat from these animals is completely different than the other. It is actually healthy for us as opposed to poisonous. I believe we all die and we are all ultimately eaten by something on this planet. I can live with eating animals that had a good life. Eating tortured animals I will not do. I think if we could get this far as a society we would be in much better shape all around.

    • Hey Mary! I’m always happy to hear from you girlfriend. I also appreciate that you read my blog despite your difference of opinion about veganism – that’s wonderful!

      Anyway, I respect what you’re doing too. You obviously care about animals since you won’t eat those that have been tortured. I know that you’re selective about the meat you eat and I respect this. I wish that more people made conscious choices like this. Unfortunately, however; I don’t believe you are the norm. According to Farm Forward, factory farming now accounts for more than 99 percent of all farmed animals raised and slaughtered in the United States. And few people would argue that factory farmed animals are not abused.

      As for me, I still wouldn’t choose to eat humanely raised meat. I don’t know a lot about humanely raised meat, but I’m guessing that the animals lives are still cut short. And although I agree with you that humanely raised meat is healthier than the meat that comes from factory farmed animals, I don’t know if I agree that it’s “healthy.” I’ve read too many studies, articles and books, like ‘The China Study’ that have convinced me that meat is not healthy. Of course, I don’t know of any studies that have specifically looked at the health bennies of humanely raised meat, so maybe this would make all the difference. I don’t know.

      I do know that my husband and I look and feel better since going vegan, and I don’t want to mess with these results. I did get the book you suggested, “The Vegetarian Myth.” I haven’t read all of it yet, but I’ve looked through it.

      Take care, Celeste 🙂

      • Of course I read your blog!! I totally get not wanting to mess with good health results. And yes, the studies are only beginning to look at the health differences between the two types of meat. The China Study is hard to ignore, but there are detractors who point out the flaws it, so it might not be as cut and dried as that makes it seem. I think if you are healthy and happy stick with what’s workin’ for ya! I know I am not healthy on a vegan diet.

    • That goes for you too Mary! If you’re happy and healthy, stick with what’s workin’ for you girlfriend!! Celeste 🙂

  11. Guess people don’t really look at animals as little beings with feelings, families, wants I sometimes get very down at how we treat these beautiful beings.

  12. Isn’t it odd how we never thought about it or made the connection before?! I now think so differently and it’s because our eyes have been opened. But I honestly never thought about it before. It’s crazy!

    • You’re so right! I don’t get how I never made the connection before. It’s so strange!! Of course now I don’t get it when other people don’t make the connection. Oh well – such is life. Celeste 🙂

  13. Yep. One of the side bennies of going vegan – realizing that all creatures have a desire and will to live, and that they deserve destinies that don’t include our dinner plates.

    • Yes, but what I don’t get is how come many of us don’t get this until after we stop eating animals. The info is right in front of our face and yet we don’t get it. The book, “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows” did address this question and helped me to understand it to some degree. It still doesn’t make absolute sense to me, however. Thanks for your comment Annie! Celeste 🙂

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