An Open Letter to Jasmijn de Boo CEO of The Vegan Society on Veganism

Subject: An Open Letter to Jasmijn de Boo CEO of The Vegan Society on Veganism
From: Francis B.
Date: 26 Feb 2013
Dear Ms de Boo

We all know that things are not great in the meat industry. The horse meat scandal has dominated the news for over a month and it has dented consumer confidence in the food industry. It is clear that there have been cover-ups, corruption, incompetence and turning a blind eye to the problems. There is a now a chance for the meat industry to get its house in order and make sure that what it says on the packet is indeed what is inside.

But you have chosen this occasion to raise your profile and that of your organisation to launch an attack on meat eaters. Your sanctimonious outpourings in the media seem to be saying that we meat eaters have brought all this upon ourselves. We are merely reaping a poisoned carcass harvest born of the suffering caused to animals in order to “satisfy our taste buds” as you put it. You often quote Sir Paul McCartney's who said; "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian". I have been to an abattoir and while it was not the cheeriest place I have ever visited, it did not put me off of eating meat as well as fruit, grain and vegetables.

The question is not what is for dinner - or, to put it plainly, the type of ground-up flesh derived from once living beings, with an interest in continuing to live, that we have decided to eat. The question is: who is for dinner? As long as meat is seen as an inanimate product that has been manufactured, our outrage will remain a shallow concern. As a pet owner, I do care about animals, but at the end of the day I am omnivorous. Ms de Boo, check your teeth. The teeth you have are there to be able to masticate meat as well as other foods. See the photo of yourself- you have four canine teeth. We have evolved as omnivores over aeons and your pious wittering cannot make us all become something that God or evolution never intended us to be.

You have said that a horse is an individual - as is a cow, a fish, and a mouse. As living, feeling beings, we all have a right to life and freedom: a right to avoid harm, danger, and death. But look around you, there are far greater things to be worried about in this world- comets crashing into the planet, terrorist attacks and global warming. Your piping up at this point smacks of lazy opportunism to try to up your profile, and those of your followers.

It’s not as if the fruit and vegetable industry hasn’t had its own share of scandal. The carbon footprint grows ever-larger because of importation of fruit and vegetables from abroad, when we could grow our own. So much fruit and veg is wasted by Supermarkets because it doesn’t look nice. What are you doing about that? And what’s your position on irradiation of crops and foodstuffs? Is it only organic foods that you condone despite the fact that they are more expensive and rarely form food for the poorer families?

I like vegetables, and sometimes will cook vegan meals. But I have a choice. And I will exercise that choice, thank you. Now get off your hobby-horse and don’t attach your banner to current problems in the meat market. That’s my beef, and I hope you understand it!