A vegetarian quandary

April 10, 2014 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

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Vegetarians eagerly waiting for their chickens to kick the bucket.

I’ve been vego more than half my life. Certainly long enough that I have developed a wide and varied repertoire of recipes and rarely miss meat.

Sometimes people ask if there are any circumstances under which I would eat meat. I usually jokingly answer ‘maybe if the animal had died of old age’. After all ethically* there is no objection surely? The animal has presumably lived a long and full life, and now rather than wasting its precious resources, wouldn’t it be sensible to make use of its protein? It was something to ponder in the small hours of insomnia. Would I?

Well I recently had opportunity to find out. Some of our chickens are getting a little geriatric, and in the heat of the summer, one poor girl decided she’d had enough.

Would I?

No.

No, it turns out I definitely would not. There was nothing appealing whatsoever about her slumped and sorry little form, moulded to the shape of the nest box. Without a second thought I carried her down the hill and laid her in a dense patch of undergrowth where she could either go back to earth by herself, or more likely, provide a meal for one of the local foxes, thereby saving some poor sitting duck out on the hillside, or better yet one of the local endangered bandicoots, from being dinner that night.

Oh, and RIP Flora, you were a lovely old girl.

*Not that I claim to be consistent in my ethics, however much I might try! I console myself with the reflection that paradox, inconsistency, and the spaces between what we believe and what we do are part of what makes humanity so interesting. There is almost inevitably logic to any sort of behaviour or belief, though it is often a convoluted and twisted path to trace!

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