Is Offering a Food Choice (MEAT OR VEGETARIAN) Always Politically Correct?


“For hundreds of thousands of years the stew in the pot has brewed hatred and resentment that  is

difficult to  stop. If you wish to know why there are disasters of armies and weapons in the

world,   listen to the piteous cries from the slaughter house at midnight.” Ancient Chinese verse


When planning an event where food is to be served, offer everyone a choice: meat or a vegetarian/vegan alternative. Sounds so considerate, no pushing, offends no one, so politically correct. Or is it? Because what is really being offered is: Death and Violence. The choice: “Will you have the violent dish or the nonviolent dish?” That is, “Will you have the body of a dead animal, which once was a sentient being, very much like yourself, but now brutally killed to please your palate, killed by an industry using mostly indigent, low-paid workers, an industry which desensitizes its workers by the bloody work and injures them at an alarming rate, an industry which causes much pollution and devastation to the earth itself and, an industry which keeps the animals before their violent death, in unspeakably cruel conditions”[1] or, “Will you condemn all that and take the sometimes less popular, but much healthier, vegetarian alternative, thereby honoring a commitment to nonviolence?”


’Thou shalt not kill’ does not apply to murder of one’s own kind only, but to all living beings; and this Commandment was inscribed in the human breast long before it was proclaimed from Sinai.” Count Leo Tolstoy


To offer one type of food, just animal free food, at a food event obviously, is simpler than having to concern oneself about two types of food. This is especially true when there is no worry about all the problems meat can cause such as easy spoilage and contamination. True, then there is no choice, but who is going to demand meat? Who is going to say,  I must have meat at the particular time when this meal is served or I will be harmed”? The vegetarian food can be delicious. It should be very tasty. No one even will notice the absence of meat.  It’s a “ no-brainer”. The arrangement is easy. No need for such choice.


"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a

 vegetarian diet." Albert Einstein


To be committed to nonviolent food does not require taking on another cause.  No extra energy need be expended. It is not a matter of taking on something else (in what may be an already very involved lifestyle); rather, it is a matter a getting rid of something that is contrary to one’s integrity and contradictory to one’s commitment to nonviolence. It will simplify and unify one’s life. How one lives one’s daily life, especially in the life-supportive act of eating, is central, not peripheral, to one’s lifestyle. To stop participating in the killing of animals, in the violent system that provides meat and to stop exploiting sentient beings in any way, only requires a change in lifestyle. It could be a spiritual decision. Not to do so is to work against the calling for a peaceful earth and justice for animals because truly, “Non-Violence Begins With the Fork.”[2].


“There is not an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature on two wings, but they are people like unto you.”  Qua’ ran 


“For that which befalleth the sons of men, befalleth  beasts, … As one dieth so dieth the other. Yet they have all one   breath. So that a man hath no pre-eminence over a beast”. Ecclesiastes 3:19


It is not, “people or animals”; it is, “people and animals”. It is not, “either-or”; it is, “both-and”. There need be no conflict in one’s priorities nor one’s commitments. To eat or serve meat, it must be emphasized, is to work against the animal cause. Just as there can be no peace without justice so there can be no peace without compassion for every living thing because the human heart can abide neither injustice nor cruelty.


"The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion." The Buddha (circa 563-483 B.C.)


“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” Albert Schweitzer


 The really Politically Correct “choice” might be from among a variety of delicious vegetarian foods.                                                                                                                                               


                                                       Animals, People and the Earth

Elizabeth J. Farians    


[1] John Robbins: May All Be Fed,, Diet For A  New America, a recent best seller, & The Food Revolution. See also, Gail Eisnitz, Slaughterhouse. Note: Robbins and others maintain that worldwide, more people could be fed when the food source is vegetarian than when it is based on animal agriculture.

[2] See my article, available on the APE web site shown above.