I received a piece of negative e-mail yesterday, which I happen to get from time to time. Usually, I respond to said e-mails with such brilliant sarcasm and clever wit, the culprit in question is all but forced to write me back and apologize, sometimes even sending me small gifts or fruit. I like to deal with these disputes in private, because I would like you to think that all the readers of the CDP constantly agree with every teensy-weensy thing I have to say. Today, I’m forced to pull down the iron curtain of awesome.
Last week, I posted the wildly successful ‘CDP Guide To Vegetarianism.’ This received almost instant acclaim, earning me many e-mails of praise, an armload of ‘Bloggie’ awards and a cover shoot for Veggin’ Out magazine. I was pretty happy about the whole thing.
Then I got this e-mail from a fellow named ‘Litespeed.’ I’m only making this e-mail and response public because I think it concerns you guys a bit. Here is the full e-mail; I’ve edited nothing out:
Just so that you don’t believe we all fell off the proverbial turnip truck, you should read the allowable amounts of rat hairs and feces and insect parts in all your vegan products. I am not even going to get into the whole and complete dust mites in cereals and other grain products not to mention your pillows. These animal parts are consumed by you every single day.
So, what are you saying, that you are more pure because you only eat small animals and insects and animal parts? Is someone less pregnant who is only three days pregnant and not 3 months? If a woman takes only small amounts of money for sex is she less of a whore than one who does it less often and takes large amounts of money?
Man is an omnivore. That is fact. We have canine teeth. That is fact. On this planet and in our seas, we have many animal, insect, fish and even plants that consume other living creatures.
If you take some moral ground argument or the position that animals are not dispatched humanely, I can buy that. They often are not. When wolves take down an animal or large cats do and they start eating it alive from the anus forward, it is inhumane. If God designed this earth and this was his intent, or he was a bumbling fool who kept trying and trying over the millennium and still has not got it right and it is beyond his meager abilities, well that is not going to be corrected by man who like all God’s creations is a real screwed up piece of work.
We are what we are. We eat sugar and it is bad for our teeth. We consume caffeine and it stimulates us to a heart attack and sleeplessness. You can really and truly make arguments against virtually anything. As they say in the legal community, it is quite easy to indict and convict a ham sandwich and sentence it to prison for life or have it executed. I know. You would choose the latter.
I say, stop your preaching. You lie when you say you are trying only to reach those who already want to be vegans. You are truthfully trying to get as many people to convert as you can. Well, why not? Catholics have been doing the same thing for centuries and look at the wonderful things they have accomplished doing that. Everyone wants others to do as they do. It is human. Only less developed animal life does not do this. Hmmmmm.
There you go. As far as negative e-mails go, this one was rather harmless and general. I’m more used to the ‘you suck’ and ‘you’re gay’ varieties, so it’s always nice to get something that was obviously labored on for some time. Again though, I brought this out in the open because ‘Litespeed’ calls out my reading audience. He thinks you can’t make decisions for yourselves. He thinks that you’ll do whatever I tell you to. He thinks that people cannot change their primal instincts, regardless of whether or not it’s for the better. To me, this is stunningly ignorant and closed-minded.
Here then, my response:
1. I never denied that there wasn’t rat hair, mites or feces in foods other than meat; I simply spotlighted meat because that was the focus of my post. It was, after all, called ‘The CDP Guide To Vegetarianism.’ There are plenty of people who don’t realize all the ass-nasty things they ingest every day, so I was just throwing that fact out a reminder. Believe me, there are folks out there that were surprised by that fact, although they are far less intelligent than you, I suppose.
I also noticed that you referred to vegetarian food as ‘your vegan products.’ They’re not mine, dude; they belong to everyone. You can even grab some for yourself at the local market. Don’t be afraid, they love you!
2. I never said I was ‘pure,’ nor did I say I was striving for purity. I’m far from it. I drink way too much alcohol to call myself a saint, and I like professional wrestling. I also made several comments concerning the fact that I don’t mind people who hunt for the purposes of feeding their family. I ate meat constantly as I grew up, and I have no problem if you want to keep on keeping on. I was speaking from personal opinion and experience, which is the only thing I honestly care about. Eating something by accident is far different than eating something on purpose. Why, just yesterday I was walking down the street when I slipped on some refuse and swallowed a pig. Boy, was my face red.
FYI, that thing about a woman being pregnant for three days versus three months; I totally agree with that. If a woman’s been pregnant for three months, then yes, she is more pregnant than a woman who’s been with child for three days. Do the math; no religion or politics required.
3. True, man is an omnivore. The CDP, however, is an herbivore. I also play the drums, so I’ve got a lot of things going for me.
True, we have canine teeth. We also have an appendix, a tailbone, a ring finger and a lot of other crap I never use. Just because we have the bombs doesn’t mean we have to drop them, and just because you have sharp teeth doesn’t mean you have to use them to tear through beef 24/7. I sometimes use them to open CD’s. CD’s by vegan rock bands.
4. I think you took my religious arguments a little too seriously. I’m not trying to change the world or right any wrongs, and I’m certainly not trying to correct God’s mistakes (I don’t have the time; have you ever seen a giraffe?). I’m a vegetarian, not a humanitarian or anything else that ends in -arian. I prefer to practice isolationism and every man for themself-ishness. I simply prefer animals because they don’t send me cumbersome e-mails that I have to pick apart. Your ideas on my ‘mission’ are far greater than anything I’ve ever set out to do, and I thank you for thinking so highly of me. I didn’t know I had that kind of effect on people.
5. Again, just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right to do so. I actually don’t take in caffiene, and I have absolutely no idea what you were talking about with your ‘ham sandwich’ joke. Leave the funny stuff to me.
6. Am I trying to change people to vegetarianism? Well, possibly, but I think you’re overestimating my reach and power over the common man. I’m not Ryan Seacrest, here. They can make their own decisions, just like you. You’re a big boy, and you can eat my share of meat if you choose; I’m not playing ball for my own reasons. Furthermore, there’s a difference between ‘vegan’ and ‘vegetarian;’ you should have looked into that before you wrote this e-mail up, it would have helped your case a bit. I’m not a vegan, I don’t plan on becoming a vegan, and I don’t even know if I like vegans.
I’m a hypocrite. I’m a sinner.
There’s a shocker. I’m not even pretending to change that. I like me.
I don’t eat meat because it’s not good for my health, I hate the business behind it and I’m trying to avoid killing as many animals as I can, even though it’s bound to happen every once in a while. I’m doing this for me, and I also know it wasn’t the easiest decision I’ve ever made. I figured it would be a decision a lot of others considered making, so I wanted to put something into the blogosphere that was slightly less preachy and more real-world as far as the circumstances go.
I’ve succeeded, because people have applauded my efforts, and I pissed you off.
In conclusion, I don’t really see what this guy’s point was. I think he was trying to tell me to stop the preaching and accept that fact that people will do what they were bred to do. Okay, then. Not the best advice in the world, but it’s a feather in my cap.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments section or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.