Whoever thought vegetables would become the subject of such impassioned debate?
Arguing her points well, ChaChaHeels sent a long and very eloquent post about vegetarianism. For those who wish to eat responsibly, ethically, and nutritiously, it is not enough simply to avoid meat. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) lurk everywhere, sometimes even in organic crops. Seed DNA may have migrated (by accident? perhaps by design!), and if Monanto detects even a trace of their DNA in your seed, they’ll sue.
The essence of the attack on meat is not really about sustainability, organic vs. local, or any the more intellectual arguments. When the vegetarian diet becomes more widely adopted, it will be because its proponents convince us that eating flesh is dirty. The cultural construct of clean versus dirty is perhaps the deepest of all taboos and most salient of culture markers. In Korea, China, and Vietnam, for example, it is perfectly acceptable to eat roast puppy.
Here Mr. Henry would like to assure his readers that he considers himself to be a man of open spirit and liberal imagination, tolerant and accepting of foreign traditions. After all, he is a seasoned traveler, well-lettered and well-read. He does not lightly vilify the manners and customs of other people.
If when breakfasting in Bangkok you elect to try the roast grubs, a local delicacy, Mr. Henry applauds your adventuresome spirit. There is nothing so beneficial as a hearty breakfast. But tucking into a savory slice of man’s best friend is a custom Mr. Henry has trouble accepting. Barbaric is a word that comes to mind. Puppies, after all, brim with playful love. The many virtues of the grub notwithstanding, surely puppies bring a greater measure of joy into the world.
Perhaps it comes down to this: Mr. Henry does not believe in playing with his food.