In support of vegans

by Beacon Staff • December 10, 2008

I found "We're going to eat meat, whether you like it or not" (Dec. 4) overwhelmingly uninformed. It seemed the author consciously and purposefully sheltered herself from an open and well-balanced article. Speaking from experience, often it's not the act of eating meat that disgusts and infuriates vegetarians and vegans, but rather the embrace of ignorance that many omnivores ("meatatarian" as it says in the original article) exhibit. It's a sentiment I felt ran rampant in this article.

For example, while it's true that "[Amino acids] found in meat and animal products cannot be found completely in any other [single] food [source]," it's a blatant misrepresentation to suggest we need to eat meat and eggs to give our bodies the adequate amount of protein. Protein is in fact fifth in the list of nutrients that vegan/vegetarians need to be conscious of when forming a healthy diet, according to University of California researchers, and can be supplemented in many of ways.

Amid the foggy claims and loose research, I also found a level of negative stereotyping antithetical to an educated dialogue. Never have I mocked someone as a "meat-eater," nor have I ever said something as childish as "but it's so mean to kill the animal." Though it is true that some vegans and vegetarians' frustrations sometimes come off as offensive and rash, I feel I have based my life-changing decision on a well-researched choice and will thus speak in a way that will articulate my reasoning without resorting to third grade name-calling.

Without going line by line to refute inaccurate points within this article (which I find myself desperately wanting to do), I merely wish to give a voice to those that have expressed concern to me about the uneducated and offensive manner in which this article was written, as well as to those that may be considering a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. While "consuming meat [has been] a long standing human tradition," ignorance doesn't have to be. An additional 19,000 people a week commit to abstain from meat, supporting a progressive goal made by the U.N. and cited by the LA Times in September 2008, lending proof that "traditions" are changing.

The intriguing discussion between those who eat meat and those who don't will hopefully continue at Emerson, but we vegans/vegetarians deserve to be represented more accurately than we were in this article. To you, Ms. Gonzalez, while you're "going to eat meat, whether we like it or not," we are going to continue to educate and inform those that are interested, whether you like it or not.

i-M. Dean Egan

Junior

Visual media arts major/i,M. Dean Egan