My nine year old son Barney is a firm vegetarian and looks appalled every time he spies any meat lurking in the fridge or as it arrives on a plate at the table. “Yuk that is disgusting, how can you eat an animal ? ” is his usual refrain, and the thing is I’m starting to agree with him. My latest photo project which is based on an A-Z of Noah’s ark involves man and his interaction with the animal kingdom hence I have been giving the subject a deal of thought while out on my wanderings with a camera, and the conclusion I’m coming to is that Barney is right. Eating meat is morally indefensible, economically it doesn’t add up, health wise it clogs your heart, the only thing it has going in it’s favour is that it tastes good and is a relatively quick easy way to put food on the table. The trouble is I have a freezer full of the stuff ! For the majority of us the only animals we come physically into contact with are our domestic pets or those that are served up on a plate. Here is a quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm which I know is a satire on another subject altogether and that ‘man’ in it I believe refers to capitalism but anyway it set me thinking.
“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.”
I’m not going wholeheartedly down the veggie route yet as I’m somewhat weak and feeble minded but certainly my New Year’s resolution is to make a conscious effort to avoid meat and see how things go.
The photo isn’t of Barney it is my niece Sarah and was taken maybe twenty years ago.