Some of my friends are vegetarian, and I admire their principled stance; I particularly admire that they can tolerate breaking bread with me when my plate has animal flesh on it. If the positions were reversed it would be intolerable.
I understand how peculiar it is for people to eat meat but argue for the humane slaughter of animals. William Blake my favourite Romantic poet was vegetarian in a systematic way. These days more people are discovering the necessity to abstain. I no longer have the URL of a vid of a Portuguese boy of a very young age asking his mother about the octopus she had cooked for him. His urgent enquiry was whether these animals could get up again and walk or dance. When she said no he became vary upset and adamant the he could no longer eat meat.
A vegetarian friend posted a vid on Facebook about a contender for the the US presidency; the author of the vid wanted Bernie to argue more convincingly for climate change, but his own argument was that in encouraging meat eating we raised more ruminants which naturally because they chewed their cud produced more methane gas; I am not sure how honest the argument was to extend this situation to try to ban all production of animals for meat eating. Firstly, just the logical extension of our populations involves de-foresting and thus the destruction of bird and animal species.
Recently, it was decided that Australia has an intolerable population of feral cats and the projected planning is to trap and eradicate them; in fact the phrase “feral cat” is repetitive; research into suburban cats has shown them capable of nocturnal feral behaviour. In the wild they are capable of great destruction.
However, even well-meant human behaviour is unfortunate. Recently, a number of koalas were transplanted from Tasmania to southern Victoria where they flourished to plague proportions. Instead of being moved to other bush areas they were exterminated.
Similarly, a green parrot on the islands south of Tasmania is now considered endangered; research showed that ring-tailed glider possums that migrated from Tasmania were managing to invade the parrots’ nesting areas and eat eggs, chicks and nesting mothers. The solution resorted to by rangers is to trap and kill the possums. Our patterns of living is unbalanced and in turn affects animal species.
I admire my vegetarian friends in this complex world.