I was sitting on a pillow on the ground watching my dog chew a vertebrate bone that she found while rummaging in the woods this morning. There was some tendon or gristle still left inside and she was as satisfied and as happy as I have ever seen her.
After my divorce, my old dog Haiku and I moved into a house that my friend had submitted to me after he married. In the yard was the carcass of an elk. Over the course of the year we lived there, Haiku devoured the carcass down to nothing but remnant poops in the yard. It was her second to last year of life and may have been her best.
Pets and humans survive together because of the symbiotic relationship that we have. We feed and walk and take them to the vet when needed and they give us unconditional love and protection. It’s a win win.
25 years ago I was introduced to vegetarianism and veganism through the book Diet for a New America. Since then I have had a love hate relationship with cheese, milk and meat. Cheese I just can’t give up. I am too much of a Francophile. Milk is easy. I have never really liked it. Meat is easy but I have made some exceptions. Once, a fad athlete diet that friends were using relied heavily on meat so I followed suit and had a moderate jump in performance. And I will always eat meat if I am a guest in someone’s home who does not know better and takes me in. For example, in Costa Rica my friend’s parents made me lunch. Pretty much meat on a plate and I ate it all. It was what they were giving me out of love.
Now, for 25 years I have viewed food and fuel as an athlete and as a hippy for lack of a better word. I want to be surrounded and embedded in a life that is rooted in love and joy. Being vegetarian, since the animal products we use are excess, creates a symbiotic relationship. I take care of the goat or cow and I will enjoy it’s milk in the form of cheese. Primarily because I like the taste and how my body responds after eating it.
Here is the rub. The problem so to speak. Vegans seem to think that their way is better than others. In some respects it is but in others, it is not. For example, vegan pet food.
I do not choose to eat meat, but making that choice for an animal that wants to, is not about symbiosis but about control. So my question really becomes should vegans have pets? I asked this question on line on a forum and was kicked off and blocked because it struck a nerve.
Dogs and cats will choose 100% of the time meat over bread. It’s how they are coded. Can we record them? Sure. But recording is controlling to be what we want them to be, not what they actually are.
Many people think that sexuality is the same. Gays can be recorded to be straight. My question becomes, why is it so important for us to worry about controlling anything or anyone else other than us? If your a vegan pet owner, feed your pet whatever keeps it healthy. That’s okay. But understand that you are not doing it in the pet’s best interest but in yours.
I am just not that way. Gezi loves meat. She eats it when it is available and savors it. Same way I savor sweets and fresh fruits. We live in a symbiotic harmony. I think more people could look at implementing more symbiosis into their lives instead of trying to get others to conform to them.
- All works at Observations from the Spectrum written by Dylan Netter
- On? a third point of view – book of Essays
- Marinehippie.com podcast w/ Docstodden.com – dialogue exploring politics and musings of life
- Horizoncoaching.org – English Tutor and Guide