vegan baker


carlo petrini, i do not want to have dinner with you.
January 30, 2008, 11:52 pm
Filed under: rant | Tags: ,

I think there is a natural tension between vegans and the Slow Food movement. We have a lot in common. We want human diets to be healthier than agrobusiness allows. We see the food we eat as reflecting on our values and principles. I even was initially excited about some of Slow Food’s ongoing projects because I felt they were well-intentioned and worthwhile.

But there’s a memory I have of standing in the Salone di Gusto in Turin, looking at pictures of heirloom pigs and lovingly made sausages, when my ex-boyfriend’s father sneered, “Those piggies haven’t had a hard day in their lives.” The implication being that the reason I am vegan is that I am just too sweet and kindhearted, and it is my hippie weakness that stops me from eating something objectively good. I know those people exist. I suppose I never explained to that man why I really was what I was. But let me say now that even Slow Food showcase pigs don’t tempt me.

In the end, Slow Food means a return to ways that have been in decline for what some seventy years. It is a return to the moral ambiguity of raising animals for slaughter while attempting to treat them as sentient beings. Sure, foodies, put your heirloom cows out to pasture, but our point, in the end, is that we do not need to move backwards. I do not want to do it, and you, fellow rich Americans, do not need to, either.

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On ecological grounds, in terms of energy and land required for production, locally grown / cruelty free / pesticide free / organic food is terrible — all of those cost-cutting measures used by factory farms and slaughterhouses are also resource-cutting, so conventional farms get much more output per resource used.

So veganism and slow food also have a tension on ecological/sustainability issues. Plant products use way fewer resources than animal products do.

Comment by Anno




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