Letter to the Editor:
As I was reading your article "Faux Meat Revolution” in the Sept./Oct. issue, I happened across Johanna Woodbury’s reader-quote which declares that “Anyone who supplements too much with foods that are labeled "chicken, beef, or fish" isn't really vegetarian.” I reread it twice in disbelief. It is statements like these that give veg*ns a bad name and reinforce the perception of us as overly-judgmental. Vegetarianism is the active choice to give up the consumption of MEAT. Not the consumption of things that LOOK like meat. Not the consumption of things that TASTE like meat. But MEAT. When you cloud up the distinction between faux-meats and real meats, acting as though there is no ethical difference between the two, that eating either of them makes you “unvegetarian,” you are downplaying and undercutting the suffering and cruelty involved in the production of actual meat. And that is a ridiculous slight to the animals involved. Ethical veg*ns choose to be veg because we don’t want to contribute to animal suffering. Faux meats do NOT contribute to animal suffering. And a statement such as Ms. Woodbury’s trivializes why we choose to not be consumers of animal products. It also reminds me that, as representatives of veg*nism, we need to be more careful in how we choose to frame our words. Because it is uncareful statements like these that make veg*ns sound like we’re preaching from our moral high-horses and which give omnivores good reason to wave their hands dismissively at us.
Sent in to VegNews this morning.
We'll see if it gets picked up.