Monday, February 20, 2006

Does the grass scream when you cut it?

My first attempt at a philosophical question at the age of 12. Why? Probably because I didn’t feel like cutting the lawn. When I was 12, we had no ride mower and a really, really big yard. Sure I got some killer biceps for a 12-year-old but at what cost? Admittedly, this one is way out there, but what the hell.

At 42, I ask the question again: Does the grass scream when you cut it? Partly philosophical; mostly a dig against vegans. Not because I have a problem with people who respect animal life and prefer to eat healthy. People with that sort of discipline have my utmost admiration. If it’s part of your faith, I mean no offense. If you’re all preachy or judgmental, we got a problem. I embrace the food chain. It’s a part of life. If you can stick with one branch of it, that’s wonderful. I cannot.

And why the term vegan? A vegetarian eats no meat (beef, pork, poultry, seafood), so that leaves mostly fruits and vegetables – seems pretty straightforward. A strict vegetarian consumes no dairy or egg products either, and often uses no animal products or byproducts (like leather). Again, kudos to you fine people. So then a vegan must be an über strict vegetarian. I think it’s really a strict vegetarian, only it sounds cooler, or maybe a little cultish. It definitely gets a quick reaction.

So a large part of the vegan diet is fruit, vegetable or legume. It’s also a respect for life and sparing animals from pain. But how do we really know that plants don’t feel any pain, or have a consciousness? No central nervous system is one argument. But all living things may not need nerves to feel. Or perhaps plants have nerves, just not as we (animals) know them. And there has been evidence that plants react to stress (e.g. trees bending towards the river when a forest fire begins to spread, well before the flames arrive). My point is just because you cannot see or hear a response from the grass, doesn’t mean there isn’t one when you run over it with twin mulching blades.

But, Mike. Grass grows back! Well a starfish will regenerate a severed limb, but I don’t quite imagine it enjoys the experience. My thumbnails will grow back, but I prefer them attached.

Maybe it’s really the pronunciation of the word vegan. It’s commonly pronounced vē∙gun, which is nails on a chalkboard for me. It’s just a derivative of vegetarian, so call it vĕ∙jun and maybe I won’t be so preachy myself. I know you’re expecting a closer that has something to do with steak, or stake. No meat jokes today.


Geren said...

I thought vegans were people who swore by little mid-seventies Chevys.

Anonymous said...

Actually grass does scream when you cut it. That's what the smell is. Plantlife releases this chemical to express pain.

Jin said...


Oh, everything screams and dies. <3

Anonymous said...

Yeah what he said. Chemical screamin..

Plantlife feels just as much as any living organism. The principals of people who choose the "veygan" way of life "coz of the cute little animals" are idiots.

Veyganism is supposed to be about harmony of body - and putting in as little toxins as possible. Or some such nonsense or other.

Personally though I think Donald Watson was just creeped out about the idea of eating bird ovaries >>

Whatever the case, those who go vegetarian or veygan due to "happy little animals" are demented. Seriouslyl, you wannasit around and eat grass all day, reincarnate as a cow >>

Open yourmouth people, andcheck out those teeth. Those insizors are for eatin meat. We'reomnivores for a reason - we don't have four stomaches >>

I think the fat french guy in Broken Sword put it best when he said:

"Save the Dolphins? Bah, Catch them! And eat them I say!"