Rebirth of Reason

The Free Radical
The Good Life

Sacred Cow
by Joseph Rowlands

I celebrated my birthday a few weeks ago. My usual birthday celebration usually consists of a nice dinner at a restaurant with a friend or two. Nothing too serious. I just try to get out of the house for a little, and have some decent food while Iím at it.

This year was different, though. A friend of mine on the other side of the country bought me a birthday present. It was a complete surprise. I hadnít gotten a gift in years, and forgot that people did that kind of thing. More important was the kind of gift I received. She got me the greatest gift anyone could hope to get. She bought me three filet mignon steak dinners from a company called Omaha Steaks (check out OmahaSteaks.com). It was the best meal I had in a very long time.

Unbelievably enough, there are those who donít appreciate steak. Some of these are honest mistakes. For instance, some people have told me they donít really like steak very much. I ask them how they cook the steak, and they tell me they cook it thoroughly. Now this is an honest mistake, although a tragic one nonetheless. They donít realize the tradeoffs when cooking a steak. Many people know that eating steak thatís not cooked thoroughly can make you sick to your stomach. Red meat requires building up a resistance. People who havenít eaten red meat in a long time will often get sick when they go back to it. What they donít realize is that the longer you cook it, the less flavor it has. Or more specifically, you burn away the good flavor. The resulting flavor is less than appealing. Most people cover it with A1 sauce. And the steak becomes hard and chewy. And then they wonder why they donít like steak!

A good steak is as lightly cooked as you can stand. If youíre squeamish about having a little pink in your steak, youíll never get the chance to really appreciate a good one. A great steak is not just pink, but red on the inside. Itís extremely tender, and almost melts in your mouth. It requires no extra seasoning or sauce to augment the taste. A steak like that should be savored.

There are another kinds of person who donít appreciate steak, though. Theyíre called vegetarians. These twisted people not only avoid all kinds of cow, but any form of meat whatsoever. Donít confuse them with the people who donít eat much red meat because of health reasons, or because they donít like the flavor. No, this is a completely different problem. It is a philosophical problem.

Vegetarianism is an ethical system. It holds the life of an animal as the standard of value. Animal life is considered good in itself, without reference to the life of the vegetarian. He must sacrifice his own life and interests for those of the animal. He gains nothing in return for this sacrifice.

Fortunately, no man can hold the ethics of vegetarianism very seriously, and without contradiction. Vegetarianism provides almost no answers to the questions at the heart of ethics, "What should I do?" Since it only affects some aspects of a personís life, they are able to fill in the rest of the gaps with another standard of value, or more than one. A vegetarian can hold his life as his moral standard for the most part, only sacrificing it at dinner time.

The ethics of vegetarianism is at root the same as that of the "animal rights" movement, and environmentalism in general. It holds some arbitrary aspect of nature up as a value in itself, and then calls for the sacrifice of oneís life to that value. Anytime something is declared a value in itself, it necessarily calls for a sacrifice of oneís life to that value. Thereís no other choice. When oneís life and happiness come into conflict with that arbitrary value, one has to be pushed aside. If they were always in agreement, there would be no need for the second standard, since it would be a part of the first. No, these values always come into conflict with oneís life, and it is at that time that the ethical system requires action.

Vegetarianism is evil. It calls for the sacrifice of oneís actual values and happiness for an arbitrary standard. There is nothing noble or positive about sacrifice for any reason. It is just mixing a little poison in with your food. Destroying a little of your life for no reason. Itís making life harder and less satisfactory an end in itself.

Whatís even worse is the non-vegetarians who see nothing wrong with it, or even respect it. Caught up in the idea of respecting people for acting on their beliefs, these people never question those beliefs. It is noble to stand up for your values when they are rational, positive values. There is nothing noble at all about standing up for corruption, slavery, or murder.

Nor does it matter that vegetarianism only hurts those who practice it. Of course it is their right to believe what they want. They must be allowed the freedom to use their own minds, even if they do it poorly. But this does not mean that what they believe in should be held up as normal or good. It is evil, and it should be proclaimed as such by all.

Vegetarians should feel shame for their beliefs, not pride. They should be embarrassed to tell anyone that they refuse to eat meat, because it shows how foolish and irrational they are. They should be mocked and ridiculed, disdained and despised. People should see the evil for what it is, and affirm their own lives as their moral standard. There should be no sympathy for those who destroy their most precious value - their own lives.

For those serious about living, I recommend you run out and get yourself a steak right now. Ask for it medium rare, and enjoy.

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