Thursday, May 8, 2008

Morally Confusing T-Shirt


The Chicago Diner, a vegetarian restaurant in Chicago, is my favorite. The menu is predominantly vegan, but unfortunately a few dishes contain cheese. The food is delicious. The dining room occupies most of the first floor of an old victorian house. When the weather is nice, you can dine on the tree shaded patio which you access by walking through the kitchen.

I went to their web site a couple days ago to purchase a gift certificate. That’s when I noticed their new “MEAT SUCKS” t-shirts for sale. Immediately I recognized that the stylized text printed on these shirts conveyed a morally confusing message. “MEAT SUCKS” implies by omission that dairy and eggs don’t suck, that these other animal products that most of us eat are morally more acceptable, and that removing them from our diets, or removing them from the restaurant’s menu, is somehow not as important.

But the reality is that animals used for their milk and eggs are enslaved, tortured, and ultimately killed, just like the animals whose flesh is eaten. Milk and egg production on the scale required to meet global market demand, is seriously detrimental to the environment. From a health standpoint, there is little difference between meat, dairy, and eggs, the consumption of which has been linked to a host of degenerative diseases.

Yes indeed, meat sucks! But so does dairy, eggs, and all other forms of animal exploitation.

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