This might be a little unpleasant for some people. You can tell what it is going to be about from the title, so you might consider stopping reading now if you are already a little disturbed.
First a little background to how this whole situation came to pass: I am a vegan, which, apart from the obvious fact that I don't eat anything that comes from animals (except honey), I get sucked into debates a lot. At first I used to argue with people, but after talking to about 100 people, and not being able to convince anyone to also become vegan (not even my wife), I realized that these debates are mostly pointless and if anything, they alienate people. So as much as I can, I stopped. However, there are very few vegans in Israel, and so I often get asked why I am vegan. At least once a week I find myself eating with someone and then it comes up (for example when they see I drink my coffee with soy milk), and then they inevitably ask," but why not eggs?" (Because of the way the chickens are treated) - which inevitably leads to "then why not organic eggs?" (Because of the way all chicken are manufactured - including the organic ones - by killing all the male hatchlings, which in the US alone is roughly 5 billion a year)). ANYWAY, I try to avoid these discussions for the above-mentioned reasons, and when they come up, to shorten them and move on.
BUT, sometimes, someone really annoying comes along and tries to prove to me that my way is wrong. And sometimes even that it is unethical to be vegan. I found that the best reply to anything these seriously annoying people say is usually something to do with eating human babies. This serves to annoy them back and is surprisingly a really good debating point. The arguments that people usually have against being vegan can be almost always countered by saying that we should eat human babies. For example:
- Argument: There is not enough protein in vegan food / only meat has the right proportions of amino acids.
- Reply: Human meat has the perfect proportion of amino acids for humans (obviously). (This is true for all human meat, not just babies, but baby meat is probably healthier, and almost certainly tastier, in the same way that veal is tastier and more tender then beef).
- Argument: Meat tastes so good.
- Reply: If we decide what to eat only on the grounds of what tastes good, without adding a moral side to the argument, then I have heard that human babies are tender and succulent and go great with a light Piccata.
- Argument: It's the way of nature. / Haven't you watched National Geographic? / A lion eats meat, so it is natural for us to eat meat.
- Reply: Speaking of lions, they sometimes eat lion cubs. Also, if we are taking examples from the animal kingdom, Mormon crickets, guppies, hamsters and many other animals will eat their young, so why shouldn't we?
- Argument: If it wasn't for the meat industry, we wouldn't be able to feed the population of the world, because there's not enough nutrients in plants. (This was actually brought up by a biologist!!!)
- Reply: Well, obviously the proper reply is "HAVEN'T YOU HEARD OF THE FOOD CHAIN? ARE YOU THAT FUCKING RETARDED?", but I find that "if we eat human babies, that will ease the burden on feeding the population even more," to be more fulfilling. Two can play at stupidity.
- Argument: Our body is built for eating meat / able to digest meat, so we should.
- Reply: I think you can fill this one in by yourself.
Often I am asked how on earth I can compare eating animals to eating humans, at which point I say, "please explain to me why is it worse to eat human babies than to eat pigs or cows". Now I'm not saying that it's good to eat human babies, I just don't see what the difference is, logically. Emotionally, of course, there is a big difference, so big in fact, that it may seem that it is axiomatic
that eating babies is "worse" than eating animals. But logical fallacies
aside, I don't see any logical reason why this should be the case. Some common points that are brought up by people who are still arguing with me at this point are:
- As opposed to eating other animals it is "not good" for the human species (or evolutionarily unsound) to eat human babies. Obviously this is ridiculous. Many animals kill other animals of their own species; humans have even been known to do so. In fact, considering that the population is increasing and actually approaching the point that the planet won't be able to sustain us, the fewer humans, the better.
- Humans are more intelligent than animals. Well, a pig is smarter than an average 3-year old child, so it is obviously much smarter than a baby. (And then if they are stupid enough to bring up the fact that a child has the potential to be more intelligent or whatever, I ask them if they are okay with eating babies with severe retardation).
Of course there are many other responses, like "Would you like it if someone ate your
baby?" which of course I would not, but has no bearing on the subject. I would not like to lose at poker, but I don't think there's anything wrong with winning. Or people tell me I'm going too far or that now I'm just being stupid, or whatever. But I have yet to hear a convincing argument as to why eating animals is more moral than eating babies.
One day a few weeks ago I was invited to a brita (the female version of the brit milah, in which no cutting gets done, but friends are invited to celebrate the birth of a baby girl). Someone offered me some hors d'oeuvres, and I asked if there was any mayonnaise (because it has eggs), and 2 minutes later this idiot to whom I was introduced about 5 minutes earlier was trying to prove to me that I am wrong. Not really loving these parties had put me in a combative mood, and naturally, as you may have guessed, the conversation got round to eating babies. At some point, to drive further a point, I even said that it is more moral to eat babies than other animals. In fact, it is healthier, better for the planet, etc. and I think it is hypocritical that he eats animals but not babies. He then asked me if I would eat a baby. And I said that I would eat a baby before I ate a chicken or a pig, that's for sure. In fact, I said that this conversation convinced me that eating babies is in fact the moral thing to do, and I would be happy to eat one. Now a conversation with me would not usually end in these dark places, but this guy was just trying annoying me, and so I ended up just trying to annoy him back. Anyhow, he went away, and the party continued, and I did not think too much about it.
It should be obvious that as a vegan I am against eating babies, if only for the reason that they are animals. But before I continue, just to be certain that I am not misconstrued in any way, it is important for me to say that although I used it as a debating point, I am 100% against eating babies. It sounds silly to even say it, because it is so obvious, but still, better safe than sorry.
Continuing with the story: there's this person who is a really good friend of the host, and whom I had met socially on several occasions. We aren't friends or anything - we only met at large social occasions, like parties and barbecues, where friends of friends usually meet. We had occasionally spoken to each other, although not much more than small talk, perhaps a bit more when we were drunk. When I left, he approached me in the parking lot and asked me if I was being serious back then. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about, and he said "about eating baby steak." I said, "I don't recall specifically saying "baby steak", but sure, why not." My other option was to say, "no, are you an idiot?" but I did not for a second think he was being serious. He said that he and some friends are going to eat some baby steak that weekend and that if I wanted to join them, it costs 10,000 shequels (about $2,500). So obviously I asked him what the hell he was talking about.
I assume you know what a surrogate mother is. When a couple tries to conceive but has trouble, they sometimes find a surrogate mother. However, it's not easy to find surrogate mothers in Israel (and I assume other first world countries), so often they find a surrogate mother in India. As it so happens, it's cheap there and the law there makes it easy.
Unsurprisingly, when a couple comes and asks for a woman to bear their child, everyone assumes it is because they want to raise it, not eat it, and how could anyone prove such a thing anyway? So this is what happens: there is at least one couple (from what I understand, probably more), who goes to fertility clinics in India and gets a woman to be a surrogate mother for a baby (I don't know where they get the sperm and egg, but I can only assume it's not theirs). The when the baby is born, they fly him to wherever he was ordered (from what he told me, this happens at least in Germany, Spain and Israel - the Israeli contract (the person who invited them to Israel) had first heard about it when he was in Spain, but it probably happens in other countries as well). Then their chef joins them, and cooks a gourmet baby steak dinner. He said that baby is the best meat in the world.
I asked him if he was being serious, and apparently he was.
Of course, I politely declined. I don't think there's much more to add at this point.
I wasn't going to write about this, but I met him last week, and apparently they won't be coming to Israel again (at least any time soon), as their contact in Israel was relocated to the US (he works in some kind of high-tech firm). So I figure that it's safe enough to write about this now that they aren't coming to Israel (even though I wasn't threatened or anything - it just seems that people who grow babies for food are dangerous to get on the wrong side of), and I really felt like getting this out in writing.