Wild Things

The Vegetarian Personality

May 28, 2012

Multiple Pages
The Vegetarian Personality

I have trouble accepting the idea that Hitler was a vegetarian. He just didn’t seem that pushy.

Apparently others feel the same way. When I started typing “pushy vegetarians” on Google, it auto-filled the rest after “pushy v—.”

Of all the annoying identity movements under the giant rancid rainbow, what is it that causes militant vegetarians to be the most obnoxious? What is it about the Vegetarian Personality that makes me wish someone would cannibalize them? What is it about being lectured by vegans that makes me want to drive straight to Wendy’s and order a Classic Triple?

Is there a chemical in bean sprouts that causes self-righteousness, or perhaps an enzyme in beef that minimizes sanctimony? If you are what you eat, radical vegetarians must be eating something very unpleasant. They bare their tempeh-nibbling fangs to reveal the rabid hostility that always seems to be a hallmark of those who feel compelled to make a grand public display of their “compassion.” But hilariously, a recent study suggests that “exposure to organic foods” leads people to be less altruistic.

The mouthier vegetarians I’ve known seem to respect all life forms except for those that happen to be in the room with them at any given time. Because they are opposed to animal suffering, they apparently feel entitled to make every human being around them suffer. It reminds me of an exchange between George and Jerry on Seinfeld:

GEORGE: I can sense the slightest human suffering.
JERRY: Are you sensing anything right now?

If God didn’t want us to eat meat, you’d think he would have made tofu taste better. But I’m not even suggesting that red meat is healthy or that all vegetarian diets are unhealthy. I don’t possess adequate nutritional knowledge to act like a True Believer either way. This isn’t about health, it’s about a certain personality type. There’s a huge difference between eating vegetarian and acting vegetarian.

“If God didn’t want us to eat meat, you’d think he would have made tofu taste better.”

I realize all vegetarians don’t act that way. But a repellent minority insists on yelling so loudly, you can’t hear what the other ones are saying.

So I’ll respectfully spare those who keep their precious food choices to themselves. I’ll focus on the more radical factions such as vegans—i.e., those who eschew all animal products including dairy—as well as the more extreme fringes such as fruitarians and, way out near Pluto, the breatharians. Far more than simple vegetarianism, veganism seems rooted less in genuine health concerns than in lunatic apparitions such as “animal justice.”

It’s not like such extreme beliefs are sometimes used as a pretense to commit bombings or arson. It’s not as if nutritionally psychotic parents have passively allowed their children to die in Georgia, Florida, France, England, or New Zealand.

It’s been suggested that a deficiency of Vitamin B-12, which is gapingly absent from the vegan diet, can lead to psychosis. There’s also a proposed eating disorder called orthorexia nervosa that attempts to explain obsessive fixations on dietary purity.

Still, I suspect there was something wrong with many of these people long before they stopped eating animal cadavers. They remind me of the compliant bottoms in what Erich Fromm described as the master/slave equation that forms the complete “Authoritarian Personality,” a “masochistic and submissive individual, who fears freedom and escapes into idolatry.”

Like all True Believers and Authoritarian Personalities, militant vegans adhere to some common CAUSE they deem far more important than their own lives—a noble and holy cause which, paradoxically, leads them to act highly ignoble and profane.

If you’re one of the fortunate few who’s never been on the receiving end of a full-blown vegan guilt trip, it tends to go something like this:

Why don’t you educate yourself and do some research and read a book so you won’t sound so stupid? If you bloodmouth carnist corpsemunchers want to drink milk, sure, go ahead and guzzle your pus excretions from poisoned bovines. If you want to eat your feces-encrusted meat, well, don’t count on me to visit you in the hospital when your colon melts into a sopping sewage pile of bleeding tumors and impacted fecal boulders. Don’t ask for my sympathy as you writhe and wither and die as the souls of 100 trillion slaughtered animals laugh at you. Go right ahead and gorge your fat jowls on your McDeathburgers and then get banished to a cold, dark hole where you’re forced to listen to the sound of geese being slaughtered for eternity. Maybe those pained shrieks will terrify you so much, you’ll involuntarily defecate and require the cancer-ward nurse to come in and clean up after you, making you feel ashamed and helpless and useless and powerless and all the other feelings of weakness and self-hatred that naturally precede all insight and remorse and positive change.

Like the most dedicated anti-abortion crusader or Holocaust devotee, they’ll flash poster-sized images of one ghastly atrocity at you after the next. It’s like some inverse form of porno to them. They hate what they’re seeing, but they can’t seem to see enough of it.

The only difference is that the pictures they’re showing you are of animals rather than humans. They claim not to see a difference, and they’ll accuse you of “speciesism” if you disagree.

Because it’s based on wishful thinking, radical egalitarianism inevitably leads to insanity. And because “animal rights” lunatics hyperextend their definition of things such as “social justice” and “equality” to embrace every life form below Homo sapiens, that’s why they’re more annoying and militant than all other egalitarian activists. They’re proposing something even crazier than those who strain to argue that all humans are equal.

Such lunacy causes them to liken themselves to abolitionists and refer to the honey industry as “bee slavery.” It’s why they equate slaughterhouses to concentration camps. It’s why animal “liberators” compare their actions to the Underground Railroad.

It’s why you find permanently aggrieved nitpicking splinter groups such as Vegans of Color, whose website explains why they “don’t have the luxury of being single-issue.” (Hey, no one’s arguing you don’t have multiple issues!) That site also stresses “the necessity of anti-racist and critical whiteness analysis within veganism (in order to help build coalitions and solidarity).…”

As we all know, nothing builds solidarity more than constantly criticizing white people.

Ironically, it’s all merely an underhanded form of pure animal aggression. It’s yet another way to act superior in the name of equality.

Is a lion who kills a gazelle somehow “exploiting” it? Does the gazelle have a “right” not to be eaten?

Would the whales save you?

Once the Buddha died, wasn’t he eaten by worms?

If life is so sacred, why does everything die?

Here’s a new concept for you: It’s called the “food chain.” Or the “web of life.” You could learn a lot from it.

I can think of one case in which animals are superior to humans: Animals don’t project their daffy delusions onto us.


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