VruVru's Radical Rants
A wee review:
‘Vruvru claims she likes to choose locations where listeners can’t escape her rants – like slow-moving supermarket queues. In fact her comical and comforting pamphlet is just what you need when you’re stuck in one of them, and in need of a chuckle. Pull her out your back pocket – not your smartphone, which, in any case you’ll have dispensed with on reading her. I laughed, I smiled, I felt strangely better about this baffling world of Brexit, referendums, social media, ethical dilemmas and parenting issues. Rant on, Vruvru.’
(Vicky Allan, Senior Journalist, Sunday Herald)
A wee excerpt:
CARNI PLUS (OR DON’T EAT MEAT FROM PIGS THAT CAN’T TURN ROUND)
We’re all born for a good reason. And that is to be a living creature. We’re meant to crawl, walk and run through life, to eat and to mate if we get the opportunity. To be a living creature does not involve having a job and joining any kind of rat race. This is just what humans brought into it. One thing we’re not supposed to do while we’re crawling and walking around, is to bring unnecessary suffering to other living creatures, be they our species or another.
Humans are meat eaters. So they think. But this is not entirely true. Cats are meat eaters, but as obligate carnivores they get a problem if they miss out on meat or fish, wither and die. So, don’t try and have a veggie cat, they’re not gonna say thanks very much for that. Yes, they can get by as pescetarians, so there, give them product from the local river. But humans are not like cats. They are more like dogs or pigs. Sorry, but it had to be said. They can eat everything, and I mean everything. One guy once ate a bicycle, and when he was very hungry even a small aeroplane. No, I’m not making this stuff up, his name was Mr Lotito. I’m not saying that his diet was very nutritious.
We can eat meat, fish, dairy products and all vegetables. We can also leave the meat and fish out and just eat vegetables. What wonderful tummies and digestive systems we humans have, to have all that choice. A lot of us humans choose to eat all we can, the carrot, the cheese, the tasty salmon and the pork pie. We buy it in the supermarket and go home happy with it.
Who put it in the supermarket? A conscientious person who was most interested that all livestock used for meat, fish and dairy was raised healthily and happily before, galloping through the meadows? Unfortunately this human had other things in mind. Money. Nothing could be further from their mind but whether the butter was happily galloping through meadows in its lifetime.
So now some humans say, don’t eat meat. Some say don’t eat fish either. These humans are called pescetarians and vegetarians. They made a choice about what they consume. There are lots of reasons why they might have decided to be more disciplined than some of us about what they eat. These reasons are as follows.
Too much meat or fish can give you heart attacks. Okay that’s simplified, but you know what I mean.
Ethical reason No 1
An animal has been killed for me. But I don’t want to kill an animal, not even indirectly!
Ethical reason No 2
An animal was raised and existed purely for me to eat it. I don’t like that idea.
Ethical reason No 3
An animal was raised unethically. This means it suffered in its life time or just before its death, most likely both. No way would I want that to happen, right?
So here’s the news. Unless you buy from a farmers’ market or extremely ethical shop, the last statement is the most likely to have happened. And they are likely to have suffered for the production of cheese, milk and other dairy products, too.
So what will I do? Let’s say I don’t want animals to suffer exclusively to be eaten by me? Eat road kill? Eating road kill is obviously a great idea. And many thanks for the cook book, Mr Peterson.
Here is what I would like you to understand, get in your head, really really get your head around: You don’t have to be vegetarian to not be complicit in the suffering of animals in production lines of mass market products. Every time you don’t eat meat you are contributing to better conditions for animals on meat production lines. So if you choose one meal a week which used to be meat to now be vegetarian or sourced from an ethical company, you are already helping those who suffer. It is about getting the idea in your head that every little helps.
Where can I source meat, fish or dairy from ethical companies? The best source is your local farmers’ market and your other local producers, and to avoid all big companies. They are big because they make lots of profit, and how? By putting their consciences aside when manufacturing their products. Animals suffer like this: they stand on metal or asphalt, not hay, as this can be rinsed more easily. Their hooves become infected and sore. Little piglets get their tails cut off. The sad thing is the reason: they are so miserable and depressed that they would bite them off each other otherwise. Beaks, horns and claws are all sawn off at early stages, so animals can stand much closer to each other than they naturally would.
A sow that has just had 16 little piglets is not allowed to move around at all. She is only allowed to stand up or lie down. Yes, that’s for weeks. And sometimes lifetimes. This is what got to me when I read about it. And those piglets with their little tails chopped off.
Don’t turn vegetarian unless this is what you strongly feel. But start to bring the ethical question into your life. You can do it everywhere. At the burger or kebab stall (och, do I really need the meat? or maybe I just have chips today and the burger again next time). At the supermarket (I’ll be at the farmers’ market tomorrow anyway, I’ll just delay getting my meat until then). At the online shop (I fancy that lasagne bolognese. I guess I could try the vegetarian version and see what that tastes like, and if I like it I can buy that once in a while instead of the meat one).
You say, I don’t go to farmers’ markets, they are so expensive? Well, I didn’t ask you to make your whole diet an expensive one, did I? And I think you can afford the more expensive choice once in a while. And apart from that, it tastes much better. The salmon from the Isle of Arran is so good you’ll never want supermarket salmon again. True, bad for our purse maybe, but we just end up eating it once a week instead of twice, and didn’t actually spend more but less, as we were not tempted by the two-for-one offer in the supermarket.
So I encourage you: go carni plus. Eat meat. Eat it whenever you like. Just start thinking about it when you consume it. And every once in a while choose a more ethical version of it. Imagine all the people around you doing it. This will have a major impact, and you are helping! You can go carni plus, pesci plus or gummibearian plus!
Yes that’s a term! It’s a term I made up when my daughter was in primary school and we had to put down her dietary needs, and I thought if we just put down pescetarian she might not get Gummi Bears. This is because they actually have meat in them (they are made of bones, hehe). And there’s nothing worse than a kid having to watch other kids eat Gummi Bears and not getting some.
So what was all that about?
Carni plus is not vegetarian. It’s not feeling bad about eating meat. It’s not feeling bad about buying from supermarkets.
It’s realising that even one meal less bought from mass production lines helps an animal to suffer less in its lifetime. It’s to start having a look for better produce even if it’s only sometimes. It’s to not feel those vegetarians know what they’re doing and I could never do that.
You can do that! Just think about one meal a year, or a month, or a week. And the rest of the time fill your belly with burgers. I don’t care. I just want people to realise they make an impact if they begin to avoid the worst even once in a while. And the worst is the completely unnecessary suffering of animals for cheap meat (and fish and dairy) products. Animals suffer not so you can eat them, but so they can be sold really cheap in supermarkets. They suffer so you can eat meat every day. Well, take one day off and have a fuckin veggie burger. That’s my advice, and sorry I had to swear. But hey, it’s a rant. And the animals are really cute, and I don’t want them to have sore hooves and crappy lives.
* The ‘plus’ stands for well sourced meat, fish and dairy. Admittedly very difficult on dairy, not something I’ve so far managed. But still working on it.
* It’s against the radicalised approach towards meat eating which is the standard method. This would be: ‘Well I can’t be a vegetarian so I’ll just eat meat all the time, whenever I want, and will never question my consumption or how it was produced.’ It is a more balanced approach to the consumption of foods. A little thought once in a while for those who suffer in the process of a product being brought into existence.
* Yes, of course this can go for leather and clothes from abroad as well, and for smart phones and computers which have actually humans suffer in their production as they need certain materials which are hard to get.
* As for drug use, same thing, go drugs plus and get your weed from a local grower : )
Other chapters in this little book:
* Carni plus – A moderately ethical approach to meat
* Helmets for drivers and pedestrians! – Cyclists don’t always have it easy
* Dating without computers – Why use computers when it’s much better without?
* Put honesty above other things – Honesty is underrated
* Pacifism isn’t a vague notion – Pacifism is a clear philosophy
* Small screens ruin conversations – A no brainer for technophobes, but it’s more about the moderation
* Childrearing means persistence and honesty – Why do adults always think it’s alright to lie to kids?
* Giving organs away is the easiest way to do good things – Please register for organ donation
* After Brexit and before Independence – A moment in time from a Scottish perspective
* Q & A with VruVru – VruVru answers all your questions