No T-bone, thanks!

By Glauce Fleury

What would you think if a member of Parliament told a vegan to “have a T-bone steak” when she’s only questioning his support to livestock and cattle producers? I’d think it’s insensitive, to say the least.

But that happened. Wayne Easter, a Prince Edward Island MP, gave that response to a Twitter user, Richelle Benoit. He later admitted that his response was inappropriate because he didn’t know she was vegan.

Here’s the context: Lawrence MacAulay, also a P.E.I. MP, tweeted about a meeting with cattle producers. Richelle, who describes herself as an animal advocate, asked if the environmental issues caused by livestock had also been discussed.

Easter, who had joined the meeting, said they’d talked about “how livestock contributes to the economy, creating jobs, utilizes land, & provides healthy food.” The discussion kept going until the moment below.

GF_MP_T-boneX

Oh, wow!

If you check Richelle’s Twitter account, you’ll be able to track the whole discussion and make your own conclusions about this episode. I’m far from defending Easter, but I guess I understand his out-of-place answer.

Let’s suppose that the question was coming from a meat-eater. It’d be pathetic. The ones who eat animal products can’t really criticize livestock, can they? They’re benefiting from it.

GF_MP_T-bone_nutrition
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Meat-eaters wouldn’t confront the MPs about animal cruelty and the environmental issues caused by livestock.

Some don’t really care and most don’t clearly know the extension of all this. But I have to say that T-bone steak isn’t the healthiest food on earth, people (see the info on the left).

As you may know by reading my blog, I started it when
I went vegan, almost one year ago. Most people around me aren’t vegans, but except for a few situations, my new lifestyle hasn’t been an issue in my relationships.

I have friends who sometimes joke about making me eat a steak. But they only do it when I joke first about their fishing habits or barbecue parties. Fair enough. We all have free will to make the decisions that suit us better.

Some meat-eaters say they’re constantly attacked by vegans who don’t respect their food choices. It’s partially true. But meat-eaters can be extremely incovenient. I’ve seen online arguments between both groups going downhill faster than the speed of light.

Regardless of our choices, there are facts. Eating less — or no — meat and consuming less dairy are good for the animals and for the environment. MPs certainly know that. And if it’s good for the environment, it’s good for us, even if now most of us can’t realize that.

It’s not only about our health right now, but also about our future. I, you and the MPs won’t be here in 100 years, but our descendants will. Can we think about them for a second?

Photo credit: © Liz West under Creative Commons via Flickr

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