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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Think before you eat

Monday, October 26, 2009

To the Editor:

In Fatima Aqeel’s ’12 recent article (“For the love of animals, and of meat,” Oct. 15), there were some nuanced insights made about differing views on animal rights, and for that the members of the Brown Animal Rights Club are grateful.  There were also some insinuations about BARC which are not accurate.

Aqeel writes, rather indignantly, that “it should be okay if I turn up to a BARC meeting and eat a chicken patty, as long as I am helping the organization in another big way.”  And indeed, it is. As an omnivorous member of BARC, I would like to testify to the fact that BARC is not about reprimanding omnivores or trying to proselytize the saving grace of veganism.

It is about equipping members of the Brown community with the knowledge they need to formulate their own conscious views about meat and to alter their lifestyles accordingly.
Aqeel’s sentiment that meat “tastes rather nice” is a common one, and certainly a relevant factor in developing any conscious diet.  But it is only one piece of the puzzle.  In order to arrive at any kind of legitimate decision, one needs to be informed about multiple, diverse facets of an issue.

BARC was founded because too many people weren’t making any intentional decisions at all about their diets. Rather, they were doing what they had always done without pausing to reflect on the mammoth impact that their dietary choices had on other members of the community: namely, the “meals” themselves.

There is an unacceptable amount of cruelty inherent in the factory-farmed production of animal products, and Aqeel is correct to point to the philosophically uncontroversial goal of reducing unnecessary suffering.

It is this suffering which we intend to bring to the forefront of the discussion: with almost every chicken product you buy you become a financial backer of torture.

If you find this acceptable, then it’s your dollar to use as you wish.  What BARC finds unacceptable, and hopes to eliminate, however, is the spending of this dollar without realizing the implications of the purchase.

Allegra Pincus ’11
Oct. 22

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