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Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.


Stop Eating Meat or I’ll Kick Your Ass

 by Keith Goetzman


Tags: Keith Goetzman, environment, vegetarianism, veganism, misogyny, punk rock, John Joseph, VegNews,

Meat Is for Pussies by John JospehIf you’re a vegetarian, you could share your beliefs with others through thoughtful dialogue and reasoned debate—or you could simply hurl misogynistic insults at meat eaters. John Joseph, the vegan 47-year-old frontman for old-school hardcore punk band the Cro-Mags, appears to be taking the latter approach with the title of his new book, Meat Is for Pussies. That’s right, by comparing carnivores to the female sex organ—the lowest thing that a man could be, the ultimate insult in junior-high circles—I guess Joseph hopes to win over the hearts of fellow macho, angry dudes like himself.

The hilarious thing is that in the July-August issue of Veg News, Joseph is all about the love, telling an interviewer, “Too many people in the mainstream think that to be compassionate makes you a wimp, thus the title of my new book. … We can change the world through compassion not only to animals but to all our fellow human beings.” Like women, perhaps?

To be fair, lots of books these days have attention-getting titles that help them snare publicity in a competitive field. (Look, it’s working.) And Joseph’s book—which I have not read—appears to be largely a call to fitness and raw food, subtitled A How-To Guide for Dudes Who Want to Get Fit, Kick Ass, and Take Names. But really, do we need to descend to juvenile name calling to be heard? What’s next, Cooked Food Is for Fags?

Source: VegNews (article not available online)

knightfrog1248
4/8/2015 7:14:52 PM

... You wrote an entire article about how it's wrong to insult a marginalised group in order to make a point about another issue, only to have your final point be an insult to a marginalised group. Not cool. Don't do that.


joshua sloan
9/23/2010 11:55:14 AM

While I doubt anyone will come back to see if a conversation developed, I'll note a couple things. 1) This is a blog about John's book - in particular the choice of a title. 2) Given the title, how can he be oblivious to the hypocritical position of pushing a compassionate philosophy. Full disclosure, I am (usually) a fan of John and the Cro-Mags and have been for ... maybe 25 years or so. I have been vegetarian for about the same length of time and vegan for the last few. In response to a few things mentioned in the blog I agree that the title is silly at best and hurtful at worst. The context, of course, is the rather brutalist language of the hardcore scene that tries to reflect the conditions of suffering many people feel and need to verbalize. That doesn't mean we can't learn to speak with more compassion in all our efforts. Further, the word was meant as a synonym for "wimp" - but it shouldn't be. Intent and inference rarely meet when such terms are used. But remember, his audience is a select few that will recognize him (and his hardcore cred) and he is using that to push them in a certain - more compassionate - direction. To the other comments: agreed, reasons are better than confrontational language (but don't get blogged about); it's easy to show how being a vegetarian or vegan is a more sustainable lifestyle with basic knowledge of ecological energy cycles; and neither persecution nor defensiveness are necessary. Bill ... meh.


ephy
8/12/2010 12:15:45 PM

Rain City Paul - I'm guessing you're a fellow Seattleite. I have no issue with people who choose not to eat meat, being a former vegetarian myself. For health reasons, I found that a vegetarian diet doesn't work for me personally. I don't feel the need to preach about this, but if asked will discuss diet/health/my body/etc. Self-righteous vegetarians and vegans really do make me angry. There is often (not always) this holier-than-thou attitude - will you have something for ME to eat? Because I'm a VEGAN and all must bow down to how special I am. It's not that unusual for Seattle - every catered party has several vegetarian dishes and one vegan dish here. And yet there's still this persecuted minority attitude. Decide how to structure your diet, do it, and get on with life.


bill_18
8/11/2010 1:12:07 AM

Eat meat and own guns - you liberal leftist knuckleheads need to crawl back into the dank holes from which you emerged. Your position is dysfunctional, your mind is deprived of protein and fat (which is what composed brain tissue). Let's see, a seaweed sandwich or a hamburger.... DUH. The cow eats grass, you area what you eat, therefore eating a burger is like eating grass. It is obvious that the overdose of pesticides has poisoned your sense of reason; you're like those weird folk you like think that the male ass and Mr Richard go together.


lybrty_2
8/6/2010 12:59:15 AM

As a vegetarian I tend to feel more the persecuted than the persecutor. People who are vegie do so because they have thought about it and have chosen to do something different to the mainstream - so of course we have reasons and justifications - and no doubt have had to defend our position time and again. I don't see that that makes us fundamentalists - I find meat eaters are often defensive. It is not democratic to say that by expressing our reasons or beliefs we are undemocratic. Maybe we actually do have something to say. I haven't read the book - it sounds inflammatory - maybe it has it's place. My veg boyfriend gave me (a non-veg) a book called Meat is Murder, many years ago I have been harshly criticized, challenged time and again just because I am a vegetarian. This is a hot topic - a sensitive issue and I have had to run the gamut many a time. I honestly can't recall doing that to meat eaters. Well okay, maybe my parents had a bit of a rough time from me. Although I remember them telling me I'd be a bird brain without meat. And as for the other relatives. Yikes - in the end I quit having dinner with them. It works both ways - you guys also come across as contentious, arrogant etc. Of course there will always be people who want to eat meat. However it would only be a good thing if people ate less meat or that more people became vegetarians - surely that is something we can agree on?


lsg
8/4/2010 10:42:05 AM

Thanks, Keith, for calling a spade a spade. I also like how the foreword is by "Dr. Fred Bisci, Ph.D." Most people choose either the "Dr." or the "Ph.D", not both. Kind of a desperate "Look! This book is smart! It was endorsed by a REALLY smart person!"


rain city paul
8/3/2010 7:16:11 AM

There's a word for people who think everyone should follow their philosophy, and that anyone who doesn't is wrong: fundamentalists. There are fundamentalists in virtually every corner of our lives. Their common theme is "one way" and they are all anti-democratic, hubristic and totally living outside of the real world. People eat different things, do different things, believe different things... and there are billions of us. Name-calling, even with tongue in cheek, does not win hearts and minds. Vegetarian and animal rights organizations have, almost uniformly, not yet learned how to frame their messages to do anything but marginalize themselves. This author's approach is another good example of how it's NOT done.