Ever watch a video of wolves or African dogs hunting? Small prey is no problem but canines aren't really equipped for quickly despatching large animals which end up being overwhelmed and slowly torn apart and devoured still struggling and screaming. See, that's the thing about Mother Nature, she provides beautiful flower-filled meadows, delightful spring days, majestic mountains, cute frolicking bunnies, colourful melodious birds and myriad wonders to delight our senses, but she's also a fickle brutal bitch.
There are a million and one things out in nature all too keen to bite, envenom, kill, kick, stab, burrow through the skin, live inside, suck blood, swallow, infect, etc., whatever animal is available. Then there are the so called acts of God: floods, avalanches, droughts, fires, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms and so on. Life in the wild is fraught with peril and tends to be short and brutal, the end often coming slowly and excruciatingly. We might shake our heads at the horror of it all but, since such events are part of nature's scheme, wouldn't think of intervening.
Why then must vegetarians continually object to the meat eating habits of others? It's great that non-meat eaters have forsaken the food that gave humans the brainpower that enabled us to debate the merits of meat-eating but, really, the constant preaching has gone beyond tiresome.
More people are becoming aware of the atrocious conditions that factory farmed animals live in, as well as the shocking cruelty inflicted on them. This is largely due to revelations in the media showing what really goes on behind the closed doors of intensive animal farming.
Life is full of atrociousness; get over it. I think I know what goes on at these factory farms - I've been to a poultry processing plant - but that's not going to stop me eating meat any more than knowing what really goes on during a surgical procedure is going to stop me seeking life-prolonging medical intervention or even more brutal dental treatment.
For the truly enlightened Lefty there is only one thing worse than a factory farm - a caring, sharing Lefty organic farmer who takes good care of his animals and kills them as humanely as is humanly possible:
As we enter not only a new year, but a new decade, it's time to refocus our attention on challenging our use, not just our treatment of animals. No animal goes willingly to the slaughterhouse, happy for their corpse to be served on a plate. There is nothing humane about slitting a sentient being's throat - regardless of whether it's been raised in a factory farm or pasture.
Yeah well, I didn't want to pay my divorce lawyer either but didn't really have a choice. Meat is what makes us human. Any brachiator can gather fruit. Dumb-as-they-come kangaroos are vegetarians. Catching and killing large game required teamwork. Weapon making spurred technological development. Cooking and communal eating added a new social dimension to human existence. And the high protein content enabled our brains and bodies to become bigger and more capable.
If you choose not to eat meat I admire and respect you. It is unnatural, however. So please do us omnivores a big favour by showing us the same respect by shutting the Hell up about it. Being vegetarian makes you odd; not a hero.