Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Elephants- Why Not?

The setting: Spicy Thai BBQ. Early Tuesday evening. Sitting by myself, waiting for ma man. A Thai family came in and sat. They conversed in both English and Thai. I don't understand much Thai (but I do understand much English). At one point I overheard one of them say something about kids in Alaska riding polar bears to school. Then someone said something about kids in Thailand riding elephants to school. Then an older woman said something about how people there don't ride elephants much anymore, because "elephants have gotten too expensive."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Having a moral Christmas, and licking my fingers

I should have had a second helping. I can't believe I didn't have a second helping. It's Christmas, and my goose hath been cooked. It was delicious and there was lots of it and I could have eaten more but I didn't. What's the matter with me?? I did have two pieces of pie, though. Yay! Gold star for me.

Subtext: I am trying to turn inside-out the popular way of thinking that holds eating very little equivalent to being morally superior to people who eat more. According to this way of thinking, eating less, or eating more healthily is considered being "good," an eating unhealthily "bad." A comparable standard is applied to exercise. The implication is that people (especially women, and especially white women) who eat less are better than other people. Part of this is feeling "guilty" for eating things like ice cream, or calling delicious, fattening foods "sinful."

There is also a similar morality that many vegetarians and vegans apply to their eating habits, not so much as it pertains to themselves, but in how it makes them "better" than people who eat meat or other animal products. Many of these veg-peeps don't think about this very deeply. I'm sure some of them have their hearts in the right place (I used to be one of these people, so I know a little about how they think), but considering yourself superior to people based on your consumption habits is itself morally fucked-up. You're not God, no one is, you can't see into anyone else's soul, and fuck you if you judge people that way.

Funny, I knew someone who was an extremely moralistic vegan, someone who definitely saw herself as superior to people who weren't vegans, and she wasn't afraid to express this publicly, either. The funny thing is that her attitude toward eating was eerily similar to people I have known who had eating disorders. I think there is a huge overlap in the thinking of one of these over-moralizing veggies and that of, say, anorexics, who consider shunning x, y, or z foods (fill in the blanks), or all foods, as the case may be, with being "good." Today, I am here to say: Fuck that.