Tag Archives: Veganism

Pondering Plutarch #1 De Esu Carnium

Just a mini-ponder on a person writing a couple of thousand years ago, but who so simply cuts to the chase of the veganism versus meat-eating debate. Plutarch writes:

Well, then, we understand that that sort of men are used to say, that in eating of flesh they follow the conduct and direction of Nature. But that it is not natural to mankind to feed on flesh, we first of all demonstrate from the very shape and figure of the body. For a human body no ways resembles those that were born for ravenousness; it hath no hawk’s bill, no sharp talon, no roughness of teeth, no such strength of stomach or heat of digestion, as can be sufficient to convert or alter such heavy and fleshy fare (“Plutarch on why eating animals is repulsive” – trans. Baxter v.09.13, http://www.philaletheians.co.uk/study-notes/down-to-earth/plutarch-on-why-eating-animals-is-repulsive-tr.-baxter.pdf).

He does go on to expand upon this point (and that may come up in future ponderings), but for now it’s sufficient for us to stop and think about what he is saying here, for we can all recognise this in our own bodies – we do not share the same physiology as the shark, the crocodile, the lion, the hawk, or any other natural born meat-eating predators, who catch, kill, and eat their prey in one movement. And if you disagree with what Plutarch says, then try it today. Find the cow, pig, chicken, or whatever animal you think you would like to eat, and kill it with only the tools that your body has – will your teeth be sufficient to strike an artery; will your nails be able to wrench the animals skin from its flesh; will you be satisfied with the taste of warm, bloody flesh, uncooked and with no seasonings or sauces to disguise its flavour?

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Do let me know how you get on. Me, I’m off to chew on some nuts and seeds.


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