Eating Babies

Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.” – Theodore Adorno.

“Who eats 11-year old oxen? These people are nuts,” said the Climate Scientist. I was giving him a ride to the BART station after the AGU social and we were discussing Bill and Lou, the oxen that the faculty and students of Green Mountain College wanted to slaughter and eat as a reward for their 10 years of service plowing the field in their academic program on “Sustainable Food Systems.”

I said, “That’s true, we only eat babies.”

The Climate Scientist seemed a bit taken aback. He said, “We eat young animals, but I wouldn’t say, babies.”  

I replied, “A 13-month old cow is like a 4 year-old human child. That is a baby. A 7-week old chicken is like a 2 year-old human child. That is a baby. Even a dairy cow who’s turned into hamburgers has gone through 3 lactation cycles in just 4 years, the equivalent of a 16 year old teenage girl. We have to be honest about this. We eat Babies.”

When I dropped him off at the station, his parting words were, “Thanks for the conversation. You have given me something to think about.”

But it had never occurred to me that the human proclivity to eat the babies of other species was not common knowledge. I recall Dr. Andrew Weil saying on the Dr. Oz show just a few months ago, “I only eat Tuna babies. Adult Tunas accumulate plenty of mercury in their bodies and it isn’t healthy to eat the adults. I recommend eating just the babies.”

So here is a doctor on a very popular health show, calmly recommending the consumption of babies. I thought this wasn’t news any more.

But I suppose that we put blinders on and fail to see until it is pointed out.  

Yes, we rape, impregnate and milk the children of other species, by the millions. That’s something to think about as we mourn the brutal rape of a young woman in New Delhi, India.

We also grind the newborns of other species by the billions if they happen to be of the wrong sex. That’s something to think about as we mourn the missing girl children in India and China.

Finally, we have an entire industry, the Livestock industry, devoted to the business of killing billions of babies annually. That’s something to think about as we mourn the deaths of 20 beautiful babies at the hands of Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut. Their killer, Adam Lanza, may have been vegan, but he certainly missed the part about being compassionate to all beings.


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