An alarming misinterpretation of vegetarianism recently surfaced.

It primarily argued against the role of education in presenting full information to children. Open education on vegetarianism and diet choice was interpreted as threatening to public welfare.

It's bizarre that anyone could believe there exists a dark force promoting vegetarianism in schools. Outside coercion is absolutely unnecessary. This is an issue which arises on its own during maturation. At some point nearly every child notices that cruelties are involved in the treatment of food animals and then he decides if that matters to him or not. There certainly are activists working very diligently to raise awareness on animal welfare but it is not a cause which generates the money needed to buy positions of power and then secretly pull strings from inside. This is also the reason that vegetarians pose no threat to family farming. There are simply too few and the restrictions don't attract hordes to make that change. As imagined threats these make for interesting storytelling but if they are believed it's a failure of rational ability.

Also, the idea that there is a basic difference between pet animals and food animals is unfounded. That is simply a meme that shields us from guilt or responsibility. A cow panics, feels dread, and experiences pain in the same way as any dog. These awful sensations are common to people and animals both. Humans work hard to eliminate them from their lives and the lives of their children. Yet, most consider it unimportant if they cause these terrors for animals. Vegetarians have discovered the cultural blinders that hide this and have taken them off. They see that there is no invisible line making animal welfare foolish and human wellbeing important. Every single living thing merits peace and freedom from pain.

The ultimate thing to say about vegetarians is that, unfortunately, they are right, darn them. The December 2018 Special Issue of National Geographic magazine is entirely devoted to understanding habits which create long and healthy lives. It lists a diet 95 percent to 100 percent plant based as fundamental. Even, our own USDA rewrote its classic Food Guide Pyramid to teach that cereals, fruits, and vegetables should dominate a healthy diet.

In review, the goal of Public Education is to produce children who are broadly informed, in every way, and then to give them the tools to make their own decisions. So, selecting or withholding information during education is the opposite of training for intelligence. It is training merely for obedience.

There is no vegetarian apocalypse. They are not stumbling towards the outskirts of our cities gutting bean fields on their way. Instead, vegetarianism is a wise and humane choice made by only a few. It requires far more awareness, thought, and compassion than most will ever muster. And, that's very unfortunate.


Kent Scheer