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The Sexual Politics Of Meat

Illustration for article titled The Sexual Politics Of Meat

[London, June 2. Image via Getty]

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 02: Chantelle Houghton poses for a photograph during a PETA 'Eating Meat Got You Down?' photocall at Smithfield Market on June 2, 2010 in London, England. PETA today unveiled a new pro-vegetarian campaign where Houghton holds a limp hot dog in an advert that links erectile dysfunction and eating meat. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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Steve_Buscemi's_Orthodontist

A vegan flushed out his idea to keep animals from being killed—not by humans, but by other animals. Someone should build a fence down the middle of the Serengeti, and divide the predators from the prey. Killing is wrong and no animals should ever have to die, so the big cats and wild canines would go on one side, while the wildebeests and zebras would live on the other. He knew the carnivores would be okay because they didn’t need to be carnivores. That was a lie the meat industry told. He’d seen his dog eat grass: therefore, dogs could live on grass. ...

I knew enough to know that this was insane. But no one else on the message board could see anything wrong with the scheme. So, on the theory that many readers lack the knowledge to judge this plan, I’m going to walk you through this.

Carnivores cannot survive on cellulose. They may on occasion eat grass, but they use it medicinally, usually as a purgative to clear their digestive tracts of parasites. Ruminants, on the other hand, have evolved to eat grass. They have a rumen (hence, ruminant), the first in a series of multiple stomachs that acts as a fermentative vat. What’s actually happening inside a cow or a zebra is that bacteria eat the grass, and the animals eat the bacteria.

Lions and hyenas and humans don’t have a ruminant’s digestive system. Literally from our teeth to our rectums we are designed for meat. We have no mechanism to digest cellulose.

- The Vegetarian Myth

Lierre Keith

Read it.