Request to Morally Indignant Non-Meat Eaters in 2013

Give it a rest. We're trying to eat over here.

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By David Hammond

In the past year, I've faced several random attacks for my omnivorous dietary practices, including the following comment, on this very blog, just last week:

"hammond is by far the worst when it comes to cruelty. His posts glorifying his non-stop ingestion of every type of animal is both cruel and nauseating. But I bet if someone were to take his dog (which I highly doubt he has the compassion to have) and serve it on a plate and feed it to him, then (maybe not) he would be appalled."

What kind of twisted and diseased imagination comes up with the vision of feeding me my own dog?

My outspoken and unhinged vegan and vegetarian brothers and sisters, please understand that most of us – we omnivores – get it. You don't like to eat meat or other animal products. We're fine with that. Eat what you want. We'll eat what we want. We won't force you to eat meat, and we won't even ask that you respect our decision to eat meat.

Some of us will even agree with you that foie gras (pictured), though delicious, is tough to defend morally…and all of us – meaning every one of us – would probably agree that we should all eat more vegetables.

But for the love of god, please keep your sanctimonious preaching to yourselves.

In the past year, many of the anti-meat diatribes we – meaning every one of us – have been forced to endure pivot upon a single point: we bad, you good. In few other contexts would such blather be considered anything other than a solipsistic rant, narcissistic nonsense that reflects a revolting self-regard. 

Absolute positions of any sort are silly, especially when they seem held for the primary purpose of chastising others while elevating oneself.

I'll defer to psychologists for a more conclusive diagnosis, but one senses that the need to accuse others of unforgiveable food crimes is, itself, an admission of some kind of secret guilt.

Make no mistake:  I enjoy vegetables. I eat them daily (especially at places like Munch, run by gentle folk who understand that you can love vegetables without hating meat or those who eat it.). I just think you can take it too far, and you really need to understand that the very fact that you eat vegetables does not guarantee you a place in heaven.

You know who else was a vegetarian? Hitler.

We all know you believe you're living on a higher moral plane, that you're more spiritually evolved, etc., but please keep it down, would you? We're trying to eat over here.

Incidentally, if push came to shove, I probably would eat my own dog...and if circumstances permitted, I'm sure he'd do the same for me: most living creatures on this beautiful planet of ours eat up and down the food chain.

Postscript: if a voice from the opposition wishes to come forward to make their case, I will cede one blog post to them for that purpose. If you would like me to print your words, email me at

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MumYum from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 3rd, 2013 3:28 PM

I concur with the reasonable folks. Let's respect each other's choices, and not offer unsolicited opinions and foist judgement, it is rude. You do what you want with your fetus, I'll do what I want with a goose. And the foie gras at Epic on Hubbard...a thing of divine joy. Don't love it as much as I love my babies or my liberties of course, but it is...epic!

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: January 2nd, 2013 9:31 PM

Sorry Violet, your shower analogy does not,well wash.The Mississippi River self pollutes itself to the tune of a million fresh water gallons second by pouring into the salty Gulf of Mexico. Water is self cleaning if left to its natural progression of filter through, well dirt, evaporation and rain. The tap water you drink has been urinated into millions of times, only to return to its crystal clear life sustaining state. Ever hear of the Bonneville Salt Flats,dried salty lake bed,great 4 racing.

Vegans are good food from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 29th, 2012 10:52 PM

Violet - blood sausage, which does not require the slaughter of an animal, may be the most sustainable food on the planet. Give it a try some time and let us know what you think.

Vegans are good food from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 29th, 2012 10:45 PM

Mr. Hammond nailed it, as usual, and was much more sensitive on the subject than I can ever be. LMAO at most of these comments as I reach for more foie gras, rabbit pate and osso bucco. Can we focus on real problems, please? I don't care either way about guns, but you can pry my bacon from my dead, rotting fingers.


Posted: December 29th, 2012 6:44 PM

Yes, humans may be built to be omnivores, but what gets to most vegans is the inhumanity used to get us meat. Consider the suffering that the animal went through to give you this food, and maybe you will see that they have a point.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 29th, 2012 4:19 PM

What rankles me are the comments about how "mouth-watering" and "falling off the bone" the dead flesh is. If you are gonna live in Crunchy-Granolaville, it would behoove you to get with the program. Dead flesh is so unsustainable that it's not funny. It's an ecological disaster. For one pound of beef produced, a person could take a 5-min. shower for a year. That is how much water is wasted, in other words! I won't even get into the deforestation issue but you get the point.


Posted: December 29th, 2012 9:02 AM

Vegans, I understand your arguments and points of view. However, I don't embrace them. Instead, I'm happily existing as an omnivore, as humans have for millennia. I agree with Hammond's article in that I'm sick and tired of your preaching/screeching -- you're worse than religious zealots -- and it won't convince most of us to your point of view. Even calling in people from Montreal and Dublin to a local forum won't help. Take it down a've proven Hammond's point.

jed from Oak Park  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 10:59 PM

We are hunters and gatherers. Humans are omnivores. Having our eyes in the front of our skulls gives us binocular vision with depth perception, which is what a hunter needs.Herbivores don't have their eyes up front. We have canine teeth which are needed for eating meat, not grains/fruits, etc. Our physiology is not set up for eating only vegan items. We can survive well on vegan diets but must be very careful to get the right proteins, etc if a vegan diet is your cup of tea. It's not mine.

Fred McRib  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 4:36 PM

Vegan nuts = gun clingers. Lots of carpetbaggers here. Someone sounded the general alarm at vegan central. Is this why we can't have a Lou Malnati's near OP? Can't trust David anyway, he has 'ham' in his name for goodness' sake!

Orpheus from Oak Park  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 4:09 PM

If the criteria is nervous systems, why does every sentient carnivore with a nervous system get a pass from the vegans except humans? Or do the vegans demand slaughter or starvation of every lion, tiger, hyena, wolf, shark, and raptor on the planet in the name of sentient beings? And since humans have the most highly developed nervous systems on the planet, if eating meat allows some people to experience the advanced emotion of happiness then by KS's vegan "logic" it's perfectly justified.

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 3:51 PM

If we have to work without tools for our meat, why shouldn't we work without tools for our produce? It's an absurd question, of course, because as humans we use tools to procure food. Sometimes those tools are guns (usually figuratively speaking) and sometimes a hoe. To your second point, are you equating meat with a dangerous drug? I doubt anyone has ever killed for a hamburger, though many have done so for heroin; the two are not equatable.

Kind Soul  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 3:01 PM

Really David, you're comparing inanimate objects to beings that posses fully functioning nervous systems, are capable of thought and expieriencing emotion? :/ additionally, in response to your previous post are those that crave drugs, excessive alcohol, etc. also listening to a "higher wisdom"?

Paul from Op  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 11:44 AM

I'm more upset that the WJ is running a modern day sweat shop in liberal Oak Park. Making your employees work 7 days a week for 30k is more morally repulsive than eating meat.

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 9:47 AM

"If one insists on eating flesh then one ought to have to catch it themselves using only natural tools (attached to the body) like everybody else." And if, Kind Soul, one farms, should one forego shovel and plow and water hose, because that would be the more natural way?

Kind Soul  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 9:00 AM

...factory farms,the dairy/fur industries, and other animal consumption practices (foie gras, veal, lobster etc) account for the most dispicable commerce on the planet! If one insists on eating flesh then one ought to have to catch it themselves using only natural tools (attached to the body) like everybody else. Until that time the animal should remain free and in its natural habitat.

Kind Soul  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 8:46 AM

Though I am vegan, the fact is animals eat other animals just as nature intended but I'm not sure when the human primate DECIDED act against nature and transition from gathering vegatarians (excepting a grub or two) to the overindulgent, bloated, conscientiousless species of today. My problem is not so much if an individual wants to eat meat, hey it's your triglicerides, but rather my concern is with unnecessary pain and suffering of any sentient being.

Steak Burger from Oak Park  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 8:41 AM

ms smith, you couldn't be more wrong. unborn children also have no choice, and no voice. you display not only ignorance, but also enormous hypocracy. you see no problem with the slaughter of unborn innocent human life, yet become apoplectic over the largely humane harvesting of animals for food that enables & enriches human life. there is an absolute connection; it's the moral relativism of the left & its food police. I'd call you fetus hater, but I wont stoop to your level.

brenda smith  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 8:08 AM

cow flesh burger woman- there is not connection between abortion and the kill of animals for food - humans have a voice and a choice animals have no choice - you just made a really ignorant statement that has nothing to do with the slaughter of innocent animals for a food we don't need - a food that the only benefit humans get is heart disease and cancer. grow up and educate yourself

Steak Burger from oak park  

Posted: December 28th, 2012 12:44 AM

Again, you vegans/vegies (niki, renee, etc) who are so concerned about the "injustice" of killing animals for our have no issue at all with abortion, do you? C'mon, have a little courage and admit it. But you don't see the hypocrisy do you??

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 10:47 PM

I leave to go see "Life of Pi" (appropriately about a vegetarian and a carnivore stuck on a boat together) and come back to see conflict raging, some of which proves my point and some of which makes me embarrassed to be a meat eater. I happen to believe that it is very hard to justify meat eating and yet?and yet, my belly craves it. One thing I've learned over the years is that I need to listen to my body: if my body says, don't have a beer, I don't; if it says, get more sleep, I do; if it says eat a hunk of meat, I go in search of a steak. I tend to think the body has more wisdom, in some cases, than the mind. So I yield to a superior intelligence. How can that be wrong?

DK from OP  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 7:08 PM

ps the film is free on netflix and both the books and the DVD are available thru the OP library

Diane Krstulovich from OP  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 6:56 PM

(nice touch to put Munch's ad on your page) Sometimes film is the best way to make a point: (#1 documentary on Amazon. The book was on the NYT bestseller list for over a year!)

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 4:43 PM

Karen, how do you figure plants aren't sentient? Plants are living things. They reproduce. They often have defense mechanisms (thorns, poison, etc) which leads me to believe they don't want to be eaten. So the question remains, where do you draw the line? Is it just fur or that you can look into the eye of an animal whereas you can't with a plant. if you want to be vegan just because I get it, but the moral handwringing over living things doesn't seem consistent to me.

Steak Burger from Oak Park  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 4:39 PM

All right, all you vegans so concerned about our "choice" are ALL pro-abortion, aren't you? Of course you are...David highlights the true mental disorder of the vegans: it's LIBERALISM!!

karen from st. louis  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 4:17 PM

Uncommon Sense (fitting name), it has nothing to do with cute. It's about injustice. And we draw the line and sentience. There's no reason to believe plants are sentient, but if you think they might be, it's better to go vegan because the majority of plants are fed to food animals.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 4:00 PM

I think some of you vegans can't get over the fact that some animals that taste good are also cute and cuddly. If being merely a "living thing" is enough to not eat animals, by extension you shouldn't eat plants either as they are living things. So are viruses, bacteria, ants, spiders, other insects, and all kinds of other pests. So I guess we shouldn't kill those things too? Where do you draw the line?

Geoff Johnson from Colchester, UK  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 3:54 PM

Interesting to note that you use many of the same excuses for eating animals as do others that do the same including the "you believe you're living on a higher moral plane". Vegans actually do not believe they are superior in any way....that's why why don't eat animals, they're not ours to rule over. I'm amazed that you have no regard for the sentience of other animals or a basic understanding of speciesism. There are also arguments based on health and sustainability to be considered.


Posted: December 27th, 2012 3:47 PM

Ha! David, you've gotten controversial of late. I'm guessing your yearend bonus from WJ must be tied to your annual comment count here. But in this case I wholeheatedly agree with you. The veggies only hurt their own cause and relegate themselves to the fringe with their strident, unsolicited moralizing. One wonders if eschewance of animal proteins comes at the cost of the ability for rational judgement and basic social awareness.


Posted: December 27th, 2012 3:43 PM

I'm sorry for people who have been rude, I really am. But as I a vegan I can understand the passion. It comes from a place of seeing an injustice in the world and so desperately wanting to see it end. When you view animals as living breathing beings who feel pain and love and form relationships it is hard to see meat eating as a personal choice. Eating meat effects those living breathing beings who feel pain and emotion. I love my meat eating friends and family, but I can't love their choice.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 3:42 PM

Good lord, some of you vegans are freaking nutso. Destroying the planet? LOL.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 3:38 PM

Gee Kevin... those starving kids wouldn't just happen to be living in countries dominated by despots and tyrannts. Only in countries where food is plentiful and "poor" people have obesity problems do we see people trying to be gluten free, vegan, lactose intolerant, food allergies, etc. No amount of seasoning is going to make veggies taste as good as a slab of medium rare meat lightly salted and peppered.


Posted: December 27th, 2012 3:37 PM

Hitler wasn't vegetarian.But even if he was & you're trying to compare morals to lifestyle choice,then Saddam Hussein ate meat,Osama Bin Laden ate meat,are they any better than Hitler? Your quote "What kind of twisted and diseased imagination comes up with the vision of feeding me my own dog?" - A dog is an animal,you say you like to eat animals,so i don't get your point.People have pigs,hens,ducks as pets,but you seem fine eating those.When a "personal choice" harms others,it is NOT personal.

karen from st. louis  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 3:36 PM

How dare you claim to the victim here. What about the sentient beings abused for your selfish desires? Your pleasure should not supersede the life of an animal. In terms of being judgmental, if you're just using it to mean "passes moral judgment", then sure, I'm being judgmental. But by that definition, I don't think being judgmental is a bad thing. If someone is doing something to hurt someone else, then I don't think it's right to look the other way. Hitler was not veg, that's a myth.


Posted: December 27th, 2012 3:34 PM

When your choice is destroying my planet do not expect to be left in peace - Cruelty to animals does not deserve silence. If you do not know how flesh eating is destroying the planet - you need more information - not less.

Kevin Clarke from Dublin  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 3:15 PM

When I see you or any other man catch kill and eat your meat raw like every genuine meat eater on the planet I will agree that yo may have a valid argument to eat meat. The first thing you or any other meat eater does is to try and disguise the awful taste of meat be cooking and adding fruit, veg and seasoning to make the meat taste better to your natural herbivore taste senses. Meat production is killing our planet, we force feed animals grain while 4000 children a day die with no food.

brenda smith from oak hill   

Posted: December 27th, 2012 3:06 PM

we can eat and be even more healthy without harming others, so why wouldn't we ?? When your "choice" is to cause suffering to animals that feel the same pain we do, and environmental damage, and continued starvation to third world countries- its not a personal choice- its a selfish choice -

Robert Grillo from Chicago  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 2:51 PM

Moral prosthelytizing aside, here's why from a rational and evolutionary perspective, eating animals cannot be considered part of the "natural order": I conduct workshops on the most common objections to a vegan diet and this is a big one we tackle all the time.

Robert Grillo from Chicago  

Posted: December 27th, 2012 2:45 PM

Dave, I can understand your displeasure at being condemned for a practice you view as "your choice." But therein lies the problem. Eating animals is not a personal choice. I've written extensively on the psychology of eating animals. Here's why:

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