Andy is not here to be reproached. Do I detect a growing sense of outrage on the forum over his pronouncement a couple of weeks back that he loves to eat foie gras, his offensive and completely unprovoked attack on vegans and veganism and his vigorous denouncing of environmentalism?
Cries of "we still love you, Andy" from Des and Jonathan struck me as surprising at the time. I was appalled at what he said and am still wondering how to react. I like Andy and would hate to lose him, but I must admit that I am finding those statements very hard indeed to rise above and move beyond.
Andy just likes to stir things up and be a bit mischievious I think. He doesn't suffer fools, vegetarians/vegans, greens and assorted animal lovers lightly, and I too found his comments offensive. There again I have the right as a vegetarian animal lover to be offended and I'm certainly not going to be able to convert him to the cause so I accept him warts and all. And he is very funny most of the time.
I tend to agree with you, Des. It's impossible to rebut him without getting into the whole "many of my best friends are vegans" routine (which actually they are). Maybe he was having a bad day. I was desperately tempted to post "hate the sin, love the sinner" but didn't want the argument descending into facetiousness (which it did anyway, of course...) I still like to think it would have pissed him off, though.
But it's NOT ok to post hateful stuff like that - and he's still on my shit list until he retracts and/or apologises however much I like him and however smart and funny he is.
My mild reaction to Andy's apparently outrageous claims about his dietary preferences was based on his obvious overall ignorance about what he was posting about. He may know a lot about what's on TV or whatever his field encompasses, but he's quite clearly utterly uninformed about and uninvolved with the "real" world. Under such conditions, I find it hard to claim that he's sinning or committing any other sort of heinous moral offence.
Once upon a time, I liked meaty things and whatever it is that comes out of birds' livers. My personal taste changed as I learnt more about the world, but it's an inner process that actually gets any of us to do differently than we did before. For one reason or another, Andy's inner processes take him somewhere else. And apparently not to a very healthy place; "I am too [. . . ] overweight to even consider physical violence." It's the revenge of the gras ! (Not that I'm suggesting that there aren't perfectly good reasons other than laziness and overweight to follow the path of non-violence.)
Anyway, I still eat some meat — a limited amount, but it's sort of like you can't be only a little pregnant, isn't it? Either you're a meat eater or not on the moral plane. And as I've said around and about, "Earth is a machine for the making of meat." Under the current circumstances, I feel that it's the better decision to restrict one's meat eating to a relative minimum and to attempt to only eat the most humanely raised and slaughtered meat, which is obviously a bit of a moral straddle (endangering my non-aniseed balls) when it comes down to it. Andy sees things differently, although apparently from a darkened room of his own choosing — but obviously, there is not a moral imperative not to eat meat for all of us.
One of the things that occasionally bothers me about the world is when a difference of opinion or lifestyle choice is taken a personal insult. Andy pitched his gustatory habits in a slightly aggressive fashion and chucked a childish insult or two around, but I can't take what he said here, colorful as it was, and does at the dining table in the privacy of his own home as a personal affront. Mind you, if he were to invite me to dinner, I'd negotiate the menu.
Hmmm, the vegan comment was certainly uncalled for, to say the least. Perhaps his bucolic sojourn in Galicia will calm him down a little. (No foie gras there btw, the regional delicacies are caldo gallego (a veggie soup) - and octopus...
Nothing stopping him from logging in from some internet café and regaling us with his disgusting habits and how he's failed to walk up any of Galicia's famous hills due to his laziness and, well, I have to use the word politically incorrect as it, fatness.
This is actually rather fun, isn't it? Go on, admit it!
Are you here enough, Norman, for me to be able to call you "spoilsport" without being accused of doing it behind your back? *
BTW, I will be away most of tomorrow, Thursday, so if any of you have anything to get off your chest (so to speak) about me or my eating habits or class background or other general annoyances that I cause, it would be a good day to pile it on behind my back when I'm not looking. I promise not to say anything about it being behind my back when I eventually log back in — and I'll do my very best not to burst into tears when I read the dreadful mockeries. **
* I hope you managed to read my original remark as being somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
** I hope you can all manage to read this para as being somewhat tongue-in-cheek — especially the bit about bursting into tears, which I almost certainly will do if you're unbearably beastly (or eat any octopi).