I have a hard time believing that people could possibly be that fucking stupid. It’s 2012 for shit’s sake…
I really need a bro-dawg right now.
- The ethical miscalculation that the importance of what you eat begins and ends at whether or not you’ve paid for it; that not directly supporting the peddlers of unethical behavior negates the other ways you are supporting and being complicit in the unethical behavior they peddle. When you eat animal products, even when you haven’t directly paid for it, you are not only perpetuating the disconnect between human animals and non-human animals, but you are maintaining the belief that it is okay for us to eat their bodies and bodily byproducts. Ironically while trying to oppose capitalism, you are only viewing omnivory from a capitalistic perspective: the implication being that unethical behavior is okay insofar as no one profits from it. The reality is that the world is bigger than even capitalism and that plenty of terrible things happen and are perpetrated every day without someone profiting from it.
- The selfish belief that in order for an animal’s death to not “be in vain” or for the products of their deaths to not “go to waste”, it must in some way benefit a human animal. The two excuses for freegan omnivory I hear the most are, “If that food goes to waste, the animal’s death was in vain,” and, “I’d rather see that food eaten than go to waste.” The implications being that 1.) The benefit and sustenance of a human being justifies the means by which that discarded food was created, and 2.) that a human being eating it gives the animals’ torture and subsequent death meaning of some sort. This is all bullshit, though, and most people are simply trying to simultaneously justify their selfish decisions and go as far as trying to give it some sort of nobility. If one is truly concerned about this food “going to waste”, they should begin collecting it and donating it to those who are not necessarily in a position of privilege enough to decide what they can/cannot/will/will not eat. Of course, they won’t do this, because they are usually only coming at the situation from a selfish, opportunistic perspective and are being disingenuous. The idea that their gluttonous collecting of food (usually more than they need) from a dumpster is somehow some selfless act is ridiculous and seriously self-absorbed. Besides, the ultimate point is that animal death and exploitation is never justified and therefore all food derived from them or parts of them is always a waste, even if it fills your selfish mouth.
- A word used suddenly by so-called vegans when they come across dumpstered doughnuts, bread, and vegetarian food and want to enjoy them for their taste but do not want to admit to being ethically fickle. I have met many, many people over the last three years throughout the “punk community” who go on and on about veganism, proclaiming themselves vegan, et cetera, who wind up suddenly being “freegan” only when the opportunity to eat free non-vegan food arises. These people aren’t vegan, if for no other reason than the fact that they are eating animal products and therefore do not even live up to the term’s definition. They are opportunistic hypocrites whose pseudo-social consciousness is still in an ethical purgatory that motivates their actions to only go as far as is convenient for them. I’ve also noticed that these people who bounce back and forth between being “vegan” and being “freegan” still buy a good majority of their food, thus contradicting any excuse they can muster for their consumption of free or dumpstered animal products.
The truth is that most freegans are still vegan (thankfully) and that being vegan whilst only using discarded foods as a resource is easy if you’re living in an industrialized country. Your decisions are important even outside the realm of whether or not it directly benefits the capitalist structure. It doesn’t work in every city or town, of course, but freeganism is a valid, important, and incredibly strong lifestyle to uphold and I respect it greatly. However, unfortunately, the punk rock elite that so often takes meaningful things movements and perverts them and their meanings far enough to find loopholes within their standards, has taken the grey area of what technically constitutes “freegan” food and turned it into a way to give meaning to and justify their otherwise unethical, hypocritical lifestyle choices. Is it ethical to eat meat if someone else bought it? Is it ethical to eat meat if it’s left behind at a restaurant you’re sitting in? Does wearing leather sneakers from your past or handed down to you change the fact that they are literally animal hide?
Eating animals and animal products is wrong and veganism at its core is not just a boycott. It’s not just a political revolution, it’s a social one; one that not only aims to end all animal exploitation and enterprise, but aims to reject the current societal attitudes towards animals that helps maintain them. We don’t just want people to stop buying animal products; we want people to acknowledge the attitudes that have lead to the social comfort with eating animals; we want people to collectively overcome the disconnect we’ve created between us, the natural world, and the other living things on this planet.