Nov 30 2010

“My Right As A Carnivore”

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I’m sharing this post by Mac McDaniel because he sums up the situation at Matt & Nat perfectly. For those of you who may have missed it in my previous posts, Matt & Nat is one of my favorite vegan handbag companies. I had the pleasure of meeting its founder, Inder Bedi while I was at Candle 79 in New York this summer. He was a lovely man, who is using his time, money, and energy to make this a kinder world. What a shame that someone would try to break his stride in such an selfish way.

A former employee of a Canadian company has complained that his employer’s no meat policy violated her rights.

The company is Matt & Nat, based in Montreal; they specialize in vegan handbags and accessories. The founder, Inder Bedi, is vegan and all of the products they produce are vegan; therefore, Bedi feels it would be inappropriate to have meat at the company.

Employees cannot bring meat into work nor can they eat meat at restaurants if they are representing the company. Job applicants are informed of the no meat policy during their interviews.

A former employee of the company, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the CBC she felt her “rights as a carnivore” were violated, and that in a free country people should eat what they like. She described sneaking meat into the offices in her purse to avoid anyone noticing. The thought of going a whole eight hour shift without eating flesh was simply unthinkable!

The company has 18 employees, most of whom aren’t vegetarian or vegan, but Bedi says he’s never had another complaint about their policy.

A spokesperson for the Quebec Human Rights Commission said they had not received an official complaint about this situation, but it if they did, it was unlikely this would qualify as a discriminatory policy.

The use of phrases like “my rights as a carnivore” is a semantic clue to how we view animals and their lives. In western society, the general culture is so hostile to the idea of animal rights that we take the exact opposite view: not only do animals not have the right to live, but we have the intrinsic and inalienable right to kill them for food.

Animal rights activist Karl Buechner summed up this mentality perfectly when he said, “You’re entitled to your own freedom, not to take others’ away”. No matter how you try to justify it or color the debate, meat is the flesh of a murdered animal. You have no more intrinsic right to eat meat than you have to commit arson, theft or murder.

But it’s scary to think how close we in the states have come to legally enforcing a meat diet. Between fascist legislation like the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, and states trying to make hunting a constitutional right, it seems only a matter of time before eating meat becomes legally mandated.

If the idea of an inherent right to eat meat seems ludicrous to you, and if you support the right of animals to live without being killed for human consumption, then make a meaningful change and go vegan. A vegan diet is the most fundamental step you can make to help alleviate the suffering of animals.

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