The following letter to the editor regarding our recent Minga Hog Butchering Workshop article was submitted to GuelphToday by Christine Allard:
Letter to the editor:
As someone who has committed to doing (and promoting!) less harm in the world - which includes among other strategies, being vegan, I’m writing to share my perspective in a way which I hope will offer some clarification and/or insight regarding your recent article about the objections to Minga’s pig-butchering workshop. Perhaps I can offer a different way (a non-speciesist way) of looking at this issue.
A way that isn’t based in the acceptance of violence against (or the exploitation of) other sentient beings, and that seeks to avoid valuing some lives over others.
I’m not aware of who the local vegan group is that is referred to in this article, having only heard about this event as a result of GuelphToday’s article coming out.
However I believe that for vegans who take issue with this workshop it is because they have become well-aware of the horror that the animal (no different than a dog, a cat or human in our shared will to live) experiences during slaughter.
This is regardless of how relatively good or horrible that individual’s life was leading up to that process. It is an experience that most would not wish on any feeling being (let alone their worst enemy), but is something we’ve been indoctrinated to be indifferent to with regard to some animals. There is, in truth, no humane way to kill someone who wants to live. Absent of the necessity for survival, it’s completely wasteful of a life and resources.
It strikes us as abhorrent to then instruct others how to treat a dead body as an object to be deconstructed and consumed for one’s personal pleasure, because it serves to further normalize unnecessary violence against defenseless beings.
I’d like to add that the practice of characterizing “humane” and “local” meat-eating as a counter movement to factory farming is absurd because it actually perpetuates it. With proper facts and education we should face the reality that events such as this are promoting animal consumption which IS 99% factory farmed. We must stop looking for ways to perpetuate a corrupt system by businesses who want to justify continued exploitation of others for profit. We stop lying to ourselves when we stop buying into the hype that is eco-white-green-ethical-washing etc.
My hope is that Guelph Today’s well-written article on this subject will help us find a common ground. We hope that Minga will work with members of the local vegan community who would love to get involved and teach workshops and cooking classes on plant-based, animal-friendly topics (ie/ to show how one can replace animals products, combined with nutritional education so people can understand that vegan living doesn’t mean a lack of any nutrients (or deliciousness!) whatsoever.
This is by many accounts the fasting-growing food trend in North America after all. More and more people are making the connections every day as they discover that one can live a happy and healthy life while avoiding unnecessary harm to others wherever possible.
Anyone looking for more information or support is welcome to join our local Guelph Vegan Society group on Facebook. And stay tuned to the Vegfest Guelph page for upcoming cooking classes and other announcements about vegan events. The website whyvegan.com is one of many great online resources out there for anyone looking to learn more about the whys and wherefores of veganism.