“The Lives of Animals” – I have no more real excuses

Lives of AnimalsK borrowed this slim book from the library, and since I live so close, I offered to return it. With some time to spare before it was due, I decided to read it.

Ideally, I’d be able to just give up meat all together. I’ve taken baby steps towards it: no beef for years now, I don’t cook meat at home (except for some occasional bacon, or even less so, fish), a surprisingly speedy switch to soy milk six years ago. I learned that in order to be realistic, and to make any real progress, I should do what I can, where I can. And that field has grown incrementally over time. I don’t beat myself up that it hasn’t extended as far as I’d like.

But there’s no real excuse now. Everything around me facilitates vegetarianism: really good restaurants, ample meat substitute products that simulate the real thing, a partner who’s been one for over 20 years, good friends who cook really well with no trace of flesh.

And now, The Lives of Animals. Such well-argued cases on both sides, why we should not eat them, why it is our right to do so. The despair and sadness and lack of resolution that close the main part of the book: what is the answer? And finally, with the book returned to the library, what am I waiting for? I have no more real excuses.



  1. K said

    A strange confuence of some of the major philosophic ideas (pro and con) about the rights of animals and whether it’s right to eat them up. Also, an odd tale of a dysfunctional overly academic family filled with a quiet dread of life (or at least of each other). Actually, I might have liked one of the respondent essays that follow the story better: the woman who carefully explains the relationship she and her dog have negotiated with each other.

  2. nedra said

    Good luck. I could never make it stick in Spain. Or maybe that’s just an excuse.

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