Last summer, I visited a friend in San Francisco whom I hadn't seen in a while. Normally in such cases, I must gently remind my host that I eat neither meat, nor dairy, nor eggs, but my friend beat me to it: "I recall that you are a vegan," he wrote, "though one that appreciates fine oysters." Finally, someone who understands me.
Isn't that what we're all looking for? Someone who understands us. Cox argues that since oysters are without a central nervous system, feeling no pain when you eat them alive, no vegan ethical code is breached by consuming the delicious bivalves. Well, there is that part about not eating animals.
Commercial farming of oysters should also give you a warm and fuzzy feeling:
No forests are cleared for oysters, no fertilizer is needed, and no grain goes to waste to feed them—they have a diet of plankton, which is about as close to the bottom of the food chain as you can get. Oyster cultivation also avoids many of the negative side effects of plant agriculture: There are no bees needed to pollinate oysters, no pesticides required to kill off other insects, and for the most part, oyster farms operate without the collateral damage of accidentally killing other animals during harvesting
Rational approaches to ethical eating are commendable, but this just seems like a sneaky loophole to me. For most, being a vegan is more about a lifestyle choice than simple dietary restrictions. For me, oysters exist as a conduit for butter. Much like popcorn. And boys.
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