Entitlement and hypocrisy come together this week in the story Time reported:
The husband-and-wife owners of famous vegan restaurant group Cafe Gratitude are under fire after a group of animal rights activists discovered last week that the couple was raising, slaughtering, and eating animals at their Northern California farm, named Be Love.
Possibly this is all a part of the fine American art of using adversity to promote one’s products.
Certainly it illustrates something C.S.Lewis adverted to a long time ago: the tendency of some to be cruel to those close to them in order to demonstrate their concern for those in the outer circles of the human range of compassion. C.S.Lewis said, as Christian has ever maintained, that the job of man is to love one’s neighbour. From the habits of loving one’s neighbour we may eventually come to broaden the circle of our compassion to others further away from us. There is a particular kind of human who thinks it is right to do harm to those close by in the name of anything or anyone that shows their higher moral concern: starving Africans, the future, the proletariat, the master race, non-human life, Gaia, the Holy Catholic Church. There is no lack of categories of concern different from the slob who shares your house, the actual neighbour, the people of (for instance) Fort McMurray, who have just been burned out of town.
Threatening to kill the owners of your favourite vegan restaurant because they have gone apostate by eating meat: how many sins and vanities does that expose?
The owners of the restaurant speak for themselves:
“We started to observe nature and what we saw is that nature doesn’t exist without animals,” Matthew Engelhart told the Hollywood Reporter last week after animal rights activists dug up and circulated blog entries from spring 2015 from the farm’s website, including photos of a freezer full of pastured beef, jars of gravy and Matthew enjoying a hamburger, with posts on their “transition” into meat products after nearly 40 years of vegetarianism.
Another study that came out this past week was a survey of people according to dietary habits.
A new University of Graz study concludes that vegetarians are more often ill and have a lower quality of living than meat-eaters. According to the German press release, vegetarians “have cancer and heart attacks more often”. The release also says that they show more psychological disorders than meat eaters. Consequently, the report writes, they are a greater burden on the health care system.
The scientists examined a total of 1320 persons who were divided up into 4 groups of 330 persons each. All groups were comparable with respect to gender, age, and socio-economic status. The study also accounted for smoking and physical activity. Also the BMI was within the normal range for all four groups (22.9 – 24.9). The only thing that really was different among the four groups was the diet. The four groups were: 1) vegetarians, 2) meat-eaters with lots of fruit and veggies, 3) little meat-eaters and 4) big meat-eaters. More than three quarters of the participants were women (76.4%).
Vegetarians plagued by significantly more chronic illnesses
The press release states that the results contradict the common cliché that meat-free diets are healthier. Vegetarians have twice as many allergies as big meat-eaters do (30.6% to 16.7%) and they showed 166% higher cancer rates (4.8% to 1.8%). Moreover the scientists found that vegans had a 150% higher rate of heart attacks (1.5% to 0.6%). In total the scientists looked at 18 different chronic illnesses. Compared to the big meat-eaters, vegetarians were hit harder in 14 of the 18 illnesses (78%) which included asthma, diabetes, migraines and osteoporosis [1, p.4, Table 3].
The Medical University of Graz confirms the findings of the University of Hildesheim: More frequent psychological disorders among vegetarians, the press release states.
The roots of anxiety and depression?
In the analysis, the University of Graz found that vegetarians were also twice as likely to suffer for anxiety or depressions than big meat eaters (9.4% to 4.5%). That result was confirmed by the University of Hildesheim, which found that vegetarians suffered significantly more from depressions, anxiety, psychosomatic complaints and eating disorders . The U of Graz scientists also found that vegetarians are impacted more by ilnessses and visit the doctor more frequently [1, p. 3, Table 2].
Big meat-eaters were also found to have a “significantly better quality of life in all categories”, the study found. The four categories examined were: physical and psychological health, social relationships and environment-related life quality [1, p. 5, Table 4].
The study did not delve into the question whether vegetarians were more inclined to depression, neurosis and political leftism than meat eaters. It has been my observation that they tend to be. Vegetarians are part of that crowd of western Eloi whose over-developed super egos punish them for the pleasures of existence.
As to the apostate former vegan restaurant owners, their own moral posturing may have brought down the wrath of the disappointed vegans upon them. Try to read this without gagging:
The Engelharts spawned an entire industry with a carefully marketed message of peace, love and sharing, which includes a sister vegan Mexican restaurant, Gracias Madre, in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The couple have written several books, including Sacred Commerce: Business as a Path of Awakening and Kindred Spirit: Fulfilling Love’s Promise. Their personal website is named Eternal Presence and references the board game they created in 2004, called The Abounding River Board Game, which was on every table in their San Francisco flagship; and which they said would train players to embrace “an unfamiliar view of Being Abundant” and develop a “spiritual foundation” for looking at money.
It is hard to tell who in this story is more to blame.