This weekend I read an article in the NY Times entitled A Vegetarian Reporter Explores a Hunting Dilemma. In order to get the story, the reporter went along on the hunt, but didn’t reveal that he was a vegetarian.
Which means, of course, that in order to blend in, he needed to eat meat while on the hunt. To help make sense of this, the reporter defines “vegetarian” as follows:
“I’ve been a vegetarian since college in what started as an experiment in healthier eating and morphed into concerns about the environmental impacts of a non-plant-based diet and a vague discomfort with killing animals. Mostly, this dietary habit stuck though I never lost my taste for meat; I succumb to the occasional pork chop and sometimes steal nibbles from my son’s morning bacon.”
To me this is a very interesting definition of the word “vegetarian”. It raises all sorts of fascinating questions.
For example, if you usually don’t eat people, but do indulge in the occasional meal of human flesh (say, in response to social pressure within your local cannibal community), can you legitimately claim that you are not a cannibal? According to this NY Times article, I think the answer would be yes.
Similarly, if you generally prefer to have sexual relations with adults, but do, when no grownups are available, indulge in the occasional act of fornication with small children, can you legitimately claim that you are not a pedophile? Again, according to the NY Times, the answer would be yes.
Who would have guessed that you could learn such fascinating and surprising things from the Newspaper of Record?