The video has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from YouTube users. Nearly every comment praises this child for being an irresistible, sweet little boy with a big heart... See?? He's only 3, even a TODDLER knows it's wrong to eat animals!! What an inspiration!!!
Okay. Fine. That's your opinion. I, on the other hand, saw it differently. Here is how I interpreted his message...
Little Luiz Antonio is just sitting down to eat his octopus gnocchi, when he begins to question the ethics of eating an animal. After a little back and forth with his mother, Luiz decides we shouldn't be eating animals because they're cute, and because every living thing deserves to be a winner in life... all of them all at the same time. If there's one thing Luiz is sure of, this is it. It would just be so great if we could all live forever and ever, and we could all live with the animals and pet each other and cuddle. Everyone could be friends. Everyone in the entire world. We'll be pen pals and Skype friends and tweet each other and eat grass and we'll never have any reason to fight. For ever and ever.
Realistically, this is what's going through this little tyke's head. Does he sound like an inspiration now? Does he make you want to throw out all your meat and slide headfirst into veganism!? I hope not. He's a 3-year-old... He has a 3-year-old brain. Is it adorable? Yes. Very. But is it groundbreaking? Inspiring? Life-changing?? No. Get your head out of your ass.
The crux of this argument, what it really comes down to, is whether it's human nature to want to be a vegetarian. That's one of the main points of contention the article brings up. Is it really possible that we're naturally vegetarians? Are we herbivorous animals? Is meat-eating just a social construct?
The answer is really very simple. No. No to all three. Big no to all three.
I've explained my position on vegetarianism before...
- Humans are not herbivores.
- Avoiding animal products will not save the environment.
- Avoiding animal foods doesn't save animal lives.
- The people most likely to adopt a vegan diet are the people who need animal products the most.
- Veganism is a very recent phenomenon.
You should probably read the linked article yourself for a little more explanation. Going vegetarian isn't the answer to your problems, and it won't save the world. If you're really honest with yourself, I think that's pretty clear.
I applaud your intent, vegetarians, but I think you need a reality check.
Don't get me wrong, I do understand the rationale behind vegetarianism. Many vegetarians view cessation from animal foods as a sort of "next step in the evolution of humans". In other words, we no longer have to hunt and gather and rely on animal foods to get by, so we can choose to sustain ourselves on plant foods that are less damaging to the environment. We have plenty of plant food for everyone. And of course there's the compassion factor... we no longer need to carry out the "barbaric", "uncivilized" act of eating something that once had a cute face.
Where the vegetarians go wrong here, in my opinion, is in their assumption that an animal-food-free diet is a healthy diet. If we as a species were ever to decide to spontaneously switch to veganism, we would likely kill off a HUGE chunk of our population over the first few generations. What survives long-term would be, in my estimation, a very small fraction of humans, if any.
Don't believe me? Look what happened to this poor infant, who died at just 11 months... born of vegan parents, this little girl died of vitamin deficiencies from her mother's nutrient-depleted, vegan-borne breast milk.
Okay back to Little Luiz's video.
Back to reality land, and that cute little cherub. To set the record straight, I do not have kids. Although I do want to have kids some day, I don't want kids at this particular moment, and I don't claim to be any sort of child-rearing expert. I do adore the innocent, naivety of Luiz's mind, though. At the age of 3, I'm sure a lot of kids have this same peachy outlook on life, and if I were a parent, I'd probably like to preserve this blissful ignorant phase for a long as I could. I also don't ever want to force my child to eat anything he refuses to eat. Good nutrition is of the utmost importance to me, but so is letting my child have some autonomy. I want to support his/her in life, not get in the way of it.
But that's neither here nor there. I'm all about the tangents today.
To sum this all up, there's just no reason for Luiz's thoughts on meat-eating to be taken as an affirmation for vegetarianism. For crying out loud, he's a 3-year-old child.
It's a cute video. Let's just leave it at that.