Are you vegan?
It's a simple question. And it brushes aside a lot of posturing and pontificating.
Dario Ringach was bothered enough at being asked this simple question during his recent presentation at UW-Madison that he felt compelled to write about it.
His response offers some insight into his perceptions of the animal issue. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, yet again, he seems confused by the lack of compartmentalization of concern on the part of people who are opposed to cruelty.
If one genuinely believes, as Ringach and essentially everyone who experiments on animals claims to do, that he wishes he didn't "have" to hurt and kill them, but that animal experimentation is exactly like having to choose between saving a child or a mouse from a burning building, then he wouldn't eat animals. Deciding to have a meat burger rather than a bean burger is nothing like having to choose between a child and a mouse.
If one chooses the meat burger, then why bother with highfalutin excuses for experimenting on animals? Clearly, someone who is motivated by the simple gustatory delight of flesh isn't dependent on the notion of saving children from a burning building to justify their actions.
Ringach seems to think that in a discussion about experimenting on animals that one ought not talk about one's food choices, but that one should talk about burning buildings.
Ringach provided some evidence to help us make sense of his claim that talking about being vegan in a discussion about the use of animals in research isn't appropriate. He showed this slide, or a different photo of the same display:
a liar or a dolt.