Optimistic Vegan


Little Bit of Plato
January 31, 2011, 7:16 pm
Filed under: Lifestyle, Literature | Tags: , , , ,

Well I have good news and bad news. The good news are that I got into my biology class! I had given up all hope and at the very last minute (literally, today was the last day to add/drop a class) I got in! The bad news are that I had to drop my ancient philosophy class. I loved my professor and I surprised myself in loving Plato as well! In this post I’m going to take a couple of quotes from Plato and relate them to what I’m interested in!

We just read The Protagoras which is this dialogue where Socrates is questioning the sophist Protagoras about how one can teach virtue. At one point Socrates says,

“They maintain that most people are unwilling to do what is best, even though they know what it is and are able to do it. And when I have asked them the reason for this, they say that those who act that way do so because they are overcome by pleasure or pain or are being ruled by one of the things I referred to just now” (Plato 782D).

From what I’ve seen, a very common response I’ve heard when people find out that I’m vegan is that they admire, respect, appreciate me, or even flat out they know it’s the right thing to do (but they could never do it). I’m not saying this is true for everyone, but I think that the main reason for not being vegetarian for a lot of people is simply because they think it would be too hard. Or, using Plato’s words to support this train of thought, they are ruled by the pleasure of eating meat. I think almost everyone is able to do go vegetarian. It might be difficult for them at first, but in the end pleasure outweighs the pain of getting there!

Another Plato quote occurs a couple of pages later is where Socrates says,

“to give in to oneself is nothing other than ignorance, and to control oneself is nothing other than wisdom….ignorance is to have a false belief and to be deceived about matters of importance” (358C).

I love this! It is so easy to apply to vegetarianism. Another common response after finding out more about vegetarianism and specifically factory farms is surprise. Most people don’t know (or refuse to think about) where their meat comes from. They are ignorant, some by choice, but usually it’s because they’ve been “deceived about matters of importance.” The meat industry doesn’t want you to know, because if you did, you might stop eating their product. Building off of that, most people give in to eating meat because they simply don’t know. However, once you do know if you control your eating habits to fit with your beliefs, that’s wisdom. It’s not wisdom if you know but refuse to consider.

Just a little bit of Plato for you all, you should check it out! It’s much easier to read that I thought it would be. I’m going to continue reading even though I had to drop the class!

I don’t think I’ve had a chicken photo yet. Isn’t she beautiful?! She looks very proud.

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1 Comment so far
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Wow, that is a pretty bird!

(end of non sequitur blog comment)

Comment by Shaun




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