The evening began with a rush of air. That was the air in the room decompressing as we were about to blast off into the stratosphere – and beyond!
Ross was dressed in a ‘respectable’ looking suit befitting a man who works in private equity and lives in salubrious leafy Surrey (with apple trees in his garden and a cider making factory in his garage). Cesar came suitably cosmopolitan and casual – urbane in his dark glasses. Whereas I, (not in any of the pics unfortunately), was dressed in sharp cotton black suit, blue shirt and pink socks – with a whiff of unrespectability – (just how I like it)
Vik, the mad stem-cell scientist (and Dawkins’ Bulldog), was unable to make it because he was suffering from some serendipitious spasm of the face (?!? – exactly!) and Ataur – well, Ataur lives in Birmingham! (a place somewhere in the north where the sun don’t shine).
I ordered a fine red Chilian to begin with (Chilean wine that is not a human being). The evenings proceedings began with style as Cesar went for the jugular vein – a full frontal attack on Ross’s vegetarianism. We prodded, we inspected, we poked and we fiddled about with Ross’s brain trying in vain to figure out what it was that had made him so (applaudingly I might add) vegetarian.
“The suffering off animals. The suffering of animals in the food industry is profound” was his answer.
And it is true. The cruelest food company in the world (in terms of absolute numbers of animals that suffer) is KFC – Kentucky Fried Chicken ‘finger lickin’ good’. The thing is, animals are not human. They are not us. They are not we. We practice a form of speciesm – our own species is protected by law. The human foetus enjoys a protection far beyond that accorded to a chimpanzee – yet how more sophisticated is the brain of a chimpanzee than that of a foetus! A foetus can’t feel pain. But a chimpanzee, or a whale, or a dolphin, or a chicken – can.
The Zeitgeist will move on, and in the future – I really believe this – in the future, all animals will be protected. The killing of animals; something we do today without even blinking, will be looked upon by our descendants, as something cruel and primitive. Something that belongs in the dark past. A bit like how we view slavery today.
The Zeitgeist still has a long way to go…
The conversation then moved on to the Greek and European debt crisis…