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smilewithsh's picture

I think when it comes to creating a platform for conversation, there are many aspects to remain mindful of to ensure some sort productive dialogue. However, even that phrase, “productive dialogue”, I feel can have a layered meaning.  Sometimes, even an incredibly problematic, unproductive, skewed, or even downright absurd dialogue in regards to any topic, not just meat-eaters vs. vegetarianism, can have so much value. I find value in knowing how I don’t want certain conversations to go. I find value in having experiences that make me realize what I think isn’t right, or productive, or problematic. For example, I read the The Lives of Animals with Jenna, and whenever we would get to a part the either shocked us, bothered us, intrigued us, etc, we would show one another and discuss it.  Through trying to follow Elizabeth’s argument and point of view, and disagreeing and feeling frustrated at points with the strange deadlock dichotomy between vegetarianism and meat-eaters, I was able to gather and form my own ideas in where I could perhaps place myself on this spectrum of this debate.  I agree with Kelsey’s sentiments of perhaps we place too much emphasis on dialogue sometimes, and perhaps in a way where the emphasis is more so on the end result of the dialogue, rather than the experience itself. Simply reading this excerpt, “However, there are still animals we hate. Rats, for instance. Rats haven’t surrendered. They fight back. They form themselves into underground units in our sewers. They aren’t winning, but they aren’t losing either. To say nothing of the insects and the microbia. They may beat us yet. They will certainly outlast us.”  Having to think about this power play between “winning” and “losing” and seeing Jenna’s disturbed face as I read the excerpt out to her, is something that definitely was an intriguing side addition that complemented the reading of this book, and perhaps could spark a conversation between meat-eaters and vegetarians.