Science Fiction Made Me a Vegetarian

I am re-posting a Freshly Pressed post from The Flex Generation, that I feel aligns quite nicely with my beliefs (and blog) about why animals should be off the menu. I think this blogger makes a compelling argument. Wouldn’t you agree? I especially enjoy the quote from Jonathan Safran Foer, on Eating Animals, when he says, “If we were to one day encounter a form of life more powerful and intelligent than our own, and it regarded us as we regard fish, what would be our argument against being eaten?” Excellent question Jonathan!

Food Trek – The Flex Generation

We no longer enslave animals for food purposes.
– Will Riker, Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Lonely Among Us”

What do science fiction and going vegetarian or vegan have in common? Science fiction scholar Darko Suvin has coined the term novum (latin for ‘new thing’) in order to describe the (scientific) innovations and novelties distinguishing science fiction from fantasy fiction. To put it briefly, novum is an element by which the work is shown to exist in a different world than that of the reader or the spectator. It must be validated by cognitive logic, which means that the audience must be able to  extrapolate it of today’s science – if  the novum in question is the warp drive, for example. However, a novum can be something completely different that a scientific innovation: it can also be an idea, like elimination of gender in Ursula K. Le Guin’s…

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3 thoughts on “Science Fiction Made Me a Vegetarian

  1. Agree completely!

    I’ve just made an episode of The Vegan Option podcast all about the questions that science fiction asks about our relationship with other animals. The show is a 30-minute whistlestop tour through centuries of sci-fi TV, books, and films, with the experts who research the intersection of animal studies and science fiction as our guides.

    (I’m ex-BBC, so I always try to find the experts and edit everything together so it flows.)

    It’s amazing how on the nose science fiction gets – even in popular fiction like Star Trek and Doctor Who, never mind the really focussed literary work like Animals and Under the Skin.

    If you find the topic interesting, it might be a really good download to listen to whilst commuting or doing chores: The Vegan Option: Science Fiction and Animals.

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