Now I am not a huge proponent of etiquette. It's just that most of the time it seems rather arbitrary and put on. At the same it can serve the important social function of manifesting empathy in one's behaviour. That's simple enough right?
There are times and places where certain words and behaviours are inappropriate. For example, I am an atheist, but I would never talk about atheism in a church (unless addressed to do so). It's not out of respect for any religion. I don't really respect religiousity. This is a blog about logic after all. Spirituality is a different matter. But, the other people who are there have created or at least the place has created a space where my discourse is clearly not welcome. Other ways of putting this are: I wouldn't shit in someone else's living room. I wouldn't talk about factory farming while someone eats a chicken that lived in its own excrement for its entire life. I wouldn't talk about eating dogs at a regular restaurant.
I am all for transgressing taboo. But disregarding the need for respect of others within context is something I try to avoid.
Anyway, you are likely wondering: what is this all about?
My partner and I went out to a vegan restaurant in Victoria the other day. It's called Lotus Garden or something like that. They call it a vegetarian restaurant, but everything is vegan. It would be nice if they called it a vegan restaurant, but hey ... that's tangential and not the issue here.
As we were finishing our meal, we noticed that there were two people talking rather loudly about eating animals, and not only that but skinning them, and how nice they tasted. The female involved commented on how this one animal (a small animal, because they are lower down on the food chain she commented) tasted gamy at first, but after a day of marination it was irresistible ... WHAT THE FUCK!?
Hey, I am all for freedom of speech and expression, but I'm not for using a crucifix as a dildo. Come on, this was in a vegan restaurant! You might expect that they were fat slobbering truckers with hunting gear on, by the sound of what they were saying, but they just looked like cute young people. Sure, I shouldn't stereotype, as they evidence, but FUCK! This blew me away.
A vegan restaurant is no more the right place to talk about cooking, preparing, and eating animals than a regular restaurant would be the right place to talk about eating dogs and cats (in North America at least). As I am sure you can understand etiquette is somewhat arbitrary, and that is why I don't generally care about it. At the same time, there are times and places where certain topics are disrespectful.
I wish I had manned up and told them they were being ass holes talking about that stuff in this place. Seriously, what the fuck were they thinking?