Saturday, September 15, 2007
Last night, I ate a 9-ounce, medium-rare steak that cut like butter and was smothered in portabello mushrooms, sauted in a red-wine reduction. And it tasted so good, that I about had to change my pants midway through.
If you have a moment. Watch the above video... It's a PETA-produced video propagating their belief that eating red meat is about the worst thing you can do as a human being. Something even more terrible than drop-kicking infants, dropping A-bombs or driving a non-hybrid vehicle.
Of course, you don't need me to tell you that, if you watched it...
Anyways, I was sitting at home in my apartment the other night, not doing much. I think the Sox game was probably on and I was reading or something and I heard this video filter into the background of my consciousness. My sister (who's also my roommate) had been informed about PETA for the first time and was clicking through their website.
Now, I don't agree with everything PETA stands for, but I do give them some credit for the good things they do in life - mainly fighting animal testing. They lose me, however, when they stand outside fashion shows and throw paint on people who have chosen (free choice!) to wear fur. Or leather. Or shower.
But this video was extremism to the extreme... I couldn't believe the (supposedly) well-thought-out, researched arguments the group was making against the unforgivable sin of eating meat. So, I figured I'd argue against them in my own small, shaking-my-fist-at-the-sky manner. Mostly because the video was so completely outrageous - if you were to believe everything they're saying, you'd think eating food makes you a supporter of the Holocaust (the real one, not the piggy one).
1) Eating meat gives you heart disease.
Actually, the leading cause of heart disease in the United States is stress... so stop bugging me about my free choice!
2) Vegetarianism reverses heart disease.
So does Bayer Asprin. And quitting your job. And exercising. Going veg isn't a cure-all... in fact, it's more likely to cause more health problems if you're already unhealthy.
3) Meat makes you fat.
Cake makes you fatter. Where's the "no cake" video?
Ridiculous - meat doesn't make you fat. Eating McDonalds fake-meat three times a day, five days a week makes you fat. Chowing down an entire bag of chips nightly in front of the TV makes you fat.
4) You don't have to lie to your kids about what you eat.
Pul-leaze... it's only bullet-point number four and PETA's already making an emotional appeal about children. I don't even know what this means, but I'd be more apt to lie to my kids (if I had any) about veggies just to get them to eat them. "Oh yeah, that's broccoli... it's how nougat is made!"
5) Chicken poop in packages.
Hence, the cooking of the chicken before consumption.
Did you know that there's also small amounts of fecal matter underneath your fingers? Yeah, so just remember that next time you shake someone's hand.
6) Filthy and bloody...
The cold, off-the-cuff answer that popped into my head was, "So is childbirth," but I thought that would be too inappropriate. So, I'll go with the, "don't you cook it before you eat it?" argument here again.
7) It isn't fair.
Since when was life fair? Helllllo PETA - have you looked at the animal world you love so much lately? Who gets eaten in the wild? Oh, right, whoever's smaller. Right, that's what I thought...
8) Living creatures don't want to see your family die.
Um, okay. I don't think they've attained consciousness yet, so, you're right. They also don't have a thought beyond, "When am I going to eat next?" and "Reproduce!"
9) Meat causes impotence.
Oh, and see point one... stress is the number 1 cause of impotence. Hmmm... maybe today's life lesson is that we'd all be happier if we quit our jobs and sat around blogging all day. Good times!
10) Mad Cow is in the US
So let's kill it out!
11) It's violence we can stop.
Actually, there's a lot of violence we can stop. We can pretty much stop all violence against fellow man if we really wanted to... want to work on that first PETA?
12) No one should make a living by killing.
So let's put these people out of a job! Especially in the rural midwest where everyone's Republicans and the farming way of life is already dying out, putting local economies in jeopardy!
13) It takes a small person to beat something smaller.
14) It takes a smaller person to eat it.
Huh? In latin, we'd call that a "non sequitor."
15) The grain to feed them (moo cows) could feed them (black people).
So, PETA, let me get this straight... the grains that the FDA says aren't of a high enough quality to feed the citizens of the US should be used to feed poor people, but only after it's shipped in rat-infested cargo holds thousands of miles across the ocean, rotting all the way? Oh, okay.
This really touches on a larger, separate argument - but why are we concerned about sending food? Shouldn't we be spending less money teaching long-term farming/food production and helping to supply the needed infrastructure? Or is it just me?
16) Water shortages.
Wake me the next Dust Bowl...
Now, PETA, you're just repeating yourself (see point 7)
18) They feel pain.
I am an advocate of painless killing. Especially in light of that fact that if an animal is killed while in pain, its muscles tense, making the quality and tenderness of meat not all that good. It's actually in the best interests of the seller and the consumer to make killing as pain-free as possible. The steak is thusly tastier.
19) They don't deserve to die.
Again, see points 7 and 17. Yawn.
20) They feel fear.
21) It's flesh.
And it's delicious.
22) It's murder.
I mean, we could get into the whole metaphysical discussion of possession of souls and what it really means to be alive. But I don't think even the most staunch animal-rights activist would argue that chickens have a consciousness.
Therefore, is it really murder? I would say no.
23) Because even prisons aren't this crowded.
And, yes, chickens and pigs should be as comfortable as our human prisoners. Right on!
24) This is not what wings are for.
I whole heartedly agree.
25) Every living thing wants to be free.
Good point - cage free eggs and free-range chickens taste better and have more nutritive value. I do see their point here.
26) Eating fish doesn't make you a vegetarian.
Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know there was a rule book.
Also, what kind of Zapruder film are they showing here? Is that supposed to be a fish? I don't get it...
27) Might is not right.
28) I know this is wrong.
More Zapruder film...
29) I know this is wrong.
I believe they're showing an image of a baby chick about to be killed. Okay, it's not great. But over 40 million HUMAN babies have been killed in the last 30 years. Aren't there more important things we could be talking about?
I think so.
Okay, so I probably missed one in there...
Here's the deal. Animals are not human. Therefore, they are not subject to the certain, unalienable rights that we claim to be self-evident. I disagree with any cruelty or pain that might be inflicted upon another creature, but we also have to remember that they are just that - creatures.
If you want to be a vegetarian or a vegan, that's fine. Do it for the right reasons or because you don't like meat, that's totally cool.
But please don't pretend you're better than another person because of your life choice. And don't tell me I'm evil because I will never give up steak. None of the arguments make sense.