When I moved to the city for college, one of the tidbits of advice I was offered went something like, “Always mind your own business and you can never go wrong.”
I’ve tried to follow that mantra, but many others in our society don’t bother. They like to stick their big snoots into other people’s business and try to force us to live our lives according to someone’s else’s personal beliefs.
That’s why I was incensed to read a story this week noting the animal rights organization PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) is apparently proposing a tax on meat in order to discourage eating of said material. In essence, the bizarre, cultish organization is trying to influence democratically elected officials to manipulate the public in an attempt to control our private lives.
I don’t have anything against vegetarianism (no meat), even veganism (nothing that comes from an animal, including milk, eggs etc.). I spent about six months as a light vegetarian (meaning, I was mostly, but not all, vegetarian). Nothing wrong with that at all, if that’s the way you like to roll. Note though that Time magazine referred to veganism in a recent article as a “counterfactual crusade.”
It’s morally wrong to manipulate, trick or force people into following a philosophy they have never agreed to follow. But that’s not stopping PETA.
Plus, vegetarianism and veganism are not scientifically sound. There’s scientific evidence that proves nature intended us to include meat in our diet. And it comes straight from evolution by natural selection.
One of the most difficult facts about human, or primate biology for that matter, for anti-meat cultists to argue is the front of our meat-eating faces. On the front of our heads are two eyes, and if there is one thing nature does for meat-eaters, it places eyes on the front of a predator’s face. Predators have to be able to focus on prey, because hunting is difficult. There’s no room for error, and the predator has to be able to quickly and cleanly focus on prey. Like a black panther, bald eagle or T Rex.
Exclusively plant-eating animals, as PETA would have us become, have eyes on the sides of their skull because it’s rather simple to munch on grass at your feet. It’s not necessary for plant eaters to focus on grass; they have eyes on the sides of their skulls so they can keep an eye out for the predators who are probably sneaking up on them. Simple as that.
You can look closer at human teeth, the shape of certain teeth, enamel etc. but I don’t think it matters how much science is behind meat-eating, as Time noted, the PETA crusade is counterfactual.
If you have access to a TV show aired a few years ago called “Penn and Teller: BS,” I highly recommend season 2’s episode about PETA, and not only to observe it’s bizarre and disturbing cult-like behaviour, but the hypocrisy that so-often follows self-righteous crusaders. PETA opposes, for example, vaccines or medicines tested on animals, but a highly-placed PETA executive directly benefitted from such a vaccine. The organization made a lame excuse that revolved around, “Our executives play such important roles in the world, they should be allowed to break the rules. But everyone else has to follow the rules.” Loony.
As I said, there’s nothing wrong with someone choosing to be vegetarian or vegan. It’s their life, they can do as they wish. I could care less what my neighbour eats.
But to do something as Orwellian as trying to place a tax on food to force someone to follow your cultish beliefs is truly pathetic.
PETA, please mind your own business and stay out of other people’s refrigerators.
Stu Salkeld is a Black Press columnist who, on New Year’s Eve, ate bacon-wrapped hot dogs and loved every minute of it.