Buzzkill: meat isn’t murder

Rob Wilber

Last week, Kentucky Fried Chicken introduced the fast-food world to a revolutionary new product: the DoubleDown Sandwich. The Colonel’s latest creation is unlike conventional sandwiches which are bookended by pieces of bread. In lieu of buns, the DoubleDown uses two pieces of fried chicken to contain a center of pepper jack and swiss cheese, bacon and zesty mayonnaise.

It goes without saying that this product is one of the greatest innovations thus far in the new millennium. Shockingly, there are some people who not only would have no interest in such a culinary experience, but actively protest its existence and consumption. 

I have no problem with regular vegans or vegetarians. Though I would never consider such a switch myself, I respect those who don’t eat meat. However, the small extremist portion of the vegetarian population grinds my gears to no end. For some reason, these groups seem to pop up constantly in the news without ever accomplishing anything. A recent article summarized some of the more absurd and extreme examples of “militant veganism.”  

While giving a speech about her book “The Vegetarian Myth,” author and reformed vegetarian Lierre Keith experienced these shenanigans first-hand. CNN reported that “three masked assailants shouted ‘Go vegan!’ and lobbed chili pepper-laced pies at her.” I feel like throwing baked goods was not the best course of action those three nutritional Che Guevaras could have taken if their goal was to sway support toward their cause. 

A similarly bizarre demonstration was held by PETA outside of a New York City KFC, where nearly a hundred protesters dressed as zombies picketed the restaurant’s treatment of the chicken they sell. They say any publicity is good publicity, but something like this makes me more likely to eat at a KFC to spite these people than to stop enjoying their food. 

PETA is willing to go to even more drastic lengths to get its name in the spotlight. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay severely offended the group by using horse meat as an ingredient on one of his cooking programs. Like any reasonable organization, the animal-rights activists responded to Ramsay’s choice of meat by dumping 2,000 pounds of manure outside one of his upscale London restaurants, accusing the chef of “mounting a TV ratings-grabbing gimmick.”  While I wouldn’t consider myself a premier TV ratings analyst, I sincerely doubt that cooking with horse meat created an abundance of interest in Ramsay’s show. 

If publicity stunts such as these are the only way these groups can get the public’s attention, maybe they should face the facts and accept the futility of their campaign to eliminate meat from the world’s diet. The consumption of meat is part of nearly every culture on Earth and has been since we figured out how to hunt. 

Just because we now have the option of replacing our delicacies with bland tofu equivalents does not mean we have to. If you don’t wish to eat dead animals, more power to you, but dressing up as zombies and leaving poop everywhere isn’t going to make me join your cause.