Meat Eaters Bite Back

This update is a follow up to yesterday’s Huffington Post piece in which Natalie wrote about the book Eating Animals and her own thoughts on the topic.

Now, I am a meat eater. I don’t smoke, I never drink alcohol by choice (I relent in certain rare social situations), I don’t do drugs, and I don’t even drink coffee. But damn, I love a good hamburger.

So if any group is being targeted by that piece, its whatever group I’m in (30 minutes ago I had chicken pieces on sticks…why is everything better on sticks?). I disagreed with certain aspects, I thought some thoughts were very nicely written while others were a little weak, and at the end of the day I thought, “I’m not going to be putting down the steak knife anytime soon, but good for you for having that commitment to do so.”

What I didn’t feel was any kind of offense or outrage, yet it seems that that is exactly how some people took it. So I read the “rape” paragraph again and I just really struggle to see how anyone can make that leap from an over the top analogy to “Natalie thinks I’m as bad as a rapist for eating meat.”

Was it the best analogy in the world? Probably not. I assume she went with that extreme of an example to make the point as clear as possible, unfortunately when you do that it will make it clearer for some but others will simply take it at face value.

As I said on the forum earlier, it seems to me that whenever a celebrity opens their mouth to speak, some people are already poised to leap into Lake Offense. But it strikes me as a position that they surely don’t have when it comes to communicating with people in their everyday lives, because if I applied that same level of politically correct scrutiny to my own life, I really wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone.

I just wish people would take a step back. Look at the context. Ask themselves, “is that what she was really trying to say”? Realize that your best friends say outrageous things that you disagree with all the time. And then comment about why you disagree.

As for Natalie, I think she needs to realize that debating something at Harvard or amongst her celebrity and intellectual peers is a whole different ballgame. If you’re sending something out into the world at large you need to be extra careful about how things are worded.

That is, if she cares about how her words are received. Perhaps she’s perfectly fine with writing what she feels and if someone wants to read something into it that she feels isn’t there, that’s just tough luck.

Here are a couple of the more interesting articles about Natalie’s piece.

Movieline notice how the headlines get more and more outrageous.

Jezebel ask some interesting questions.

Eonline at least mention “pig shit”.

The Ashcan thinks that dumb is the new smart.

And The Evil Beet is offended, but clearly doesn’t think twice about creating a headline even more exaggerated and twisted than the comment they’re upset about.

Happy reading!

Later I’ll throw up a new poll so you guys can weigh in.