Animal "rights" radicals are getting craftier about finding new ways to nudge Americans toward strict vegetarianism. The save-the-cows-and-chickens crowd has never been a stranger to the kinds of fear mongering and guilt tactics that other activists movements have used to gain political influence. But apparently, the shock videos and bogus health claims we’re used to seeing from PETA and other groups are getting a bit old. There’s a new fad sweeping the world of vegan activism, and it goes a little something like this: "Giving up meat is the key to solving [insert worrisome global problem here]."
Last month it was climate change. Animal activists resorted to everything from phony Letter to the Editor campaigns to public nudity to persuade an unsuspecting public that eating a balanced diet is destroying the planet. And the latest? World hunger. We’re not making this up.
Exhibit A is this PETA op-ed, blaming world hunger on omnivores and our so-called “addiction” to meat:
Parents have long cajoled American children to finish their fish sticks or pork chops because "people are starving in China." Now we need to encourage people of all nationalities to eat their veggies – as well as beans, grains and fruit – instead of animal flesh if we are to alleviate hunger.
Since when does PETA care about saving humans? Like this British columnist at The Guardian, we’re not buying it:
[Y]ou know what? I’m not going to convert to any form of vegetarianism. I am suspicious of any universal prescription for addressing the global food crisis that doesn’t take account of geographically specific cultural and agricultural circumstances…
Unless we want to cut down rainforest to free up more productive land, we have to face the fact that only some 35 per cent of the world’s land area is suitable for growing crops, so in more places than not, vegetarianism isn’t an option. In the global quest for food security, nations must surely support their native food economy first and foremost, and in Britain our agricultural strengths are most definitely milk and meat.
A low meat and dairy diet? I have no problems with that. A no meat or dairy diet? Sorry, that sounds like ideology triumphing over common sense, time-honoured custom and appetite. I’ve stopped listening.
We have too. Besides, if today’s animal-rights leaders want to convince us that they genuinely care about our well-being, they should start by abandoning their longstanding campaigns against medical research that requires the use of lab rats and other animals. If standing in the way of AIDS and cancer cures makes you " responsible," " humane," or " ethical," we all need new dictionaries.