Jewish World Review Jan. 29, 2004 / 6 Shevat, 5764
Soylent green is cattle!
I'm as paranoid as the next guy, and probably vegetarians and vegans are
right we shouldn't eat food with a face, we should stick to soy beans
and chai tea, in order to preserve the arability of the earth, whatever
the hell that means.
But I have to ask you this: should one dead cow bring the entire
American beef industry to its knees? Even Oprah couldn't do that. But
one cow, one mad cow from Canada no less, has beefeaters around the
globe fleeing the very sight of a butcher as if he were Sweeney Todd. A
month ago we didn't even know what a prion was, now we're fretting that
we're teeming with infected prions, our days are numbered, and we're
about to go on a rampage like Old Yeller in the final stages of rabies.
And here comes Tommy Kirk, with a loaded rifle and tears in his eyes,
come to put us out of our misery.
Shortly after seeing footage of downer cows being led like lambs to
slaughter not even led, hand-carried to slaughter-- I read an
editorial warning that there is no safe way to dispose of an infected
cow. If you bury it, scavengers might dig it up, eat it, and become
themselves infected. Yes, that's right. We could be infested with
mentally disturbed vultures. Next thing you know, squirrels, gophers,
and ladybugs will run amok, throwing themselves against the walls as we
cower in our hovels sucking on legumes, and trying to mold tofu into the
shape of a cow. It's like the scenario of a bad zombie movie.
Perhaps we ourselves have gone insane. Having forgotten that we live in
the healthiest nation on earth, we have embraced fear like a feral
kitten. Even as it scratches our face to shreds, we hope that one more
hug will make it love us. SARS! The flu! Anthrax! Nile River Virus! That
thing that mice have that'll kill you! You know, the hantavirus! AIDS!
Black mold! Fungi! Bacteria! Botulism! E coli! Ebola! Salmonella! Bovine
spongiform encephalopathy! Please don't kill me. I'll take my shots.
And then I'll go shopping!
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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2003, Ian Shoales