NYT, you are killing me with this trash! »
Good god this is some crap! I kind of don’t even want to link it because it’s so bad but if you can stomach it, read this piece by Carol Kaesuk Yoon about how plants have feelings. Do they just let anyone write for the New York Times now? Because I think my dog is more eloquent than Yoon. In fact, NYT should hire Figaro because homeboy needs to start pulling his weight around here. I mean, look at this sentence: “In particular, given our many connections to animals, not least of all the fact that we are ourselves animals, it can give a person pause to realize that our most frequent contact with these kin might just be the devouring of them.” Are there no editors? She has so many run-on sentences, I’m wondering if she gets paid by the comma. Is it April 1? No, really, somebody check the date. It’s like someone from the Onion’s editorial staff took over the whole damn paper.
How tired is this “plants have feelings!” angle? I don’t care what anyone tells you, no one save your average schizophrenic actually believes plants have feelings. How many times do we have to say it: it takes a lot more plants to raise meat than eating plants directly! From Cornell: “Each year an estimated 41 million tons of plant protein is fed to U.S. livestock to produce an estimated 7 million tons of animal protein for human consumption. About 26 million tons of the livestock feed comes from grains and 15 million tons from forage crops. For every kilogram [about 2.2 pounds] of high-quality animal protein produced, livestock are fed nearly 6 kg [about 13.2 pounds] of plant protein.” PLUS, an insane amount of the rainforest is destroyed every year to clear land for cattle grazing—those are all plants too. SO, to reduce harm to plants, DON’T EAT MEAT. Yoon’s logic is flawed; “It’s just that as far as I was concerned, if eating a tofu dog was as much a crime against life as eating bratwurst, then pass the bratwurst, please.” No, because to get that bratwurst, a whole lot more plants had to die! Way more than die for your tofu dog. Go cry over that.
Besides this, there’s also the simple fact that plants don’t feel pain. You can disagree with me but you’d be wrong. It’s my own theory but let me break it down: pain doesn’t exist for it’s own sake, it’s a tool—specifically, a tool for mobile beings so that they can better survive. Fire is bad for you so getting burned hurts; this way, you learn to avoid fire and survive to produce your offspring. Plants are not mobile! It makes no evolutionary sense that plants would feel pain if it doesn’t help them survive. I know, there are plenty of things that make no evolutionary sense, but none of them reach the scope of an entire category of life such as plants. I mean, really. Now consider this: the majority of plants benefit from pruning. While she’s lamenting the poor plants getting their stems cut, these plants are flourishing better than their untouched peers. Why in the world would pruning be painful if it actually increases a plant’s viability? Like I said, pain is a tool, it’s not an end.
Check out this idiotic sentence: “Here the lack of a face on plants becomes important, too, faces being requisite to humans as proof not only that one is dealing with an actual individual being, but that it is an individual capable of suffering.” WTF is she talking about? I don’t even know where she gets this from. Then there’s this: “Plants don’t just react to attacks, though. They stand forever at the ready. Witness the endless thorns, stinging hairs and deadly poisons with which they are armed. If all this effort doesn’t look like an organism trying to survive, then I’m not sure what would.” No one said plants don’t try to survive—but that doesn’t mean they feel pain! But of course, like every successful organism, plants have evolved to survive. Simply stating this in no way supports her point.
Oh my god and get a load of this offensive offensiveness: “Slavery and genocide have been justified by the assertion that some kinds of people do not feel pain, do not feel love — are not truly human — in the same way as others.” Is she serious? Harvesting plants is comparable to genocide? Fucking idiot. And towards the end she keeps talking about “our tribe” and it’s the lamest pseudo-anthropology I’ve ever encountered. STFU. Is the bar at the Times really so low that this crap slips by? Because in that case, we really should try to get Figaro hired. Let’s start a campaign.
I like what Erik Marcus had to say about this asinine sentence: “Perhaps you’re having trouble equating a radish to a lamb to a person whose politics you hate to your beloved firstborn.”:
If she’s going to equate—her word, not mine—a radish to a lamb to your firstborn—the author should show some courage and take the argument where it leads and provide a recipe for cooking your first-born with radishes, since she apparently can’t see any moral distinctions whatsoever regarding what we put into our mouths. None of this argument is sincere. It’s feigned concern for the sake of bypassing the responsibility to make any ethical choices about food whatsoever.
The Times’ coverage of meat issues is kind of all over the place—that’s all good! A newspaper should cover all sides of an issue but this is NOT a side, it’s poorly reasoned, nonsensical crap. As Laura put it, “if I want to stand on a street corner yelling about how there is an three-headed alien living on my shoulder, that’s fine, but don’t give me a fucking column in the most respected paper in the United States to argue my point as if it were valid.” I need something intelligent to read as a chaser or I may vom. Not only does this piece make me hate meat-apologists, it makes me hate literacy.