Remember how you and your friends created games when you were children? And do you remember making up the rules as the game progressed? That’s what is happening at The New York Times with its phony essay contest about the ethics of eating meat.
“Calling all Carnivores” was the headline on the article in The Times imploring readers to write – in 600 words or less – why they believe it is ethical to eat meat. Author Ariel Kaminer begins the sales pitch for why you should write such an essay by claiming that vegetarians and vegans have “dominated the discussion about the ethics of eating.”
Really? Maybe those groups have dominated the discussion inside the pages of The New York Times, but there are many other places where the voice of the anti-meat crusaders is drowned out by common sense.
“In response,” Kaminer continues, “those who love meat have had surprisingly little to say.”
Hello? Haven’t you been listening? Does The Times not have reporters? Meat eaters have had plenty to say, though we’re not often afforded a platform as large as The Times gives to the anti-meat folks.
But, wait. Here it is, an essay contest that will finally allow those of us who love our steaks medium-rare, our burgers topped with cheese and mushrooms and our pork ribs slow-cooked and slathered with tangy sauce, to tell the world why we think such eating behavior is just fine.
Just as my excitement was building to write such an essay, Kaminer revealed the phony part of the contest. “We have assembled a veritable murderer’s row of judges — some of the most influential thinkers to question or condemn the eating of meat.”
That’s right, the judges for this essay contest about the ethics of eating meat are all anti-meat. Is it any wonder why Kaminer and The Times believe vegetarians and vegans have “dominated the discussion about the ethics of eating?”
Let’s examine the judges of this contest. First is Peter Singer, a self proclaimed vegetarian and a “flexible vegan” as stated in a May 2006 interview in Mother Jones. Singer also authored the book Animal Liberation that is cited for being the touchstone for the animal liberation movement.
Then there’s Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma which openly critiques modern agribusiness. In his most recent book Food Rules: An Eaters Manual, Pollan’s principal is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."