With worldwide headlines shouting the latest details in the brutal killing of the supermodel girlfriend of Olympic star Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius, South Africa has, for the moment, regained the media spotlight absent since its fortnight two years ago as host of the “Vuvuzela” World Cup.
The Pistorius drama, despite its chilling similarities to the O.J. case (athletic celebrity, alleged drug use, high-profile girlfriend, brutal murder), is being covered by U.S. media as a dispatch from a foreign country, which of course South Africa certainly is.
But along with its very own tabloid tale that will likely continue for months to come, the country that was once one of the world’s outlaw regimes due to its oppressive apartheid policies has rejoined the modern world—and in ways more mundane but equally significant as a celebrity love affair gone horribly wrong.
In fact, a few minutes skimming South African news sites reveals many of the same issues that are contentious here in the USA also cause controversy there: Immigration, (typical comment on the News24.com website: “There is a flood for people from the Congo, Nigeria, Zimbabwe on our doorstep. What has happened to South Africans? Are we not entitled to find work?”), intelligent design (“Christians believe God created us in his image. Fine! Which ethnic group did Adam and Eve belong to?”) and, of course, vegetarianism and its concurrent hostility to modern livestock production.
The same activist positions and the same anti-meat arguments are now surfacing halfway around the world.
Different spot, same old song
For example: A typical opinion piece by “an ordinary citizen” named Erasmo began this way:
“Meat eaters can make a radical difference to the way food is produced on the planet. We are the people who can take farm animals out of factories and put them back in the fields where they belong. We’re the ones who eat it, so we decide how meat is produced. And we do that quite simply through the choices we make at the meat counter in the supermarket.”
One can easily hear the distinct echoes of the “meat is murdering the planet” refrain appearing, basically intact, 10,000 miles from its origin.
“As a curious eater, I’ve learned a few things while hunting for the next piece of moral meat,” Erasmo continued. “We can have farm animals living outdoors; they don’t have to be crammed into cages and warehouses. Keeping animals in factories is just plain wrong.”