I’ve been wanting to tackle this topic for a while, as it is one that really, really pisses me off. PETA giving a “humane fly trap” to President Obama was the last straw, motivating me to finally write this post. Let me just clamber up onto my soapbox…almost there…ok, here we go 🙂
I absolutely detest extremists in any form. Everyday, almost everywhere you go, you will find an extremist. Perhaps you bump into someone at the office who happens to be a Vegan, or maybe a friend on Facebook announces that they are headed to a PETA rally. Maybe you are watching TV and stumble across Whale Wars. Maybe you are accosted at your doorstep by someone who swears you will go to hell if you don’t join their religion. Each of these is a perfect example of extremism.
Why is it that people feel the need to not only take up a cause, but to take it to moronic extremes? Let’s take PETA for example. I believe that animals should be treated humanely. I believe that they should not be killed needlessly. However, I do not believe that every critter on earth has “human” rights, nor do I believe that the well being of animals comes before that of humans. Animals are not humans. They are animals. They serve a purpose, and are part of our food chain. Many animals eat other animals. Period.
PETA however seems to think that animals ARE humans, and they go to extreme measures to make that point, such as throwing blood on people wearing furs, or staging raids on animal testing labs, causing damages, even going so far as to dress up as KKK members at Madison Square Garden to protest the American Kennel Club. That is not only extremism, but terrorism. That is WRONG.
I don’t for one second think that PETA does what it does because they LOVE animals. Psychologically, anyone who takes things to such extremes is clearly seeking attention. They need to feel important, that their opinions matter, that their life matters. They are seeking validation and a tribe.
The same thing goes for Veganism. Medical science has shown, without question, that being a vegan does not necessarily make you healthier. It can be healthy, if well managed, but it can in fact cause serious health problems in the long term, such as serious vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition.
Animal products exist for a reason. If we were meant to be herbivores, out bodies would have very different makeups, from our teeth to our digestive system. Our bodies seem to NEED some amount of animal products, from certain proteins and amino acids to various vitamins and minerals. They can be had artificially, but it is not the same.
Perfect health requires a combination of vegetable and animal products, combined with proper rest and exercise. Eating no animal products can be just as harmful as eating nothing but meat and eggs and cheese.
I could go on and on, referencing terrorism, religious extremism, social cliques, and more. The point is, moderation is key. We shouldn’t needlessly slaughter animals for sport, but neither should animals be put above humans in importance. Not eating animal products is just as foolish as living on nothing but Big Macs and steak. Forcing your religion on others is no different than terrorism. MODERATION!
Find a happy medium. Eat meat and animal products, but sparingly, with wisdom. If you aren’t hunting for food, then don’t hunt. Share your religious views if someone expresses interest, but gently. I believe in standing for your beliefs, but please, educate yourselves before you take a stand, and make sure you aren’t simply reaching out for attention, or trying to “fit in” with a certain crowd.
When you seek to fit into a group to become unique, you are losing the very thing you are seeking.
Nothing will harm your cause more than taking things to extremes.