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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

Let Them Eat Cake

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Ok, gang…let's play the Mr. Silly game.

As far as I know, since the beginning of time man has had to eat something in order to survive for very long. It has certainly been proven that people, who engage in a hunger strike for over a year, don't usually make it for another year. I do not know of any instance in recorded history where some human or other living being has survived without food.

I may be wrong, since I am not a scientist, but I think even the smallest plankton and amoeba must eat something in order to survive.

Here is where I am going with this.

In our fair city, we have a very good chain of grocery stores who have decided to stop selling live lobsters simply because it seems inhuman to have them in the store and let folks pick one out to take home to eat.

It seems the folks at PETA (please notice, this is not People Eating Tasty Animals) have objected to the cruelties of having live lobsters on display in the stores only to end up going home in a plastic sack and ending up being cooked alive. They are arguing that they do not believe these are being treated compassionately before being cooked alive. I suppose they only want lobsters who die of old age to be sold in these stores. A PETA spokesman was quoted as saying, "Among foods that are borderline sadistic, live seafood is at the top of the list." Of course the jury is still out on whether or not lobsters actually feel pain or can be emotionally scarred by being boiled alive. I can tell you that I would be, but then I don't know if that means I am on the same level of the food chain as a lobster or not. I'll let you decide.

I am old. I have been in a lot of grocery stores in my life. I will probably be in many more before I meet my maker. For the life of me, I cannot think of very many foods inside of a grocery store that were not alive at some point of another. Do the folks at PETA think the burgers at McDonalds came from cows that committed suicide? We are consuming record quantities of chicken these days. Where do these come from? Were these huge numbers of chickens who tried to cross the road and just didn't make it?

Unless I'm mistaken Charlie Chicken of the Sea tuna was once alive and well, wasn't he? Someone was quoted the other day as saying they felt the lobsters and shellfish were being mistreated since they were swimming in a tank that had fish poop in it.

Excuse me, but I must have missed the porta-potty for the seven seas. I've never seen a toilet in the ocean, have you? I mean fish swim and poop where they live. I think that's the nature of fish, isn't it? I bet these PETA people don't go to the beach either, and if they do I bet they don't swim.

Which leads me to my original question. If it's alive and we aren't supposed to eat it, then what about carrots and celery? Don't they have feelings as well? Aren't vegetables, actual living things just like animals? Maybe they don't cry or whimper, but I bet they suffer in pain when you dump them into hot water and make soup.

So, if you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings …then you could eat dirt. But then I forgot, that dirt has all kinds of tiny microbes and organisms living inside.

So, that leaves just one thing that I can think of.

Rocks. I don't think rocks have anything living inside of them and don't have feelings either. Who could get mad if you ate a rock burger or a stone sandwich?

I'd be interested to hear form any of the PETA folks to tell me what they eat that isn't harmful to some living creature.

Maybe they just drink Diet Coke….nothing alive in that, is there?

© Peary Perry
Letters From North America >

June 22, 2006 column
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Comments go to www.pearyperry.com

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