Honestly, the more of these types of stories I read the more I believe members of the media, academia, politicians, leaders, etc., are losing their minds! - Reggie
in my discussion of the Food Elite’s war on meat, I mentioned that the New York Times issued a challenge to its readers to write 700 words or less explaining why it is ethical to eat meat. The contest has ended; the approximately 3,000 responses have been whittled down to 29 by Gwynne Taraska, the research director for the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University' and those 29 semi-finalists have been whittled down to six finalists by five esteemed members of the Food Elite: Mark Bittman, Jonathan Safran Foer, Andrew Light, Michael Pollan, and Peter Singer. The six final responses were then voted on by the readers.
It should come as no surprise that the six final essays have an overall disdain for meat and an assumption that eating meat, given the means of production we use today, is a wrong that must be justified, is harmful to the environment, and is harmful to human health. There was not a single response in the final six essays that took the position that eating meat is ethical without all the caveats about “sustainability,” impacts on the environment, or impacts on human health.
What is quite shocking, however, given that a research director at George Mason whittled down the original approximately 3,000 responses, is that the response that ended up winning entirely avoided the prompt. For the sake of our future, I would hope to God that any student at George Mason--or any other educational institution from high school through doctoral studies, for that matter--would be failed for writing an essay that flat-out ignored the prompt. Also, the one titled “For What Shall We Be Blamed – and Why?” should have been failed for reading like an example right out of Orwell’s "Politics and the English Language." Do yourself a huge favor and just skip reading it. If you insist on reading it, I warned you.
In the initial challenge to its readers, the NYT asserted there were plenty of arguments explaining why eating meat is unethical but, in their minds, not a single good argument about why eating meat is ethical. The winning response, then, posited that eating meat is, in fact, not ethical, except if produced in a certain way:
Is it ethical to eat meat? Some 40 years ago, I took a long break from eating any animals, but soon I will be able to eat meat again without any qualms, without worrying about my health, cruelty to animals, or environmental degradation. That’s because this autumn, 14 years after it was just a gleam in the eye of the Dutch scientist Willem van Eelen, the very first laboratory-grown hamburger is to make its debut.
That’s right, folks: the only ethical way to consume meat, according to the NYT and its readers, is if the meat is produced in a lab. And y’all thought “pink slime” was gross.