I’m a Kindle junkie. I admit it.
It’s so easy to click-and-buy, not to mention “borrow” ebooks, that I probably have a couple hundred stored on mine.
Ease of acquisition is really the only explanation I have for why I found myself reading “The Animal Activist Handbook” the other day. The book is less of an actual how-to handbook, and more of a tear-jerking, guilt-ridden appeal to people already predisposed to fall for PETA’s “animals have the same rights and feelings, in fact, the same lifestyle as you do” messaging.
To be honest, I didn’t really get too far into the handbook, especially after wading through an introduction by PETA’s founder Ingrid Newkirk.
“When I wrote the foreword,” she announced,“I had just finished putting together ‘One Can Make a Difference,’ a book of essays about people who have done exciting and positive things with their lives.”
With that line, you just know she’s going to drop a few names, like, oh, Paul McCartney, Russell Simmons, the Dalai Lama—you know, guys like that.
We get it: You’re Ingrid Newkirk; we’re not.
She goes on to lionize the handbook’s authors— a pair of PETA staffers, ’case you didn’t assume that from the get-go—as “real movers and shakers,” guys who “seize every waking moment and claim it as their own.” They certainly don’t “blindly buy whatever advertisers suggest you buy,” unlike losers such as you and me. Instead, according to Ms. Newkirk, they “pretty much started a 21st Century revolution by reviving the art of pamphleteering, something that was used by suffragettes to secure the vote [and] by abolitionists to overthrow human slavery.”
Get it? Livestock are today’s “slaves,” deprived of a vote on their fate, who need to be “liberated” by PETA movers and shakers.
Gag me with a protest placard.
The basic message of the book is a familiar one: Animal food production is “vastly inefficient,” such that “anyone who claims to be an environmentalist cannot eat animal products.”
I love the way veggie proselytizers simply assume, prima facie, that animal husbandry is abusive, inefficient and every other negative adjective that can be dredged up.
No mention is made of the fact that humans have subsisted—indeed, been dependent upon—animal foods for countless millennia. Nor that without animal agriculture, nearly half of the land mass in the world’s temperate zones would be unable to produce food crops of any quantity. Nor that billions of people alive on Earth at this very moment in history are wholly dependent on livestock for their survival. Nor that the conversion of inedible cellulosic material to edible flesh and milk by the world’s ruminants is one of the true miracles of Nature, the direct conversion of solar energy into sustenance for humanity.