Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cattle Network article on the trendy, youthful phase of veganism

The article talks about Mean Greens in the University of North Texas, the first all-vegan campus cafeteria in the country.

If I were a meat and poultry purveyor, I wouldn’t worry too much about this breaking news … being trendy is what college is all about. Many of the diehard vegetarians roaming the campus will turn much more traditional – in food and politics – once they hit the adult world …

…But just like the massive amounts of information students struggle to absorb in class, then rarely refer to again once college is over, much of passion for the (alleged) value of vegetarianism tends to follow a similar path once the campus rebels of today enter the real world of adulthood tomorrow.

The writer displays admirable journalistic objectivity, just like he was taught at the National Cattleman’s Journalism School.

To summarize the main points of his article:

We should see the University of North Texas students’ temporary experimentation with a vegan diet for what it is: an act of crazy youthful rebellion before they return to the sane world of gestation crates, stun bolt guns, shackle hoists, torture and slaughter. College has always been a time for exploring new boundaries. In the past, kids experienced identity confusion, possibly experimenting with drugs and binge drinking, but they never crossed the dark line and embraced wild ideas like a steer having the right to not feel his flesh ripped from his body while he's still alive. Or the positively anarchic belief that maybe animals shouldn’t spend their brief lives in a dark crate before their skulls are shattered so people can consume their flesh.

It’s hard to know how to account for the inexplicable radicalization of these vegan students. Maybe it’s the fear of entering an uncertain job market. A sense of being cast adrift. How else can we explain them believing hens shouldn’t get de-beaked with a heated blade, sickly piglets shouldn’t get slammed on concrete floors, downed cows shouldn’t be beaten with a metal pole when they can’t stand up?

But we all need to take a deep breath and realize this is just a rite of passage. A mini-bout of temporary insanity. We need to remind ourselves that thinking an animal has the right to not have a bolt driven through her brain is just a nutty phase some college kids go through. These kids will be okay. Soon enough they’ll be ordering up a big juicy sirloin at Applebees, shaking their heads at their wild youthful beliefs. They’ll have entered the sensible world of adulthood, where steers, pigs and chickens only exist so we can enjoy the taste of their seared flesh, just like God and the National Cattleman’s Association intended it.