Editors, the Gauntlet,
This had to be one of the worst pieces of writing I have ever read, and I could not let it go with out a response.
I am not a vegetarian and I most likely will never be one. I agree that no one enjoys being hounded by radical animal rights activists just as no one enjoys being preached to about politics or religion, but we do have a right to free speech. However, what I am really offended by was the ignorance and insensitivity that was expressed in the article.
First of all, what is beauty and what does it have to do with natural selection? I don't recall my Biology 313 professor giving a lecture on the beautiful exploiting the ugly. Physical, emotional and intellectual beauty are all subjective. If you consider yourself beautiful and me ugly, does that mean you can "kick the ass of and appropriate the right to exploit" me?
Strength is subjective as well. Are we talking about emotional or physical? The last time I checked, a cow can kick a human's ass, a lion can hunt us down and an insect's sting has the potential to kill us. Humans are not at the top of the food chain. We have removed ourselves so far from nature that the only food chain we could stand at the top of is the one in the supermarket.
Second of all, we're all farting a hole in the ozone... all 6 billion of us. There are a lot of cows out there, but not as many as us and chances are none of those cows drive cars, cause oil spills, create landfills and manufacture nuclear weapons. Sure they have no opposable thumbs, but in light of the evidence, that's probably a good thing.
Speaking of opposable thumbs, humans didn't "think" of evolving them. They evolved because of a specific set of environmental conditions that favoured opposable digits. Some circumstances also allowed humans to develop denser brain tissue, but after reading "When the turkey..." not necessarily more intelligence. Monkeys and gorillas have us beat in the opposable digit category. They have an opposable thumb and toe, however, according to the article's reasoning, since they are not running for public office or retiring in a Florida condo they deserve to be wiped off the planet because they have no purpose. Excuse me, but I didn't see you in the last election either.
To summarize, if Koko the Gorilla started a "Primate Party" and ran for office, with the intent on retiring in a condo in Florida, we should think about keeping him around. It's OK to eat meat, just don't be ignorant about it. 1,2,3,4, I declare an opposable thumb war! Vote Primate.