Letter: “Insanity” needs to get its story straight

EastBayRI.com ·

To the Editor:

It is unfortunate that “Stop the Insanity” Westport was unhappy with my July 13th letter. Apparently, they failed to understand the lead point and the larger issue.

To dismiss the small things that they focused on: first, had they read and understood thoroughly, they’d have been clear that I never alleged that town funding went to this exercise. I only said it was not worth officials’ time. 

Second, I did not claim that anyone has been charged with crimes (please look up the definition of “prosecution”). Thirdly, I was not patting myself on the back. Rather, I wrote the letter out of embarrassment about my own species for the irrationality of the spectacle that this has become.

Perhaps the “Insanity” members--like many non-vegetarian pet owners--are made uncomfortable when the logic is plainly laid out for them, that it is absurd you’re picketing about farms, but ordering bacon for breakfast. 

Pigs are far more intelligent than dogs, but we raise them to kill them and eat them. 

I will be waiting for a long time for Insanity’s letter that convinces a rational mind that it’s anything but the exact opposite of “humane” to raise something … and to then kill and eat it. You can’t have it both ways … carnivorism is a very binary moral proposition. It’s either OK to kill and eat all animals, or it’s not OK to eat any of them. Let all the usual relativistic arguments ensue: “Oh but dogs are loyal” and “Oh the cows are slaughtered humanely." 

People get defensive when it’s made clear that their behavior is blatantly hypocritical and morally inconsistent. So, I make no apology about calling out the arrogance of any other human who tries to lecture me that he or she knows better about which animals should get biscuits and which ones should get slaughtered. 

Again, I don’t see “Stop the Insanity” holding a vigil outside the hardware store for all the rats that suffer miserable, painful deaths owing to the rat poison sold there.

Sorry to ruin the tea party with unsentimental logic, but don’t blame the messenger. And as I said before, spare me the hypocrisy. If these activists are getting the cold shoulder in public, it may be because Westport is a bona fide agricultural community with real farmers who treat animals with the stoicism of an industry that, according to the USDA, slaughters 117,000,000 pigs annually. Farming is their job; they don’t have time to play “My Little Pony”, and they’re not going to warmly receive anyone they perceive as self-appointed moralists who move into their town and try to act as regulators. Carnivorism is the basis for their livelihood, and yet you’re surprised they don’t show up to cheer at the righteous protests you put on in your spare time?  “My Little Pony” is a pretty weak high horse in a right to farm community.

Yet despite all their attention-seeking, I’m still not sure what Stop The Insanity’s real message is. In their July 25 letter they claim their group exists “to counteract the ignorance and draconian attitudes of certain members of the Westport Community." But back in June, The Westport Shorelines reports “Ms. Feininger said there are also plans to hang 140 “flashies,” from trees outside town hall starting July 17. Each of the flashies will have ten mirrors to reflect light as the turn in the breeze — one mirror for the 1,400 animals."

“Insanity” needs to get its story straight...is it trying to effect political change? If so, hang effigies of town officials. But seriously…a “flashy” to reflect light in the breeze in each animal’s memory is hardly a call for political change; to me that is a teary-eyed sob-fest for all the precious, fluffy animals. (Not the ugly or tasty ones).

So I will continue to eagerly await “Stop the Insanity”’s explanation on how it is clearly “humane” to raise an animal with the express intention to kill it and eat it. Or, an assurance that all of its members are vegetarians. Have at it. But I have a feeling I’ll see you at the butcher shop first. I’ll look for the lady who is pushing around a poodle in a baby stroller as she’s ordering a half pound of ham.

Thomas Collins