The Silliness Of Plant Rights

I think that it is important to respect the lives of the animals we eat. They should be raised as humanely as possible, and slaughtered with a minimum of pain and fear. That is not to say that I reject the incredible advances in food production. I love the fact that we spend much less on food then at any other time in history. And that is a tremendous advantage. Not as much to us first-world folk, but to the poor across the world, who have access to food at prices that were just dreams even a few years ago. People on the margins are alive because of our incredibly efficient food production. Can we do better? Of course. Water conservation, runoff of fertilizer and waste, loss of topsoil, and many other problems have yet to be solved. But I will happily tolerate less-than-perfect living conditions of our food animals if it means that even one human being will not starve.

And I draw the line at respecting the dignity of plants. I just don’t care that a corn plant has been violated, its genetic essence destroyed in a cold-blooded attempt at growing more of the stuff at lower cost. Slaughter every broccoli plant on the planet (that actually happens every year!) and I will sleep peacefully.


Yes, this is a food blog. So, if you don’t want to read my pontifications about the Iowa caucuses, please feel free to check out the real food bloggers, who you will find listed on the side bar. And I promise that I will return to blogging about food.

I have eaten in Iowa on several occasions, which is one reason that I don’t live there. Sorry, but the good folks of the Hawkeye State can’t cook much besides breakfast with anything approaching edibility. But they have resoundingly dismantled the tired old saw that America, deep in its lily-white heart, is a racist nation. And lest you think that I am some rabble-rousing, pro-Obama Democrat, be assured, very assured, that I am far, far to the right of most people you know, or have seen, or even heard stories about in PoliSci 101.

I don’t like Obama’s politics. He rarely says anything I agree with. And, if he gets that far, I will, almost certainly, vote against him in the general election (assuming that Huckabee isn’t the Republican nominee). What I like about Obama is what his candidacy says about our country. Martin Luther King Jr. said it better than I can, in his 1963 speech in Washington.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

We all have read these lines, and many of us have heard the speech. But when dreams become reality, it is a grand thing. I happen to think that America has been very close to that dream for quite some time, but there is no denying the reality of what we witnessed last night in Iowa.