Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Steve King: The CAFOs' Bernard Gui

This article about King's boasting of getting animal activists to "confess" (his word) their vegetarianism is at once funny, telling, and unsettling. Think Progress quotes King:
I sit on the Ag Committee and we had a hearing before the Ag Committee when we invited in the president of the Humane Society of the United States, HSUS, President Wayne Pacelle. And we had one or two other witnesses from the anti-meat crowd or anti-animal husbandry crowd. PETA was there and one other animal activist group. So we just asked them, under oath, “are you a vegetarian?” And they confessed they were vegetarians, all of them. Well there they are with an agenda for our diets.
It turns out that - try not to faint - this claim wasn't entirely truthful, but the thinking behind it falls within such a typical pattern. Vegetarianism for many on the Right is as unthinkable as atheism. I wish I could find the quotation from something I read recently in which a Christian is talking about a person who's very plainly an atheist, and says something like, "I'm starting to think she doesn't even believe in God!" It's not just that they see vegetarianism and atheism as bad, but that their references to them contain an element of incredulity at the very idea, a sense that disbelieving in any gods or not eating other animals are too ridiculous to be actual positions.

Faith and meateating, in turn, are not seen to require any justification. They just are. But you see, when a challenge is sensed, the standard conservative line. As King declares, "I’m here to tell you I’m a committed carnivore," which reads like "I'm here to tell you I'm a proud God-fearing Christian." Positions that are morally hollow and devoid of reason, simply reflecting indoctrination or pandering to powerful corporate interests, are presented as evidence of personal decisiveness and moral resolve.

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