HITLER WASN’T A VEGETARIAN, DAMNIT!
Al Neuharth, the 82-year old founder of USA TODAY, published "Why I won’t join the ‘Eat No Meat Club’" yesterday, and let me tell you the short answer for why he eats meat: Because he chooses to.
He is married to a strict vegetarian and has six adopted children, ages 6-15, who have chosen varying eating habits. None is overweight and all are healthy, he says. Regardless of his two, stated reasons why he eats meat, it’s clear that what he’s really saying is that we all have a choice, and this is his choice. And it’s also clear, otherwise he probably would’ve said something, that the suffering of the animals is not an issue, and ingesting suffering doesn’t cause any kind of ethical dilemma for him.
So what are his two reasons?
•As a country boy in South Dakota, while in high school I worked in an old-fashioned “butcher shop.” Owner Tom Rosser paid me $1 a week and all the salami I could eat. He also taught me how to cook a steak rare.
Maybe I missed something, but how is that a good reason to eat meat? Or a reason at all? I don’t get it. Is he just saying: I’ve done it for my whole life and I’m not gonna stop?
•In Europe in WW II, we all knew that that Nazi nut Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian.
In my post of August 28, 2006, entitled, For the Umpteenth Time, Hitler was NOT a Vegetarian, I referenced a NYT opinion piece that claimed Hitler was a vegetarian and tried to convince the Germans that the future was meat-free. That piece was written by the author of a cookbook, and as such, I figured he would know about Hitler’s personal cook, Dione Lucas, who also was a cookbook author, who wrote about what she used to prepare for Hitler. As it turns out, his favorite dish was stuffed squab, and he loved ham sausage and caviar, among other non-vegetarian foods.
In addition, he rebuked proposals to ease Germany’s food shortages by reducing meat consumption, and he outlawed organizations that advocated vegetarianism.
The NYT printed their article this year, after correcting themselves last year, admitting that he did eat meat. (I didn’t see a correction for this year’s blunder.) I advised the editor of USA TODAY to post a similar correction (the address, in case you’d like to do the same, is: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Why is Animal Person reblogging herself, you ask? Because language, labels, and the associations they create are powerful things. Most anti-vegetarian sites I’ve seen quote the Hitler myth, as if it’s a reason to eat meat–as if being a vegetarian somehow makes you more like Hitler.
How about this one: Causing suffering makes you more like Hitler, who ate meat, so if you eat meat, not only are you like Hitler because he ate meat, but you’re doubly like him because you cause suffering and so did he. So there!