Debating the Beef Industry: A reader responds


“Preadolescent girls next to preadolescent boys are perhaps as a group
the dumbest creatures on earth. Why not rant and rave about those who
manufacture cosmetics, fake fingernails, tongue and earring jewelry,
diet pop, porno magazines, tattoos, five inch thick soles on shoes,
low-cut jeans, junk food, the movie industry and their promotion of
pre-marital sex, living together, and glamorizing drunks, homosexuality,
smoking and alcohol, and the tv industry that does the same…. But no,
you get your dander up at an industry that promotes the use of
one of the most wholesome products produced.”

2003.06.07

Posted here for our readers’ benefit is an email exchange between activist and

writer Matt Dineen, and a critic of his article, “Matt Dineen on the Beef

Industry’s Newest Targets: Preadolescent Girls” (http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1907). We hope you

find it interesting and edifying.


Bard:

People who disagree with you have the same right to explain their side
as you do.

The beef industry is made up of hard working American farmers and
ranchers who produce a superior product that is unrivaled in the
world. They have a right to target their promotions to anyone they
wish. And most certainly should be able to defend their industry.

Their product is nutritious and delicious and has been made out to be a
bad product by PRO VEGETARIANS & ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUPS of which I am
sure you are one. People of such thinking usually hang out at liberal
universities and have been targeting the same people as you are
accusing the beef industry of doing.

Preadolescent girls next to preadolescent boys are perhaps as a group
the dumbest creatures on earth. Why not rant and rave about those who
manufacture cosmetics, fake fingernails, tongue and earring jewelry,
diet pop, porno magazines, tattoos, five inch thick soles on shoes,
low-cut jeans, junk food, the movie industry and their promotion of
pre-marital sex, living together, and glamorizing drunks, homosexuality,
smoking and alcohol, and the tv industry that does the same. The list
goes on and on and on.

But no, you get your dander up at an industry that promotes the use of
one of the most wholesome products produced. This is because idiots
like you think that animals are next to humans and use fake so-called
health issues about eating meat to further your agenda. You know this is true.

I know a bunch of parents with girls that have eating disorders. All
they do is swill down diet coke & iceberg lettuce. Unless of course
some grease ball with hair down to his ass that hasn’t washed or shaved
for a week gets them on drugs. And what do you think? That an
industry that wants to promote pot roast and sirloin steaks should back
off promoting their product to 12 year old girls.

Do you feel sorry for the animals? Get back to nature man. Look at
the Animal Channel, watch your pet cat in the backyard, see what the
wolves eat for lunch, and watch the friendly robin on the lawn. No-one,
least of all those who farm and ranch want to see cruelty to animals.
If only those animals in nature would feel the same.

Dave Kolding


Dear Dave Kolding,

Thank you for getting in touch. It was really interesting to hear your
thoughts. I would like to address some of the points that you raised.

First, I completely agree with you that “people who disagree with me have the
same right to explain their side,” and I really appreciate that you have done
this. However, I think it is important to recognize the difficulties of
communicating with people who fundamentally disagree. It can be equivalent to
two people having a debate in separate languages. Given this, we must both
understand that your arguments will never change my mind and I will never
truly affect your arguments. Not fundamentally at least. Your words will not
inspire me to eat beef or hate people who are not heterosexual, just as my
arguments will not cause you to stop eating dead animals or to be tolerant of
other cultures.

Perhaps we can find some commong round Dave. You started your letter by
mentioning hardworking American farmers. Despite my criticisms of the beef
industry’s business practices I am in solidarity with the working people in
the industry who are just trying to make a decent living. These people have some
of the most dangerous jobs in the country and are extremely courageous for their
hardwork. Beef industry executives and their public relations agents, however,
are not courageous or hardworking. They are the ones who are making the real
profits as the workers in the industry produce the actual product and struggle
to make ends meet. I hope that we can agree on this.

There is a lot more to say but I’m going to wind down now. I’ll just say that
although I am a vegetarian I do not and never have belonged to any animal rights
organization (as you assumed). I think people should have the freedom and
self-determination to intelligently make their own lifestyle decisions without
any missionary types telling them how to live. I also think that such
organizations tend to alienate people. What I am interested in is exposing what
I feel are injustices and corruption in general–from the American Cattlemen’s
Association to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Nothing
is black and white Dave. We all have our complexities and contradictions….

Sincerely,
Matt Dineen


Bard:

I appreciate the fact that you are not a “Vegetarian Missionary”. ….

But, I am not going to change you, because I don’t want to and you are correct.
People with fundamental differences will probably never agree. But we can find
areas of agreement. You probably can tell, and those who know me think I am
pretty conservative, which I am. However, it isn’t so much that I am a strong
conservative as much as that I just don’t like the liberal agenda. I really
am a
Progressive Republican. You see the liberal agenda is the easy way. It’s
like
being for apple pie and motherhood and helping the poor. But most of them don’t
really
give a damn. They are false prophets using false promises to everyone who has
their palm up. It takes much more courage to use a little tough love and tell
people to get off their ass and get to work. Conservatives can’t say
anything
negative about other groups, but other groups can say anything about
conservatives
and get away with it.

The National Cattleman’s Association is not a bad group. They are promoting
their
product with a very limited amount of money. The budget for Crest Toothpaste
is
much more than that of the whole beef industry. I used to be in the livestock
feed
business. I will grant one thing though. There used to be the National
Cattleman’s Association and the National Cattlefeeder’s Association. Cattlemen
raise the calves
and the feeders fatten them out. Some do both. These two organizations
merged
a few years ago and now the old Cattlemen feel they have been squeezed out.
Some of
the huge feedlots are owned by packers, which does give a great deal of control
to
the packers. Point of possible agreement.

PETA has an agenda to stop cruelty to animals. They had a big deal about the
cruelty
to pregnant mares which are put into a stall where their urine is collected for
use
in Premarin. I totally disagree that these mares are being maltreated.
However,
the product Premarin is terrible. … So again PETA isn’t all bad, just a little too pushy.

It sounds as if you are gay. Although you didn’t say it. Again that is your
business, but I am totally against the very well organized agenda of the gay
community to push
the acceptance of the homosexual life style. I don’t believe it is totally an
inherited characteristic, although mostly. It could be called a form of
mutual
masturbation which if started at a young age by others, could be habit forming.
Just don’t force it on others if this applies to you. I would be the first to
defend a gay person who is in danger or is being tormented.

It has been interesting.

Good luck,
Dave


Matt Dineen is an activist, writer and student at Bard College in

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Contact him at md936@bard.edu

Author: Dave Kolding / Matt Dineen

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