Saturday, January 03, 2004

I Hate Activists

Okay, I've tried to keep my damn mouth shut, but it's time I interrupt my regularly scheduled poker blogging for this special announcement. If your looking for poker content, please feel free to check in tomorrow.

A few days ago, it was confirmed that the first case of Mad Cow disease was discovered in the United States. The cattle market immediately took it in the teeth, and if it wasn't for the fact that there was a pretty good domestic demand for beef, we'd be looking at another several hundred thousand farmers who'd be facing the auction block. Bottom line is, we don't really know WHAT's going to happen to these hard working Americans. They're probably fucked, since pretty much every other country has immediately shunned U.S. beef.

In any event, a blogger identifying himself as "Veganpoker" (no link was intentional) posted an entry shortly thereafter in effect celebrating the fact that this has happened.

YES! I'm so happy to see an official "first case" of Mad Cow has been found in the US. Anyone paying attention to the disease knows the statistical likely hood that it has been in the US for quite some time now. An excellent book on the topic Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman lays out a lot of information about the disease and the useless testing procedures here in the US.

The US testing procedures are purely political and not for public safety. In fact they have been designed to make it almost impossible to find Mad Cow due to the timeliness of the testing. Up until now the US policy has been there is no Mad Cow in the country and they have done their best to make sure it is not found.

I really hope the fallout from this news shakes the beef economy. A major market shift and a monetary blow to the industry may actually lead to some changes.


Go VEGAN today!

Immediately, several in the blogging community, including some vegans, took him to task. Making irresponsible statements is one thing. To attempt to clarify your original statement by attempting to change its meaning after the fact.... well...

I was not celebrating that a cow contracted mad cow disease, nor that it would put people in danger. No no no! I was celebrating that the US actually found a case it had to admit existed. My point is that Mad Cow disease has likely been in the US for some time now. With our atrocious farming methods, to believe it has not been is naive. As I pointed out in my original post, Howard Lyman does a great job of discussing this in his book and in his lectures he gives. If you haven't heard him talk, you need to, he is great.

So if you believe like I do, that the US has HAD mad cow for several years now, then you have to be HAPPY that a case was officially found as this will raise public awareness of the problem. The US testing procedures have made it near impossible to find a case. I believe it was an accident this one was found, because some rancher was dumb enough to try and take a cow that was so horribly downed to slaughter that he got caught with his preverbal pants down.

So I am not happy that mad cow exists and I don't wish the disease on ANYONE. But I am extremely happy it has been found in the US because I believe it was here already. Howard Lyman has already come out saying that this one found case, almost scientifically proves the existence of 1000s of others and I agree. It is a matter of statistics and probability.

It is my hope that uncovering this disease in the US will help lead to consumer demanded reform in the cattle industry. Not only by consumers in the US, but the several countries that have banned our beef.

Ok, so I apologize to anyone I offended by my first post. I think I need to be more careful when posting to be clear on what I mean. I hope I have made myself clear at this point.

First off, I had to find out who the fuck Howard Lyman is. Admittedly, I didn't do too much research. If you want to find out about Howard Lyman in detail, feel free to follow the link. The readers digest form is that he used to be a farmer, then became paralyzed from the waist down due to cancer, and at some point decided on his own accord that even though he loves farmers and farming, somehow we should be able to get along without it..

Or something. To be honest, I'm as confused as you are.

But enough about the apparent champion of Veganpoker's beliefs. My rant is that this fucktard apparently tells me that, since I eat beef, he's happy for the possibility that I might have contracted bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and that beef farmers all over the country will now be facing the possibility of going to work in some assembly plant in Gary so they can feed their family (something other then beef. Yay Soy farmers!).

THEN he gets the stones to try to turn his words around and state that, no, he didn't really MEAN "Yay Vegans", but rather he meant "yay Vegans"?

His pretzel logic has me now trying to buy his statement to mean that he's happy that they found a case of Mad Cow Disease so that it would "wake me/us/the country up" to the idea that there might be thousands more out there. This is equivalent to "I'm happy that thousands of people died in New York so that this country would be more aware of terrorism".

Oh, we're more aware alright. Thanks to 9/11, I, and several million of my fellow Americans, were walking the bread line. Something cattle farmers are now facing down, made worse thanks to an overzealous media and, you guessed it, people with agendas.

Another fellow vegan responded to VeganPokers "clarification" post with:

If their (sic) is one stereotype that I hate having for being a vegan its that people tend to think we are zealots. This will lead people to automatically assume you are taking an outrageous stance like hoping people get mad cow disease. I didn't think that is what you were saying, but I can understand the interpretation as such.

Besides the obvious "Hey, if you didn't make it a point to TELL me you're a vegan, I wouldn't know"... Ya know, it's not like being vegan is obvious to us. The only way we know is if you make it a fucking point to TELL US!

This is especially interesting, in that now we seem to be laying the onus on me for "assuming you are taking an outrageous stance". Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that at the end of the whole "Mad Cow Disease is in the US woo hoo" post you did the grammatical equivalant of the Icky Shuffle (reference "Yay Vegans"). No, this is now MY fault for assuming you meant what you said!

Okay, here's another clue train heading into the station. And a clarification on my stance.

I have absolutely, positively NO issue with what you do or do not want to put in, on or in vicinity to your body. My issue comes in when you suddenly decide that the fact that I don't subscribe to your philosophy somehow drives you to "help me see the error of my ways".

Our VeganPoker supporter referenced previous makes it a point to state that he's not a Zealot. He then goes on for another overly-long paragraph trying to convince someone that meat is murder!

...I think its a common mistake when you state that most people go vegan for health reasons. My main reason is that I don't see the need for fellow mammals to hang upside down getting their throats slit, sometimes while conscious, when in fact I do not need their meat to survive, and as you implied, because it is in fact healthier for me to eat a meat free diet. There are a lot of other reasons as well, including environmental. Its pretty sad to think about fellow humans starving in Africa while food is farmed there so it can be shipped and fed to livestock meant for human consumption. I could literally go on for hours about reasons to be vegan. Einstein said that mankind switching to a vegetarian diet would be its greatest accomplishment. Before my eyes and mind were opened I wouldn't have believed a lot of things such as a statement like that, but I do now. I remember wacthing "The Matrix" and how they explained to Neo that a world of machines was farming human beings for energy and thinking how horrific that would be. In fact we are doing this same thing to animals of lesser evolvement. Justifying it for countless reasons. Tell me you don't mind the slaughter and you like the taste of the animals. Thats the truth. Anyone who makes arguments about needing to eat animals is just misinformed. Well, now I'm rambling. I guess I'll just sum it up with, I doubt this mass inhumane slaughter would be taking place if people had to actually slit the throats themselves on a daily basis. And yes, if I'm stranded on an island with only a live chicken; the chicken gets it! Reality is, I'm not.

What the fuck? If he truely WASN'T trying to be a zealot, the paragraph would have read:

"I think its a common mistake when you state that most people go vegan for health reasons. I don't eat meat because I don't believe in the slaughter of animals."

So, Decker might have let VeganPoker off the hook, but I'm not buying it.

After further review, the "fuck you, VeganPoker" stands.


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