Dazed and Confused

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 12, 2000

LEE DRESSELHAUS / L’Observateur / January 12, 2000

So. I’ve written about animal rights weirdos a couple of times in the pastfor several reasons, but there remains one inescapable common thread that seems to hold that whole bunch together. And, because I’m a sensitiveand considerate guy when it comes to pointing things like this out, as my regular readers (both of them) know, I’ll be gentle as I explain just what that common thread is.

Some of them are slightly, well, nuts. And, based on an Associated Presspicture and the large caption that accompanied it, I have a very fine example to prove my point.

In Woodbine, N.J. there lives a vegetarian named Linda Genteel. Twentyyears ago Linda Genteel gave up meat for whatever reasons, but since she’s an “animal rights activist” I would assume it’s because she just couldn’t deal with the realities of the whole food-chain thing. OK, that’sall well and good if that is your cup of stew. Or gazpacho in this case.Whatever. But it doesn’t stop there with her. For some reason she has decided she should keep pets. All right, you say,what’s the problem with that? Pets are a good thing, healthy thing. Theyeven help the elderly and people with mental problems keep an even keel in some of these rough modern seas we’re all forced to sail. Everybody haspets.

Right. And there’s nothing wrong with her having pets. She has nine dogsand a wolf-dog hybrid named Prince. And here is where the problem lies.Ms. Genteel has decided that her dogs, 10 of them if you count the wolf-dog hybrid, should be vegetarians just like her. So she is feeding themvegetables. Just vegetables. An Associated Press photo in a localnewspaper today is showing the wolf-dog hybrid Prince desperately gnawing at a raw carrot. If a dog’s face can display a look of disgust orconsternation, this one does just that.

Ms. Genteel, in a feeble attempt to defend her politically-correct, cross-eyed view of animal rights, is quoted as saying, “It’s hypocritical to be a vegetarian and feed your animals other animals. But I already know thatmany people have the misconception that this is a cruel thing to do, and I expect some negative feedback from the opinion I have.” I have some feedback for Ms. Genteel, all right.If you want to have pets that eat only vegetables, GET A GOAT, SPARKY! I’ll explain this to her as simply as I can so that perhaps she and the rest of the animal rights weirdos out there can follow me. These are dogs. Theyare pack animals. Predators. Here’s your first clue. Look at the TEETH. Arethey flat and made for grinding up grasses and veggies like the above mentioned goat or deer or cows or horsies? No. They are pointy things, likethe rest of the meat eaters on this planet have. Do the math. They are notmeant to be plant eaters, and her decision to feed them vegetables instead of what they are meant to eat goes a long way toward proving my point that animal rights activists have too much time on their hands and far too little common sense.

These animals are not meant to live on vegetables, and no amount of ill- conceived notions or politically correct posturing will change that.

Let me address the statement she made about it being hypocritical to feed your animals meat when you are a vegetarian. Oh, please. There’s nohypocrisy in that. If the animal is in your care it’s incumbent upon you totake care of it the way it is intended to be taken care of. The hypocrisy isin the fact that she would even have animals that are predators in her care if she feels so strongly about the whole meat-eating thing.

Now let me address her statement about other people having the misconception that it is cruel to feed her dogs vegetables. It’s not amisconception. It’s a fact. Their entire system is designed to obtain itsnutrients in a different way than cows, and from a different source. Meat,and stuff like that for instance. Hasn’t anyone on the Disney Planet, whereshe seems to have spent a great deal of time, explained that to her? And finally, let me address the fact that she expects some negative feedback on this issue.

Well, duh.

Look at the dogs face in the picture. Does he look happy?Am I being a bit harsh in my assessment of Ms. Genteel’s good intentions?Maybe. But those dogs, I’ll bet, don’t care in the least that Ms. Genteel is avegetarian. Give them a choice between a can of Alpo and that carrot andwatch just how long it takes them to make that decision.

If you want vegetarian animals, buy a hamster.

Or, if anyone has a goat out there looking for a home, I’m sure Ms. Genteelcould find room for it on the Disney Planet with her and her dogs.

If the dogs don’t eat it, that is.

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