The Fish
for 30 September 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


Erin Coull
Production Manager


Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


[Copy Edit]
Copy Edit

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman


Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch


Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor


T. Jay Fowler

Production Manager

& Ass Kicker


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Pleased to Meat You

Dear Skinner,

I find that your page is
quite offensive. I do not
know how you can stand to
live with yourself; after
all, we have what is known as
the food chain - where even
the most basic of animals
follow. We are high upon the
hierarchy of the food chain,
and it is people like
yourself who think that
demoralizing the rest of us
"naturalists" is fine. You
will call eating animals
wrong, but then, wrong is a
subjective term. What you
find wrong may not be what I
find wrong, and what you find
right, I may not find right.
Wrong is an entirely
subjective term:
Remember, that we are all
unique individuals and you
who enjoy pushing your
"objectives" and morals on
the rest of the nation and
other people really do
destroy the reason for
freedom of speech. You will
also be among the first to
try to ban animal testing and
research, but you will also
be among the first to visit a
psychologist, where animal
research is a basis of many
theories; the first to shop
at a grocery store, where
animal products are used; the
first to wear makeup, which
was created from animal
by-products, the first to
thank the pilgrims and
settlers for taming the land,
yet without animals, they
would never have made it to
our land. Yeah, you may think
that we are not bettering
ourselves by using animals
for research and you may
think that it is hypocritical
that we "imitate" the Nazi
party in our ways, but you
might think again, we are not
a "forming coalition" and we
are not spreading the word
around the world, yet the
Nazi party did that. Hmmm,
now who sounds like the Nazi
party? And you want to ban
fast food and pretty much all
restaurants that serve meat.
Well, sir, or madam, I do
wish you luck in your quest,
because if that ever works, I
hope you enjoy the suffering
it causes when the market and
good times that we know of
disappear, because without
meat, we will not have the
protein to keep our bodies
nourished, and this means
more sickness, and this in
turn means more costs to
already poor or surviving
families, and this will only
cost the rest of the nation.
So if you would like to
condemn us meat-eaters, then
you should also condemn
yourself and the rest of the
world, because you are not
just trying to fight a cause,
you are starting problems for
us, the ones on top of the
food chain, and making life
better for animals than what
we know for ourselves.

Stuart Coutchie

I think you do a nice job of
pointing out many of the
complexities in the meat
versus vegetables
controversy; it's hard to say
anything about food politics
without saying something
hypocritical, simple-minded,
or just plain wrong.

What's clear is this: We use
and abuse animals at almost
every turn. You're right in
one important respect: This
seems to come naturally to us
- although the tautology of
being at the top of the food
chain (something we ourselves
invented as a convenient tool
to figure out where we stand
in relation to the rest of
the planet's inhabitants,
just like we believed, for so
many years and for the same
reasons, that Earth was at
the geographic center of the
universe) isn't very
convincing as evidence of
some kind of "natural law."
I'm afraid that you'll find
hard-core vegetarians have
just as many "natural laws"
marshalled on their side of
the argument - including, for
example, the obvious absence
of canine teeth (hence the
need for steak knives or meat
tenderizer) in the human

E. L. Skinner

Fish With Letter Icon

Why did you confuse
vegetarians with animal
rights (fur) activists in
your Suck article? Surely you
don't think they are one and
the same or even similar.
That's the worst kind of

Next time, recognize that a
great many vegetarians are
such by biological
imperatives, such as obesity,
congenital stomach problems,
post-stomach-disease victims,
religion, etc. Out of all my
friends who are vegetarians,
only one really believes in
animal rights. The others do
so out of health benefits or
under doctor's orders.

Also 3 little words:
Seventh-Day Adventists.

How many vegetarians do you
actually know? Or is SF just
too politically outside the
US mainstream for you to draw
an accurate bead on the
culture at large?


Touché, Don.

Although I hasten to add that
there wasn't ultimately a
polemical point to my rant,
other than to explore the
many interesting facets and
hypocrisies of food politics.
That we demand political
logic to be consistent and
thorough is part of the
problem, perhaps.

Aside from the thousands of
vegetarians who restrict
their diet for medical
reasons (as you accurately
point out), there is a common
moral core in political
vegetarianism and animal
activism: whether it is right
or wrong to use animals and
animal products.

But, of course, the politics
are so fragmented - and our
uses/abuses of other species
are so entrenched and
unquestioned - that any
dialog about meat versus
vegetables invariably gets
bunged up with issues of
fashion, religion,
geo-politics, and so on. I
tried to look at both sides
of the issue with an
even-handed skepticism.

Living in Minneapolis and
being married to a
vegetarian, I'm confronted
with the whole constellation
of issues every time we eat
out ... heck, I'm confronted
with it all the time.

E. L. Skinner

Fish With Letter Icon

Ah, the last (and lowest)
ploy of the desperate
negative rant: a Nazi
comparison. Grow up, already!

Max Springer

Ah, the easiest dismissal of
a page skimmer: disqualifying
what one reads on the basis
of a single proper noun.

E. L. Skinner

Fish With Letter Icon

More Royal Icing

I realize that various others
have commented thoroughly
(and better than I will, more
than likely) on Royal Icing
already, but I thought I
might let you know that it's
helped me reach a decision
about what drives the media
engine that drove Diana's car
into a wall: Money.

I'm spending mine on Suck
stuff, because I think that
work of the quality of Royal
Icing - infrequent though it
may sometimes be - deserves
reward. The implicit message
of Suck seems to be, "Applaud
if you like, but please throw
money." OK....

It's always pleasing for me
to see Suck really take an
insightful stand on an issue;
cynicism and irony are the
crack and heroin of modern
dumbass rhetoric, and come
cheap. Real hardball thought
is, as always, a hot
commodity. Which I'm now
"buying," I guess.

Funny, some of the other
liberal types I meet at
college forget that, in
opposition to supply-side
economics, there's also
demand-side, too.

Brian P

Enough talk. Send us the

Fish With Letter Icon

Pleased to Meat You

Enjoyed your essay. A
correction, however.
Christians do have a
little-known food
restriction. An early Pope,
about 5th or 6th century-ish,
forbade the faithful from
eating horse meat. Horses were
in short supply, I guess.
This restriction was never
rescinded as far as I know,
so it's still binding.

An excellent treatment of
food attitudes and customs,
from an anthropological
perspective, is Good to Eat
by Marvin Harris.

Bite down hard,

Uh oh. Looks like we'll have
to take our dog to confession
again, the little heathen.

Fish With Letter Icon

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