I’ve been such a fan of yours for years. I’ve always liked your progressive edge, expressed in your views on politics, gay culture, and more.
And yet I watched in horror when, in Netflix’s newly-released Pants Off, you fell right into the all-too-common trap that snares today’s progressive movement — the trap that shuts out animals. And in that trap you take a big bite at vegans, as if they were as shallow as the Kardashians.
Please let me explain how your disparaging remarks about eating a vegan meal with Gloria Steinem are as nonsensical as the snide press statement about the Kardashians that unnerved you so much, you know, the one about how this famous family is the closest thing we have in America to royalty? Both remarks are equally absurd, and as Voltaire once observed, “If we believe in absurdities, we will commit atrocities.”
Consider, if you would, the disconnect between your rescued dog, who you love so much, and that steak you say you need. Why pander to that shallow and mindless sentiment that sees farm animals as being good for nothing more than a piece of meat and then, in a previous line, sing the praises of your dear dogs? Why have you bought into the archaic and irrational belief that cows and pigs and chickens, so close to dogs in cognitive abilities and emotions, should be treated so differently?
That question does have an answer. It’s explained beautifully by social psychologist Melanie Joy in her groundbreaking book, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism. Dr. Joy also produced an hour-long video presentation on carnism, the psychology of meat-eating. If you read/watch her perceptive analysis, you’ll never again look at animals the same way — especially the human ones.
I’m already envisioning your best comedy routine ever! In it, you tell your audience how you “woke up” (after some guy whose last name reminded you of BBQ wrote to you) and discovered the connection between the animals on your plate and the animal on your leash. Think of the endless possibilities for you, the ultimate progressive, to educate and inform — and ultimately help the plight of the most vulnerable in our society! Kathy, I believe you, of all comedians, are innovative enough to take that leap!
Have you ever met Dan Piraro, the L.A. comedian and cartoonist and animal-lover? If not, check him out here.
It troubles me to see the status quo progressives continue to support the oppressive forces in our society with their eating habits, the same forces that they have adamantly opposed in other areas of their life — in their political leanings, in their religious and spiritual beliefs, in the kind of media and entertainment they seek, in the sort of books and magazines they read, etc. But this appears to be changing.
Your progressive pal Rosie O’Donnell went vegan for health reasons after suffering a heart attack earlier this year. And how about Michael Moore, the icon of America’s progressive movement and “x-vegan-hater”? He’s now on the vegan path, inspired by his friend Victoria Moran, who founded the Main Street Vegan Academy earlier this year.
We all know how much you love strong black women! Well, remember when Oprah admitted a few years back that she became “veganish” after learning about the horrors of animal agriculture? Then there’s the ultimate statement of progressivism by social justice visionary Alice Walker, who pronounced, “The animals of the world are here for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.”
The times, they are a-changin’, Kathy. And progressives on all fronts, including the comedians, should be leading this change, not lagging behind.
I hope you’ll consider this next evolution into progressive thinking and use your celebrity status for a good cause that already connects with your other wonderful commitments to social justice.
Founder and Editor, Free from Harm, freefromharm.org