Bizarro is brought to you today by Bill Maher.
As a lot of you know, like my friend Bill Maher, I'm an ethical vegan. (As opposed to someone who is vegan purely for his own health.) I occasionally think of cartoons that have to do with this topic and its related issues – nutrition, cruelty, health, the environment – and I toss them into the mix. I have been guilty of being pretty preachy about it in the past, it is difficult not to be when you are fighting against the suffering of those unable to speak for themselves, but I try very hard not to be and I hope I'm getting better.
I think this is a fairly successful cartoon in that regard. It evokes the subject of food choices without being overt. To me, there is something inherently funny about a little girl expected to slaughter a live chicken at her school lunch table.
Lots of people are concerned about environmental issues these days, so they choose local foods to save the pollution caused by shipping foods across country. If you're doing this but still buying meat, you're undoing your efforts many times over. Animal agriculture is responsible for far more greenhouse gases than all transportation combined.
Many people insist on organic meats to protect their family from harmful chemicals. Animal protein, in and of itself, feeds cancer and heart disease as fast as the hormones and chemicals you fear. Organic meat is a bit like organic bullets. It misses the larger point.
Many people become angry and defensive when they hear these things and I understand that. Attacking a person's diet is like attacking their religion, ethnicity, traditions, and family. Sorry about that. I'm the sort of person who is more than willing to toss a tradition overboard if it serves no purpose, harms me, or depends on the victimization of someone else. Like cheap sneakers made by orphans, I can do without them. It's just how I roll, homey.