If Howard Witt thought he was living up to his name by making the sophomoric suggestion to "slaughter a pig in your bathroom and then fry it up in your designer kitchen" (City Desk, "No Meat, No Taste," 9/28), he is quite mistaken. Since when did torturing, killing, and butchering animals become suitable material for flippant jokes?
Has Witt ever had an up-close and personal look at the sickening realities inside factory farms, transport trucks, slaughterhouses, or processing plants? Frankly, I very much doubt that he has so much as even imagined himself in the miserable place of any of the almost 10 billion unfortunate pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and sheep who suffer and die each year as part of America's animal production and slaughter system. Is Witt unaware that U.S. animal agriculture also fouls our environment with vast amounts of manure, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and antibiotic residues? Does he not realize, in an ultimate irony, that all those animals being killed as "food" wind up debilitating and killing millions of Americans, via our costly, epidemic rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and assorted other major health problems?
If there's something funny in all this, I cannot fathom what it might be.
As Dean Ornish, M.D., wrote in the foreword to the new John Robbins book, The Food Revolution, "To the degree we can change our diets, we may be able to enhance our health, enjoy our lives more fully, and reduce the suffering in our wake." I am hopeful that Witt will reassess his eating choices and someday soon write an upbeat article about switching to a vegan diet.