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Loves Animals, Eats Meat

So I bit my tongue the first time that the “Scorecard” column hijacked the Niagara County SPCA issue for, lack of a better phrasing, the “activist agenda” (Artvoice v11n3: “It’s amazing how so many people can show such empathy for dogs and cats and then go home to a nice plate of beef and chicken”). However, it seems the editorial staff wasn’t content to leave it alone (Artvoice v11n5: “In unrelated news, an estimated 23 million non-cute animals in America (chickens, precisely) were killed yesterday for food”).

Let me be up front with it—I eat meat. Not exclusively, a little lettuce never hurt anyone, but it is a non-trivial portion of my diet (weekly tofu stir-fry excluded). I am also the proud owner of two wonderful dogs, one of which is a rescue, again, in the interest of full disclosure. I don’t want to get into a debate over the morality of eating meat. Many people choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle; I take no issue with them. It’s a personal decision and I respect it, it’s just not the one I’ve made.

However, it’s important to make a distinction between the routine consumption of meat by the 99 percent and the blatant disregard for life demonstrated by an organization whose mission statement is “protecting and providing shelter and comfort to all animals in need.” Some may take issue with the former, but we can all agree to universally condemn the latter. The public as a whole may show more compassion to our domestic compatriots, but the SPCA incident represents more than that. It is a violation of social trust. There is no need to hijack it for anything more. If these views are going to continue to be expressed in the column, at least call it an op-ed and identify the contributing author.

> Matt Kosloski, Buffalo

Artvoice reserves the right to edit letters for content and length. Shorter letters have a better chance at being published in their entirety. Please include your name, hometown, and contact number. E-mail letters to: or write to: Artvoice Letters, 810 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

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