Friday, August 29, 2014

Hypocrite's Nightmare


It’s no fun being a hypocrite.

OK, there is some fun to it.  Most of the enjoyment comes from the fact that you get to say all the good things about yourself that you want to say.  And you get to believe those things too. 

Then, you can to do all the stuff you like to do without worrying about any contradictions to your professed beliefs. 

It’s nice.  Uncomplicated by conscience.

I can take the high moral ground.  I can lord it over those whose convictions are lowlier than mine.  I can feel superior all the live-long day.

Then, I can do as I wish. 

Case in point.  I’m an animal lover and a meat eater. 

How is that possible you might ask?  Thanks for your inquiry.  It gives me the opportunity to explain. 

Here’s how it works:  First, you just love the critters.  All the critters.  You believe in their intelligence.  In fact, you hold a strong conviction that animals truly are smarter than people are. 

Humans can learn from animals, you say.  Animals, on the other hand, have nothing to learn from humans.

On some days, you feel a special kinship with the animal kingdom.  You imagine that you and all God’s creatures are tuned to the same cosmic vibration.  If you find a lizard in your yard, you commune. 

Your family calls you “The Cat Whisperer.”  You hold your dog’s paw when you meditate.  Kum ba yah.

Your guppy comes to the glass when you’re in the vicinity.  Squirrels pause when you’re close by and make eye contact.  When you play your bassoon by the roadside, cows in the pasture gather round to listen. 

Then, around noontime, you snarf down a double cheeseburger.  Voila. 

It’s a good life, unencumbered by qualms.

I know.  I’m not eating every kind of animal.  It’s just that karma thing lurking.  It’s begun to creep into my consciousness.

You might remember a video that circulated not too long ago.  It shows a giant great white shark caught somewhere down south.  That beast weighed in at almost 2000lbs and he looked to be 15 feet long.  His bloody snout brushed the pier where he was strung up by his tail, hanging lifeless – a trophy.

Tourists were taking turns standing next to him with the proud fishermen who caught him and having their pictures made.

In the video, somebody’s mom sidles up next to the behemoth shyly, pulling her shoulders up, happy, squinting into the sun.  While she waits for her husband to find the shutter button on his smart phone, the shark lurches to life, flexes his body toward her and works his jaws in one last futile attempt at revenge. 

Oh yeah.  That mom must have had fish sticks for lunch.  Sharky was tuned in on his way out.

This kind of thing is worrisome to us devotees of ichthyology who also love our Mrs. Paul’s.

It’s one thing when a self-righteous teenager calls you out on your hypocrisy, but the animals themselves?  Oh no.  We can’t have that. 

This all rushed to the forefront this week when the New York Post reported that a Chinese chef preparing a delicacy – cobra flesh soup – was killed by the snake he was getting ready to eat.


Peng Fan set the Indochinese spitting cobra’s head aside while chopping its body for the soup.  Then, when he tried to toss the reptile’s head in the trash 20 minutes later, it bit him, injecting him with its fast-acting venom.

There it is.  Mark it.  Another sign that the living creatures have had it with being eaten by the hypocrites.  Their heads are watching.

“All reptiles can function for up to an hour without the rest of their bodies,” a herpetologist said after the incident, as though this would somehow be helpful.

The report goes on to say that diners in Fan’s restaurant heard screams coming from the kitchen:  “Suddenly there was a lot of commotion,” one woman said.  “We did not know what was happening . . . After we heard that, we did not continue with our meal.”

I’m glad that last bit was included.  It shows that we hypocrites aren’t stupid.  We know when to slip away – before there’s a full rebellion from the menu.

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