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April 06, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-06

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 6, 1999

(Ihz Eli rittwu ild

Meat It's not just for breakfast anymore

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Unequal protection
Hate crime legislation ignores LGBT people

try not to think too much. I find that I
can hurt myself pretty easily that way.
Usually I am pretty happy just dragging my
knuckles to class, the gym, or to work.
However, I do go and see speakers and
guest lecturers on
occasion. I figure if I
am shelling out all
this dough for tuition,
I might as well get
my money's worth.
So when the
University sponsored
a lecture by feminist
and animal rights;
activist Carol Adams
a few weeks agox
titled "The Sexual
Politics of Meat," I Branden
couldn't pass it up. At SgnZ
best, I might gain D
some insight and a
new perspective. At the Hemmer
worst, I figured it
would surely provide some interesting col-
umn fodder. Well, one out of two ain't bad.
I agreed with almost nothing she had to
say (I guess that is not surprising, being as
I am a member of our "racist patriarchal
society," as she calls it) but managed to sit
through the whole thing anyway, ostensibly
on the basis of broadening my mind.
According to Adams, the men of our soci-
ety have a recent trend of oppressing both
women and animals, by "animalizing" the
former and "sexualizing" the latter. Adams
went on to say that the men of our society
seek money and power primarily for "great
sex and great steak."
As someone who has had more than my
fair share of both, I can say that yes, I do
like great steak - preferably in large quan-
tities and blood-rare. So what? I'm not

going to start having amorous fantasies
about cattle or anything because of that. I
like great sex too. But again, so what?
It's not like I'm going to judge a potential
girlfriend based solely on the quality of lay
she is. I'm not going to lower my standards
for intelligence, appearance, sense of
humor and everything else that is important
to me simply because some girl is a whirl-
wind in the sack.
And if you want to pursue that angle,
who is to say that women are not just as
much at fault as men are. It has been docu-
mented in countless studies that, while men
judge the suitability of a potential mate pri-
marily on physical appearance, status and
power are the most important factors to
women (I'm not saying this is true in every
case, but statistically it is - just ask your
sociology professor if you don't believe
me.) What if the men of this "racist patriar-
chal society" are just responding to supply
and demand?
Later, Adams reproached the superiority
complex of humans over animals, declaring
that mankind's mistreatment of animals can
only end after we realize that we humans
are animals as well. I agree with her. I think
we are animals (to the eternal consternation
of my devoutly Catholic grandmother) and
that is exactly why I had such a hard time
swallowing everything else she said.
Every niche of the ecosystem on this
planet has a food chain. Some animals are
higher than others on this food chain. The
lower animals get eaten by the higher. It's
a fact of life. Yet you don't see people
calling for the eradication of wolves,
lions, and sharks simply because they kill
other animals and eat their flesh, do you?
No one is storming the Diag in protest,
saying we should send the Sixth Fleet into
India to reform all the tigers there so they

only eat grass and twigs from now on.
Well ... maybe they are, but I haven't
heard about it.
I am a carnivore, gentle reader, and so
are you (though you may choose to deny
that fact) and I am at the top of the food
chain. You know what? I like being a carni-
vore. I have eaten just about every type of
meat you can think of. Deer, elk, bear, alli-
gator, dog, snake, cat (ever see that bumper
sticker that says. "I like cats - they taste
like thicken"? Well, it's true), kangaroo,
monkey and crocodile - to give you the
short list - have all graced my palate. Does
that make me an evil person? Am I some
kind of moral miscreant because of the type
of food I like? Because I am performing my
role in the food chain? I think not.
Adams could not even come up with a
cogent response when asked what grounds
she had for her theory that eating meat was
morally wrong. Aftersevading the question
for a few minutes she responded with,
"Meat is not necessary for a proper diet.'
Proper to whom? I suppose if I like the
thought of going through life as a 90-
pound stick figure (sort of like Kate Moss
with a penis) then being a vegetarian
might have some appeal. But it does not. I
enjoy the fact that I can run five miles and
not have to worry if my legs are going to
fall off. I relish being able to swim over a
mile without tearing a pectoral. I like
going to the beach, taking my shirt off and
getting stared at.
To me, a "proper diet" is one that allows
to me to have a healthy, active lifestyle and
do the things that I ive doing. The way I
see it, you only go around once - you
might as well go around with big guns.
- Branden Sanz chn be reached at a
steakhouse near you or over e-mail at


T wo weeks ago, members of the cam-
pus's lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-
gender community gathered in Lansing to
make a stand for equal rights. The purpose of
this meeting, which was sponsored by the
organization Equality Begins at Home, was
to meet with lawmakers in order to gain sup-
port for a bill which would extend the pro-
tection offered by Michigan's hate crimes
law to homosexuals. The lobby was the first
of its kind in 15 years and involved nearly
100 people from across the state. The goal of
these activists is certainly a worthy one, and
state legislators would do well to listen to
It is clear that the LGBT community
must be included in the hate crimes law.
Although homosexuality is somewhat
more tolerated on campus now than it has
been in the past, acceptance is still a long
way off. The beating death of Matthew
Shepard last fall is only the most well-pub-
licized example of a recent hate crime
against gay people. Incidents such as this
one serve to illustrate that hatred, preju-
dice and ignorance are still very prevalent
- and that same ignorance can be seen in
the failure of legislators - in Michigan
and elsewhere - to extend the protection
of the laws to the LGBT community. In
fact, a bill identical to the one currently in
the state House was rejected by the state
Senate last year. It is important that this
bill does not share a similar fate.
In addition to gaining legal protection
from hate crimes, the LGBT lobby also
sought to express their opposition to other
anti-gay proposals that may be pending in

the state legislature. In 1996, Michigan
enacted a law that banned same-sex mar-
riages and refuses to recognize those per-
formed in other states. The legislature has
also seen a proposal to prohibit adoption by
gay couples (although this bill failed to get
through the state House). Despite the claims
of some conservatives, same-sex marriage,
adoption and protection from hate crimes
do not constitute "special rights" for homo-
sexuals; these are simply the same rights
that belong to every other American citizen.
No one should be denied these rights on the
basis of sexual orientation.
University students may soon have the
opportunity to show the state legislature
their support for gay rights. The Office of
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
Affairs is considering organizing a petition
drive to amend the hate crimes law. E.
Frederic Dennis, director of the LGBT
office, has said that it is uncertain how
much student participation this effort will
garner. But if the petition is issued, it is
important that University students show
their support of the cause of equal rights.
The injustices that currently exist in the
state's laws can, and must, be amended.
Students who traveled to Lansing to voice
their opinions should be commended for tak-
ing real strides to bring about change. It is
senseless to deny a particular group of peo-
ple protection under hate crime legislation.
LGBT is urged to proceed with their petition,
which cannot thrive without the support of
students. The University community must
not miss the chance to help ensure none of its
members are treated as second-class citizens.



Injustice for all
NYPD's treatment of minorities unlawful

The New York City Police Department is
known for poor treatment of the public
but is infamous for its particularly unfair
and harsh treatment of minorities. Some of
the most famous criminal cases in New
York City courts are against police.
Just in time to tarnish Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani's outstanding record of cleaning up
the city streets, the death of an innocent
man sparks angry protests and controversy.
The NYPD and Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani's consistently unstable relationship
with minority communities has taken a turn
for the worse. On Feb. 4, four New York
City police officers fired 41 gunshots at
Amadou Diallo, a 22-year-old unarmed
street vendor from Guinea. The officers,
Kenneth Boss, Sean Carroll, Richard
Murphy and Edward McMellon, all mem-
bers of New York City's elite street crimes
unit, thought the West African immigrant
resembled the sketch of an alleged serial
rapist they were looking for.
In a Bronx courtroom last week, the offi-
cers pleaded not guilty to second-degree
murder, for which they could receive up to
25 years in prison if convicted. The officers
tried to excuse their unbelievably excessive
"defensive" shooting by stating that they
thought Diallo was armed and reaching for a
gun. 19 of the officers' 41 shots hit Diallo,
leaving him dead in the lobby of his apart-
ment building.
The controversial shooting spurred daily
demonstrations and protests. The Rev. Al
Sharpton brought attention to the case by
calling for President Clinton and Congress
to fight police brutality in a 2,500-person
protest in Washington D.C. intended to spur
nationwide changes to abusive police prac-

During the arraignment more than 1,000
protesters gathered outside the Bronx court-
house, some in support of the officers, others
protesting the department's tendency to target
minorities with brutality and intimidation.
Outside police headquarters, 1,200 people
of varying ethnicities were arrested on
charges of civil disobedience and blocking
access to police headquarters. Among them
were a number of prominent activists includ-
ing NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, the
Rev. Jesse Jackson and actors Ossie Davis
and Susan Sarandon. Investigations by the
Federal Civil Rights Commission, two New
York districts of U.S. attorney offices and
state Attorney General Elliot Spitzer are
underway to determine the training discipline
of New York City police.
According to an Associated Press arti-
cle, U.S. Attorney Zachary Carter may be
preparing to order federal monitoring of the
police department. Giuliani is opposed to
the idea insisting that there are about 200
police departments in other cities that
should be examined before New York
City's. But it seems that this would be an
ideal time for the NYPD to re-evaluate its
entire system under objective federal super-
While the four police officers are enti-
tled to a fair trial, their actions were
heinous, regardless of whether or not they
thought Diallo was armed and reaching for
a gun. Four men firing 41 gunshots at a sin-
gle man in the lobby of an apartment build-
ing is excessive, for lack of a better word.
There is no reason that Diallo should have
died, leaving behind a grieving family.
Episodes of police brutality must be thor-
oughly investigated and exposed to the pub-

Sanz insulted
campus groups
I am writing in response to Branden
Sanz's offensive column that ran Monday,
March 29. Unlike Branden Sanz, the vari-
ous activists on this campus are very well
informed on the issues surrounding their
For instance, as a member of S.O.L.E,I
can safely say that we are well aware of the
horrendous living conditions that surround
sweatshop workers We do not have to trav-.
el to a third world country to know that
poverty and starvation exist, but we do
know that they exist, and since we happen
to be the privileged members of society, it is
up to us to do something about it.
It is appalling to me that Sanz managed
to disparage almost every activist group on
this campus merely based on his opinion,
rather that fact. Most of his column is inco-
herent and ignorant. "When you have been
to Thailand and see a mother willing to
prostitute herown 12-year-old daughter for
$20 an hour, then you can tell me about the
evils of sweatshop labor" First of all, that
sentence doesn't even make sense.
Prostitution and sweatshop labor are two
entirely different issues.
Secondly, if Sanz knew at all what he
was talking about, he would know that no
sweatshop worker in any third world coun-
try makes $20 an hour, or the issue of a liv-
ing wage would not even be an issue.
Basically, I feel that Sanz insulted
everyone on this campus that has any moral
commitment. He obviously has none and
that is very apparent in his ignorant and
heartless comments. We do not have to
experience someone else's tragedy first
hand, or live through the Holocaust, to have
simple human compassion and to know that.
some things can be prevented and it is a
close-minded person that believes other-
wise. He would do well to do a little
research before ripping apart causes that
other's feel very strongly about. He is a
prime example of the white ignorance,
naivete and plain old stupidity that he is so
strongly trying to criticize.
Rum PAsT
Assisted suicide
debated by medical
With regards to the editorial "Guilty
Verdict" (4/5/99), the medical field has
actually been extraordinarilyactive in
debating the topic of assisted suicide. The
major organizations that represent physi-
cians are democracies - their policies set
by majority vote of its members as repre-
sented by their elected delegates. During
my time serving as one of the University
Medical School representatives to the



goo "-.




_, 4q

Michigan State Medical Society's House of
Delegates and the AMA's Medical Student
Section Assembly, I was lucky enough to
have participated in many of the heated
debates at which these policies were hashed
out. It was obvious that there are as many
impassioned viewpoints on all sides inside
of medicine as there are outside.
For example, the American Medical
Students Association believes that, if physi-
cian assisted suicide is to be legalized, it
should be a "last resort" treatment allowed
only under a specific series of 14 criteria
(AMSA-HOD, 1993, 1998).
Other major organizations, like the
Islamic Medical Association of North
America and the Christian Medical and
Dental Society, are categorically opposed
to physician participation in assisted sui-
cide. The American Medical Association,
after serious debate, adopted policy
reflecting a belief that the vast majority of
requests for physician assisted suicide are
symptomatic of inadequate pain control,
lack of social support, fear of loss of dig-
nity or abandonment or other treatment
issues which can and must be aggressively
responded to.
Given the dangers of abuse by financial
and social pressures (HMOs, anyone?) no
safeguards could adequately protect
patients if assisted suicide were allowed,
and thus opposed its legalization (AMA
Policy E-2.211I).
Here in Michigan, the issue was so divi-
sive the Michigan State Medical Society
adopted a dissenting minority opinion along
with the majority vote supporting the
AMA's position (1997, 1998). It did agree
that Proposal B was a poorly written law
that should be killed and launched a mas-
sive - and ultimately successful -coali-
tion campaign to kill it.
While we inside the medical field may
have more technicalknowledge, we don't
have any more claim to ethical superiority
or ability to predict the future social impact
of proposed policy than all of you do.
Medicine, as represented by organized
medicine, has long actively and loudly
debated, and will continue to debate, assist-
ed suicide.
We will continue to strive to do the
best we can for our patients. We unfortu-
nately don't have any more of a consensus
on the issue than the public does. But it's

not for lack of trying.
Irony of Review's
fake advertisement
was missed
Satire is clearly lost on the uninformed,
as Jesse McClintock's letter "Michigan
Review ad parody was bigoted" (4/5/99)
proves. In the Review's parody of the Daily,
entitled "The Michigan Delay," the Review
showed a fake advertisement for "Buy One,
Get Fifty Free" sports paraphernalia that
makes light of the sweatshop situation.
McClintock accuses the Review of "violent-
ly attempting to satirize the poverty of the
people who make the clothing which
Michigan students parade around in?'
This is not true at all. The Review does
not attempt to satirize the plight of the labor-
ers at all; in fact, it only makes their struggle
seem even more poignant. What the parody
does make light of is the fact that at the same
time students had commandeered University
President Lee Bollinger's office to protest the
use of sweatshops in University sports appar-
el, Steve and Barry's sportswear was smack
in the middle of their "Buy One, Get Five
Free" sale.
So while some students were trying to
help the impoverished and oppressed
workers, a majority of the students were
forcing those workers to quintuple pro-
duction, so that the "get five free" sale
could continue. The irony of this situation
is what the Review was trying to empha-
The Review does not find the poverty
of the workers funny at all; rather, by
pointing out the irony of the situation, the
Review serves to underscore the plight of
those workers and make their struggle hit
home that much harder. It also makes those
of us who disagree with the sweatshops but
buy six-for-the-price-of-one fully aware of
their hypocrisy.JIM KNAP

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