As someone who appreciates extremes, I'm happy to announce that I have been accused of bringing Time to its lowest point EVAH by celebrating the overturning of California's ban on the sale and production of foie gras.
Keep in mind that Time is a publication that used to routinely run articles about whether the dinosaurs believed in god, the Virgin Mary's Holy Water diet, and much, much worse.
Indeed, Mr. Luce's magazine saw fit to name Joe Stalin twice and Hitler once as "Person of the Year." Even more inexplicably, it once named Mrs. Wallis Simpson to that august post.
But since my piece on foie gras ran on Friday, my Twitter feed has been pounded with the identical message from a dizzying number of independent thinkers:
In the interest of providing context, here's a snippet of what I wrote:
In order to ban a choice that is as personal as food, government at any level should have extremely compelling reasons related to public health and safety for doing so. Simply finding something offensive is no more a warrant for prohibition than censoring art that you find disturbing. In the case of the foie gras, animal rights activists could only express concern for the birds that are traditionally force-fed in the production of foie gras. All animals that are ultimately slaughtered for human consumption may have our sympathy and our empathy. They do not, however, have rights that are equal to ours. The basic problem helps to explain why the California ban was written in a way that critics presciently called both constitutionally vague and impossible to enforce….
Which isn't to say that people opposed to foie gras have no means of carrying the day. They can work to end the market for foie gras and other animal products through persuasion and informational campaigns. But they cannot and should not bank on using the coercive power of the state to force their subjective value judgements on the rest of us who have a taste for foie gras or other delicacies they find abhorrent.
And if you don't follow me on Twitter, please start, especially if you feel a need to reiterate a spontaneous and not-at-all mass-produced evaluation of just how unforgiveably rotten a defense of individual choice I've made.