Sarah Palin endorses cannibalism

“If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?”

From Going Rogue, as quoted in the LA Examiner:

If any vegans came over for dinner, I could whip them up a salad, then explain my philosophy on being a carnivore: If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?

From Flanders & Swann’s “The Reluctant Cannibal,” a father addressing his son who has refused a dish of Roast Leg of Insurance Salesman on the silly grounds that “Eating people is wrong”:

But people have always eaten people.
What else is there to eat?
If the Juju had meant us
not to eat people
He wouldn’t have made ’em of meat!

I’m not sure whether to be pleased that even Sarah Palin knows Flanders & Swann or horrified that she doesn’t see that her argument points toward cannibalism.

That Palin relies (as Sheridan said of a political rival) on her memory for her jests and her imagination for her facts is such old news that it’s barely worth accusing her of plagiarism. Or is it possible that Donald Swann was spoofing an already extant anti-vegetarian argument?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

15 thoughts on “Sarah Palin endorses cannibalism”

  1. I don't know the origin of the "God made them out of meat" joke, but it's an internet cliché in any discussion forum on vegetarianism, along with "I'm a member of PETA – People Eating Tasty Animals."

    I wouldn't have thought it possible, but Palin's (or her ghostwriter's) repetition of this tiresome joke has lowered my opinion of her even further.

  2. It's an old (to us) dumb joke, but for a religious person it can express something worth taking seriously. I do know that in traditional Judaism, to claim that vegetarianism is morally required is actively considered to be…I don't know if "wrong" is the word, but there's a Hebrew phrase (that I don't know) meaning "trying to be holier than God". That is, especially in Judaism, where there are so many rules pertaining to how meat is to be eaten, to say that it should not be eaten is to indulge in that error. If it were wrong, we'd have been told so.

  3. DonBoy:

    In the Bible, there are also a lot of rules about how slaves should be treated, etc. By your logic, it would be wrong to suggest that we shouldn't keep slaves.

  4. Sarah Palin presents an idea to us vegetarians that we have never ever heard of or thought of before. Wow, Sarah, I never looked at it that way and it completely changes everything. Thanks, Sarah.

  5. Doncha feel silly now, ACLS? 🙂

    I just mourn the fact that Sacred Wisdom Sarah isn't one heartbeat away from the Presidency, where she could have continued in the noble footsteps of Dubya. Betcha she could have redeemed his reputation (relatively) in only a couple of years.

  6. There was also a hilarious piece in, I think, the New Yorker at least 10 years back, being a conversation between the earth-bound explorer from a distant planet and his/her/its HQ, the theme being "they're made of meat!" and the levels of disbelief and disgust ensuing from this observation.

    I think it's actually not a bad line from Ms Palin – better that most – and if she got it from a writer, she's not the only politico to have done so. That said, it still does raise the question that Mark K opened with: if them, why not us?

  7. @John G., you're referring to "They're Made Out of Meat" by Terry Bisson. It appeared in Omni. The full text — hilarious (I agree) and wonderfully succinct — is freely available at several sites.

  8. JohnG is on the mark; we can probably assume that Miz P. had some help from a writer and if so, maybe the writer slipped in the borrow from "Reluctant Cannibal" to indicate that there's intelligent life somewhere inside the Palin camp. Would this qualify as a cry for help, I wonder?

    OTOH, anything that provides an excuse for digging out my Flanders & Swann LPs is welcome.

  9. On further thought, I am pleased at Ms Palin's rhetorical question because it is a superb example of begging the question in its old, 'true' logical sense of assuming what it purports to prove – what in Latin is called petitio principii. No reason to go all classical here except that huge numbers of people, including some who should know better, use 'begs the question' for 'raises/poses/demands the question'. Not surprising – 'beg' wasn't a great English label.

    But now if I need an example to make that point or just to show what the logical fallacy is, I have a pungent example and a memorable one. Thank you, Ms Palin('s ghostwriter)!

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