For some of the more radically fringe groups in our global society, a little perspective can go a long way.
In this ever-polarizing world, we seem to find ourselves eschewing the beauty of cultural diversity in favor of the my way or the highway ethos. It’s as if we are all attempting to move the societal needle ever-so-slightly in our favor, but with the knowledge that a mighty centrist population will be pulled further by extremism than logic.
And this is unfortunate. There are plenty of grey areas on a number of these subjects that just don’t get heard, thanks to the focused noise that we find on television and in social media.
Here is a perfect example: I am an animal lover but also a carnivore. I don’t hunt, but I do enjoy big game, as well as small game, livestock, seafood, eggs, and whatever other animal proteins you want to put on my plate.
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The importance here is that I can separate my love of animals from the acts that put them on the table. This is nothing new, as ancient traditions from the far-reaches of mankind express a number of ways in which animal worship exists both before and after the slaughter.
Today, however, the rapid radicalization of certain pockets of our society has made these sort of compromises feel, well, compromising. It’s the “I’m more invested in this than you are” attitude, and it has been widely used to discredit those with whom you disagree.
In France, this sort of binary classification of opinions and eating habits has turned violent…and the militant vegans at the center of the controversy are paying a heavy price.
The Criminal Court of Lille sentenced Cyrile, a 23-year-old social mediator, to 10 months’ imprisonment while 29-year-old nursery school worker Mathilde was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment on Monday, according to Le Figaro.
The pair had committed 15 attacks between November 2018 and February across the Hauts-de-France region, damages including broken shop windows, graffiti, and attempts to burn down premises with petrol, which caused severe fire damage.
Two others were given suspended sentences for aiding and abetting militant vegan protests.
The court heard how Cyrile and Mathilde took part in night-time attacks on shops that served or sold meat as well as places that sold fur, causing criminal damage and tagging the businesses with phrases such as “Stop Specism,” “Assassins,” and “Their skin, not yours.”
France, much like America, has long been considered a bastion of freedom, (the recent Yellow Vest protests aside). For an enlightened, liberty loving people to believe that violence against one another is appropriate, particularly in the realm of dietary preference, is an abomination of freedom in its own right.
Alas, c’est la vie.
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