I am a product of my environment. I can’t truly know what life was like 50-60 years ago without immersing myself in some rigorous research and even then it won’t be as accurate as living through it.
Having said that, it seems like people need to divide themselves much more than ever before. It’s as though we’ve decided we need exact definitions of ourselves. Whatever we do, we need to form an in-group with everyone else who does the same thing. And, more unfortunate, we need to form an out-group that we are fighting against.
These backlashes against movements that don’t have anything to do with anyone is puzzling. For the most part, vegetarians don’t run around forcing other people to become vegetarians. Sometimes it seems that way, but if you actually have any vegetarian friends, they are typically super low-key about it unless they’re asked.
I don’t understand why anyone would care about vegetarians. Are we all just ready to buy into the idea that if someone has a different idea about how to live, that person is our enemy? I’ll concede that there are annoying vegetarians, just like there are annoying members of any group you can possibly imagine. Some portion of the population is simply annoying. Even the most ideal mindset is annoying at times. Positive people can be too positive. Negative people can be too negative. But rather than focusing on the people who take things too far and too seriously, why not focus on either the idea or the majority of people who are perfectly normal and happy to have a conversation/coexist? And, in the end, you may not care for that person’s position, but that doesn’t mean you have to stand against them ready to fight!
This “beefetarian” ad is frustrating. It doesn’t make any sense. Most people are omnivores. You don’t need to convert anyone to sell your stupid product! The point of “going green” or “going vegetarian” is that you’re taking the default and making an effort to alter how you live. You put up solar panels or avoid meat products. But this is the level of debate we have.
The purpose of that ad is probably two-fold. First, McDonald’s likely wants to advertise that their product is high quality (aka is actually beef). Secondly, they want to divide people. Pick up on the people who would actually think, “Those damn vegetarians have the nerve not to eat the same things I eat. Bastards!” Galvanize that sentiment so that people feel like eating a cheeseburger is a statement. By eating, you aren’t simply stuffing your face full of terribly unhealthy food, you are silencing those who are trying to take it away. Freedom!
It’s the same way that issues are politicized rather than discussed. We don’t actually know what ideas we support, but we know when the labels are put up. “Democrats think A and republicans think B.” WHY? As an amateur scientist, that way of approaching problems is absurd. As a pretend philosopher, it leads to the worst debates, a complete lack of logic, and tribal-like divisions.
I could be taking this silly ad too seriously, but I don’t really care about the ad itself. I think it’s representative of a larger issue. This seemingly unrelenting need to feel like we have an enemy out there. That our core beliefs are being attacked from all sides and we better put some like-minded person in power or Christmas, meat, white privilege, love, Jesus, ice cream, kittens, rights, guns, and puff pastries will be wiped off the planet by the evil “others” out there.