Letter to the editor

Protesters should have spent energy on something more worthwhile


To the chicken rights protesters and those who make tiny cactus:

Thank you for visiting our community and providing fodder for our café conversations.

Although it is small, this community is made up of different races, cultures, and personalities, all mangled together in various forms of enterprise. A tremendous amount of meaning is derived from the family groups, church groups, and work groups that occupy this community. Layers upon layers exist here and none of it just appeared overnight. I love your energy level and the commitment, but next time you come to town try opening your eyes to the depth of our community.

Don’t use this community to move up your own social moral hierarchy. Our community is not concerned about you going “viral” or achieving some vegan protester badge of honor. We are not interested in your atonement for the sin of eating Chick-fil-A. Arguments about puppies and chickens being the same are moot points here. You might as well have said Whataburger and In-N-Out are the same, but we know there’s just no comparison (Spicy Ketchup Forever). Additionally, don’t be so naïve in thinking the judicial system will treat you with any leniency when you break the law. We all have immeasurably more freedoms and opportunities than previous generations; don’t waste them on superficial causes that are the result of affluence.

Nobody is against protesting or organizing against various types of injustice towards our fellow humans. You could make a case that the very nature of this community was founded on protest and nonconformity. “Come and Take It” and “Remember the Alamo” are deeply symbolic of this area. These words have been absorbed and adulterated since their utterance, but they remain a sense of honorable contrarianism.

Why not spend your energy on something that helps people and could change their life? Be an advocate for immigration reform or farm worker rights or health insurance reform or protest high drug prices. There are child advocacy groups in this community and your own communities that would welcome your energy and commitment. Your time and desires are incredibly valuable; don’t waste them on impulsive feelings or a group that can’t define itself. Don’t let the mob drown out your individual responsibilities. Try reading the Jonathan Haidt’s theory “the rider on the elephant;” we can only go the same direction if we work together.

Come back to town some time. We could really use your vegan side dishes when we have a ribeye or pork steak fundraiser for a charity in town. It’s a fun time, and we’d love to grab a beer (beer is vegan) and learn more about you.

Josh Gray