If you’re a fan of ER, which I haven’t been for about ten years, then you know that tonight, George Clooney, Eriq LaSalle, and Juliana Marguiles are all returning to the show. I say good for them – it’s important to remember where you came from, and to pay your respects to the place that made one-third of you a star.
What you may not know is that PETA wants to make George Clooney flavored tofu. I would give anything – anything – to be making this up. See, apparently, they got hold of Clooney’s gym towel, and are able to synthesize a “Clooney flavor” in the same way that artificial chicken flavoring is made. Now, if I had the power to do this… I still wouldn’t. But if I was the sort of person who was in the position to make Clooney-fu, and actually wanted to, I’d do it with the most reasonable of motives by which one would ever produce tofu out of Dr. Doug; namely, because it’d be funny.
However, PETA says they’re doing this in order to spare the life of a poor innocent animal from having to suffer the horrendous fate of being eaten, because PETA never has fun reasons for doing anything. Their hopes are that some pig, or cow, or chicken will be able to live another day happily wallowing in their own poop, knowing that, come suppertime, the American people will be tucking in to bean curd garnished with George Clooney’s gym sweat.
PETA’s in the same category as community theater productions of The Laramie Project and late 90s, Ticketmaster-is-bad era Pearl Jam. By which I mean: I get what you’re trying to do. Heck, I even support what you’re trying to do. But sometimes, you really need to just stop.
Mr. Clooney, for his part, has put the kibbosh on the whole scheme, and good for him. Clooney tofu won’t discourage people from eating meat. It would probably be expensive, for a start, it smacks of cannibalism, and at the end of the day, it’s still tofu. Tofu only tastes good when you pour lots of soy sauce on it, which deadens the palate and prevents one from truly savoring the subtle notes of George.
But that’s the thing about PETA – they have the best of intentions, but their actions sometimes make me question their ultimate views. Did they think this was a good idea because it’s a publicity stunt, or because, by using Mr. Clooney’s sweat without his permission, it draws attention to the circumstances animals are sometimes placed in without their consent? Or did they do it because they see no difference between a human life and a chicken? I’m worried that it’s the latter.
For the record, I rarely eat beef or pork – most of my protein actually comes from peanuts, eggs, or fish. I never eat veal or rabbit. I eat chicken, but chickens are stupid. I don’t know why that makes things better, but I feel much guiltier about eating an animal that has some capacity for reason and emotion, which is why I rarely eat pig products. Chickens, on the other hand, are so independent of their brains that… well, you ever heard the expression “running around like chickens with their heads cut off?” Like most cliches, it is firmly based in reality. I detest animal testing, or any other form of cruelty to animals. Greyhound racing disturbs me. Heck, the Westminster Dog Show disturbs me. But there is, I believe, a certain hierarchy, and call me cruel, but George Clooney isn’t on it.