The back of the T-shirt worn by the guy in front of me as I waited in line at Chipotle carried one of Gandhi’s most well-known quotes:
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
I try not to be judgmental, but this guy’s body type was not that of a vegetarian or vegan. He was corpulent. So I was not surprised that he skipped the tofu (sofritas in Chipotle-ese) and ordered chicken and double beef. I can only guess that he interpreted Gandhi’s saying as urging people to be nice to their pets. Who knows? Or maybe he went much further in his own mind and believed that “food animals” should be slaughtered humanely. Maybe he even thought that “food animals” should be uncaged, i.e., free to roam before they were slaughtered so that he could enjoy a protein-rich lunch to nurture his morbidly obese body.
“Food animals” were obviously not on his compassion radar. No doubt he sees himself as urging his fellow Americans to join him in achieving the same greatness and moral progress that he has achieved in being nice to cats and dogs and treating “food animals” with kindness until it’s time to end the kindness.
I couldn’t help but recall comedian Steve Martin’s line: “How can you BE so damn dumb?”