Hyperbolic Hypocrisy

The critics of consumer choice and enemies of a wide variety of menu options have never been known for their consistency. From flip-flops about obesity lawsuits to schizophrenic support of domestic terrorism, the food cops, animal rights nuts, and other radical activists have practically got the market cornered on hypocrisy. Here are a few of our favorite examples.

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Director of Nutrition Policy Margo Wootan on personal responsibility:

“We have got to move beyond personal responsibility. “

–2003 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting


“Of course, it is ultimately the responsibility of parents to feed their children well.”

–Senate Testimony, March 2, 2004

People for the Ethical treatment of Animals (PETA) President Ingrid Newkirk on PETA’s support of violence:

“Let me set the record straight. PETA does not condone or commit violent acts, nor do we threaten anybody with violence.”

Deseret News, February 12, 2002


“If I had more guts, I’d light a match.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 12, 1999


“I wish we all would get up and go into the labs and take the animals out or burn them down.”

–Animal Rights Convention, July 27, 1997

PETA Senior Vice President MaryBeth Sweetland on her use of insulin, which was tested on animals:

“I’m an insulin-dependent diabetic. Twice a day I take synthetically manufactured insulin that still contains some animal products — and I have no qualms about it … I’m not going to take the chance of killing myself by not taking insulin. I don’t see myself as a hypocrite. I need my life to fight for the rights of animals.”

Glamour, January 1990

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk — in a Machiavellian moment — explains how killing more than a thousand animals PETA accepted for shelter in 1999 is “ethical,” because it frees up more money to mount offensive “press slut” campaigns:

“It is a totally rotten business, but sometimes the only kind option for some animals is to put them to sleep forever… It sounds lovely if you’re naïve. We could become a no-kill shelter immediately. It means we wouldn’t do as much work.”

The Virginian-Pilot, August 1, 2000

Kelly “Big Brother” Brownell, who has led the charge to tax Americans back into shape, offers this indictment of personal responsibility, but admits his own paunch is due to his personal food and exercise choices:

“Why quarrel with the personal-responsibility argument? First, it’s wrong…Second, it ignores biology…Third, the argument is not helpful…Fourth, personal responsibility is a trap.”

–with Marion Nestle in TIME, June 7, 2004


“He sports a good-size paunch thanks, he says, to a book project that has kept him relatively sedentary and snack-prone for the last year or so. In photographs taken a few years back, he looks much trimmer.”

–Associated Press, November 10, 2002

CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson on the rash of lawsuits against food companies:

“There’s been one obesity lawsuit in the history of the United States, and suddenly everyone wants protection. It’s a non-issue.”

Restaurant Business, February 5, 2004


“There is no one lawsuit that will solve the obesity problem that has become an epidemic. It’s going to take a whole lot of lawsuits to make a difference in public policy that will affect the dietary habits of the thousands that suffer obesity-related disease.”

Washington Times, June 22, 2003

PETA on targeting children:

“Everything we do is based at adults.”

–PETA President Ingrid Newkirk on CNN, March 21, 2002


“Our campaigns are always geared towards children and they always will be.”

— PETA Vice President Dan Matthews on FOX News, Dec 19, 2003

Pop Singer Pink on her support of PETA:

“I have very conflicted views on everything. I’m a proud member of PETA and I got leather boots on my feet, you know what I’m saying?”

–MTV.com, March 30, 2004

Australian supermodel, PETA supporter, and self-described “world’s most downloaded woman” Sarah Jane on her favorite foods:

“…’raw meat’, lamb kidney, lamb curry and ‘haggis’… Her turnoffs: ‘Non animal lovers and over cooked meat.'”

The Washington Post, February 24, 2004

Waterkeeper Alliance President Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on exploiting 9-11:

“Using what happened on September 11 to push forward [the Bush Administration’s] agenda is the most cynical thing I’ve seen in American history.”

E Magazine, November/December 2003


“Kennedy said large-scale hog producers were a greater threat to the United States and democracy than bin Laden’s terrorist network.”

Des Moines Register, April 18, 2002

Kevin Kjonaas, spokesperson for the violent animal-rights group SHAC, a group that pioneered the tactic of the “home demo,” (which includes the use of bullhorns and sirens in the middle of the night to harass their target) on using an alias:

“Kjonaas occasionally goes by the name Kevin Jonas. He says he uses the alias to spare family members outside Minneapolis from harassing phone calls from people who oppose the tactics and aims of his group.”

Philadelphia Inquirer, July 14, 2002

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