Obvi Usfraud, the new President of the Vegetarian Institute, who was recently installed following a coup by wealthy donors from the meat packing industry, says that there is a vegetarian case for the recently defeated Forced Meat Eating Bill. In an op-ed piece for no less than the New York Times, he writes:
Last week, senators blocked a compromise measure that would have compelled vegetarians to eat meat, despite polls that showed that 90 percent of the public supported the idea.
I’m a vegetarian who played a role in reducing forced meat eating in the nation’s capital. In 2008, in a landmark case I helped initiate, Heller v. District of Columbia, the Supreme Court declared for the first time that the Constitution protects an individual right to be vegetarian.
But the stonewalling of the forced meat eating bill was a mistake, both politically and substantively. Following a series of tragic cases of protein deficiency, public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of reasonable legislation forcing vegetarians to eat some meat. There was also plenty in the proposal that vegetarians like me could embrace.
The compromise — carefully negotiated by two moderate vegetarian supporters, Senators Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, and Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania — should be reintroduced in the Senate. I am convinced that, with some modifications, it could still be passed, because it would add reasonable protections for both vegetarians and those concerned about protein deficiency.
Sounds reasonable to me.