by Geoffrey Smagacz 6/18/15
Is Steven Spielberg pushing that conceit again in his latest Jurassic Park picture, Jurassic World, that sees the vegetarian dinosaurs as gentle giants, but the carnivores as mean-spirited man eaters? From watching the trailers and then the movie, unfortunately, yes.
In the first Jurassic Park, the wee ones, hiding in a tree, practically rub noses with one of the behemoths munching leaves. They relax because “he’s one of the good ones”; the monster only eats vegetables. It sneezes on the two innocents, and the audience titters.
Yes, this scene serves as comic relief for the audience after witnessing a particularly stressful scene. But why does Mr. Spielberg perpetuate this well-worn myth; doesn’t he know what a cliché it is? Though immensely entertaining, one has to wonder if these movies principally function as vegan propaganda.
For example, doesn’t Mr. Spielberg know that the two most dangerous animals in Africa – that is, the animals that kill the most humans – are the “herbivorific” hippo and water buffalo? How can that be? They only eat vegetables! Little children should beware.
And how about that poor fellow in Africa stalking elephants with his camera, recently trampled to death by a bull elephant, also an herbivore? And yet Spielberg has his Jurassic Park tourists in Jurassic World unconcernedly weaving in and out and around the legs of massive brontosauruses and stegosauruses?
What world does Spielberg live in? The next time he visits his summer house near Yosemite National Park, he should find a herd of American Buffalo (they’re plenteous around there), and approach them, particularly one of the male bulls at rutting time. Try to pat his head and see what happens. Afterward, he can shake his finger at the beast and say, “You shouldn’t act like that. Don’t you know you’re a vegetarian?”
I got my first unhealthy dose of vegans about 30 years ago, volunteering at a food coop in Buffalo, New York. Then, I was, I admit, a vegetarian – and also an atheist. These two vegan ladies that I worked with were the hands-down nastiest individuals I’d ever encountered in my short life up until then.
I started eating chicken and fish immediately thereafter but continued to avoid the red stuff until a particular incident. An old school chum from a devout Catholic family invited me to dinner, and from the moment I arrived I could feel a palpable tension between the wayward daughter, who had become a vegan, and the mother, preparing T-bone steaks.
What am I going to do? I thought. How am I going to handle this? I hadn’t eaten red meat in five years. If I said anything, I’d only aggravate the strain. I decided to zip it. We gathered. They prayed. The daughter had her vegan meal and I tucked into a delicious steak, and I’ve been eating meat in moderation ever since.
In Matthew 4:4, Christ makes it clear. It’s not what goes into a man’s mouth that defiles him, it’s what comes out of it. Evil starts in the human heart. It’s not the meat that’s going to make us mean or the lack of meat that will make us gentle.
So, Mr. Spielberg, next Jurassic Park movie, throw in a foot stomping brontosaurus with an attitude. It’ll make me think of those vegans in Buffalo.
Mr. Smagacz is author of A Waste of Shame and Other Sad Tales of the Appalachian Foothills. The book won the 2014 Independent Publisher gold medal for Mid-Atlantic Best Regional Fiction. • (1268 views)