The biggest problem with vegetarians, and their most Puritan variation—Vegans—is not so much their holier-than-thou attitude (after all, most enthusiasts, from fitness freaks to fundamentalists, have the same attitude), but the barely concealed will to power to impose veganism on the rest of us. It is another form of the totalitarian temptation.
Social science is catching up with this perception. A new study in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science finds that organic food eaters are . . . jerks. From the abstract:
After viewing a few organic foods, comfort foods, or control foods, participants who were exposed to organic foods volunteered significantly less time to help a needy stranger, and they judged moral transgressions significantly harsher than those who viewed nonorganic foods. These results suggest that exposure to organic foods may lead people to affirm their moral identities, which attenuates their desire to be altruistic.
Bad news for Rachel Maddow viewers: Even MSNBC can figure out what this means, with a story entitled “Does Organic Food Turn People Into Jerks?” The Jezebel.com summary is even better: “Study Suggests that Eating Organic Foods Contributes to Moral Depravity.” Their summary:
Science can be a wonderfully vindictive thing, especially when it suggests that people who self-righteously purchase and consume organic foods are more likely to not help you jump your dead car battery, hold the door open for you, or volunteer to coach a community little league team. That’s right, everyone — organic foodies would sooner run a child down on her way to softball practice with their Schwinns than help that child learn how to catch a fly ball, and that’s more or less a scientific fact.
Lesson: never trust anyone who doesn’t eat cheeseburgers. Preferably medium rare. (By the way, some time I must share with Power Line readers my home-ground beef burger technique. You haven’t lived till you’ve had a burger from truly fresh ground beef. I actually use a food processor sometimes instead of a meat grinder, and mix a combo of sirloin and chuck steak. Then I go out and volunteer to help old ladies cross the street.)
Hat tip: Ken Green
P.S. Needless to day, Jonathan Haidt needs to follow up on this.