Photo from: http://shoeswithsouls.com/uncategorized/natalie-portman-launches-vegan-shoe-line.php
I'm not one to follow scandalous celebrity gossips but my friend Joe twittered about Natalie Portman turning vegan and I sure had to look it up! She's been a vegetarian for the last twenty years (wow!) and has recently turned vegan thanks to Jonathan Safran Foer's, Eating Animals. She wrote passionately and eloquently for the Huffington Post about the reasons for this change and her move to vegan activism.
I was pretty much impressed with her intelligent discourse until I did a cursory search on the net only to discover that people have taken offense with her analogy of eating meat out of social obligation to that of someone forced to partake in rape as that is the accepted norm. This reference has meat eaters in arms, raving that she is yet another PETA deranged activist out to crucify meat eating.
To be honest, I don't get what the fuss is all about (but don't take my word for it - I'm trying to be a vegan after all). She's not directly co-relating the two, she is trying to explain it by providing a mental image of how social conformity can lead to actions that are undesirable to one. Perhaps, being a celebrity and all, she could have been more careful with her prose. But, stripping her popularity aside, would anyone really kick up a fuss if some nameless person was to make that comment?
I think its important to go beyond and understand the message even if one does not care for animal welfare instead of merely dismissing, in typical fashion, just because of a statement.