Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Invasion of the cranky vegans

Coming to a university near you. h/t Steynian gold, in one little teaser:

"Ryerson U, a Human Rights Tribunal and a 37-year-old student make this one a nominee for Story of the Year"

The actual story (National Post) is about a vegan student who feels discriminated against because her college faculty (Social Work) won't let her to do her PhD on (wait for it) animals. 

Sinem Ketenci, 37, who immigrated from Turkey as a young woman and studied at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay before doing a master’s at Ryerson, alleges a senior professor disagreed with her comparison of maltreated animals with marginalized people, said the connection was “very inhuman and racist,” and pressured Ms. Ketenci’s untenured supervisor into withdrawing his recommendation of her PhD candidacy at other schools, which she called an academic “kiss of death.”

Which, as we know, is the exact same thing as being swallowed by a python, or having your throat ripped out by a pack of hyenas. She may have a case. Solid proof that she is PhD material:

1) Whiny and pathetic, not afraid to play the race card, which is entirely immaterial in this case:
“If I were white, born here, this case would not have happened,” she said.

(Oh please! Would you have been able to achieve a university degree if you'd stayed in Turkey?)

2) Has elevated obfuscation to an art:

“I believe that the faculty’s reaction has its basis in the strict religious belief of ‘men’s domination over animals’ that racialized people’s suffering should not be spoken about in the same context of animal suffering and that sympathy for animal suffering is not as important as sympathy for racialized peoples’ suffering,” her complaint reads. “It is as if one must choose and cannot believe in both.”
3) No sense of logic or ethical consistency:
a) The woman says she has been a vegan for three years, and a vegetarian for seven before that, so her commitment is a decade long and serious, but she admits to a certain ethical looseness.Asked whether her sneakers have leather detailing, for example, she shrugs it off with a maybe, as if it is the exception that proves the rule.“Animals shouldn’t be treated like animals either,” she quips. “Increasing animals’ value, I am not decreasing the value of humans.”

b) (On being accused of racism): “How am I being racist if ‘race’ is a part of my identity?”

Umm, we ALL have 'race' as part of our identity. Unless white is not a 'race'. Does that mean only whites can be racist? Or that no one can be racist. Or that we're ALL racist? 

All in all, it seems to have left her scarred for life: 

In an interview Monday, Ms. Ketenci said the fallout has extended to her personal life, costing her friends among fellow students, and left her “traumatized.”
 Wow, that's tough, but it's not as bad as being killed and eaten by a predator, which would have happened if she'd been an animal in the wild. 

She is asking for $15,000 compensation. Try getting that from a tribunal of goats or rabbits. Maybe humans and animals aren't equivalent after all. 

What kills me (as always) is that my tax dollars are, in one way or another, supporting this nearly-middle-aged college student's  existence, lifestyle, grievances and "education."
I'm sure she will triumph in the end: 
When her qualitative research project about animal rights activism in social work was denied this year, leading ultimately to this complaint, Ms. Ketenci’s response was to suggest a new one about the “marginalization and systemic discrimination of animal rights activists.”
Gotcha, Ryerson.

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