Two decades ago, former model Omaima Aree Nelson murdered her husband. Then she cooked and ate parts of his body while wearing red shoes, a red hat, and lipstick. She was convicted and sentenced to twenty-seven years in prison, but now she’s requesting early release.
There is one part of the letter that makes a lot of sense to me: if Nelson is not granted parole, PETA suggested that she be fed a vegetarian/vegan diet in prison. That way, her long-term healthcare costs would be reduced and taxpayer money would be saved.
But the cogency is lost amid the craziness.
PETA makes a couple of extreme comparisions, first between Nelson herself and animals: “Animals on factory farms never get a chance at parole because they always get the death penalty”; and then between the butchered animals and Nelson’s butchered husband: “The last thing that a convicted killer and cannibal should be allowed to do is chew on these innocent victims’ body parts.”
The first comparison wrongly (and bizarrely) aligns regular old omnivores who eat factory farm meat with a murderous cannibal. The second undermines the seriousness of Nelson’s mental condition by implying that eating animals is on the same terror-level as eating your husband.
Can veganism prevent and even cure the country’s most common diseases? I think so. But can it cure cannibalism (and whatever mental condition results in cannibalistic acts)? I think not. Obviously, I believe in the sentiment behind a lot of what PETA does. But I don't believe in fighting horror with ridiculousness.
Nevertheless, I will leave you with one heartfelt piece of advice: If you are tempted to put on a red dress, chop up your husband, cook him, and eat him… don’t waste time worrying about whether you ought to maintain a vegan diet. Go get some help.