Building straw men at the Huffington Post

When I got my Beagle from the animal shelter in 2005, she was 20 pounds and underweight, You could count ribs just by looking at her. The veterinarian gave us some tips on how to get her to gain weight. One year later, she was 35 pounds and a little fat dog. The vet told us she had to drop some weight. Heavier dogs are vulnerable to health problems, including hip dysplasia. The risk for Tera was heightened because she is part Basset Hound. She is still with us, and she is as stubborn as ever. She will be 15 at the end of November.

I did not realize until recently that the veterinarian and I were both viciously fat shaming the Beagle who was only a year and a half old. How could we be so cruel and heartless? I also did not realize I secretly wanted to have her euthanized, because her life was not worth living. Thankfully, I have been educated about my hateful bigotry. I have recently started counseling so I cam be properly brainwashed… er, educated.

Note for the terminally stupid: The second paragraph is sarcasm.

Obviously “fat shaming” for the purpose of cruelty is wrong. No one should be attacked, humiliated, berated or tormented for their physical features. A common taunt on elementary school playgrounds is still practiced at the highest levels of politics by people who really ought to know better and who ought to be setting a good example. Women, especially, are often viciously mocked for their looks.

But it is well documented that being overweight does raise the risks of certain health problems. And, quite frankly, I will trust decades of medical research more than one crank at the Huffington Post.

It certainly does not help the argument for “fat acceptance” to be pretending it is common for fat people to be seen as “better off dead,” that fat people “don’t deserve decency and kindness.” This is not debating common arguments. This is either fabricating an “argument” no one has made or collecting the rantings from trolls on 4Chan or Reddit and pretending they are common.

It is true that “a person’s health is not anyone’s business but their own.” I despise intrusive nanny-state regulations that seek to impose on us what other people think are better ways to live. But we all have family members, friends, siblings, parents, children and spouses who love us and want what is best for us. When we are doing something self destructive, we are often warned away from it – not because people want to control us but because they do not want to see us hurt.

Pointing out that it is unhealthy to be morbidly obese and that obese people should not be glorying in their excessive weight is not shaming people. It is an attempt to put the brakes on a destructive movement that cares more about self-esteem than the health and lives of people. The people campaigning for “fat acceptance” do not actually care about fat people. They care about adding a new chapter to the ideology (although it might more accurately be described as a cult) of Political Correctness.

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