She's a character, she has opinions.

Humans use food stamps, animals don’t.

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Today in “offensive things I find on Facebook” is this gem about food stamps:

The food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.

Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to “Please Do Not Feed the Animals” because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.

So, my conservative acquaintances, people who need government assistance to help purchase food are the same as wild animals? (If you answer yes, this is me calling you an ass.)

Sarcasm aside, let’s be logical, something those of you gleefully sharing this bit of nonsense are not at all being. Human beings and wild animals are not the same thing. We call saying they are “conflation” and that means treating two different concepts as if they are the same. You cannot compare humans obtaining food to wild animals obtaining food. I think if you pause for a moment and really give this some thought you’ll realize that without me having to explain it further. (Oops, I did say the sarcasm was over, guess I was wrong.)

Human beings spend money to get their food. They buy seeds to plant gardens, pay water bills to water those gardens, purchase things at the grocery store, pay electric and/or gas bills to run the appliances that store and cook those foods, and pay rent or mortgage to have the home in which to keep those appliances and that food. I say again, human beings use money to get their food. MONEY. When human beings don’t have money, they can’t do any of those things. So it’s really nifty that our government gives out food stamps to help.

It’s nice, though (no, it really is not), how those of you spreading this have not only compared humans who need financial assistance to animals but have also managed to place the blame for their lack of ability to purchase food squarely on them. After all, they have grown “dependent” and are not “taking care of themselves.” Yes, that’s the problem. It’s dependency and laziness. It isn’t that the US unemployment rate is currently at 8.3% or that in 2011 13,747,000 people were unemployed. [1] (In case you were wondering, we call this particular tactic “victim blaming” and it means placing blame on the victim and therefore releasing the perpetrator from any responsibility.)

I’m sure those of you spreading this think you’re proving some amazing point, but all you’re really doing is showing me how little understanding you have of the world. Good job.


[1] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, (We call this citing our sources and fact-checking, something else I notice is pretty frequently not done when passing along Facebook memes.)

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Written by tldegray

March 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm

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