Bug-Eaters and Thought-Policers
So, I just finished a podcast with Commentary’s Noah Rothman, author of the great new book The Rise of the New Puritans: Fighting Back Against Progressives’ War on Fun. Here’s an enjoyable excerpt which covers, among other things, a great peeve of mine: the crusade to get me to eat bugs.
As Noah lays out, there’s nothing inherently wrong with eating bugs. Lots of people around the world do it. Personally, I think lobsters are just giant bugs—which is why I prefer not to have the whole critters on my plate. The main problem with the effort to get everyone to eat bugs is not that it’s wrong, it’s that people want you to do it for political or ideological reasons. It’s all about “saving the world” because traditional meat consumption is bad for the climate (see: cows, farts).
The giveaway, Noah notes, is that the people most passionate about the need to replace beef with beetles rarely put much thought into selling bugs as yummy. Taste is an afterthought at best. The whole point of making people eat bugs is to save the world and imbue in the bug-eaters a sense of righteous sacrifice. “For the New Puritans,” Noah writes, “a smug sense of self-satisfaction is the most delicious dish of all.”