A loosely-affiliated mob of animal rights protesters converged on the Smithfield packing plant last week to … what?
It’s difficult for us to say what exactly those individuals expected to accomplish because, in the end, nothing more than a harassing disruption was realized. Smithfield’s operations continued, most of not all of the protesters left Bladen County and nobody swore off bacon or converted to vegan that we know of.
While protests of this kind are protected and can be a productive way to voice opinion and urge change, we must also lean to the side of logic when we see zealots with nothing better to do than try to force their lifestyle on others.
In a nutshell, we think Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker said it best Thursday when he told protect organizers, ““Long after you and I are gone, places like this will still exist.” And we applaud him for saying it, because it’s true.
Here’s where the animal rights protesters fall short: They are far less concerned with how hogs are being slaughtered for food at Smithfield than they are with demanding that hogs not be slaughtered for food at all. That in an of itself is an expectation to change the eating habits and lifestyle of others to agree with their own.
“Live and let live” is described as tolerating the opinions and behavior of others so that they will similarly tolerate your own. That would be a pretty good motto for those who protested in Bladen County — some of whom took the protest to another level by using violence and getting themselves arrested.
We doubt the Bladen County Detention Center’s menu includes meatless recipes and offer only a pile of leafy greens. As long as they have little better to do, why don’t they protest that and see how far it gets?
A chance at some answers
About 200 people from throughout the region came to Bladen Community College last week hoping to get better answers for their mounting questions concerning the contamination of ground water and air quality caused by the dumping of GenX and other chemicals by the Chemours plant on N.C. 87.
Amid all the numbers being flung at them by officials with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and elected officials, few if any questions were definitively or adequately answered.
And we understand why.
The public, elected officials and state officials are equally in the dark about the potential hazards GenX and its sister chemicals have, can and will pose. That alone puts everyone in the same position of waiting for extensive testing to be completed.
If area residents want something positive accomplished, we think they should heed N.C. Rep. Billy Richardson’s words: “Chemours is set up as a dummy company so you can’t get to DuPont … . The founding fathers gave you the court system to allow the general citizen from Bladen County to stand toe to toe with the president of DuPont and have your complaint heard. You need to avail yourself of the courtroom.”
Let’s force the cowards out from their hiding place.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Some things take time. Stay patient. Stay positive. Good things will happen.” (Unknown)