The Difference

by Andrei Codrescu

There is a new Burger King going up down the street and nobody cares. In a couple of days when it's finished everyone will think it's been there forever. It bugs me for six reasons.

Number one: They kill cows. Number two: The cows they kill graze on the site of murdered forests. Number three: The cows they kill that killed the forests are full of hormones. Number for: The hormone-full cows they kill that killed the forests are full of bad-for-your heart fat. Number five: The bad-for-your-heart hormone-full, forest-killing dead cows are wrapped in bad-for-the-earth plastic and number six: What the hell is a Burger King anyhow?

A burgher is traditionally and originally a tradesman who lived in a city, while a king is an aristocrat. Burghers and kings are traditional enemies, hence the phrase is absurd. I know "burger" is short for hamburger and "king" means nothing in America. Still it bugs me that bad-for-your-heart hormone-full forest-killing cows wrapped in bad-for-the-earth plastic are also linguistically unpalatable. Maybe you can live with that. I can't.

A friend of mine imagined a prison without bars, where you go in skinny and then they feed you so many burgers you can't go out the same door. Who needs bars? We've got Burger King.

I saw a dog the other day eating leftover burger in a parking lot behind another Burger King. Did he know he was eating a cow? Did he know he was eating something ten times bigger than he was? I asked him and he said he knew all that, but he ate it nonetheless because it was free. I then asked a man coming out why he ate at Burger King and he said that it was cheap. And then I heard someone say that the reason we treat animals so badly is because they don't have any money. We treat children badly for the same reason, though we don't eat them.

Perhaps the time has come for animals to get paid for what they do. Perhaps the time has come for us to eat our children. Or maybe we should just tear down the Burger Kings.