Go, Paula!

Anthony Bourdain apparently needs a massive reality check. He called Paula Deen “the most dangerous person in America.” Funny, not who I’d have picked. There are murderers, rapists, drug dealers, terrorists, corrupt politicians, insurance company execs letting people die to improve their bottom line, drunk drivers, and your Enemy #1 is a lady with a cooking show? Because clearly all those other ways of dying or being harmed pale in comparison to the scary, scary fat.

Fortunately, she can give as good as she gets. She said she didn’t know if it was a “publicity thing” or if “someone had peed in his cereal.” She also told him to get a life.

I have peaches I want to do something with–I may just try out Paula’s peach cobbler recipe. If you guys don’t hear from me, you can assume it killed me.

Hat tip to Life on Fats

What Fat Discrimination and BSL Have in Common

A couple weeks back, I joined a Facebook group dedicated to fighting breed-specific legislation (BSL, restrictions targeting “pit bulls”*) in the county north of mine.

This is one of my big issues, because I hate the idea of treating family pets like they’re vicious based on their assumed breed. The proposed legislation wasn’t a ban, but a bunch of additional regulations, including requiring “pit bulls” to be kept always on leash, even in their own yards unless they’re in a separately enclosed kennel. People also have to post “dangerous dog” signs if they have a “pit bull,” even if it’s a certified therapy dog that wouldn’t bite you unless you severely abused it first.

Lots of areas are using BSL instead of laws based on behavior and actions, partly because they hope they can prevent issues from occurring by targeting breeds. Pit bulls get a really bad rap largely because people use them for fighting or train them to be mean, but they actually do better on temperament tests than a lot of other breeds.

The thing that strikes me is the way that appearance is used as a proxy for temperament or behavior. People see a solidly built, short-haired dog and assume it’s mean, much like people see a fat body and assume the person is lazy and gluttonous.

Both areas of discrimination are based in part on the idea that you can somehow divine behavior from appearance. Knowing what an individual animal is going to do is hard and requires actual observation, but using appearance is quick and easy. And usually totally wrong. Just like making decisions about people is hard and complex. Who’s a hard worker and who’s a slacker, who should you hire, date, hang out with? So, it’s really easy to make snap judgments based on appearance. Quick, easy, and totally wrong.

Appearance isn’t behavior, or personality, or morality. Or health, for that matter. It’s just appearance.

*I’m using scare quotes because, like most breed-specific laws, they’re using a definition that includes the three breeds that are generally considered pit bulls, as well as American Bulldogs, mixes of the above breed, and any dog that looks like the above breeds (as defined by a vet, a rescue, or an animal control officer, none of whom are necessarily breed experts).

A Medical Rant

A friend of mine has a medical problem that has nothing to do with her weight, but her weight means doctors refuse to treat her. She was in a car accident and had her knee replaced years ago. the replacement is now shot, though it lasted much longer than it was expected to.

The orthopedic surgeon she sees wants her to lose *130* pounds before they’ll replace her knee. Not just come down under 250 pounds or out of the “obese” BMI category. They want her to drop more than half her body weight and get into the middle of the “normal” category.

Keep in mind that she can’t fricking exercise because her knee is shot. She’s doing good to walk around a mall or amusement park for an afternoon without needing a scooter.

The kicker, though, is the reason they give for not doing the surgery. It isn’t that she’s at a higher risk of complications or anything like that. No, it’s that the replacement will wear out a little faster. Really? Seriously? So you guys are okay with having her in continuous pain for the next couple *years* (assuming she can maintain what’s considered a healthy rate of weight loss, a pound or two a week) because otherwise she might need another new knee in twenty years rather than twenty five?

Not to mention how they can really think someone who can’t exercise is going to lose weight without pretty much starving.

It just boggles the mind that doctors can see someone in pain and instead of helping, basically go “Oh well, sucks to be you.”