Michael Moore's new movie Sicko, which exlores the many flaws of the American health care system is coming out soon. In honor of this, Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, took the opportunity to write a letter to Michael Moore. Included in the letter is the following:
...there’s an elephant in the room, and it is you. With all due respect, no one can help but notice that a weighty health issue is affecting you personally. We’d like to help you fix that. Going vegetarian is an easy and life-saving step that people of all economic backgrounds can take in order to become less reliant on the government’s shoddy healthcare system, and it’s something that you and all Americans can benefit from personally.
The letter goes on to make some great points about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. But, calling Michael Moore an "elephant" and insulting his weight are completely inappropriate. People are sensitive about their weights. Further, this type of language is more likely to infuriate him rather than to convince him to give vegetarianism a chance.
A vegetarian diet is no guarantee that one will be thinner either. While some people have lost weight by going veg, I know plenty of overweight and obese vegetarians as well. And, while I wouldn't consider myself fat, I do have to work to keep the pounds from creeping on.
Would I call any of my patients an "elephant"? No way!
A better tactic would be to congratulate Michael Moore on his movie, and to suggest that vegetarianism is a way to prevent many of the illness that we see today, rather than insulting his weight.