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Phoenix, Final Clubs No Worse Than Dining Halls

Letter to the Editor

To the editors:

After reading your article in the Dec. 5 issue of The Crimson concerning final clubs initiations, my negative feelings towards these elitist and exclusionary bastions of male chauvinism were multiplied (“With a Streak of Pranks, Final Club Initiations Begin”). These convictions were further strengthened when I received an e-mail early this afternoon, from an anonymous author, claiming that several members of a final club were instructed to hold hostage, then kill and devour, an innocent, fun-loving chicken. Sure, the poor animal was probably purchased from a farm where it was being kept in a freezing cold, 1x1 cage, and was going to be killed and devoured in the near future anyway, but this is still unacceptable.

Furthermore, this e-mail, from the strangely anonymous “Jennifer,” opened my eyes to the fact that animal cruelty has become commonplace on the Harvard campus. This afternoon I innocently walked into the Kirkland dining hall, only to find honey mustard crusted chicken on the menu! While I thought the finals club story was bad, before me lay the steaming carcasses of no less than fifty chickens, smothered in delicious condiments, spiced to perfection. In a daze, I stumbled over to the grill, where I found evidence of the murder of more chickens, not to mention cows and dogs (or whatever hot dogs are made out of.)

Grimly, I wondered what I could eat that hadn’t been brutally murdered by our selfish human society. Curried potatoes? Anyone who’s seen Toy Story knows that potatoes walk, talk and even dance like the rest of us (they even have lovable, detachable faces!) Lettuce? Cabbage Patch Kids. Peanut butter cookies? The Planters Peanut man. Whether or not the story concerning the final club is true, I think the Harvard community has a much larger problem on its hands. Why worry about the capture of a chicken that was going to be slaughtered anyway, when animal cruelty runs rampant all around us? All I can say is: For shame, Harvard University Dining Services. For shame! I hope this letter is printed in full, so that the eyes of all Harvard students might be opened to this embarrassment.



Dec. 5, 2003