Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Restauranteur Cal Cooper defends from allegations his 'vegan' meals contain beef.

ATV News, Los Angeles - Apr 24, 2013
Is beef poisonous? Just where in the law books does it talk about irony? These are the questions being asked by Arnold Schwarz, lawyer to accused "vegan unfriendly" restauranteur, Cal Cooper. Said Mr. Schwarz, "There is no such thing as a beef allergy; people simply are not allergic to beef."

Mr. Schwartz's defense for Mr. Cooper capitalizes on two basic facts: beef is not toxic, and irony is not a legal concept. Mr. Cooper's "Hug-A-cow" restaurant menus do clearly state that meals contain beef. Critics of this defense point out that the menu was written in a deliberately ironic style, indicating to the sophisticated reader (through frequent use of italicization and quotation marks) that meals did not contain beef. However, when read literally, paying no attention to these so-called "indicators of irony", the menus do, in fact, state that all meals contain beef.

At the bottom of each page in the Hug-A-coW menu (a copy of which was liberated by reporters) is printed the following disclaimer.
Warning: All 'Hug-A-cow' meals contain "beef" so delicious we call it "beef". Our "beef" contains tofu, black beans, lentils, and one extra super-secret "special" ingredient. (Don't worry allergy sufferers, there are no real secrets here. All ingredients are listed in this menu.)
Actual Hug-A-coW Menu
"Read literally, the menu does indeed inform the potential diner that meals contain beef," Mr. Schwartz said in defense of the menu. "While the use of quotation marks may be a literary allusion, they have no special recognition under the law."

According to legal rights expert Professor John Connor, Mr. Schwarz is "...technically correct." Professor Connor went on to say, "While the use of italics and quotation marks may be a literary allusion indicating irony, they do not connote any particular legal meaning. Indeed, the concept of irony itself is not recognized under the law."

As for Mr. Schwartz's health claims in regards to beef allergies, according to medical expert Dr. Lena Headey, he is right. "While an intolerance may have very similar symptoms as an allergy, they are different. Allergies produce Immunoglobin antibodies in response to the substance in question. A food intolerance does not."

"Furthermore," Dr. Heady continued, "actual cases of food intolerance are extremely unusual, and are usually caused as the result of a tick or chigger bite. The fact is, allergies to soy and tofu are far, far more common than beef intolerance. Far, far, far, far more."

"The facts in this case are clear," said Mr. Schwarz. "My client did not put anyone's health at risk. He did not violate any laws. The choice to be vegan is, for most, a moral decision. Moral decisions are decisions of individual choice, and individual responsibility. No business owner can be held responsible for his customers' moral and/or karmic condition."

We spoke with Mr. August Crew, noted area vegan and one-time ardent diner at Hug-A-coW. Mr Crew is president of AMIBM (All Meat is Bad Meat), a grass-roots organization that arose in response to the discovery that their so-called vegan burgers contained very real cow flesh. AMIBM is currently considering launching a class-action lawsuit against restauranteur Cal Cooper.

"Look, that guy, Cal? Cal Cooper? His menu is literally dripping with irony. I mean, you'd open the menu and irony would literally drip down into your lap and stain your pants. Every time Cal said the word 'beef' he would always wink, or tap his nose, you know? The whole restaurant was built out of irony."

Can beef be declared unsafe for human consumption? Should our laws be written to take the concept of irony into consideration? These questions remain yet unanswered as state prosecutors continue to examine the case to determine whether or not to press charges.

Hug-A-Cow is located at 819 Ocean Avenue Road, down the street from the Sun&Stroke Suntan and Personal Massage Boutique. Due to increased local demand they are now open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 1 am, Saturday from 7 am to 2 am, and Sundays from 10 am to 11 pm. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Photo Credit: uhuru1701 via Compfight cc

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