By Brenda Black
If I called peanut butter “brown slime,” my guess is you wouldn't want to eat it. If I referred to grape jelly as “purple glop,” I doubt that the beloved pbj would ever make it into a child's lunchbox. In marketing, we call that image and the mental or emotional picture that a consumer forms in his or her mind is a powerful motivator.
The disgruntled and retaliatory Gerald Zirnstein has been in Beef Products Inc.'s plant and knows it is a fully federally inspected plant. (http://beefisbeef.com/) He has taken a personal vendetta to new lows with his “pink slime” smear campaign, ousting hundreds of employees at an award winning facility. He knows the photo he has posted on his blog is NOT lean finely textured beef. Neither was the photo taken in a U.S. federally inspected food plant. He knows the process for harvesting lean finely textured beef involves blowing perfectly safe ammonium hydroxide gas over the product, not "soaking" it in household ammonia. He knows the product is lean beef, but he gave it an ugly name to back his ugly scheme.
“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16)
And there you have it – the outline for the “pink slime” campaign. Haughtiness from a man who describes himself as "jaded, sarcastic and overly critical." A lying tongue who twisted, then oozed his false information to sensationalistic journalists vying for shocking headlines and increased viewer ratings. Hands that shed innocent blood by defaming an innovative company trying to protect the food supply. His heart devised a wicked scheme and mainstream journalism and ill-informed citizens quickly rushed in to perpetuate the evil plot. Guess what – the false claims and steady diet of slimy lies caused dissension. Go figure!
Words wield power for good and evil. What's more harmful is that people don't use their minds to sift truth from fallacy in what comes out of the mouths of others. Instead, we quickly spread the “word” in social media through instant links or by whispered gossip ear to ear. Misinformation is damaging; and it can be damning.
Heed these words from the wisest. Solomon taught them in the book of Proverbs. “Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (29:20) “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.” (20:19) “Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel.” (20:17) “A corrupt witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.” (19:28) “A false witness will perish, and whoever listens to him will be destroyed forever.” (21:28)
But “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” (21:23)
Lies and the people who perpetuate them will answer for their false condemnation. It's not just meat, people. It's lives and liberty and decency. Innocent people go to jail because of false testimony. Careers are destroyed and families slain by a vindictive word spread like wildfire. There's so much disregard for common sense and courtesy! Does anyone think for himself anymore? The bigger question: Does anyone consider how their actions injure others?