Suicide by Diet. Yes, But Murder by Diet?

Suicide is self-murder. For that crime, you will be confined to the death row of the prison of your eating habits, until such time as they wrack your body with all sorts of ailments resulting in an early death sentence, in spite of your plea of “not guilty” to a homicide felony that you have freely chosen with malice aforethought (“I love to eat!” “It’s my life and I’m having fun with food!” “I love food, lots of it!” “I can’t help myself!” Etc.). You maliciously continued digging your grave with your tongue. Your fatal eating habits consist of these nine counts of the specific charges of your indictment and a guilty finding on all counts: (1)prodigious helpings of (2)saturated and trans fats, (3)high sugar sweeteners, (4)high-glycemic foods, (5)alcohol, (6)salt, (7)lean red meats, (8)soft drinks loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, and (9)no, little, or insufficient daily exercise.

While you are in prison waiting to die, you might check out the prison library for making an appeal to the higher court of reasonable diets in these books and other literature, such as The Glucose Revolution, Diabetes for Dummies, or the Nutrition Action Health Letter. Your appeal to that higher court of sensible eating is your only hope of a reprieve, or a commutation of your sentence.

May the court of public opinion and the circle of your friends and family show mercy for your helplessness if you cannot attain a successful appeal and you continue in your miserable life-style diet to the end of your self-execution.

As for murder by diet, I do not mean the “Arsenic and Old Lace” thing (a Kesselring play of 1939, in which the two spinster aunts take to murdering lonely old men by poisoning them with a glass of home-made elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine, and “just a pinch” of cyanide). There have been many plots to murder by altering diets with very noxious ingredients.

No. I saw a news report in which the Oklahoma City bomber who survives as a lifer is complaining about the prison food not being nutritious enough for him. Ah, I thought, it may not be a life sentence on bread and water, but neither does it have to be calorie, fat, cholesterol, complex carbohydrates and sugar controlled, fit for maintaining a very, very long, long lifer, does it? The implication is,…well, do you not see the conclusion that might be drawn, the issue faced by the state to adjust the lifer’s diet?

What does a life sentence mean? What is the state’s obligation? How is the punishment for the crime to be defined, in all of the dimensions of treatment? I wonder if the complete isolation of the super-max prisons goes also to a supermax diet. A McDonalds and shake every Xmas for all! The state, if it has a mind to, could manipulate the diets for the state-benefit of cutting the costs of the state over the benefits of the incarcerated. That may be interpreted as a form of slow state-murder, capital punishment. Or cruel and unusual punishment.

The death penalty is viewed from one point of view as a lighthouse warning and implicit deterrent. But nobody knows how many ships are saved by the lighthous, or murders are prevented by the threat of a death penalty. Could a calculating murderer be encouraged to commit such an offense that would gain him a lifetime of a place to live and good food? Would not the prospect of bad food add to the deterrence factor? Nobody knows. However, the state might choose bad food as a way to dump the expense of very bad, or “failed”, people freeloading for life.

We are quite possibly going to see a “ripped from the headlines” television episode on the Law and Order program sometime, a special case that would involve some very interesting courtroom argument.

Published in: on February 13, 2010 at 4:46 pm  Comments (4)  

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