Super IncongruityJune 14, 2005
Rob Falcone (email@example.com)
Like so many of the people registered at this site, I have used Superman as a moral compass. His modus operandi, so accurately presented in the opening number of the 1966 Broadway musical: "Every man has a job to do, and my job is doing good," is so simple and so obvious. Imagine what kind of world it would be if everyone decided to devote themselves to "doing good."
Alas, I am human. I have often fallen short of the mark. It is not always easy to remain honest, forthright and philanthropic even when it is within the spectrum of your physical abilities.
I do not believe that Superman, if he existed, would fault me for my weaknesses. Similarly I believe that God, if He exists, would forgive me. My efforts have been sincere. In my opinion, sincerely good intentions, whether they be ours or Superman's, count for something.
That said I'd like to discuss a matter that has concerned me for some time. Often, Superman has driven home the points that all life is sacred and that it is wrong to inflict pain unnecessarily. In large part it was Superman's example that inspired me to never harm an animal and to never allow one to be harmed in my name. For the past six+ years I have been a vegetarian.
Superman, however, is no vegetarian. Clark Kent's favorite meal is Beef Bourginon. In the pre-Crisis days, while he eschewed tobacco and alcohol, he could often be seen pouring ketchup on a steak.
To me this is a blatant incongruity. Superman is the protector of life: not just Kryptonian life or human life, but all sentient life. The idea of consuming flesh should be absolutely abhorent to him.
Superman would never be portrayed killing an innocent animal arbitrarily. It is not in his character makeup. The fact that he allows others to kill animals so that he can satisfy his own hedonistic pleasures makes him not only a hypocrite but a coward as well.
I wrote to DC Comics about this issue years ago. They brushed me off. (Though they did award me a "baldy" which never arrived) I'm sorry, but here, the guys at DC are simply wrong.
If Superman had to harm an animal to save a human he would probably do it, with great regret. If I needed to eat meat to survive I probably would. Kryptonians do not need to eat meat, generally speaking neither do humans. Frankly, I expect a better example from my Superman.