Warning: The following is a rather stupid rant written by a very tired individual.
So, I was reading the Cody newspaper today, which I normally don’t do because it is full of piss poor journalism and has a hyperconservative slant, when I saw a little article tucked away on one of the later pages.
Apparently, federal regulators are considering banning peanuts on airplanes… because of allergies.
I’m going to just say it right now: what the fuck?
Not that I hold a particular fondness for peanuts (there are much tastier legumes that I would prefer in my mouth), but I honestly can’t believe the lengths some people go to. Over the dumbest shit.
I understand that many people have peanut allergies. I do. But let’s put this in perspective here- the vast majority of peanut allergies are not life threatening. Annoying, but not anything to warrant this kind of reaction.
Because here’s the wonderful thing about allergies- you can often avoid contact with the allergen and prevent yourself from suffering any serious reactions. I, for example, am allergic to coffee grounds. I can drink coffee, but I cannot handle the grounds without breaking out in a super attractive, itchy rash. Therefore… I don’t roll around in coffee grounds on a regular basis. Avoid the allergen, avoid the reaction. It’s a simple concept.
Just because the jackass next to you is trying to inhale his little bag of airline peanuts at near-world record pace doesn’t mean that you (the poor sap burdened with peanut allergies) need to grab a bag and start Hoovering the contents in an attempt to beat the bastard at his own game. If you are allergic to peanuts, you should not be eating peanuts. Why do I have to remind you of this?
Allergists estimate that 125 people die each year from food allergies*, usually to peanuts. 125 people. That’s it. 72,449 die from diabetes each year, but I haven’t heard about any plans to ban sugary snacks from cafeterias.
50 people a year die from allergic reactions to bee stings. Should we ban bees? Make honey a black market item? Create tiny robots to pollinate our plants?
No. No, we should not.
Granted, a few people (very, very few) suffer from a much more sensitive form of peanut allergy- they can go into anaphylactic shock just from inhaling peanut dust. I’m all for airlines being able to restrict peanuts from flights containing such highly allergic individuals, but only for them. For your run-of-the-mill peanut allergy? Fuck no.
Airplanes are enclosed spaces with recirculated air. I get it. If someone is having an allergic reaction when you are 30,000 feet in the air, too fucking bad, there’s nowhere to pull over and let them get some air/medical attention. I get that. But let’s be perfectly honest here- just how often do you hear about someone having a serious allergic reaction to peanuts on an airplane? If you are being honest, you’re going to realize it’s not that often.
Allergics complain that they have the same right to fly as anyone. That’s very true. But… don’t people on airplanes also have the right to eat their peanuts? You are the one with the problem. I’m not trying to be insensitive- it’s just a statement of fact. What to hear insensitive? I couldn’t care less whether your dumb ass lives or dies. I’m not throwing peanuts down your throat, am I? Take some goddamn Benadryl and shut it.
At the end of the day, we can’t make the world perfectly safe for everybody. If you have a disease, you learn to live with it. If you have cancer, you get chemo. If you have diabetes, you watch your sugar intake. If you have allergies, you pop antihistamines and avoid allergens.
Peanuts have been on airlines for years. It’s only recently that we, as a society, have started to flip the fuck out over the littlest “slights” to our perceived rights and personal freedoms. There’s a point where this push becomes straight up ridiculous. For me, apparently (seeing as I’ve spent this long ranting about it), this is that point.
Also… why now? Most airlines have actually switched away from peanuts to other forms of in-flight snackage. Why are we throwing a fucking tantrum over airlines serving peanuts when so few still do?
Is it fair, peanut allergy sufferers, that you have to go through this? No, it’s not. Life isn’t fair, though. I know it’s a tired adage, but there’s truth in it. We strive for “fairness” in a world that is not fair. There is nobody sitting up there, balancing the good and bad. There is just us, living our lives at the whims of nature. Is it fair that children die from cancer? No. It just is.
Fucking grow up and deal with it.
*All death stats are based on US numbers, not world totals. Just an FYI (though I think you lot are smart enough to have already figured that out).