This winter I was snug in layers when a woman approached on the sidewalk. Glaring at my leather coat, she barked, "You must be proud of yourself!" I considered explaining that, having killed, butchered, and eaten the cow, I couldn't insult Mother Nature by throwing away the hide; but her crazed look dissuaded me. I smiled, nodded, and walked on by.

This week, waiting for an evening bus, I heard another animal-rightist behind me tell his companion, "That's spiritual rape. Some day, wearing leather will be illegal." I ignored the fool.

I eat meat and wear leather, but the cow is killed first. You PETAlibaners eat organisms alive, and that makes you righteous? The fact that you're deaf to your carrot's screams is no excuse.

You want to take my leather? Go ahead and try! I won't need the knife in my pocket to stop you. But no, you lack the guts to do it yourself. You'd rather let the almighty state do your dirty work, while you refuse to understand that delegated force is still force.

You talk of "spiritual rape" as if your piousness trumps my right to live my life as I see fit. You want to dictate what I eat and wear. You probably feed your cat tofu, imperiling the neighborhood birds.

On the other hand, your abstinence helps keep the price of meat down. Thanks!

Your sanctimony offends me and others as much as my coat offends you. That's no way to persuade us benighted omnivores. Grow up and get over it, or go live where the government tells YOU what to eat and wear.