This, I shit you not, is an excerpt from a report on “dignity” from the President’s Council on Bioethics:
Worst of all from this point of view are those more uncivilized forms of eating, like licking an ice cream cone–a catlike activity that has been made acceptable in informal America but that still offends those who know eating in public is offensive. … Eating on the street–even when undertaken, say, because one is between appointments and has no other time to eat–displays [a] lack of self-control: It beckons enslavement to the belly. … Lacking utensils for cutting and lifting to mouth, he will often be seen using his teeth for tearing off chewable portions, just like any animal. … This doglike feeding, if one must engage in it, ought to be kept from public view, where, even if we feel no shame, others are compelled to witness our shameful behavior.
Wow. I mean, wow. I could say how similar this is to a medieval sermon, or lament how these are the same people who advise the president (wrongly) on issues like stem cell research. However, I just think I’ll bask in the sublime absurdity of taking a moral stand on public licking (be careful how you spell that, by the way).
For a discussion of this weirdness, see Steven Pinker’s article in the New Republic.