Why is this food the cause of tension and animosity in NYC subway riders?

The NYC spaghetti brawl is YouTube’s latest viral video (it can be seen here).  The video was obtained from a subway patron who witnessed three women arguing over food etiquette on the subway.  The video  has been gaining popularity over the past week.  The argument started when one woman implied the hungry rider was an “animal,” and the woman responded in a derogatory manner.  I admit several New Yorkers (along with several people from anywhere else) would find the rude comment to be chuckle-worthy, but that doesn’t excuse misconduct and disrespect in the trains, or anywhere else for that matter.

After the women exchanged heated words, the exchange escalated into a physical altercation.  Fighting and foul language isn’t the way to solve public disputes, but if you examine each individual opinion, you’ll see some validity.

On one hand, there is the issue of the acceptability of eating on a NYC train.  Should people not be allowed to eat on the train?  Is mastication not intended for the public eye?  Practically everyone eats on the train: mothers feed their children, busy commuters eat on their way to work, kids enjoy ice cream while staring out the train window with awe.  Several businesses would suffer if people weren’t allowed to eat on the train.  In fact, most train stations have some sort of eatery near or inside them.  It’s difficult to pass up that Halal food, burger and fries or coffee/donuts combo before entering the station.

On the other hand,  people should have the right to eat whenever and wherever they please be it on a  subway, plane, blimp, whatever.  The cost of using the MTA’s services are outrageous; people should be allowed to engage in any activity on the train that isn’t vulgar or disruptive to other patrons.