Why is this a service or safety issue?
The safety issue is MANDATED by law. There are no ifs and buts about it. If air travel were only all about safety, then Airlines would hire "safety professionals," ensure that all seats faced backwards, and that all passengers wore safety restraints other than pathetic seat belts. The truth is that airlines compete on service - and not on safety. The safety issue is inherent. In that regard, FAs are present to ensure that your travel experience is a pleasant one. They are not there to be your personal nannies, however.
I did enter into one rather annoying discussion with a British UA FA in Business class once who prattled on about how passengers shouldnt expect anything because travel was just a mode of transportation, to which I cut him off, asked for my scotch (now 30 minutes in the coming), and said that my firm was not paying $ 8000 to schelp me across the Atlantic in a cattle car. Now thats the sort of preening Primadonna attitude I don't expect from cabin crew - or anyone for that matter.
Atheism is Myth Understood.