The Passion of the Vegetarians

I have incurred the wrath of a handful of vegetarians. Apparently my take on horse meat and my recent comments surrounding the Fried Tofu disguised as a fried egg have been seen by a few as a shot across their bow, and a few have left several interesting messages in my e-mail inbox, one of which exclaimed how I was going to die in a fit of “contorted heart spasms caused by the choking of (my) arteries from an excessive amounts of cholesterol”.

Now I have a great fondness for many vegetarians…especially when they’re braised in a garlic butter sauce and served with a nice Viognier *ba DUM dum*.

I kid, I kid. I would never eat a vegetarian…too gamey. *ba DUM dum*

Thank you, thank you. I’m here all week. Enjoy the veal chops!

…ahem.

Seriously though, I know that a great majority of vegetarians follow the same basic principles that I do – I’ll keep my nose out of your personal choices if you keep your nose out of mine. But I don’t understand that small percentage of vegetarians/vegans who feel as if it’s their right to tell people what to think …about…uh… food…

Okay, so that probably wasn’t the best tact to take against these folks.

I’m not quite sure what response these folks are trying to elicit from meat eaters when they act the way they do. Do they want me to admit that animals have died for my desires? Do they wish for me to realize that I could live longer if I ate nothing but fruits and veggies? Well done and done. I could stand to eat more grains and veggies, and I acknowledge my actions cause the death of plants and animals. If it’s any consolation, once I leave this mortal coil, I will gladly donate my body to the local zoo so that the lions can have a good meal. Would this balance the scales?

I think what rankles me the most is that I get no credit for the fruits and vegetables that I do eat. Sure I indulge in veal, or chicken or scallops. But not one vegetarian has ever thanked me for the lima beans or brussel sprouts that I’ve consumed. No one has ever patted me on the back and said “Thank you Kate, for eating cabbage”. I am an omnivore after all. Does that mean, by these folks standards, that 65 – 75% of me is A-okay?

What if I did become a vegetarian, but my motivations were wrong? What if I wanted to see all plants suffer at my hand as I pull them from their comfy abodes when they’re snug in the ground. What if I watched an ear of corn boil, hoping upon hope to see their last sign of life. Would that make me a bad vegetarian?

In all seriousness, I don’t know the proper response that these small few are looking for. In the past when I hung out with various artists and poets, I’ve done the passive-aggressive nod-my-head-in-sympathy-to-their-cause response, and I’ve done the ignoring. Should that be enough?

In the end it doesn’t matter. I’m still going to eat my bacon and they’re going to eat their not-bacon. And everytime someone tries to convince me of the solemnity of their cause, I’m going to hear the voice of H.L. Mencken in my head.

Men always try to make virtues of their weaknesses. Fear of death and fear of life both become piety.

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