02 August 2012

ask alli: does it bother you that I'm eating meat right now?

Haha.  Good question, omnivores!  I'll switch out your red meat for some raisins, 'cause the answer is full of irony.

Let's glaze over the fact that that was only funny to me

Every time I sit across the table from someone who is eating meat, I'm playing the don't-think-about-it game.  I'm super good at it!  I mean, I assume a lot of omnivores play it too: when they're the ones eating meat.  They don't want to think about the fact that what they're eating used to be some animal's beloved baby.  Am I right?

Plus, as long as the meat isn't on my plate, it's easy to forget it's there.  Omnivore takes a bite of dinner, Alli takes a bite of dinner.  Easy peasy.

Topless Robot
Hilariously, when the meat-eater asks me if what they're consuming bothers me, it's called to my attention and then I have to fight like Zefron to get my head back in the don't-think-about-it game.  Because when I AM thinking about it, Lisa Simpson's friendly lamb is all I can picture.

Well.  To be honest, it's a little more disturbing in my head.  I imagine a cow or pig or sometimes even my cat.  Then I think about somebody killing that animal.  Then I stop picturing things to avoid an all-out snot-nosed public disturbance sobbing fit.

Vegans who are in it for the health benefits can have similar feelings.  They might be less sensitive to the animal's life (although I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a vegan who's apathetic), but their reaction to meat eaters can involve utter incredulity.  They want to know why the person across the table would be wreaking havoc on their entire body, from bones to blood to guts, with not only meat, but cheese, milk, and butter as well.  (Except what they're literally thinking is probably more along the lines of rotting dead animal flesh, coagulated fatty pus, cows' breast milk, and even MORE coagulated fatty pus with extra fat.)

I've been lucky lately.  Most of the people I spend time with are very conscientious eaters.  But there are always times I need to stop myself from going down the lamb spiral of craziness.  Lots of the people I love eat meat, and I really enjoy sharing meals with them.

Being vegan has always been a personal choice for me.  I don't want to force others to become vegan or vegetarian; it's a decision everyone has to make on their own.  And I really, really don't want the person sitting across the table to feel uncomfortable.  Why would I be sitting at a table with you if I didn't care about your feelings?

Plus, I feed my cat meat.  Granted, it's really crunchy organic bits that smell vaguely of cat breath and do not in any way resemble meat, but still.  I try not to think about it when she licks my face.  Because getting licked in the face by a cat is THE CUTEST THING EVER.*


* Yes, even cuter than Zefron.

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