As World Vegetarian Week came to a close yesterday, America’s meat lovers were taking part in one of their own favorite pastimes: the Memorial Day barbecue. Much to the chagrin of Humane Society of the United States, PETA, and other like-minded animal "rights" groups, many of us skipped the tofu skewers and opted for hot dogs, hamburgers, and steaks instead. Though the meat-free among us are a proud few, a vast majority is still declining the veggie call to arms.
Take Fraser Lewy, for instance. After a week of “pseudo-sausages, the fake bacon, the humbug ham and the charlatan chicken,” the British Guardian blogger had bad news (and plenty of apologies) for the “Go Veg” camp:
I’ve just spent a week amongst your brethren, and I can honestly say I’ve not eaten so poorly in years. Now, before the more militant amongst you swing into action, let me first just tell you how sorry I am.
Yes, sorry. I’m sorry I’ve mocked you in the past. Sorry for the endless jokes about your pale skin, your brittle bones and your bad breath. Sorry for unfavourably comparing your diet to that of some wretched classroom hamster…
It really can’t be easy being you.
So I’m very sorry to say that I won’t be joining you on a full-time basis — I’m simply not tough enough to make the choices you’ve made and live your kind of existence, and I haven’t found anything in your world that promises the rapture I know I’ll get from a perfect veal cutlet or a simple roast chicken.
Like Lewy, we have to wonder how the meat-free crowd does it. His respect for the sacrifices vegetarians and vegans have to make is on-point, but we still find ourselves asking: How about some respect for our choices?
I’m willing to accept that my life expectancy may be reduced as a result of my decision, what with all the red meat I’m cramming in, but I can live with this. The way I see it, the years I’m going to lose don’t get taken off now, but towards the end of my life when, to be honest, I’ll probably be grateful for the early exit. For one thing, it’ll get all the nagging vegetarians off my case.
The 99 percent of us who aren’t vegan could certainly do without the constant nagging and guilt-tripping from groups like HSUS and PETA. Vegetarians should feel free to eat all the drumstick-shaped tempeh loaf they wish this summer. Just take it easy on those of us who prefer the real thing.