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Give Something Up For Lent? Thanks, But I Already Gave

      Around this time two years ago I became a vegetarian. Why? You ask. Well, apart from  the obvious desire for self-improvement in some areas: heart, mind, body and soul, it’s mainly because my wife is a vegetarian, and I do all the cooking in our home. Now I know what you’re thinking, Mr. Bay Area Brit, British people can’t live without their tripe, haggis, blood pudding, and steak and kidney pie, and they sure as hell can’t cook food for humans. Oh sure, they know how to yell at people and get all purple in the face like that scary looking Gordon Ramsay creature on “Kitchen Nightmares.” But actually cook? Leave it out, mate.

      Anyway, I have always loved vegetarians, I really have, and I think that they are working on a higher level of evolution. Sure, I cared about animals, the environment, and yeah, I would hug a tree if given the option. Alas, my whole life I loved the flavor, smell, and texture of meat, which meant I was completely 86’ed from the Vegetarian Club, of which my wife Michele is a card-carrying member. I always tried to be sensitive to her needs: when cooking, I created dishes for her that were delicious and completely devoid of anything that was born rather than grown. However, in one of the three or four pans lurking on the stovetop there was one that contained meat: a side dish for me. I felt guilty over it and would hide the uncooked flesh in the fridge in a place she wouldn’t look (wherever the hell might that be)? I always feared one day she might find my cache of meat and I might come home one night to discover that my office walls were smeared with the blood from an uncooked steak “MURDERER!!!” the bloody walls would scream.

       Two years ago, while watching the Puppy Bowl (of all things,) my friend Stephen announced that he was now a vegetarian, and he and his girlfriend Jessica smiled at each other lovingly. He did this thing, this bizarre, weird self-sacrificial thing for her. He loved her, and he knew that this act would make her happy. I admired him; he is a good person. Me? I am a bad person. At the time, I told him that if he told Michele that he has done this, I will have to kill him…and then eat him, and then kill and eat his girlfriend Jessica, and then his parents, and then her parents etc, etc.

     For four years I subjected my lady to the sights and smells of animal flesh on my plate, yet she still loved me and put up with it, because she knew I liked it and it made me happy. She would sit with me as I watched The Iron Chef on TV. I breathed a sigh of relief when they announced that the “secret ingredient” was “TOFU!” or “LENTLS!”
However, it would usually be less than a minute before they cut to a shot of a sous chef coring the eyeballs out of a little lamb’s head, and I’d be embarrassed for my fellow carnivores, while Michele hid her eyes in horror, recoiling, as if feeling the pain from the knife herself. Heartbreaking.
I started to consider the possibility of never eating meat again. I knew that the toughest thing about being a vegetarian–apart from not getting to eat meat, of course–must be the way that vegetarians are treated when surrounded by carnivores in a communal dining situation, as if they’re odd, unusual, or in some way “being difficult” because they want to be a better person by choosing not to eat animals. Realistically it should be the other way around. And this is where I thought I could make a great vegetarian. I would use my skill and wit in conversation to make them see that they are wrong to treat vegetarians this way. But how could I be such a hypocrite? You can’t have your little baby lamb and eat him too. So what was I to do? There was only one thing to do. I had to become a vegetarian. And so, two years ago I threw my hat into the ring and announced to the world that I was going to become a vegetarian. And so I feel that on this day: the first day of Lent that my sacrifice two years ago should be carried over for a few years more.
“What are you giving up for Lent?” they might ask.
“I’m still not eating meat,” I’ll say.
So yep, two years on I am still a vegetarian. I sure do miss eating meat though.


One Response

  1. What’s up with all this conscience/ social responsibility bullshit, you stopped eating meat to get laid more often, keep it real…:)

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