Thursday, October 23, 2008

According to the ABC affiliate in Houston, Texas, one trip to Luling City Market, a meat-eater's mecca, would "scare a vegetarian to death." The Oklahoma Gazette declares that Cattlemen's Steakhouse is the "Best Place To Scare A Vegetarian." And local throwaway AM New York announced yesterday that Eight Mile Creek, an Australian restaurant that serves emu carpaccio and seared kangaroo filet, is the "Best Place to Scare a Vegetarian."

Folks, sit down for a second: I've got news for you. Meat doesn't scare vegetarians. A quarter pounder with cheese isn't like a cross to a vampire. Should you happen to feel threatened by a vegetarian -- you know, like you run into Moby in a dark alley some night -- you can't hold up a knockwurst and make him run screaming away. We've seen meat. We know what it looks like. We're not going to dive under the nearest table, caterwauling like the Bride of Frankenstein. But, you know, we probably won't snatch it out of your hands and stuff it into our mouths.

In the interest of killing an offensive old cliche, then, let's make this perfectly clear. Chew up that juicy slab of raw kangaroo if you want, and we could not care less. We're not going to be frightened: au contraire, we're going to (a) think you have no respect for yourself, (b) suspect that you're an idiot, and (c) wonder why you need to go to such ridiculous lengths to prop up your manhood.

We'll think (a) because too much meat is bad for you, and most meateaters don't have a clue about limits. They eat hamburgers every day, and while that would sate a coyote, they're just coasting through until Saturday's two-pound sirloin. Seeing as it's kind of a human goal to live a long, healthy life, any sign to the contrary is going to make us wonder exactly how suicidal you are. Driving eighty in a twenty MPH zone? Not great. Skydiving blindfolded? Questionable. Living for those visits to Outback Steakhouse? Dude, you're Amy Winehouse without the tattoos.

We'll believe (b) because try as we might, we can't make eating animals seem logical. I mean, you've got your list of saintly animals nobody would think of devouring: dogs, cats, Bambi. Then you're got your animals that are too repulsive to eat: rats, lizards, vampire bats. But somehow, right in the middle, you've picked out a whole section of juicy little critters God gave you as a four-legged buffet. Dogs may be man's best friend but cows are dinner, so it's cool to slice off a chunk, hoist it over a fire, then stuff it in your face while its blood drips down your chin.

Eating bull penis is a Fear Factor stunt -- unless you mince it up fine and slather on the mustard and relish, in which case it's a ballpark tradition. Smart? Hardly. Sensible? Not at all. If we run out of food, we can run out to the garden. You've got to find a matador.

No, the main reason you're such a flesh aficionado is because (c), it's the sign of a true man. Carnivore. Primal. Butch. Ah know what Ah like! you declare proudly, pounding the table with your hairy fists. If your five-year-old craved long, tasty carrots you'd send him to military school, but when he screams for Steak-Ums he's a chip off the old block. Ah know what Ah like! Yes, you're determined, stubborn, manly. It's just a coincidence you remind us of grandma justifying eight hours of "Wheel of Fortune" and a sherry every day.

Still, I'm hopeful. Maybe one day you'll realize you're a clueless advertising tool, though you'll probably scurry down the street screaming "ONLY SNICKERS SATISFIES ME!" first. Maybe, like me, you'll find masculinity in vegetables. You want courage? You want fortitude? You want inner strength? Try to make sexy, hot, romantic love with another dude after you've polished off a broccoli burger and a side of brussel sprouts.

1 comment:

Yet Another Steve said...

"a broccoli burger and a side of Brussels sprouts" -- !!! Oh man, the methane (polite word for 'farts') from that meal alone would be enough to power a train from New York to San Francisco, though of course there'd always be the grim possibility of a Hindenburg-type conflagration along the way. Vegetarians are a brave and hardy lot!