As a vegetarian, I have lost count on the number of times I have had to answer the question “But why?” What usually follows is a diatribe on why I should reconsider my options. And I am tired of 9 years of having to deal with it. I share my open letter to fellow carnivores here, and dedicate it to vegetarians across the globe.
Ever since my decision to stop eating meat, you have made it your personal mission to make me convert. You sit smugly on the top of the food chain devouring protein after protein, but no, that is not enough. You salivate over chicken breasts, spare ribs, liver and other animal body parts but no, you want me to salivate along with you. So you like meat? I get it! Can you skip along and let me carry on with my salad?
I wonder why it is you feel it necessary to ask me the same persistent questions every time I meet one of you. Oh the shock! Oh the horror, at the revelation that meat is not part of my diet. “Chicken too?” you ask naively. Carvivores, please, know your meats. When you down that KFC, when you wolf those chicken thighs down, do you ever, for a minute, doubt that you’re getting your meaty fix? I didn’t think so! So don’t feign confusion when I tell you chicken counts as meat too. If this slander ever gets out to the chickens, they’ll be hell to pay, I’m sure.
And then the ethics kick in. How did it happen? What went wrong? You look for explanations, expertly bypassing the ones offered to you, and your zeal evaporates by the time the food is served. By then the conversation has come to a close, until you have your plate of cooked meat, bloody and horrific, which you knife and fork hungrily. You briefly ridicule my leafy salad lunch and wonder what kind of weirdo I am. But guess who has more room for dessert? And guess who’ll outlive you, carnivorous fiends? Your cholesterol friend is a sneaky bitch, you’ll see.