Of Mice and Meat: Why I Don't Trust Vegetarians

This post was originally featured on Tracy on the Rocks

http://tracyontherocks.com/of-mice-and-meat/

I’m just going to come out and say it:  I really don’t trust anyone who doesn’t eat meat.  This isn’t to say that every vegetarian is some weirdo hippie activist tree- hugging PETA freak, but let’s be honest, a lot of them are.  As a passionate meat-lover, I can’t wrap my head around willingly not eating a good filet every once in a while or a burger at a cookout.  I can’t imagine depriving myself of a healthy portion of ham on Christmas or not eating corned beef with my cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. Or BACON! What about bacon?! You’re going to tell me a couple of greasy pieces of bacon and a pile of eggs on a Sunday morning isn’t good for the soul?  Blasphemy!

While I don’t agree with a life without meat, I do try to respect it. And I always seem to get it wrong.  If I’m hosting dinner, I’ll politely cook something without meat to accommodate any lettuce-eating guests. “I know you’re a vegetarian, so I made chicken parm!”  I’ll say, proud that I went out of my way to plan a meatless meal.

“Umm, Tracy…chicken is meat…” the said rabbit-food lover will respond.

“What?! Chicken?  No, no, honey, chicken isn’t meat, silly. It’s POUL-TRY,” I’ll explain shaking my head and laughing. You’d think if someone was going to run around saying they don’t eat meat, they’d at least take the time to learn the difference between meat and birds. Jeeze.

My favorite thing to educate a vegetarian on is the All-American wiener.  I’ll be taking a delightful bite out of a Nathan’s hotdog, smeared in mustard, and catch a vegetarian friend looking at me with that “Ewww” face they think they aren’t doing when they’re watching you eat something they don’t approve of.  “Mmmmm,” I’ll mumble into my bun, “You should try one…Nathan’s are the best!”

“Oh god, Tracy, do you know what’s IN that thing?”

“Don’t worry, there’s no meat in this.  You can totally have one. I mean seriously, have you ever read the package? I can honestly promise you there is no real meat in this bad boy. Maybe some lips or hooves or something, but definitely not meat!”  Cue to vegetarian running to the bathroom to upchuck her carrot sticks.

The most memorable run-in with a vegetarian I’ve ever had is an incident I like to call, “The Great Chicken Debate of 2011.”  My friend Ally was getting married and we were spending the day at the spa and then going out to dinner and hitting the town for her bachelorette party. Ally was a real live scientist and she did all kinds of important experiments in beakers and Bunson Burners and stuff.  I remember the first night I met her, we were talking about what we did for work and she said she worked in a lab that did research for Alzheimer’s.  I was really impressed.  I was even more impressed, and a little disgusted, that this petite little girl had to kill mice as part of her job. “What do you mean, you actually have to kill them?? Like they’re alive and then you feed them drugs or something and watch them die a slow death?!” The horror!

“Oh, no we’re much more humane. We snap their necks,” She clarified, matter-of-factly, making a two handed snapping motion with a little click of her tongue.  Fascinated, and a little afraid of her ability to kill so easily, I asked her no more questions about her job but made a mental note to keep my neck as far away from her as possible.

The day of her bachelorette party, a bunch of her girlfriends came out for the affair; it was a motely crew of sorts.  At the spa, we met her friends from the lab, her yoga instructor friend, a lawyer who was also 7 months pregnant at the time and a few others.  Then there was me: the loud- mouthed, meat-eating, beer-loving, animal-hating, not- scientist who had tried yoga once and after two minutes of down-hill dog and backwards turtle positions, both of which I had gotten stuck in before I rolled up my mat yelling, “Yoga is stupid! I hate yoga! I’m going to happy hour!”

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