What's Wrong with Vegetarianism?
Last year's push by fast food companies to offer more healthy alternatives seemed a bit desperate. Likewise to those who filed class action lawsuits against food chains when they awoke in their thirties and found themselves four hundred pounds.
Where is the accountability? Where is the self-respect and the drive towards making yourself better? Better yet, what's wrong with vegetarianism?
Family dinners centered on the beef carving. My father's electric knife slices were thin, the juices were rich, and the succulent red of the meat lingered forever. This dinner meant you had arrived.
An uncle, visiting from Jersey, sat in awestruck wonder at a dinner we had one evening at a famous local Steak House. Teary-eyed, voice cracking, he looked at my mother after taking a bite from his Porterhouse Steak and proclaimed "Bellissimo!"
I will not convert you. I will not throw red paint on your mink coat. Give me leather shoes, and I'll quietly wear them until I can buy something less cruel. I won't stop you from eating genetically grown vegetables. Walk proudly with that peacock around your neck and somebody, somewhere, somehow will tell you it looks good. It's amazing how much a lifetime of humiliation can be washed away from one well-placed compliment. Allow me my Garden Burgers in a barbecue joint or an achingly politically correct, collectively-owned restaurant. If you're curious, there's always room at my table for one more person.
Christopher J. Stephens is an adjunct college English instructor for Northeastern University, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Western New England College, and Corinthian Colleges, Inc.