Daily life of the vegetarian #5
DEAR VEGETARIANS, DO you ever wonder what it would be like to experience a whole day without having to look at, or have you olfactory senses disturbed by meat?
Dear meat eaters, do you ever wonder how hard it is for vegetarians to navigate their way through a day without encountering the offensive sight and smell of meat?
I already know the answer to the second question: of course not. It’s a meat-eater’s world, so why should they consider anyone who doesn’t participate in this filthy eating habit? It used to be the same for smokers, until just a few years ago. Remember when smokers used to dominate any enclosed public space with an acrid cloud, and non-smokers used to just put up with it?
As for the first question, I can only answer it personally: for years, I dared not think about the possibility. It just seemed too outlandish.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the flatmate bothered to cover-up last-night’s partially consumed meaty meal so it doesn’t stink out the fridge?
Wouldn’t it be nice if the same flatmate could be bother washing the meat sludge off his plates and other kitchen utensils, and not expect you to do his dishes for him?
Wouldn’t it be nice if the neighbours didn’t throw all their meaty junk food into the rubbish just near your fence-line, so you don’t have to smell it when you walk up your own driveway?
Wouldn’t it be nice if the local butcher’s shop didn’t smell like death and on hot days stink up a considerable amount of public street space?
Wouldn’t it be nice if that staff meeting had more than sausage rolls to eat?
Wouldn’t it be nice if the boss had something other than ham to give out to staff at Christmas?
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up during duck shooting season to complete silence.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could avoid coming across slaughtered ducks hanging in the windows of Chinese restaurants?
Wouldn’t it be nice if your local supermarket (Countdown, are you listening?) didn’t put fish products in all its baking, including its breads?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could eat what is listed as and looks like a vegetarian soup at the local café without having to ask whether it’s got meat stock in it?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew they were telling the truth about the meat stock?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go out to dinner with friends and know that the vegetarian part of the menu will be fantastic and well thought-out and balanced and nutritious?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t get stuck next to a friend who insists on getting a rare steak and then talking with his mouth open and breathing carcass on you?
And on it goes, a day in the life. One of these days, I swear, I’ll go and live in some remote, completely vegan part of India for a month, just to purify myself from the cumulative stench of a lifetime of trying, but not quite succeeding, in meat-avoidance. GARY STEEL