Could I just squeeze by you? I need to climb up onto my soapbox…

bigpot6A friend on Facebook recently updated her status to indicate she was flirting with vegetarianism.  And she got lots of responses, mostly reasonable (along the lines of “I did it and feel great – and lost 10 lbs!”) and some a little snarky (“Guess we won’t be having you over for dinner’) – but all pretty light…  Save for this:

alot (sic) happens to the meat before it hits the stores/restaurants…that whole process grosses me out…i think if you meet your meat and know your farmer it’s another story but 99.99% of what people eat has been tortured and slimmed by a disgusting industrial system…not to mention the chemicals used to fatten them up

it’s easy to eat salads and veggies out and most people don’t feel bad if you don’t make a big deal out of it…I find more and more people are saying no to meat.

Now, I have no issues with choosing vegetarianism or veganism – they probably are healthier (well, to be honest, I have some doubts about veganism – seems a bit extreme and just a tad culty…  And, with a few notable exceptions, the vegans I’ve met don’t seem to be paragons of healthfulness… But I digress…).   I am not, however, a fan of proselytizing (except my own of course, since I’m right – duh).  But, you know, whatever – it’s Facebook, who cares, right?

At any rate, I had just recently happened to read a quote from Anthony Bourdain, who described vegetarianism as “like going to the Louvre and only looking at the color blue.” Amusant, non? So I added this to the Facebook conversation.  To which the proselytizer responded:

veggies have way more colors than meat🙂 The Louvre is over-rated, too. Been there numerous times.

Really?  That’s your comeback?  The Louvre is over-rated?  And the coup de grâce – “been there numerous times.” You know because she’s such a very sophisticated jet-setter (though she missed a golden opportunity to further show off her sophistication – she should’ve written “colours”) – so much so that she finds the Louvre just a big bore…

And, really, who could argue with that?  Vermeer? Played out…  Da Vinci? Dilettante…  Rembrandt?  Derivative…  Michelangelo? Yawn…  And don’t get me started on those tiresome Etruscans.  Yes, the Louvre is just one hack artist after another…  Plus, after you’ve been there a couple of times, you’ve really seen absolutely everything there is to possibly see, what with it being so provincial and the collection so tiny.

But what chaps my hide even more is the sanctimonious, holier-than-thou-because-I-don’t-eat-meat perspective.  Yes, factory farming of animals is not good – I do what I can to purchase meat from retailers who support more humane methods of raising animals for food; and I have the good fortune to be able to afford this choice.  But I don’t hear any concerns from vegetarian-a-rella about working conditions or wages for the farm workers picking all that kale and zucchini she’s piously eating.  And what about dairy cows?  They don’t exactly lead the life of Reilly – but I’m guessing she doesn’t eschew cheese or lattes…

Clearly, this whole little tempest got under my skin.  I guess the point I’m trying to make is, cut it out with the preaching.  None of us are perfect – and we all choose to do different things in an attempt to better ourselves and the world we live in.  Sanctimony doesn’t help on either count…

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