Food Fight

A carnivore and vegetarian go at it via e-mail

From: Scott Harrell
To: Rochelle Renford
So, are you, like, one of those people who accessorize her leather boots with a Komodo dragon-hide purse and socks made out of giraffe foreskin but don't eat meat, and say, "I don't not eat meat because of animal-cruelty issues, I just don't think it's healthy"?
Scott

From: Rochelle Renford
To: Scott Harrell
Why is it that people who do eat meat can get away with reasons like, 'I just like the feel of animal flesh against my teeth,' and vegetarians are expected to write a manifesto about why they're vegetarian? My eating habits aren't hurting anybody, man or beast, so why the confrontational 'tude? Could it be that deep down you know that vegetarians are better people? Not for saving the animals or any kind of crap like that, but for having the intelligence and compassion to actually think it through before we wash down the wing of an abused and infected chicken with whatever beer's cheap and handy.
Rochelle

From: Scott Harrell
To: Rochelle Renford
Would you rather an abused and infected chicken be subjected to a long, painful, and ultimately pointless existence? It's a mercy killing. And people want to know why vegetarians are vegetarians because it's a curiosity, like conjoined twins or the geeks from the old carnival sideshows. Except geeks ate chickens. Well, the heads anyway. "Different" does not always translate as "better"; often, it comes out as "freaky." By the way, are you regular?
Scott

From: Rochelle Renford
To: Scott Harrell
I'm probably a lot more "regular" than you, since I get my fill of fiber from eating all those fruits and vegetables. You and the rest of your carnivorous counterparts should take note since you all seem to be so full of shit when it comes to judging the eating habits of others. It's easy to talk about the "mercy killing" of chickens that you don't have to actually kill. I bet if you had to go out and get your own animal supper instead of relying on corporations to do the dirty work, you'd be a little less cavalier about it. By the way, what exactly would the "point" of your existence be? To ravage as much of the earth as possible before the animal fat clogging your arteries puts an end to the carnage?
Rochelle

From: Scott Harrell
To: Rochelle Renford
Whoa, whoa. Chill. Maybe you don't eat meat because you get plenty of it gnawing the bones of your adversaries. Why so defensive? Perhaps the venomous counterattack is easier than, say, coming up with a real reason for vegetarianism, as opposed to the same old cliches. I don't "judge the eating habits of others." I'm just intrigued, because the whole idea is so alien to me. People have eaten meat since the first stone wheel flattened its first opossum. I have killed, dressed and eaten my own meat, and I got a certain proud, atavistic feeling of vitality from doing it — if I'm ever lost in the woods for weeks on end before being rescued, nobody's going to find twigs in MY stool. I don't know what the point of my existence is, but I'm certainly gonna eat cheesesteaks in as many states as I can along the way to finding out. Have you been a vegetarian ALL your life? If not, you can't tell me you don't miss the taste of a perfectly grill-fired sirloin or juicy broiled chicken.
Scott

From: Rochelle Renford
To: Scott Harrell
Sorry for the full-on attack but in my experience, there is no "real" reason for vegetarianism that nonvegetarians will accept. I don't have some righteous PETA-inspired reason for making the switch. I stopped eating it because I was dating a vegan and since he was picking up the check, we ate at a lot of veggie-friendly places. Along the way I noticed that I felt better and I was able to stop taking the medication my doctor prescribed for acid reflux. I'm not a vegetarian activist but it does make me angry that the medical establishment would rather push corporate drugs than suggest simple diet changes that essentially do the same thing without the co-pay. I've only been a vegetarian for a couple of years, so yes, I have eaten my share of dead animal flesh but I don't really miss it. Even as a kid I preferred mashed potatoes and broccoli to meat. What I do miss is cheap food that's low effort. Not only does tofu cost more than meat, there's virtually no such thing as stopping for a quick bite at a drive-through. With the lawsuits floating around over McDonalds' using beef tallow in their fries, you can't even trust takeout potatoes anymore. And FYI, if I were starving in the woods I would not only kill, skin and eat any available animal but I might go Donner on any human in the vicinity.
Rochelle

From: Scott Harrell
To: Rochelle Renford
That wasn't acid reflux — that was your stomach roiling and salivating at the thought of having scrumptious meat to work on. It's been quietly moping ever since.
Scott

From: Rochelle Renford
To: Scott Harrell
Now who's being hostile? It must be all of that Bovine Growth Hormone.
Rochelle

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