When the turkey eats me, I’ll look at the options

By Ruth Davenport

It’s that time of year again, the season of cheer and goodwill and peace among men (women reserve the right to catfights).

It’s also the time of year when dinner tables abound with tasty comestibles; in my family, they’re typically of the meat variety. And today I issue fair warning to anyone of the vegetarian persuasion to never come between me and my honey ham with cloves.

I realize that not all vegetarians are anti-meat crusaders. I realize some people abstain from meat consumption simply because they don’t like the taste, texture, or for "health reasons." I respect these people. It’s the self-righteous animal activists who take it upon themselves to pontificate, shake their fingers in my face and spew forth some very miserably constructed ire regarding my tyrannical eating habits–all over my rack of lamb with mint sauce.

I could at this point trot out the usual pro-meat arguments, but really, when I think about it, I’m a meat eater for one very simple reason: I was born to it.

Long ago, there was a fellow named Darwin who came up with an interesting concept called natural selection. Essentially, the notion was the dumb, the fat, the slow and the ugly don’t make it. The beautiful, the smart, and the strong are the members of each species that contribute to a species’ perpetuation. In the same way, if one species adapts to its environment more efficiently than another, it stands to (my) reason that they would continually kick the ass of and appropriate the right to exploit the weaker species. Shamelessly.

Which brings us to modern times where we find that we human types were clever enough to develop opposable thumbs and higher intellectual processes. So equipped, we clambered to the top of the food chain and no one’s been able to knock us off since.
Cows, pigs, chicken–they’re all down there differently evolving and suffering the consequences. If they don’t want to be eaten, they should get up off the oor and start adapting. The weak feed the strong in whatever sense the strong choose to dictate and I, for one, refuse to apologize for taking my place in The Natural Order of Things.

If any vegetarians who presume to educate me on animal rights ever stopped to think, they’d realize that really cows don’t have that much to live for. A cow that doesn’t get eaten will not live a long fulfilling life gaining an education, running for public office and then retiring to a condo in Florida. A cows’ existence consists of eating grass, swallowing it, and then regurgitating it to chew it again. And cows have a dark side which may be belied by their docile, vacuous stares. Cows are one of this planet’s most copious producers of methane, a gas which plays a role in enlarging the hole in our ozone layer. They’re doing their bloody best to fart us out of our spots as the master species, and while it’s a totally lame plan, they need to be kept in line. By indulging in a burger every week and a good hunk of roast beef at Christmas, I’m not only plunking myself down in the spot that was naturally selected for me, I’m saving the environment! I should be sainted, for crying out loud!

So, before forcing your anti-meat sentiments on me again, think about what I’m doing for you. I’m busy saving the planet here, so shut up and let me eat. If your wish is to enjoy a tofu turkey on Christmas Eve, then do so and relish every bite. Just don’t try to stop me from rocking around the Christmas tree with the real thing.

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