Historically, I haven’t done a very good job caring about issues that are important. That’s changing, but I’m still small-minded at times. When we first got married, Michelle likely noticed that I didn’t sweat so much the politics du jour, but it annoyed me to no end if she cut the onions in the wrong way for a certain dish.
Once, we were making stir-fry. She chopped an onion for me, but I wanted it sliced. I was flipping livid. It was our last onion. A do-over would have taken a trip to the store. It still tasted fine, but it looked wrong and I had a hard time being cordial.
I’ve improved. I pay more attention to political issues now and sweat less about silly things like onions.
But, I’m not cured. If I could accomplish one last task in my final week, one giant leap in the world of grace, it would be to get over this vegetarian thing. Apart from an allergy or other serious physical malady, being a vegetarian is a choice. And I’ve never heard an argument that’s been convincing.
To me, it boils down to the kind of teeth you have. Herbivores have flat teeth, which are appropriate for grinding grasses and such. Carnivores have the sharp, pointy kind, good for tearing meat away from a carcass. Humans have both kinds of teeth. Like bears, we are known as omnivores. We enjoy both berries and flesh.
If that argument’s not enough, there’s always the wisdom of John Cleese: “If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did He make them out of meat?”
And so it is with this strong belief that I must confront the fact that Michelle turned vegetarian about two months ago. While I disagree with the idea of vegetarianism, I don’t really begrudge folks that lean in this direction unless they’re obnoxious about it. My uncle, for example, is a very accommodating vegetarian (for cholesterol reasons). But some people act all pious, and those are the ones I detest.
Michelle’s been decent about it, but it just hits too close to home. She says it need not impact me, but this is impossible. I’m happy to eat a vegetarian dish now and again. We do it often, in fact. I’m not opposed to eating tofu any more than I’m opposed to giving frog legs or dog legs a try. But there’s this wonderful world of meat that is being degraded for reasons I do not understand, and my boys and I are left to love meat in our tiny piece of the now empty-feeling world. We love Michelle, and we want to share our joy with her. And this is becoming a lost part of our family. Our life is forever altered.
Why? Why? Why? There is no answer good enough. I don’t like it, and I’m having a hard time accepting it, but I have no alternative. I don’t want to be impacted or bitter. I don’t want to be a jerk-hole for the next forty or fifty years. And so I must find grace on this topic. That will be my great suffering this week, stupid as it seems.
Being a Christian is itself a choice, so I guess I really must find a way to forgive the noble girl, though secretly, I’ll dream of her return to the dark side. That delicious, meaty dark side.