PETA….Me?

Yesterday I went to a supermarket for a trip through their salad bar. I was taking my lunch break from work. As I piled my to-go box with all the wonderful looking veggies they offered I struck up a conversation with a young lady who was doing the same. She was very friendly and a real good looking girl in her early twenties. All was nice until I reached for the tongs in the bacon bin.

The nice young woman let out an audible sigh. Then she began to tell me the errors of my ways for indulging in meat products. With hands on her hips and head tilted to the right she said that I was wrong for eating meat. That animals having feelings and souls.( her eyes were really bugging out here) That I could live a long and happy life with the use of substitute forms of protein like tofu and beans. That slaughter houses were a place of cruelty and torture.

It took me a second to realize that she was chewing me out for what I was chewing. I took a step back and reevaluated the scene. Here I was in my bib overalls, tie-dyed t-shirt and berkenstocks. I had taken my work boots off before heading into town. She was what an old hippie friend of mine calls a wanna be hippie born thirty years too late. I believe she thought I was a sympathizer to her cause by the uniform I was wearing.

Now I usually don’t have a problem with what anyone wants to believe. I have found that many of my ideas of what was right or wrong have changed in this life. I’m sure that many more ideas I hold to be true will change, but don’t mess with my bacon.

I took a deep breath while thinking about how I was going to beat this girl over the head with a cucumber and how I was going to re-educate her as I sat on top of her and dumped vinegar on her to kill the smell of patchouli oil.

I smiled.

Now anyone who knows me would have been ready for an onslaught of verbal abuse that would follow that smile. But there was a thought that slowly crept into my head and took hold of my tongue. I let out an audible sigh, smiled again and said “thanks”.

There is a now retired radio talk show host from KMOX who always said “you can’t fix stupid”. Not that I think being a vegetarian is stupid, but trying to point out the errors in lifestyle of a fat guy in bibs with sharp bacon tongs in his hand and a growling belly, now that ain’t too smart. (ok..the tongs weren’t sharp)

I think that there are many things I can do to have a positive, or less of a negative, impact on the world I live in. Some of those things are becoming more apparent with investigation. Others will have to wait for me to catch up.

I felt good about the way I chose not to get into it with the young lady. I thought that I reduced my carbon imprint by not belching out all that CO2 in a fruitless exchange. I went on about my business, picking up a couple more items before heading back out to my car and back to work.

As I was getting into my car I saw my little friend hop in the passenger side of an old rusted out VW bus covered with save the earth type bumper stickers, a peace sign and a big PETA sticker. The driver revved up the motor and dropped the van into gear with a cloud of oily smoke and a little squeal of the tires on the hot asphalt they drove off. My new little friend flicked her cigarette butt out the window. I’m sure it was an organic tobacco.

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13 Comments

  1. Rayne said,

    August 8, 2007 at 6:41 AM

    After all of that she flicked a cigarette butt out of the window?You should have pulled her over and given her a kind, but sad, lecture on the birds that will eat that butt or the squirrels, or even the mysterious land dolphins that creep through parking lots at night. No one wants to hurt a dolphin right?

  2. August 8, 2007 at 9:36 AM

    Loving it…that is what we old schoolers (I’m only 32 :~) call a “poser”.

  3. Kirsty said,

    August 9, 2007 at 2:56 AM

    Woody that was great! I laughed so much! I love that phrase “you can’t fix stupid” I’ll be using it at work tomorrow!

  4. Rurality said,

    August 9, 2007 at 6:07 AM

    Don’t know which would be worse, the vegan lecture or the cholesterol lecture. :)To this sort of thing I usually say, don’t truth me and I won’t truth you. (They never get it though.)

  5. tracey said,

    August 9, 2007 at 10:33 AM

    BwaaaaHaaaaHaaaa!!!! You know, we had a Georgia Pacific plant here for years before the hippies and leftover hippies showed up. They all cried about the pollution (okay, there was some), and eventually got the place closed down. 1000 men and women out of work, now doing two or even three jobs to feed their families because there just isn’t enough industry with family wage jobs.City Boy was so disgusted by it that when the local morning radio show had a segment about it, he called in and wondered if those oil burning, van driving hippies were planning on wiping their (insert his alternative word for butts) with their hands now that the toilet paper mill was out of business?

  6. cat said,

    August 10, 2007 at 1:46 PM

    i remember those types when we lived in humboldt county. they made alot of noise, but at the end of the day there really wasn’t a sense of community with them. my thoughts are that it is important to reduce our impact on this planet…and if being a veg-head is part of that then great! but the other important component in all this is creating a community…and that doesn’t mean lecturing someone about their food choices in the manner she did. besides, if she really was for the animals then she wouldn’t be polluting their space with her cig butts…and why not go bio-diesel with that vw? i mean, the true hippies get it….it’s these kids who think they are super in tune that need to realize there’s alot more to it than that…;) sorry, the “posers” just really used to bug me in humboldt..hahah i am very proud of you for not lowering yourself to her level..:) your smile said it all i’m sure!!! 😉 live by example! great way to handle it woody!!

  7. Susan said,

    August 11, 2007 at 8:25 PM

    Just found your blog and had a great chuckel readig this. Love your attitude 🙂

  8. Ed Abbey said,

    August 13, 2007 at 11:24 AM

    Hey Woody, not sure how long you’ve been reading my blog but I live among a large population of “wanna be hippie born thirty years too late”. They call themselves Maharishi and most are vegetarian. What I find so amusing is when they are out in public, they all eat nothing but veggies and act all holier than thou to us carnivores but when they are at my place and the grill only has meat coming from it, they dig in like they hadn’t eaten a decent meal in months, and never complain! I probably would have continued to eat my bacon, nod and go about my day because you were right on when you said, “you can’t fix stupid”.

  9. August 15, 2007 at 11:04 AM

    Woody, great blog.I now live in Portland and am stunned with the number of people who are vegan, in my opinion, out of sheer pretentiousness. It’s like, they won’t eat meat, but they’ll happily wear a leather knapsack.You were right not to argue with her. While it would have been easy, you’re never going to get them to change their minds. Because for them, it’s not about truth, it’s about appearances. They like how their “position” makes them feel.I, on the other hand, like how cow flesh tastes with ketchup.

  10. karl said,

    August 18, 2007 at 9:35 AM

    hey woody, great blog. zealots, the lot of em. i respect vegetarianism like most life choices of others and demand the same. in cases like your experience here i usually take the zeal further than they are able. a version of this is usually the content of any vegetarianism retort necessary

  11. BettyWestern said,

    October 24, 2007 at 5:28 AM

    Laugh out loud funny Woody. Sorry to read of your fall, I am still having physio for fall back in March so you have my full sympathy. All I can say is the only good ‘hippie’ therapy is that administered with needles, magnets and healing hands – finally I’m getting somewhere. Check it out coz as you repair that crack in the pelvis, your muscles, tendons etc. are gonna stick in position, all tight with the pain you are feeling now.Thanks for your comment over at my place. Now, where did I put that bacon sandwich?

  12. Chase Davis said,

    November 6, 2007 at 10:22 AM

    I think I would have invited to show her sevearl farms, and how those places arent like the animal activist show, i also would have invited her to go hunting with me opening day of deer season.

  13. Twinville said,

    March 15, 2008 at 5:59 PM

    “Don’t mess with my Bacon”!hahaahaa! You CRACK me up!!Good for you for keeping your mouth shut, too. I would not have been as nice, even though I garee with the humane treatment of animals.There are some wonderful home farms that produce healthy, grass fed and free range pork. One of them is at Sugar Moutain Farm (Check out his Blog~good stuff!)www,sugarmntfarm.com/blog/And he really cares about his critters all the way through butchering and sales to his customers.So, it’s more than fine to say “Don’t mess with my bacon!”I’d have hit that hippie over the head with your tongs! haha


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