Friday, May 05, 2006

Meat and other sins

(Edited for news link and typos.)

Right now I'm thinking about "sin", for lack of a better word. How in America, food has become a measure of "sin" or "virtue." L'Ailee can't *stand* that. She doesn't want to hear anyone talk about being "bad" or "good" because they ate or didn't eat something, and the use of terms like "sinful" to describe a dessert drives her nuts. I guess she hears enough of that talk working in her gym, but I do from my co-workers in an office, too.

The thing that irritates me about activist right-wing Christians (I'd say other religions, too, if they had as much influence on American politics) isn't that they have convictions or try to live by them. It's when they feel the need to re-order the whole world in a way that is in line with their convictions. When they need to, as I have said so often, "make me live by your beliefs." They don't want to be "tempted" by certain things, or have other people "tempted", so they want the temptations removed. An extreme example of that just got arrested in Tennessee.

I think that the irritation people like that cause leads to the irritation vegetarians get from meat-eaters. Like my beloved pandas, I eat vegetarian the vast majority of the time, with meat once in a blue moon. (And like the pandas, I'm a *chubby* mostly-vegetarian, but hopefully my round face is as cute as theirs!) I don't even say anything about it--that Back Yard Burger or bowl of shrimp pasta I need every three months or so keeps me from using the label, as it should. But it comes out. People notice that I bring in lunches like beans and greens rolled in a tortilla and ask the waiter for no bacon after a while. And then they get guarded, like they expect me to hammer them about their hamburger. I have no intention of it. But others who eat the way I do most of the time have done it to them, and it hurt. I just smile and say, "You should see what my family history's like!" or something like that. It happened again today. I got counter-attacked at lunch when there was no attack. Too much stress for something that's supposed to enhance life and make people feel good, I think.

I wonder if maybe Jaded and Cats and the other Christians I regularly correspond with, not to mention most of the Christians I know in NYC, feel the way I did at lunch this afternoon.

Sodas were taken out of school this week. They're dangerous. They'll make kids obese. Bill Clinton, who obviously struggles with his weight, had a lot to do with it. I wonder what temptations he would prefer were taken out of this world, and how much he wants a Big Governmental Daddy to do his self-controlling for him. The anti-soda, anti-sugar rhetoric sounds a lot like right-wing book-banning rhetoric to me. That's always "for the children," too. And "for the children" is nothing but a camel's nose in the tent. "For the children" is code for "let's eventually treat our fellow citizens like children, too."

I wonder if we humans as a race will ever major on the majors and minor on the minors. I wonder if we'll ever just content ourselves with living by our own principles and not trying to make others live by them, too. I'd like to see it.

And now it's link time!

Cool recipe-filled blogs for judgmental vegetarians and those who sometimes eat like them: Nava Atlas' VeggieTalk and The Vegan Lunchbox. The second one is a mother's attempts to give her son vegan lunches he'll enjoy and eat, that aren't too "weird". But some of us pack lunches for ourselves, too!

An excellent article on all the "wreckiness" of NASCAR that begins fantastically: "Why are there so many wrecks in NASCAR? Maybe because there are fewer fistfights." Extensive quoting of Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick, who would know.

Dilbert office awards

Finally, a book I need--Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy


Christine said...

I so wish I didn't have a soy allergy. It's hard to be vegetarian when you can't have soy (so I'm a vegetarian in theory). Cool links though. Can't believe that mom does those lunches every day!

sttropezbutler said...

Thanks Cracker, very thoughtful post. I had my reservations about the soda thing, but couldn't quite get a handle on why I felt the way I did. Thanks for helping me to clarify!

As always!

Eat to live, not live to eat is my motto..which I don't often live by, but try too...and how one does that is their own business.


Jaded&Opinionated said...

I think that other religions in the world are actually more dangerous and oppressive than even the most right-wing American Christians. At least in this country, we aren't stoned to death, beheaded, beaten etc., just because we don't believe a certain way.

But, I do understand what you're saying. The idea that you must do as I do, believe as I believe or act as I act simply because I believe one way is absurd to me. These are my choices, and in order to receive the respect I believe I deserve, I must also respect the choices others have made for themselves. It is also absurd, however, that those who choose to believe something different then feel justified to mock and ridicule me for my choices. The fact that they do it speaks volumes as to their true nature, I think, and serves to destroy any respect I might have had for them because they're being the very thing they claim to hate. They are just too arrogant to see it.

I'm not a vegetarian, and I don't have any desire to be. But again, that's my choice. If I have vegetarian friends coming to dinner, even if there's a large group of people coming, I make sure that their are plenty of options available for them so they don't feel left out. For summer barbecues, for instance, I make sure I have veggie burgers and soy cheese for those who prefer them. I also refrain from the stupid "you don't know what you're missing" comments while eating meat in their faces.

Here's something that you might also find interesting. I sometimes get attacked because I don't eat pork. It doesn't matter how many times I tell people that I'm allergic to BADLY allergic to it... someone will always say something stupid like "oh can't you just have a little bite?" or "Sucks to be you, I couldn't live with out bacon." And some people will eat pork in front of me in a way that's inteneded to rub it in that they can eat it and I can't. Truth be told, I have no desire to eat it because the result is so horrific that I'm not even slightly tempted. I'm just fine with turkey bacon, turkey ham and turkey pepperoni. But if someone prefers the soy versions, I'm good with that too.