Monday, March 15, 2010


She was a skinny girl. Not frail and weak looking, or emaciated, but definitely on the skinny side of the scale. She looked familiar but in the dimly lit off-campus coffeehouse and grill, I couldn’t quite place her. The fact that she was sitting in a more dimly lit corner booth made it even harder, but obviously she wanted to be undisturbed.

She ordered the Buff’n’Brat Special – a quarter-pound buffalo burger with the works, a Johnsonville® Bratwurst and, of course, the chili-cheese fries. And they didn’t go light on the chili or the cheese. In fact, some argued that there was more chili and cheese than there was fries. It was by far the house favorite, outselling even their pizza specialties, and if you were any sort of respectable meat eater, this was the stuff of legends.

I ordered my usual large coffee and a slice of key lime pie, opened my laptop and got to work on a new writing project. Every now and again I would look up and notice the skinny Minnie chomping away at her meal. And I have to say, I haven’t seen as many people seem to enjoy their food as much as she seemed to enjoy hers. I wondered how she managed to be so skinny since she obviously liked a hearty meal. Or maybe this was her one big meal of the week. Or maybe she was into that scarf-and-barf thing. I don’t know. But she was no slacker when it came to downing all that food.

When the waitress bussed her table and walked past me with the empty dishes, I swear there wasn’t a shred of food left on those plates. Not a bit of brat. Not a fragment of a fry.

Not a chunk of chili nor a crumble of cheese. And that quarter-pound buffalo burger? There wasn’t even a hint of a hoof print left on that plate.

That girl got her money’s worth.

As she got up to leave, she pulled the collar up on her jacket and let her hair down, covering most of her face. She walked past my table, head down. As I looked up I suddenly recognized who she was.

OMG! She’s the local veganatic (as in vegan fanatic). She’s the one who organizes those anti-meat, “meat is murder” protests and passionately pounds the pulpit for a produce-oriented lifestyle. She hates meat-eaters, or so she screeds.

OMG! She just polished off plates of meat. Pork, buffalo and beef. Plus cheese!

Wa-a-a-a-ait a minute. What’s a vegan doing eating meat and dairy? And no, it’s not the same as a carnivore eating veggies.

No wonder she ate alone, in a dimly-lit booth and seemed to hide herself as she left. She didn’t want to be discovered. Or maybe she just fell off the wagon. Or maybe she falls off the wagon numerous times a week.

So what I am to do with this knowledge?

I decide – nothing. Well, maybe blog about it.

Her sin, if there is one, is her sin. I do not need to become entangled in it.

Her hypocrisy, if there is any (and it seems rather self-evident that there is), again, is hers. And I do not want to become entangled in that.

Instead I choose to do relatively nothing about it.

Except learn.

One. If you’re going to violate your own principles, either change your principles or mollify your rhetoric. Instead of “meat is murder,” try something like “meat is third degree assault.” Or maybe “meat is a misdemeanor.” Or perhaps simply, “meat is meat.”

Two. If you won’t change your principles or mollify your rhetoric, at least get a better disguise. Try wearing those Groucho glasses. Or maybe wear a Catwoman costume. Or perhaps simply STOP VIOLATING YOUR PRINCIPLES so you don’t need a disguise.

Three. A burger in the hand is better than two in the bush. Look, you should live your life with honor and integrity. Stop skulking around in the shadows and live openly and honestly. Besides, if you hide your burgers in the bush, they can get dirty, insect-riddled or eaten by somebody or something else.

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