If you don’t eat animals, it is startling and weird to see dead, dismembered ones coming across Facebook in the form of your friends’ dinners. When you go vegan, it’s like a switch goes on and you are suddenly unconfused about whether or not it’s ok to eat animals. When the switch goes on, skinned carcasses are everywhere in your life, especially Whole Foods and your Facebook timeline. You feel crazy because all the blood and violence is making you queasy and everyone else is like, “Yum! Can I get the recipe?”
I used to post pics of slaughterhouse atrocities on my timeline. You know, I wanted to spread the word about the obscene suffering endured by animals just so we could eat them. I was desperately begging people to realize what meat is, what dairy is. How it is kind of like keeping a dog in a little cage his whole life then clubbing him to death and chopping him up for supper. Well not “kind of” like that. It’s exactly like that. People ignored me or told me politely, God bless them, that that wasn’t helping my cause because “no one wants to see that, Lisa.”
One friend of a friend posts particularly gruesome photos of dinner. She always orders extra rare. One went by yesterday with this caption: “Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow. And everywhere that Mary went that lamb was sure to go. One day Daddy took the lamb, while Mary stood and cried. And chopped him up to make our lunch. A tasty fresh lamb pie!”
“Oh Lisa, lighten up.” Go ahead say it. I know, meat is just a fact of life we all have to learn about, just like the previously-innocent Mary. It used to be that way for me, too. Till the switch flipped. That’s why I’m not judgy like some vegans. How can you judge someone whose switch hasn’t flipped? Until it flips it hasn’t flipped. There are still very few born with the switch already flipped.
Another switch flipped in my head, though, when I saw that bloody baby sheep, possibly still moving (I had to look twice) on the plate of my Facebook friend, along with the messed up funny nursery rhyme. The bold enjoyment of killing irked me. I guess I like it better when people at least offer a feeble nod of acknowledgement that they are chomping on the corpse of an animal. One we mercilessly murdered for the selfish pleasure of eating her leg.
There is no grown-up reason why hitting the unfriend button should give me satisfaction.
But it did.
PS The last photo is “Dog Meat in Clay Pot” from a restaurant in Los Angeles. I didn’t include the whole article because there were other pictures, of the dead dogs before they were in the stew. Hanging up, skinned, like any other butcher shop meat, but you could tell they were dogs. I didn’t think you’d want to see that.