Living with meat-eaters isn’t easy. On top of waking up on Saturday morning to the smell of burning flesh, you may on occasion come home late from visiting your girlfriend in Portsmouth to find that your flatmate has filled both his and your freezer space with a variety of frozen animals and animal by-products.
Sadly, when you move into university housing, you don’t get a choice of whom to live with. A couple of weeks ago, I got a great little card game from a totally vegan shop called The Secret Society of Vegans in Kings Cross. It’s called Carnivore Bingo. In the game, you get to stamp off the stupid reasons why meat-eaters won’t go vegetarian or the silly things they say when you tell them you don’t eat meat or dairy products. My favourites have to be “Where does your protein come from?” (errrm … my balanced diet of fruit and vegetables?) or “Meat-eater brings up something irrelevant about cavemen or canine teeth” (forgetting that evolution has designed us to be healthy as vegetarians and has allowed us to make ethical choices based on our conscience).
Sometimes people astound me. “It’s environmentally friendly to eat meat because cows produce loads of gases.” Consider the effect of not breeding the cows for meat and not having to produce all the excess food to feed them and all the land they take up. A recent UN report concluded that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, planes and ships in the world combined.
“I’m a vegetarian, but I eat fish.” Sadly, you are not a vegetarian. Fishing hurts. Fish have nerves and personalities just as other animals do. Could you imagine the uproar if kittens were gathered up by the hundreds in big nets or if dog leads were attached by a hook so that we could “pull them back in”?
As of now, I have four more dots to fill in before I get a bingo. Maybe I’ll treat myself to a soya shake to celebrate when I’m done.
What silly things have flesh-eaters said to you?