Yesterday my friend, Sandy, and I went out to lunch at Briar Rose, a great little bakery just up the road from me here in Farmington. Both Sandy and I ordered a spinach salad. No bacon. No egg. No cheese. The waitress was friendly. The people at the next table made eye contact and smiled in the way of small town people the world over. The sun shone brightly through the windows.
All was well.
Then Sandy forgot herself and said, and I want you to see her pretty mouth open, the words emerging distorted into the floury air as though in slow motion.
The couple next to us dropped their eyes, hid behind their menus. The waitress developed a small twitch in her left eyebrow, leaned her body as far away from us as possible given her trapped position between the tables. The sun disappeared behind a cloud.
And here’s the thing. I completely understand the reaction. Even the hiding sun deal. Holy cow, er, holy tofu, most Vegans are annoying as hell.
Just as some innocent carnivore is biting into a big, juicy cheeseburger, the bastards launch into a description of the pitiful life of the cow from whence the pink goo enhanced meat came. And yes, they often use words like whence. Or, and this habit produces in me a desire to bitch slap the offending food Nazi, they take twenty minutes to order a simple salad because they simply MUST use the occasion to lecture the waitress, and thus everyone within ear shot, about the horrors of factory farms and, by implication, their own sainthood for not contributing to animal cruelty.
Here’s the thing.
I don’t care what you eat. I don’t care who you sleep with. I don’t care what God you worship. I don’t care whether you vote democrat or republican.
These are all personal decisions that, as an adult, you are free to make all by yourself. I trust you will deal with the consequences of your choices and I will do the same. Oh, I love exchanging ideas with you. I enjoy hearing how you came to your decisions. But, ultimately, they are your decisions, not mine.
You will never hear me explain to a waitress why I’m ordering the salad.
When you ask me where I’m from, I’ll tell you, “A beautiful little town in the redwoods, right on the coast, just south of the Oregon border.”
Some things shouldn’t be spelled out in annoying detail.