I am a vegetarian. I am lactose intolerant, and I don’t really like eggs, but I don’t call myself a vegan. Aiming in that direction, but still a long way from pious self righteousness. But of course that doesn’t stop me from comming across as a sanctimonious prat at times.
If you’ve met me, you know that I can be a wee bit forcefull. I am large and I am bolshi. And I don’t have a lot of filters between what I think, and what comes out of my flapping jaws.
So it’s not great surprise that I offended a dear friend by asking her not to bring meat into my house. More specifically, to eat outside. And two years later, she’s still not talking to me. She hasn’t even told me what she is upset about – I had to find out third hand.
I love her, and her kids to distraction, and I would never knowingly do anything to hurt her. Obviously I did, and I regret that deeply, but I am left with no recourse. She won’t engage with me, so I can’t apologise.
I don’t want meat in my house. The only times I have ever had dead animals in this house is when we have had a creature die suddenly and they have needed refrigeration before being taken to the vet for a necropsy the next day. And once when my very frail grandfather ate his chinese take-away on my couch. I didn’t have the heart to throw him out, but I thought I was close enough to my friend that she would understand.
So now I am the bad guy. I hate it. I like to think of myself as an ethical person, but this is a situation where I have clearly done a mean thing. It’s a mean thing that I feel strongly about – and it’s also a cultural thing. Twenty years ago it was ok to smoke in private homes, even if they were non-smokers, but now we wouldn’t dream of lighting up inside, even if we were invited to.
Apart from the fact that I am uncomfortable with having meat in the house, we share our space with vegetarian creatures – rabbits that freak out at the merest scent of death, and cooked meat really upsets them. I know this because I haven’t always been a vegetarian, and when I moved to this house I had been veggo for a year or so – and I wanted this house to be a comfortable place for them as well as Mark and I.
So here I am, stuck in the middle of a big grey area, with no horizon in sight. And I’m miserable.