An Open Letter To Self-Proclaimed Carnivores

Flickr/Marita Cosma
Flickr/Marita Cosma

Dear “Carnivores,”

We need to talk.

It has come to my attention that you seem to be confusing yourself with a T-Rex, Siberian tiger, or perhaps a Venus flytrap. Since you claim to be a carnivore, I suggest you toss those fries and eat your burger sans bun; grains and vegetables are for omnivores! And I’ll happily take that beer off your hands. Silly Carnivore! Booze is for grain-eaters!

But that’s not my beef with you (pun alert!). Let’s get to the point.

Many of you lions, crocodiles, and hawks have been mocking me and my fellow herbivores, calling us anemic, weak, and frail (so I’m assuming you’re unfamiliar with the rhinoceros). For the record, my recent blood work demonstrates perfect levels of calcium and (gasp!) protein. Because plants have those things too. How do you think horses run so fast? Maybe they take vitamin supplements before their morning foraging. How else would they get strong bones? Certainly not from that grass.

Many of you eagles and walruses degrade men who choose to be vegan because you find nothing manlier than steak and quarter pounders. You apparently think it’s “feminine” to be health-conscious or compassionate toward animals, thus shaming other men into clogging their arteries to protect their masculinity. Nothing says “I have a penis!” quite like bratwurst and sausage links.

And then there are your impressively original jokes: “How can you find out if someone is vegan? Don’t worry. They’ll tell you.” I remember the 30th time I heard someone say this—I was blown away by his creativity. All that chicken (not with waffles, since a carnivore would never eat that flour garbage) must really improve your wit.

Meanwhile, you tell me about your adoration for bacon daily. Ugh, you eat meat! We know! Stop shoving your food beliefs down our throats! (Hey guys, I found the meat-eater!)

Vegans are not trying to shove their love of tempeh or cashew cheese down your throat. They’re simply engaging in the constant, daily, casual, omnipresent food dialogue—just like you are every time you proclaim your love for buffalo wings.

If someone offers me a brownie, and I politely decline, what should I say when she is hurt by my refusal to sample her homemade food? I must acknowledge that I am vegan to not offend the brownie offerer. This eases her mind to know that I’m not afraid of her baking; however, it apparently annoys people because I’m “always announcing” my veganism. So I’m genuinely asking your advice, considering you’re a carnivore and don’t eat wussy things like flour and chocolate and sugar. When someone offers you a brownie, do you say, “Sorry, I’m a carnivore. I only eat DA MEATS”? How do you handle this delicate situation so that people don’t think you’re shoving your dietary preferences down their throat? Any advice, my tiger friend?

At the deli, you pry into my dietary choices, asking why I order my bagel with tofu cream cheese. For the sake of efficiency (not to mention honesty), I respond that I am vegan. I did not preach; I answered your question. “I could never be vegan,” you say between bites of your sesame bagel with cream cheese and lox. “I’m a hardcore carnivore.”

(Again, I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Put down that bagel and eat your lox, and then stop preaching about your dietary preferences.)

Some of you ferrets and leopards ask me, “Haven’t you ever had a burger?” Yes, in fact, I have. Many times. You say, “I could never give up cheese.” Yeah, that’s what I used to say. And then I did. You ask, “Where do you get your protein?” The same way elephants do — plants. You say, “Chili without meat is not real chili.”

Okay, since you brought up “real food,” let’s talk about how “real” most chicken nuggets are. Or Cool Whip. Or CheezWhiz. Or Twinkies.

But you, self-proclaimed carnivore, aren’t eating Twinkies, so I guess that’s a bad example. How about hot dogs?

I’ll leave you with three assignments, which I know you can handle because all that meat gives you excess protein, and that obviously packs you with Hulk-like energy and such.

1. Learn some new jokes.
2. Look up “carnivore” in the dictionary. Or take an ecology class.
3. Try to go an entire day without ever stating or alluding to your food preferences, whether it’s reminiscing about your delicious bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich that morning, discussing your favorite food, or answering a colleague in the break room when they ask what you’re eating for lunch.

And since I know some are going to voice their concern that I am “butthurt,” let me reassure you that my plant-based diet guarantees a beautifully functioning digestive tract. So my butt feels great, but thanks for asking.

Sincerely,

A Herbivore TC mark

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