Several weeks ago, I sat down at the dining room table to a meal consisting of corn on the cob, small red potatoes, and a nicely marbled rib-eye steak. After slathering I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter on the corn, I picked up my fork in my left hand and my serrated steak knife in my right. I plunged the tines of the fork into the steak, and as I was about to draw the knife across the end of the meat, a flash of light from the overhead fixture glinted off the knife and blinded me momentarily. In that brief moment of blindness, I heard, “Are you sure you want to do this?” The voice was acute and clearly male.
I rubbed my eyes and looked around the room. There was no one else present but me. “Hello,” I said. “Anyone here?”
“Yeah, I’m down here,” the voice answered. It came from the table.
I looked down and thought for a second that the meat was talking to me. I poked it with my fork; it was definitely dead. “Over here,” the sharp voice called from my right. I slowly moved my eyes to the right and noticed the knife in my hand was quivering. The knife spoke. “Yeah, it’s me, your knife. I’m sorry to interrupt your supper, but I think you might want to reconsider eating this meat.”
“Yeah, me too,” chimed in my fork. Its voice was unmistakably feminine.
“Did I take my medication this morning,” I wondered aloud. I then remembered downing them with my morning coffee. I decided it would probably be fine to join this discussion so I asked, “Why shouldn’t I eat this steak? It’s dead, it’s cooked, and I really love the taste of a good steak.”
“Well for starters,” lectured my knife, “your cholesterol is a little high. Red meat—actually any kind of meat—can raise your bad cholesterol. You seem to have forgotten your doctor said she was going to put you on some meds if you didn’t lower your cholesterol. Yet, here you are, about to stuff your face with dead cow. You’re pathetic.”
“No I’m not; my dog is path….”
“Give it a rest,” cried my fork. “Speaking of dogs, would you eat one of your dogs or cats? Would you blow a hole in their head with a compressed air gun and make spaghetti and Italian greyhound meatballs?”
“Would you eat a cat burger?”
“Alright, you can stop it right now.”
“The point is,” said my knife, “you wouldn’t eat those animals because you know them and know they are self aware, possess some intelligence, and they’re cute. Lambs are cute, cows are cute, yet you eat them.”
“So, are you telling me I should become a vegetarian?”
“Duh. Look, maintaining a vegetarian lifestyle is better for your health. You won’t be contributing to the needless slaughter of millions of your fellow creatures. There are lots of other reasons, including economic ones, environmental ones and others, but we’ll go into those later. Right now, put me down, walk away, and go eat some tofu.”
“You’re not the boss of me,” I whined. “Listen, I’ll give your argument consideration, but I’ve already got this fine piece of meat in front of me, and I’d hate to see it go to waste.”
“If you try to cut into that steak, I’m going to stab you,” my knife warned. By this time, my dogs had wandered in. Suddenly, my knife began rapidly cutting bits of steak while my fork tossed them to the dogs. In no time, my meal had disappeared.
Since that day, I’ve been working my way into a vegetarian diet. I do cheat. When I feed the dogs, I steal a spoonful of Natural Balance canned food for myself. It tastes like chicken.