At one time in her past the ABIB was a vegetarian. I had sworn off all animal flesh for a period of several years. What broke my resolve you ask? That well-worn meat eaters fiesta of gluttony: Thanksgiving. Yep, a few years back at a traditional family Thanksgiving meal that slice of holiday turkey on my seat neighbor's plate suddenly became irresistible and I took a piece. It was all downhill from there.
Now, I'm not sure if other fallen vegetarians suffer from the same periodic self-loathing that I do, but at random intervals I'm afflicted with a sense of profound failure. As I sit in the McDonald's line waiting to claim my fish sandwich I wonder: how did it come to this? But by god, I have to believe that it's not only the neurotic, guilt-ridden ex-veges like me that have a problem with the topic of this post.
By Happy Edibles what I mean is the need for humans in the advertising trade to anthropomorphize food. Why, just today while driving to work I saw, not once but twice, a truck with a picture of three smiling dead things. The tableau was creepy and inappropriate and just plain wrong: on the left a vaguely human looking cartoon cow positively beaming with joy, on the right a chicken with roughly the same amount of happiness emating from two twinkly eyes and a beak upturned in an open-mouthed clearly toothless smile, and in the center, with his two gigantic claw arms draped across the shoulders of the other two a red (boiled to death!) lobster with a bizarre set of humanish eyes and a nose. A NOSE! Now, quite apart from the physical impossibility of that since lobsters in their natural state live under water, the notion that humans are actually comforted by the happy faces of something that they are about to devour is just plain ghoulish. Its like something out of Night of the Living Dead. Christ, I felt like I needed to take a shower.
Then, when I got to work I reached into my lunch bag (the ABIB is nothing if not thrifty) and got out a fresh banana for a nice mid-morning snack. Lo and behold, there on the lovely yellow background of the banana peel was a Dole sticker that had a banana with a human face wearing a fucking baseball cap with a tee-shirt labeled "Bobby Banana". "Bobby Banana" was smiling (again with the uber-happiness theme) and cradling a RABBIT in his arms? What the fucking hell is THAT all about? Now my bananas are named, they wear clothing and are pet owners! Is nothing sacred? I mean, it's bad enough when they try to freak me out of eating meat thinking about those cheerful faces and the implied camaraderie of the lobster claws about the shoulder thing, but now the fruits, too? I have to make a decision if I'm going to eat "Bobby Banana" and leave that poor little bunny a homeless, banana-less orphan?
It's all too much; I'm going to back to bed and when I get up it's nothing but bread and water for me. Hopefully my loaf of wheatbread won't have sprung its own personality by then.