My friend Lisa has been a vegetarian for 15 years. 15 years! That’s a mighty long time to live a life of meatless depravation. I’ve tried every tactic in the book to talk her back into eating meat: she won’t budge. So now it’s your turn. Lisa has agreed to let you, my reading public, try to DeVeggie her. The way it will work is this. In the comments here, write an argument trying to convince Lisa to eat meat. (By meat, I’m happy with fish, poultry or beef. Lisa eats none of these things.) The winner will receive (drumroll): $100! That’s right. I will give you $100 if you can talk Lisa into eating meat. Why? Because there’s no way you’re winning that $100. I’m that sure of it. But maybe you can blow my mind (and wallet) and Lisa’s mind with your ultra-compelling arguments. That remains to be seen. But first, some background info on your subject—a letter from Lisa explaining her vegetarianism.
You asked me to tell you why I became a vegetarian. Here is the tale:
On my eleventh birthday, my parents told me they would take me to the restaurant of my choice for a celebratory dinner. Being eleven, I chose Red Lobster. While browsing the menu for delicious seafood goodness, my father said to me, “Say Lisa, have you ever had a lobster?” “Why no,” I replied. “They’re mighty delicious…” he said. “I’d HIGHLY recommend one.” And it was so. He ordered me a lobster and I eagerly awaited the tasty treat that was to come.
Fifteen minutes later, a Red Lobster waitress placed a dead lobster on a plate in front of me. That was the beginning of the end. Until that point, I hadn’t thought much about the animals that died so that I could eat meat, but when they handed me that dead lobster looking just as it did when it was alive (where i’d seen it crawling around in the tank before we were seated), the whole concept just hit me like a big ol truck. My eleven year old mind began to contemplate life and death and the food chain and right vs. wrong and power vs. weakness and good vs. evil etc. etc. etc. So by the time I’d finished my lobster [YES, I FINISHED THE LOBSTER. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A GOOD EATER AND I WASN’T ABOUT TO QUIT JUST BECAUSE OF AN INTERNAL STRUGGLE], the choice had been made. I would eat meat no more.
Side note: If you talk to any member of my family, they’ll tell you that by the end of the meal I’d named the lobster Willie and asked if we could have a funeral for it, but that is a complete fabrication created by my family because they think it makes the story better. I think it actually makes the story WAY LAME and that the story stands just fine as is.
People frequently think that because I don’t eat meat, I think that everyone shouldn’t eat meat. This isn’t the case. It’s just something that I don’t feel right about doing, but I wholly respect the choices of others. As long as you don’t eat people or my cat, I have a complete laissez faire attitude about your diet.
So here I am, 15 years later, and still going strong. I’m warning you – I have put a LOT of thought into this issue, and I don’t think I’m going to change my mind unless I develop a serious vitamin deficiency or perhaps when I’m pregnant and feeding an unborn child (but we’re hoping that doesn’t happen any time in the near future).
Best of luck on your quest for change,
There you have it folks: your challenge. I can’t wait to read your efforts. And for those who find this contest uninteresting, stay tuned for the next installment: The DeFlower Lisa Campaign. (Lisa doesn’t know about this yet. Shhhhh….)