Wow, you think you’re vegan, huh? Are you sure? Because I was the captain of my high-school debate team—until I was forced to resign owing to uncorroborated allegations—and I’m pretty sure that I can break you with the glorious power of logic. Buckle up!
What if you didn’t pay for the meal? Allow me to be the first person in the world to explain the concept of “freeganism” to you. You don’t ever crave a Double Whopper so badly that you wouldn’t take a quick jaunt to the Burger King dumpster and check if there was one delicately placed at the top of the bin? You’re trying to tell me I’m the only one who’s fantasized about that? Your loss.
What if you were trapped on a desert island—one with no plants—and the only thing you could eat was a wild animal? Would you eat it, or would you try to lecture it on your beliefs by reading it the radical vegan treatise “The Meat Free Monday Cookbook”?
What if I chopped meat up really small so that you couldn’t taste it and I didn’t tell you it was there, and years went by, and we both lived separate lives and married and divorced and remarried and re-divorced and then married each other, and, on my deathbed, before I gave in to the sweet release of darkness, I whispered in your ear, “That was chorizo, not soyrizo!”
What if you were at church, and, one second before you took communion, the priest revealed that the wafer was not the body of Christ but rather the body of an adorable pygmy marmoset?
What if an animal was doing improv and pretending to be a carrot when it died? Would you deny the animal’s base reality by refusing to eat it, even though it was extremely committed to its carrot character? Or would you play along like a good scene partner and “yes, and” the whole carrot thing?
What if you were in an escape room, and one of the puzzles required you to eat through a wall of meat to win? And what if, in the event of losing, more animals would be killed than it took to produce the meat wall?
Imagine there’s a runaway trolley barrelling down the railway tracks. And ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. What if the trolley were headed straight for them? What if you were standing some distance off, in the train yard, next to a single slice of prosciutto? What if eating this prosciutto would make the trolley switch to a different set of tracks? What if all that happened? Would you eat the prosciutto, you logically inconsistent coward?!
What about honey?
What if you discovered that you could talk to animals, and, when you did start to chat with them, they told you that they actually hate it when you don’t eat them because it makes them feel unwanted? And that they’ve been going to therapy for months to get over their abandonment issues, but their current provider isn’t in-network, so they’re paying out of pocket? How about that?
What if I offered you a trillion dollars to eat a single Lunchables pizza pepperoni? A trillion dollars that you could use to create and sustain a cruelty-free world for the rest of human—and animal—civilization? Guess we don’t need a Green New Deal after all, huh?
What if an animal had a masochistic kink, and the only way it could achieve sexual fulfillment was with the knowledge that, one day, it would be incorporated into your ground-beef chimichanga?
What if scientists discovered that vegetables can both achieve consciousness and feel pain? And, for years, you’ve been brutally mutilating innocent vegetables and torturing them to the brink of death? What would you do then, dummy?!
What if you had a roommate who was a substitute teacher, and, while he was out of the apartment, you received a call from Horace Green Preparatory School offering him a lucrative substitute-teaching position? What if you accepted that position, despite a complete lack of qualifications, and found yourself in front of a large group of élite elementary students? What if you admitted to those students that you were hungry and asked if anyone in the room had something to eat? What if a young woman was kind enough to offer you a sandwich—but it was a turkey sandwich?
What if every time you took a bite of salad, an animal cried?
Finally! Our food’s here. Eww—is this cilantro? Take it back! I have that gene that makes it taste like soap.