A couple months ago, my son made a shocking announcement:
“Dad, I’m a vegetarian.”
At first, I went through denial: “No, no, no, you still love a juicy ribeye steak.”
Then, it turned to anger: “No one grills a steak better than I do, and you’re gonna eat it!”
Then, bargaining: “What if you just ate meat like once a week? And what about fish? That’s not really meat.”
That was followed by depression: “He is never again going to know the joy that you can only get by sinking your teeth into a juicy ribeye hot off the grill. What a sad, sad life he will live.”
Lastly, there was acceptance: “Fine, be a vegetarian. I’ll eat your share of steak.”
Those are the official five stages of losing a child to vegetarianism. At least, that’s what my shrink said when we discussed this at lunch over a few chili dogs. The more I looked at it, though, the more I saw that everyone should be vegetarian.
It’s healthier. Vegetarians are 40 percent less likely to get cancer than meat-eaters. Heart disease, diabetes and obesity risks plummet for vegetarians.
It’s also far better for the planet. It takes an insane amount of water to produce just one pound of beef (mmm, beef) — water that is fast being forever depleted from the world’s aquifers. Livestock also generates incredible levels of waste and destroy topsoil. Oh, and those animals contribute to more greenhouse gases than every mode of transportation on this planet combined.
And that doesn’t even take into account how these animals are treated. Animals destined to be eaten are fed antibiotic-laced junk and crammed into way-too-small enclosures. These animals have feelings. In fact, studies at Catskill Animal Sanctuary have revealed pigs laughing and turkeys hosting a radio show. You never hear activists complain about the inhumane treatment of squash.
For those reasons and many more, I believe my son is right, and you should all become vegetarians. It’s good for your health, and it’s better for my planet.
Note, I said YOU all should become vegetarians … not me. We’re all hypocrites on a few issues, and this is one of those for me. It’s simply too late for me. One too many delicious double-chili-cheeseburgers pushed me past the point of no return. You don’t have to take my word for it — just ask my doctor. When they withdrew some of my blood during a routine visit this week, someone in another room said, “Is someone frying some chicken? I smell grease.”
I’ve had all kinds of steak, hamburger, pork and an awful lot of chicken. I swear that if chickens ever go extinct, so will I. I’ve also had deer, rabbit, alligator, raccoon, possum, you name it. As someone once said, if God didn’t want us to eat animals, He wouldn’t have made them out of meat.
But all of YOU truly should go vegetarian — for the sake of your health and the sake of my planet. Besides, once all you folks convert, just imagine the great deals I’ll be getting on ribeyes!