So (I’m sorry): An Ode to Vegan Monday

I’m studying with Jack Grapes again — my second term: Method Writing ~ Level 2. Each week, we’re assigned specific exercises that build upon each other. The focus is process over product. Think of  Mr. Miyagi’s pupil painting a fence. That’s me with the melodramatic stanzas below. 

So this was a homework assignment, and I’m posting it in the spirit of keeping the blog from going dormant. Also, poor cows. 

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Thank you, every dead cow in my mouth.
Thank you, every one of you, for tasting so (I’m sorry) good.
Thank you, every one whose udders gave the milk that was made into cheese.
The cheese that is melted on others’ tissue so (I’m sorry) we can behold the cheeseburger.

The cheeseburger, so (I’m sorry) good.
So (I’m sorry) delicious.
So (I’m sorry) very much more tasty than meat alone.

Oh and the gifts of cheese give us pizza.
And the gifts of cheese give us picnics.
And gifts of cheese
of Humboldt Fog,
of Cambozola,
of Havarti,
of Brie give us pleasures worth living for.

But are they gifts?
Is what is taken from someone born in and of captivity a gift?
Is what is taken from someone who has never seen light from the sun (or felt the wind) a gift?
Is what is taken from someone kept in a standing position her whole life a gift?
Is what is taken from someone impregnated by a machine once a year a gift?
Is what is taken from someone who can’t escape a gift?

What is taken? Shhh, they don’t want us to think about it, but I’ll tell you: the babies are taken from their mothers. Of course they are. What did you think happened?

Still.

At least once a week, I cave, I head to DiVito’s for their cheese calzone.
And their calzone becomes my calzone. I can’t blame the ricotta cheese.

At least once a month, I cave, I head to Bar Food for their happy hour burger.
And their burger becomes my burger. Oh, shredded cheddar, it’s not your fault.

At least once a quarter, I cave, I head to Houston’s for their french dip.
And that too becomes all mine. I can’t blame what’s red and rare.

At least once a year, I cave, I head to Fogo de Chao for their filet mignon.
And those waiters, the fucking waiters, so handsome, they keep coming back with knives and flesh and more.

What will it take to get me to stop?
What will it take to get me —
the daughter of a mink farmer
the daughter of a football captain
the daughter of a fisherman
the daughter of a navy chief
to let go of cheeseburgers and cheese and eggs?
Oh, eggs, you’re so (I’m sorry) good.
What will it take to get me to put compassion ahead of my own pleasure?

Pleasure, pleasure. Pleasure. Pleasure.
Happiness is my birthright.
Bliss is my prerogative.
Joy is my mandate.
I am first world white, donning first class rubies, flying first place blue ribbons over amber waves of grain.

Those who would dare interfere with my pleasure, my safety, my access to any of the Magic Kingdoms will be put into solitary confinement without trial.

With that business at hand, who can afford to worry about animals —
except that we have plenty to eat?

Who can afford to worry about cows when sons are sodomized?
Who can afford to worry about chickens when daughters must marry their rapists and mothers hide acid burned faces?
Who can afford to worry about salmon when fathers are imprisoned for smoking a joint
next to journalists imprisoned for telling the truth
beside teachers imprisoned for writing bad checks?
Who can afford to worry about pigs when more than one percent of adults in the United States are imprisoned?

Lock them up, throw away the key. Keep eating. Eat more. More mountains majesty: misdemeanor mumble munch. High Fructose Corn Syrup won’t save us from ourselves.

So, I take another bite. My stomach is full.
I take another bite. My teeth chew death.
I take another bite. My eyes don’t brim.
I take another bite.
I take another.
I take.

I eat.

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4 thoughts on “So (I’m sorry): An Ode to Vegan Monday

    1. Thanks, Laurel. It will be a long time before I can do the topic justice, but I’ll keep plugging away. This was an interesting class exercise. The ending is supposed to make the readers feel all, “ROAR!” and I’m afraid I’ve ended on a sour note. Plus, I CRAVED meat pizza for days after writing it – so, sigh, work to do all around.

    1. Exactly. I’m a grasshopper, just hopping along. I may not have any hope, but I sure do have hop! (And someday, I’ll have an editor who will prevent me from typing things like that publicly.) ;)

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