I’ve had several emails come in over the past few days that are promoting the idea of a “vegetarian” Thanksgiving. I’m willing to bet that you could take the number of converts they will get, put them in a matchbox and shake it, and it will sound like a BB in a box car.
If necessary, I think I could be a vegetarian – or at least 90 percent one. But then I’m talking about collard greens, turnips, steamed cabbage, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, butter beans, peas and corn. I’m not talking about gnawing tree bark, eating seaweed and drinking dew off buffalo grass.
And the vegetables I’m talking about require just a little seasoning. At least a hog should have walked through the garden at some point.
But anyway, I’m being told that Thanksgiving is a good time to swear off meats. Really? I think it would be easier to get a congressman to turn down campaign funds and free football tickets.
Thanksgiving without some form of dead animal on the stove would be like a football game without swearing. Some things just go together. They always have and they always will. It’s like fruitcake and Christmas. It’s like pain and proctology. Separating the two would be like splitting an atom. It would cause unrest in the cosmos. And if you’ve ever been to a proctologist, you know what I mean by unrest in the cosmos.
I don’t have a problem with vegetarians. I want to be clear about that. I respect them, and I’m sure we would all be better off if we dominated our diets with more wholesome-type foods. But I don’t want the concept pushed on me no more than I want somebody trying to force me to embrace their religious or political ideologies.
As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him conjugate a verb.
I would guess there are Democrats and Republicans who are vegetarians. It just stands to reason that if you can find greed and corruption in both parties, you can find vegetarians among them, as well.
I’m both a conservative and a liberal. I tend to put a lot of butterbeans on my plate, which I guess makes me liberal. But I was taught to eat all of them and not let them go to waste, which I guess makes me a conservative. Try to take them away from me, and I can become a radical.
My friend Bill Smith explained to me one day that we are all “once-removed” vegetarians. What he meant was that the cows and hogs only eat vegetables and that we eat the cows and hogs, so therefore the process is factored for those of us who can’t pass up a ham sandwich or a cheeseburger.
And I know that fish and poultry are probably better for me than pork and beef. But for a long time I considered it sacrilegious to do anything to fish other than fry them. I was pretty sure that when Jesus multiplied those fishes that they started out in a deep fryer and not on a grill. The New Testament is not clear on that, like it’s not real clear on a lot of things.
By extension, one might take that incident out of context and determine that fish fries are holy by virtue of that miracle. But who would dare take scripture out of context, right?
So the promotions for a vegetarian Thanksgiving are not totally lost on me. First, I had to have a subject for this column and someone provided it. And even if it’s mildly subliminal, I’m a tad more conscious of my need to eat more vegetables (with less seasoning).
Regardless, I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving. It’s a time to count our blessings and to hug without being charged with sexual harassment.
Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer. He can be reached at email@example.com.