I’m a man, not a sissy. Hand me that meat!

I’m a man, not a sissy.  Hand me that meat! 

Lucy (more-or-less vegan):  Hey Rob.  So we’re often at loggerheads about the idea of being vegan, but you did take me to Lewis Hamilton’s new burger place in London for my birthday, so I have new-found respect for you now.

Rob (devout meat-eater):  That was an attempt to keep you quiet for another year.  Clearly it hasn’t worked.

Lucy:  There’s no keeping me quiet.  So let’s hash out some of our differences.  While you’re not a butcher yourself, your family comes from a long line of butchers, and that’s a key factor in your belief that eating meat isn’t wrong.

Rob:  That’s right.  And my family were in the trade of slaughtering then refrigerating meat, shipping it to the UK from Australia.

Lucy:  True – that’s actually a good thing, not transporting animals live.

Rob:  Sure, but it was more of a financial incentive rather than a concern for the animals.

Lucy:  OK, I get it.  So, what’s your view these days on people who eat a plant-based diet, and do you think you’d ever do it?

Rob:  No chance.  I get why you do it, because you care about animals and the environment, but honestly I think that we were made to eat meat so we should.  If we can digest it, it proves that we were designed to eat it.

Lucy:  I never took you for a religious chap, Rob – don’t you mean we evolved to eat it?

Rob:  Eugh it is painful to talk to you sometimes.

Lucy:  Haha, bear with me if you can.  So, you make a good point.  We can digest meat and it clearly does us good, within limits – hold your horses with that fried bacon.  But I guess I would counter that with the argument that we are also ‘designed’, as you so eloquently put it, to digest vegetables, and in fact, we can survive and thrive off a plant-based diet.

Rob:  You always have a cold.

Lucy:  That’s true, but I live in London and it’s a breeding ground for bugs.  Let me use someone else as a better example.  How about the strongest vegan man in the world Patrik Baboumian?  I don’t think you’d want to challenge him to a fight.  He makes the point that he’s as strong as an ox, and asks have you ever seen an ox eat meat?  I love that guy!

Rob:  Never heard of him.  I bet he secretly snacks on steak overnight.

Lucy:  Don’t be ridiculous.  So, he’s a great example that you can be tough as nails from just eating plants.  What else stops you from considering being vegan?

Rob:  I know where you’re going with this.  I’m a northern lad, we always had our meat and two veg, and if I went back up there saying I was vegan I’d get torn to shreds – seen as a total wimp.

Lucy:  I appreciate your honesty.  I think you’re right – there are fewer vegan men than there are women, and perhaps that’s a major part of it.  It’s seen by some people as wimpy and emasculating to be a vegan man.  Probably in part due to the unshakeable idea that you need meat to be strong, but also that it’s a bit effeminate to care about animals or the environment.

Rob:  It is.  Also it tastes so damn good.

Lucy:  I see I’m fighting a losing battle here, but thanks for talking with me & sharing your thoughts.

Rob:  No problem.  I’m off to get a good old English fry up, catch you later.

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