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.