The soup of the day was Tomato Basil. The environment, Tom Waits getting drunk and wishing for his woman after They Might Be Giants proclaimed the adventures of various men named Particle or Triangle as hipster normals talked indie rock shows that would transpire later in the evening, put my confidence in the fact that said soup was not going to contain meat. I typically ask, “Is the soup vegetarian?” but for some reason today I didn’t. As I was eating it I chopped up the little raviolis to make sure they were meat free. Everything seemed a-okay.
I ate the whole bowl, it was really tasty and dipping bread into tomato soup always makes me happy.
Another customer came in and ordered the soup. “Are you vegetarian?” asked the waitress, “Because I don’t know if the soup has a chicken base in it or not.”
Suddenly my stomach turned and I pictured the beakless baby chickens en mass taken to slaughter to make my simple bowl of seemingly veggie soup. Still uncertain as to the contents of my late lunch, I’m feeling queezy at the thought of, after an entire year, having even consumed the minuscule amounts of animal body that would have been present in a cup of tomato soup. Which has me thinking about why I’m a vegetarian in the first place.
I like to tell people that it’s some type of competition with my girlfriend, the fabulous Ms. Wakame. But I think the reality is as simple as the fact that I don’t want to eat anything that’s walked and talked. A faceless tomato is much easier to justify than a clucking little chickadee. But what does this mean? What have I become?
I remember days of my cousins coming over to swim in our pool when I was a youth, they would shoot birds off of wires with their BB guns or light toads on fire. Living on a farm I watched beef cows slaughtered, slit at the next and then shot in the head. Hung up to drip blood dry and then carved away into the summer’s burgers, neatly wrapped up, frozen and labeled “Chuck.” We’d scour the areas they’d have been hung to bust their teeth from their skulls, long picked clean by the local crow population, and make necklaces from the cow’s molars.
A friend, drinking heavy whisky and mixing six packs after six packs began breaking a tree in my back yard down, for no reason really. I got extremely angry. Why kill a tree for no reason? And then somewhere in the Bible I read that God claimed that you should eat fruits and vegetables as your meat. Which I interpreted, in combination with the bit about all living things are God’s creation and shouldn’t be harmed, as meaning that humans were meant to be veggie. Of course, I don’t believe in the Bible and so I think this tangent story has gone far enough.
Up Next: Webstar