Omnivore Thoughts and Other Notions Regarding Animals

I’m an animal lover of epic proportions. That is to say, I greatly love animals, not that I’m of epic proportions. Seriously. (Right about now, you’re wondering, “which part(s) of that statement did ‘seriously’ apply to and how does this relate to omnivore thoughts? Never mind that.)

For example, I think we should dedicate large portions of our planet to non-human animals’ exclusive use. That’s how much I adore them. Specifically, urban areas should be solely for humans. I might make an exception for pets, but only if their owners clean up after them and don’t let them run free without supervision. Wildlife can have everything else. Humans don’t need it.

It’s not that I think nature is evil. It’s just that you so rarely find a clean washroom with flush toilets in the wilderness. And a comfy bed to sleep on and a hot shower in the morning are mandatory. Bambi almost never supplies that. So, she can keep the forest. I’ll stay in the city.

OK, the use of “love” in the first paragraph may be overstating it. But I hate only a very small number of species. I at least somewhat like the vast majority of them. And I do, indeed, love one or two of them. For example, I love the human species, but not all members of it.

At this point, any PETA members who read this are probably thinking, “WOW! That’s cool! He’s an animal lover. He must be a vegan!” Really? That’s what you’re thinking? What in the previous paragraphs led you to think I wasn’t joking? PETA members have no sense of humour, do they?

No, I’m an unrepentant omnivore. I figure that if God wanted us to be vegans or vegetarians He wouldn’t put such tasty meat and seafood in supermarkets. Plus, He would exist. But, never mind that. I’ve already royally pissed off PETA. I don’t want to also enrage theists. At least, not in this piece. There’s a time and place for everything.  

Omnivore Cognitive Dissonance

Despite being an omnivore, I’d rather my food not remind me too clearly that it might once have been the life of the barnyard party. Here’s looking at you kid, or whatever you were.
Despite being an omnivore, I’d rather my food not remind me too clearly that it might once have been the life of the barnyard party. Here’s looking at you kid, or whatever you were.

That having been said, I like to consciously delude myself when it comes to eating meat. Consciously deluding myself is my superpower.

Despite knowing it to be untrue, I thoroughly convince myself that meat comes from the grocery store, without any prior life. I may be an omnivore, but I don’t like to consider the possibility that I’m eating Bossie the Cow, who at one time had an active social life out in the pasture.

Bossie might have been the life of the party in her herd. And now, in part thanks to me, the herd’s parties are dreadfully dull. But that’s irrelevant because meat comes from supermarkets, not living animals. End of story.

(Yes, I know that most people of my generation and older who are not yet dead and who were subjected to Borden Dairy (now Eagle Brand) advertising and promotion immediately think of Elsie when conjuring up an archetypal name for a cow. I want to outlaw that. Elsie was my mother’s name. I’m a bit touchy about it being the archetypical cow name.

Most people of my generation or older who are already dead don’t think of anything at all. But that’s probably obvious to you. If not, your thought processes need a little work.

What the heck? I just checked. Eagle Brand puts a registered trademark symbol on “Elsie.” Sorry, guys. Borden Dairies, the company you bought, came up with Elsie the Cow in the 1930s. My late mother was born in 1921. She had prior use. As one of her heirs, I expect to receive a portion of any royalties you’ve collected on Elsie. I’m waiting.)

Restaurant Design

Apropos of nothing except what I said before my parenthetical aside, does Fuddruckers still exist? (Huh. I guess it still does. Hence the link on its name.) It’s a burger chain that used to have a restaurant in the Toronto area (that’s where I live). The one I was at a great many years ago is long gone. If Fuddruckers still has a restaurant somewhere near here, I don’t know about it.

And I don’t care. I hated going there. After my first time, whenever a friend asked if I wanted to go to Fuddruckers I’d never say no. Instead, I’d start screaming maniacally and run in whichever direction provided the clearest path away; away from both my friend and, particularly, Fuddruckers.

Don’t get me wrong, Fuddruckers had great burgers. It was the restaurant’s design that caused a sharp plummet in my appetite. I don’t know if it was the chain’s signature design or just that location, but to get to your table you had to walk past a glass-walled meat locker.

Inside the meat locker, sides of beef dangled on hooks. (I would have said “hung from hooks,” but I can never remember if if it’s supposed to be “hung from” or “hanged from” in that usage. And I’m way too lazy to look it up. But I’m apparently not too lazy to type this unnecessary, time-wasting parenthetical comment. Sorry about that.)

Who was the marketing genius who thought that up? Remember what I said about consciously deluding myself into believing that meat doesn’t come from anything that was once alive and wandering around? Well, that’s unbelievably difficult for me to do when they make it very easy to visualize my eventual dinner as being a part of what was once a cow.

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