While you here do snoring lie,
Open-eyed conspiracy His time doth take.
(Hence follows the first edition of The Alarmist, Avidly‘s advice column. The Alarmist seeks to expose, in seemingly quotidian topics, meangingful reason for cosmic consternation and immediate defensive action. Further columns will be forthcoming to the extent that life gives cause. Readers who have questions about reasonable causes of or merited responses to feelings of Alarm can send them to The Alarmist via firstname.lastname@example.org–Ed.)
Vegans are going to take over the world.
I send out a call to arms!
Meat-eaters! We need to get ready.
Vegetarians! You should–I don’t know! As the hapless bisexuals of the diet world, you must make some tough decisions. Will you continue to supplement your meat-free diet with fish? Can you give up your over-reliance on cheese? Omelets from eggs? As things stand, nobody likes you including chickens. Learn to commit!
Vegans! VEGANS! I am so onto you.
Readers! Before you flip out over the Viggo Mortensen traitor news, take your Xanax. As you do that, you’ll be comforted to know how much gelatin is used to glue the ingredients of psychiatric pharmaceuticals together; plus, pork skin and cattle bones even by themselves have been shown to treat depression with efficacy. Try not to dwell of the scads of celebrity vegans: Chrissie Hynde, Portia De Rossi, Bill Clinton, Ted Danson, Mike Tyson, Woody Harrelson, and Alanis Morrisette.
You can see how this is shaping up. Their Vegan Army will easily enlist all the washed up female vocalists and an ex-President. What about the gluten-free people? They’ll stick with The Vegans many of whom are themselves gluten-free because, not unlike Catholics, Vegans love rules and do not tolerate people who claim to follow more rules than they do. The raw foods people, the dumpster-diving Freegans, the apple cider vinegar diet folks? They’ll imagine themselves as having some kind of huggy cultural affinity with the vegans based on 1) food over-thinking, and 2) their shared repeating disappointment at dinner parties. We lose them too. People who keep kosher are gonna split right down the middle. And here’s why The Vegans will use all of these compromising pussies as cannon fodder despite the well-known Vegan disdain for the weak: Vegans are smart.
Ring ring ring! Vegans are smarter than you.
Vegans are scary smart. I’m not talking about all those studies that show Vegans have super-high IQ scores (sorry vegetarians: studies show you are just sorta smart); I am talking about what The Vegans know, how ruthlessly they convert their knowledge into practice, and what they spend their time researching. (No, the internet was not made for porn; it was made for kale loaf recipes and chat rooms about cooking pancakes without pancake ingredients.) Obviously, as I was saying, in The Time After the Vegan Uprising, there will be very little food; and, when the world has no food, Vegans will have the strong upper hand. We meat-eating Food Normals–and the straggling fake vegetarians rejected by The Vegans–will begin to starve; The Vegans will outlast us all. In fact, The Vegans will flourish for one simple yet terrifiying reason: Vegans know how to eat stuff that you cannot even begin to imagine counts as food.
Agave, tempe, purslane, seitan, zein, beet sugar, quinoa, Cheezly (wtf?), agar, malt extract, turbinado sugar, soba, wheat gluten, TVP, kimchi, xantham gum, sorbitol, papain, mannitol, spirulina, diatomaceous earth, carnaba wax, tamari, guar flour, nut loaf, matcha, and tofurkey. What do these terms have in common? NO THEY ARE NOT RARE DISEASES. These are things used to make furniture and that Vegans eat! THAT, precisely, is my point: we will be in shock from lack of protein and have real bad headaches due to the paucity of refined sugar, but The Vegans are going to survive with Vegan vengeance because, listen to me: they know how to live on play-doh and iron skillets. When you and I have deteriorated to the point of immobilization, Vegans are going to crash down our front doors and consume all our houseplants. Then they’ll eat that single can of water chestnuts you’ve had for so long that you’ve moved with it more than once. Your yard won’t have a single dandelion left. Kudzu will fuel the rebellion in the South. They will price gauge bunches of mallow that they pilfer from the cracks in the bitumen on neighborhood basketball courts.
“Henry Raz Histrio!” I hear you cry. “Will not our warrior feet stay strong covered by protective leather shoes?”
“Come hither, Meletus,” I reply, “and listen to my words: good-looking, modestly priced, sturdy Italian shoes do indeed keep their stylish shape for a long time, but they will not save us because WE ARE GONNA STARVE.”
Ring, ring, ring! Animal rights, petitio principi, Turing Test, “explanatory gap,” Jainism!
Vegans will try to persuade you that these topics are relevant to the differences of opinion between Meat-Eaters and Vegans. They are not.
Ring, ring, ring! The logics of sentience are super-crazy and do not a coherent ethics make!
First of all, not only do scientists, psychologists, and philosphers (including disabled-baby-killer Peter Singer) fail to agree on which things and animals might possess sentience, they freely admit they don’t really know what sentience means. Is it thinking, or perceiving, or feeling? Suffering or partying? Does eating Fancy Feast confer consciousness? Is it a science fiction trope in which robots have emotions? No one knows!
Even if we take the supposition that animals (and maybe plants? Oops! Vegans, vegans, what to do?) are sentient, whatever that means, as true, does it make any sense to then deify cows and sheep in proportion to the degree to which they are like humans? Do we do this for other humans who actually are human? What the hell kind of thinking is this? It follows that sentient beings, unlike automobiles and cell phones, would also be capable of Evil. Maybe cows are Republicans. Goats are the shadowy menace out to undermine Obamacare. Chickens? Sexist jerks. Penguins sell crack to minors. Don’t get me started on Nazi pigs. Eat the motherfuckers.
Anyone who has ever accidentally stepped on his cat knows that the cat immediately comes back for more. Is this sentience? More like unconscious stupidity. Sentience requires memory which allows comparative thinking. To put it another way, if dogs have feelings, why do they insist on eating their own vomit?
Do not be seduced by the so-called ethics of Veganism. It’s an incomprehensible mind trick designed to keep you weak with self-abasing acts of tolerance and apology. If Gandhi could live on butter and sour lemons, Vegans can eat some side dishes already.
Ring, ring ring! We need a plan.
I don’t have a full-blown plan yet. I am still too alarmed; plus alarmism doesn’t lead to planning. But I do have a good list of intelligent precautionary measures. Any careful meat-eater will do the following things immediately.
First: Get rid of all that nice-looking bamboo flooring. Your well-appointed remodeled townhouse is a buffet for the enemy.
Second: Fertilize your lawn. Get the toxic fertilizer with mercury and a high arsenic content. It’s better than wiring your fence with hand grenades. But do that too.
Third: Learn to hunt. Pacifism be damned; this is a fucking emergency.
Fourth: Start recruiting and converting now. Vegetarians will be easy targets. Seduce them with chicken fingers while you tell them stories about the contentment that comes from having even a small amount of social standing. At least once each day remind a kosher friend of how much he or she misses cheeseburgers. Make squash bread with ground pork and take it to a lesbian potluck. Get creative and get busy.
Ring ring ring! We need to think about this!
Consider this clarifying epistolary parable taken from the annals of American literature. A long time ago, the famous American vegan Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.” It took Emerson some time and not a little effort to convert his boyfriend Henry David Thoreau to a similar view. In fact, Thoreau was skillfully pressured into vegetarianism by Emerson. Thoreau wrote, slyly, in typical pre-19thCentury gay-vegetarian code: “Luckily, being a vegetarian is much easier and much more fun than I first imagined.” Then Emerson wrote, supposedly about writing, in a letter to Thoreau: “Don’t say too much; don’t say too little.” Then Thoreau wrote: “What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.” Then Emerson wrote: “When did you learn how to read?” Then Thoreau wrote: “I was just killing time but not injuring eternity dude.” This went on and on. Their thing was wordy and volatile.
It’s a parable. Jesus did not give hints and neither will I. But, briefly, to the point of Emerson’s scrupulously concealed slaughterhouse, I agree completely. Our complicity, our hypcorisy as a nation on the brink of diet war, is perfectly illustrated in the practice of concealing slaughterhouses. Conceal them no more!
Rise up, Meat-Eaters! For now, until my next article, in the words of that other renowned gay vegetarian Walt Whitman, our fearful trip is done.
Henry Raz Histrio has been telling the hard truth since 2011.