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The day the vegetarian excommunicated me was indeed an interesting day. In fact it was an afternoon which later became an evening which later became a not so goodnight that finally ended with goodbye.
Mr Vegan and I met a year ago on Facebook. Fast-forward a year later and Mr Vegan inboxes me to have some conversation. During the correspondence he asked if I was vegetarian to which I replied in the negative. He indicated that he was and he swears by it. I shared the story about my female vegan friend who we all have to be aware of for home-based get-togethers. I said that I did not have a problem with the vegetarian way of life but I am a meat-eater. From what he replied, he did not have a problem with me either and that was very cool of him, I thought.
One night in the near future I logged on to Facebook as is the ritual of 700 million of the world’s inhabitants. Mr Vegan tagged me in a note. It was a very sarcastic one and it argued in favour of vegetarianism. I was amused and educated a bit about the innerworkings of the minds of my vegetarian bretheren. I commented in total disbelief because the note indicated that there was some sort of war going on between vegetarian and meat-eaters. In the end I stated my hope of us all living in harmony with each other.
Well, as we say in Trini, who tell me say that? My spark led to a, well I suppose you can call it, a thread war. Vegetarians lambasted me, Mr Vegan among them. I adopted the role of thread pacifist and stated I had no desire to argue because I have nothing against vegetarianism or those who practice that way of life. Mr Vegan, et al, clearly outlined their hate for meat-eaters, going so far as to label me and my supposed ‘cult’, murderers.
At that point I was offended and, I guess you can say, outraged that this type of stupidity existed in the 21st century. I updated my status disgusted about the note and the thread. A clearly misguided vegetarian extremist, which I now learned was Mr Vegan’s true identity, sparked another thread war on my Facebook page. There were comments from people calling for peace and an end to the now apparent impasse. Mr Vegan lashed out and harshly criticised these poor, innocent contributors and he received his own share of harsh criticism.
In the end I said it was a good debate and called for an its demise. Mr Vegan could not let it go. I was now chief murderess in his eyes because I consume meat. I said good night and went to bed.
The next morning I logged on and decided to read the remnants of the thread. To my not-complete-surprise, Mr Vegan had not only deleted me from his friend list but blocked me altogether. I laughed. I laughed because it was a silly argument anyway and I laughed in confusion and disbelief. Blackberry in hand, I messaged my female vegetarian friend who said they were indeed extremists and she was fine with me and her band of meat-eater amigos. At that point I was already deleted and blocked. That is the story of how I was excommunicated by a vegetarian.
It bothers me from time to time, that note. A war between vegetarians and meat-eaters was the last thing I ever expected to know of. To me, no one cares what you eat just once it isn’t bad for you. Vegetarians are made fun of a lot because meat is constantly around them and it is only they who are different. I’ve never forced or tricked my vegetarian pal into consuming meat of any kind.
But this supposed impasse still bothers me. I am looked at and thought of as someone who commits murder. I am viewed as equivalent to a serial killer all because I eat meat. I am despised. I am hated. Well in my not-so-humble opinion, these extremists are equivalent to racists. I am discriminated against. I was “unfriended” and blocked on a social networking site all because of a choice to eat meat. That is like not finding me fit to live because I am dark-skinned.
There were these brief thoughts that zoomed through my mind from the left and from the right. I wondered if what I was feeling was how the marginalized in society feel such as the differently-abled or the poverty-stricken or the person who has vitiligo or the elderly or the homosexual or the gothic society or the teen mother or the sexually abused victims or Muslims or even vegetarians (the non-extremist kind). All because there are people who take things too darn far. All because there are people who open their mouths and think they have the right to offend and feel justified in their self-ish one-track cause. All because of a refusal to listen and to understand. These people are the reason why there is so much hate in the world and I can’t help but think a day will come when we will all be wiped out because humanity is not something that describes us anymore but savages devoid of intelligence.
Vishala Ganesh is a blogger and contributor to the Campus Chronicle. Check out her tumblr blogPresentingViola