and the cult of omnivorism
Many years ago when I lived briefly in San Jose, California, a couple invited me to their house for dinner. I was so excited because I didn’t have friends in San Jose, and because I always get excited when I’m invited to dinner. At the time, I was a strict vegetarian—as repulsed by the killing of animals as I was by the smell and texture of meat. I was also in my early 20s, so it seemed that nothing could be more humiliating than alerting my new acquaintances to my dietary restrictions. I decided that I wouldn’t say anything, and in turn, they would never find out. Sound reasoning, I know. I’m still no paradigm of common sense, but at that age? When moving to San Jose, I packed knives in a plastic garbage bag.
The couple was in their late 40s and the wife was a painter. Their house was beautiful—ranch-style, floor-to-ceiling windows, her art all over the walls. Once the wine had been poured, the house tour completed, the wife stuck her hand into a puffy oven mitt. I recall this night so clearly, I remember wondering at what age one must acquire an oven mitt. She opened the oven and extracted from its fiery depths a giant turkey, the kind that families eat on Thanksgiving. She set the corpse on the table, right at the center. She and her husband took their seats. I followed suit. We all smiled at one another through the steam. And then the husband, as is the custom of American husbands, carved the bird with a great, buzzing knife.
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