Dinner Party conversation

10 May


I do not eat meat and have not done so for thirty years.

I am not evangelical about it. Other people’s diets are their own affair. And whilst the damage to the planet through meat consumption is deeply disturbing, my own consumption of fish and seafood generally does not provide me with any moral high ground on that score.

But one recurring dinner party conversation I have had over the years with those who like to eat meat has always puzzled me. It goes like this:

Other : (upon deducing that I don’t eat meat) So you don’t eat meat?

Self : No.

Other : That just means red meat, or white meat too?

Self : I eat no meat at all.

Other : But you eat fish?

Self : I love to eat fish. All seafood in fact. Except sea-living mammals.

Other : Some might consider fish to be meat. But anyway, you used to meat once upon a time?

Self : Yes. Lots of it. Anything with a pulse.Β 

Other : So why did you stop?

At this point I explain that it was for a number of reasons, all and none of which are the primary reason – heath and family history, ethics, environment, animal welfare, etc.

Other : OK (nodding, and then a pause). But you still eat fish.

Self : Yes

Other : You have to admit that is pretty arbitrary

Self : What is?

Other : Well, eating fish and not eating meat. How do you make that distinction?

Self : Between warm-blooded and cold-blooded, I suppose.

Other : Ha! That is really arbitrary.

Self : (smiling) No more than your eating choices when it comes to living creatures.

Other : What do you mean?

Self : You eat cow, and pig, and sheep and chicken I suppose.

Other : Indeed

Self : Duck, rabbit …

Other : Not so keen on rabbit, but its fine.

Self : Horse?

Other : (Looks askance) No

Self : Donkey?

Other : People don’t eat those

Self : I am sure they do somewhere. What about dog, or cat, or squirrel, or rat, or elephant, or giraffe or lion or kangaroo or ostrich, whale or dolphin or …. monkey or ….

Other : Now you are being stupid.

Self : (Shrugs). You rather aggressively suggested my line on what living creatures I eat and do not eat is arbitrary, and I would be the first to concede it has failings from numerous points of view. Vegetarians and vegans would certainly raise questions. The bottom line is I that I don’t eat mammals. The truth is I personally don’t care what you eat, or why.
But when it comes to drawing arbitrary lines. I think you draw them a lot more untidily than I do.



Β© the author writing as Romantic Dominant

Written a year ago. Though a regular conversation over time.

Art by Luke Martineau



Posted by on May 10, 2020 in Still Life, Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , ,

11 responses to “Dinner Party conversation

  1. sarabethpollock

    May 11, 2020 at 7:20 am

    I stopped eating beef in college and all other meat in 2011. I’ve never understood why people care so much about what I do, or don’t, eat. It’s unnerving to say the least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Romantic Dominant

      May 11, 2020 at 10:30 am

      Actually, in the last thirty years with the growth in vegetarian and vegan diets it has become less of an issue in some ways, yet more in others. Perhaps meat eaters have become more defensive. Smiles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Daughter of Light

        May 11, 2020 at 11:21 am

        I’ve been them all, like you. One day I woke up and understood about the killing of mammals just so I could enjoy their flesh and it disgusted me. I became a vegan for many years. But it was fish that turned the tide for me, trout specifically . Somehow the chicken, cow crept back in. Since that time I’ve experienced a slow decline in general health called aging. As a vegan I experienced regeneration. Now why would I not return to a diet that promotes health and healing? πŸ€”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Romantic Dominant

          May 11, 2020 at 11:44 am

          Smiles. Nothing could take me back to meat. I sometimes wonder about seafood, but it would be a challenge to give it up.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Daughter of Light

            May 11, 2020 at 12:51 pm

            I’m working on returning to veganism or vegetarianism plus the occasional fish. Sea and Earth scavangers (shrimp, lobster, crab, oysters, bottom dwelling fishes, eel, pork, snake, any rodents, etc) I gave up decades ago with the understanding that ‘I am what I eat’. But I do enjoy the babies sometimes (it’s so bad) lamb, veal, goat. If I could lose the desire again for meat, they would be the first to go. This time around I’d need a like-minded companion to help keep me on the straight and narrow life as a vegan… you know? It’s makes no sense that I’d not go back, if not for the health benefits alone. I even learned to make delicious meals that advent meat-eaters loved. I guess I’m not motivated to do it on my own again…*sigh* I loved that life. The way my body smelled, my shiny hair skin and eyes. Even my decaying teeth halted and re-enamaled! My health improved greatly… like a fountain of youth! So much energy I had! AND added herbology to the mix. You’ve got me thinking… Thanks! ❀️

            Liked by 1 person

            • Romantic Dominant

              May 11, 2020 at 1:24 pm

              Smiles. Lifestyle changes are far from easy. Especially when they involve things we like. But the rewards are there. Good luck with it all.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Daughter of Light

                May 11, 2020 at 1:28 pm

                Thank you! 😁 And if I’m ever brought to mind, say a one line prayer for me, it’ll help for sure πŸ™πŸΎπŸ˜ŠπŸ€— And who couldn’t use a little help now and again, even a divine one? πŸ˜‰

                Liked by 1 person

                • Romantic Dominant

                  May 11, 2020 at 1:43 pm

                  Ah, I’m an atheist, so no prayers. Smiles.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Daughter of Light

                    May 11, 2020 at 1:46 pm

                    If you believe in pussy… then you believe in God, because you’d never have the genius to create it! Every think of that… hmmm? πŸ˜‰


  2. Array

    May 12, 2020 at 7:39 am

    It never fails to astound me that people can have such little insight into their own behaviour and hypocrisies (I am pescatarian)

    Liked by 1 person


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