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Home > Culture and Society

All carrot, no stick

29 May 2005

In America in the good old days there used to be something called 'National Meat Week'. It was introduced by Senator Jessie Helmsand was basically one of the many ways in which Reagan et al showed the great American meat industry how much they really appreciated the handouts. Sadly, we never had a National Meat Week here. And we probably never will. What we do have however, is National Vegetarian Week. In fact, we're having it now. Right now.

Mmmm, courgettes.

That's right, and rocket, and it finishes on Sunday, so if you weren't aware, you'd better get your skates on, or rather, get them off, because fish is meat. And while you're about it, hold your horses. And your cows. And your tiny little deer who look so much like little motherless Bambi that it really breaks your
Goddamn heart.

You evil swine.

In order to celebrate National Vegetarian Week, vegetarian organisations and companies have been dreaming up new ways to sell meatlessness to the masses. Veggie Matchmakers for example, a company which specialises in bringing vegetarians and vegans together, romantically, so that they may cavort on a bed of lettuce and feast on one another's mutton, have two very special NVW-related promotions. One is a photography competition. The subject of the competition, perhaps not surprisingly, is Animals: 'They can be cute, humorous or just plain gorgeous!' Not delicious. Delicious doesn't come into it. The other gimmick was a speed-dating night. Just for veggies.

And vegans.

No omnivores.

And if that's not enough to have you binning your bacon and tossing your T-bone, just look at this.

A smashing little film, we feel sure you'll agree. The fact that it was made seven years ago and has been used every couple of years since then for various meat-spurning Valentine's Day campaigns is neither here nor there. It's a lovely piece of work and should be at least another 40 seconds longer. But will it convince any one to give up eating meat? No, it will not. Why? Because meat tastes nice.

Mmmm, bacon sandwich.

Just as the only way you're ever going to stop people smoking is by showing them super-graphic images of people coughing up bloody black lung tumours and having legs removed and voice-boxes fitted, the only way you're ever going to stop people eating meat is by showing them super-graphic images of lambs being silenced with circular saws, fluffy chicks debeaked and Bambi's mum raped by swarthy EU butchers with sloppy grins and stun-guns. And even then, you'll probably only reach a small percentage of the omnivorous masses. The problem is, in the words of the popular film, bacon tastes good; pork chops taste good.

The other problem - and vegetarians must hate this - is that no matter how naturally phallic and orifice-friendly many varieties of fruit and vegetable are, meat is and will always be far sexier. That's just the way it is. Sexual desire is carnal, not verdural. Vampires (and certain doomed-sexy Hollywood couples) drink blood and not Apple and Cranberry juice. It's probably something to do with the fact that we are made of flesh, blood and bone ourselves, and not peel, pith and pips. Whatever the reason, and no matter how much a decomposing apricot might resemble a snatch dripping semen, vegetarianism, and for that matter, vegetarians themselves, will never be sexy.


Their Pets However.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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