Last night I was catching up on one of my favourite programmes, Come Dine With Me. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Come Dine With Me is a reality show where 5 strangers take it in turn to host a dinner party and mark each other secretly. I’m used to seeing meat being prepared on this show as you are lucky if there is even one vegetarian in each episode. When there is a vegetarian the choices are usually very limited (Roasted Pepper Tart, Quorn or Risotto anyone?) but the host is usually happy to cater for their guest’s beliefs.
Last night the episode I watched had a vegetarian on it who was graced with the bog standard veggie fare. After she’d tucked into her red pepper starter though the host thought it would be amusing to plonk a pigs head on the table in front of her. Unsurprisingly the girl shot out of her seat and was reduced to tears. The other diners were shocked that the host had done it and when confronted he uttered the well-known phrase “she didn’t have respect for my beliefs”.
The point I want to make here is that vegetarians and vegans are not refusing to eat meat just to be awkward. We refuse to eat meat because we are disgusted that animals are tortured and killed. I know that many meat eaters have become desensitivied to the sight of dead animals and meat but consider what that dead pigs head looks like to us. It’s the head of a corpse and we don’t think it’s a joke. Respect goes both ways. Just as I wouldn’t show you documentaries of the cruelty of factory farms while you eat your steak, don’t put a pigs head on the table as I’m trying to eat my peppers.