Being an omnivore apologist

Being an omnivore apologist

When it comes to the contents of my diet, I’ve always been stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The problem as I see it is that I grew up in an area with lots of these guys:

So as tasty (and unimpressed) as that chicken might look I was always being preached to by somebody similar to those pictured directly above.

I guess the way I resolved this was, like most people, by picking an arbitrary point on a two-dimensional space which suited my preferences and found a way to retrospectively justify it.

The consequence of this is that not only am I able to devour meat pies, but I’m able to do so and be self-righteous about it. Kind of an ‘omnivore apologist’.

The secret to doing this is to continue with your existing eating habits, but to have a couple of plausible (or confusing) justifications for them.

Between bites of a meat pie you could regale your friends with your empathy for the cow, and how because your pie contains the meat equivalent of a subprime mortgage you are in fact showing your respect by ensuring nothing goes to waste.

Emo Bull didn’t want to live in the first place.

Another option is for you to eat meat but prattle on about how low the food miles are.

If you’re an Australian this comes with the added bonus that you can appear patriotic by claiming you like to support local farming.

Alternatively you could throw out some conflicting views on the ‘Omnivore’s Dilemma’ you picked up from the Wikipedia entry (no need to actually read the book, just ensure you sound like you have).

Or just scatter the word ‘sustainable’ around as liberally as possible while eating that hot dog.

Of course when it comes down to it, if your friends are informed enough they’ll eventually see through it.

My advice in that instance is to either find less informed friends or suck it up and admit that you eat meat because the alternative takes so much more effort.


I'm an economist, data geek and public speaker.

1 comment so far

Blair Posted on11:58 am - September 24, 2012

I might have failed that compulsory IQ test. You should have asked me to spell something.

I tried to be veg for a good month or so, and currently justify my meat preferences with the fact that my blood type requires it. Therefore, when you answer with “so sorry, my person requires cow / chicken / pig,” no one knows how to respond. It’s delightfully disarming. Now I just wonder if your blood type characteristics feed into your personality traits: “the type O ancestral prototype was a canny, aggressive predator.”

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