I wrote this offline on Friday evening after having yet another veg talk with my mum:
— “I just want to understand – in what direction are you doing it?
— “Direction? What do you mean?”
— “Is it some group? Greenpeace?”
— “No. No group. Just us, we decided about it ourselves, we aren’t members of any group. I don’t think that there is any official vegetarian group in Israel. There are some animal rights groups here, but i’m not a member of any of them. There are vegetarian associations in other countries, such as England and America. Probably Russia too.”
— “Greenpeace people came, broke into a kennel of fur animals, released them all and burnt the building down. The kennel keeper wept – she said that if they wanted to save the animals’ lives, they did just the opposite, because in the wild they would die very soon. So what, are you like them?”
— “No, mum, i’m not a member of Greenpeace, i don’t break into places and i don’t burn them down. I just don’t eat meat.”
— “And what about the eskimoes? They live in the north, they need fur.”
— “Well, if they live in the north, i don’t know how i can help them. They can move to warmer places and they won’t need fur, but i don’t think they should be forced to do it.”
— “So you hate eskimoes? Do you know that they need to eat whale meat? The government doesn’t let them hunt whales anymore and now they don’t know how can they live and raise children. The need for whale meat is in their genes.”
I wanted to say that to the best of my very limited knowledge in biology it seems unlikely, but refrained, ‘cuz my knowledge is indeed very limited and even if i did know better, she wouldn’t listen anyway – by now it should be clear that parents in such situations do not let facts confuse them.
— “No, mum, i don’t hate eskimoes.”
— “You are getting extreme. You want to be like those that spill acid on people who wear fur. Those extremists, are you with them?”
— “No, mum, i’m not an extremist and i don’t spill acid on anyone. I just don’t eat meat.”
— “So what about the music?”
— “Actually i don’t know about the music. I don’t really want to know. Let the music be whatever you want. As far as i’m concerened it’s gonna be crap anyway. I hate dancing and i hate weddings music.”
— “You don’t like to dance, because you don’t have any joy in your life. And you don’t have any joy in your life, because you don’t eat meat.”
Now, a bonus: I want to be A Good Linguist and Good Linguists don’t do such things, but as an exception, i constructed this phrase from pieces of other phrases, inspired by a certain book (guess which one). Sadly, no-one actually said it, but it conveys the spirit of the talk well:
— “Now I don’t understand anything in nutrition and I can’t order you to eat chicken, but you must eat chicken and that’s an order!“
This vegetarian wedding thing is expensive and it depresses my and Hadar’s parents badly. Am i wrong somewhere?
… And with this depressing thought i went to sleep before my father came back from work. I expected an even harder talk with him in the morning.
I woke up at seven. Went back to sleep. By eight forty i couldn’t sleep any more. Killed some more time. Finally left bed at about nine. Dad made breakfast. Then we talked about music and he danced to a funny Leningrad song. And we talked about digital video recording technologies. And about tea leaves. And about prices of vacations in Eilat and the Dead Sea. And about the funny differences between Russian and Ukrainian. And then we worked in the garden – mowed lawn and cut plants that creeped into the neighbour’s yard.
Not a word about the damage of vegetarian ideology or the impossibility of throwing a wedding party without meat.
It was the best weekend with my parents ever.