Kathy’s Conviction

I went to Subway for lunch today with Kathy, one of my work mates. After waiting in the line for our turn to order, Kathy was up.

“Ummm.. I’ll have a Veggie sub on Italian bread”.

I quickly seized the opportunity to make fun of her for it. “Kathy, that’s not a sandwich; that’s a salad on bread.” When it was my turn, I ordered an Italian BMT, the meatier the better. I have no reservations against eating meat. In fact, if I can swing it, I’ll have it breakfast, lunch, dinner, in-between meals, inside my Powerbar, puréed into my water (just kidding). But you get the picture, I like meat.

Well, there is nothing peculiar with Kathy’s abstention from meat. Albeit, it suddenly dawned on me while sitting at the booth mauling my BMT that Kathy’s newfound vegetarianism is just that, “newly” founded. I could of swore that a few months prior, she had participated with me in seeing how disgusting Subway’s “Barbequed Pork” sandwich really was. In fact, I remember being confused cause she actually liked the darn thing. Anyway, this brought up a rather interesting and lengthy conversation I had with her on her newfound vegetarianism.

I attempted to get some answers, “So, are you doing this for health reasons, or do you just have moral reservations against harming animals for consumption?” She answers, “neither… it’s actually a long story”. The plot thickens. “Okay, so you just don’t like the taste of meat?”. “No, it’s not that”. Now she had me completely confused. “Well, there has to be some reason..”. “It’s a little complicated” she retorted. She wasn’t making this easy.

“Okay Kathy, there has to be some way you can sum this up in one sentence”. She tries. “I don’t think humans are meant to eat meat.”

Kathy’s conviction: human’s are just not supposed to eat meat– we are physiologically engineered as herbivores. She further backs up this claim by a study she read that had produced results supporting the notion that a diet with meat in it, leads to a higher risk of developing various ailments: cancer, heart disease, etc. A strictly vegetarian diet is allegedly healthier and in a way, is it’s own preventive measure against illness later-on in life. Also, our long intestines are typical of herbivores, since the complex nutritional elements in plant-life take longer to break down. And the opposite is true with carnivores; They have smaller intestines in order to process meat quicker, purging it from the system before it becomes deleterious.

Our conversation was overheard by a woman sitting behind us, who, before leaving the restaurant, put her five-cents into the discussion. “I don’t mean to interrupt, or eavesdrop into your conversation, but how does this explain canines”. We were taken aback by this stranger accosting our conversation, so my immediate reaction was to smile and say “good point”.

But, it’s an interesting question. Are we really supposed to eat meat, as a species? We’re also the only carnivores who go through the trouble of preparing our meats– cooking them. Maybe there is some merit to Kathy’s argument. Who knows? I just thought it was an interesting point-of-view. One I’ve never heard before.