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the meat tray

i used to be vegetarian. hell, i was even a vegan for, like, five years or something. i protested on behalf of the animals for peta, lived my life as an example, gave away my entire leather shoe collection (including the most awesome collection of customized doc martens and goth boots from london that you can imagine), did all the “right” things.

now? i cook more and more meat at home, even though i hypocritically say quite often that i don’t really cook much meat at home.

this weekend, i won a meat tray. and damn was i excited.

actually, kirk won the meat tray.

we were at the firehouse in reading, pennsylvania eating sunday salt mackerel breakfast after church. it benefits the firefighters, but not necessarily the diners, if you get my drift. but i ate it, well, some of it, and said it was good, even though i have to say salty fishy fish makes for a strange breakfast. but i’ll eat anything once. next time, i’ll stick with the omelet and potatoes, which was pretty good in that processed food kind of way. gotta love small town america.

anyway, they were selling raffle tickets for meat trays. 10 tickets for a dollar, 200 tickets sold and then they had the drawing, so your odds were 1 in 20–not bad. they sold those tickets at a pretty good clip, and had several drawings before and after ours. but for the drawing for which we bought tickets, they pulled one of kirk’s 10 tickets for a dollar. hosanna to the highest on palm sunday. praise the lord. the passion of the christ and all. we’ve won meat.

around reading, pennsylvania and the immediate environs (like, all of america) it’s all about the meat.

now, despite having not seen the actual meat tray, but only having overheard references to it as “the meat tray”, kirk and i arrived independently at a consistent vision of what a meat tray was. it’s lunch meat, right? slices of salami, proscuitto, ham, and what not. individually wrapped. sanitized for our protection. we were really psyched. great sandwiches to bring to work for lunch all week.

but, when it arrived, it was not thus. it was real uncooked meat in big chunks. we got sausage. we got steak. we got chicken. boneless breasts and leg quarters, to be specific. we got pork chops. i think there may have been more, but i can’t think right now.

well, it was a good deal i suppose. the alternates were $10 in cash, or a ham, but they hadn’t seemed to be as wackily fun when we settled on the meat tray of what we imagined was nicely sliced lunch meat. ham and cash lacked that certain meaty je ne sais quoi.

and i did feel a little guilty when the meat tray guy said that the firefighters make $5 on the meat trays after expenses, but $10 on the cash and the ham. but i put my ping of shame aside, because every single winner chose the meat tray, and we got caught up in the moment.

but staring at not nice sanitized lunch meat, or a small individual package of chicken thighs, or whatever, but an enormous pile of dead meat from lots of different animals and parts of animals, all aggregated for my excitement, i realized how much i’ve been rationalizing my meat consumption, and how far i’ve been slipping from what truly would be moderation.

and i’m definitely not saying that i’m gonna stop eating meat altogether. a little in moderation is a good thing, for me. for you, do what you want. eat tons of the crap and get so sick that we’ll have to subsidize your horrible habits through our medical insurance costs. whatever. the asceticism of vegetarianism and veganism is no longer a choice for me.

but i’m gonna cut down on how much i eat. i’m gonna re-moderate my concept of moderation.

right after we finish the meat tray.

quick thought: if congressional republicans are so goddamned concerned that terri schiavo be kept alive, why don’t they allow stem cell research, which is the one small hope for meaningful progress that people in her situation currently have? be glad i didn’t vent on this subject, which i still may do.

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  1. :: the meat tray, part 2 on 26-Feb-07 at 11:21 am

    […] nearly two years ago i wrote about my joy in receiving an enormous tray of meat as a prize in a raffle. […]

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