_by Dave Hurteau
I’ve known a lot of vegetarians. I was engaged to one once (technically “pre-engaged,” whatever the hell that means). And you know, I don’t think I’ve ever met one I didn’t like. I’ve met some I thought were full of $#!%, but none I didn’t like. I like some hunters who are also full of $#!%.
It’s fun to bust on vegetarians, and they usually take it well. Especially fun are the easy marks, the ones who say, “I’m a vegetarian but I eat fish.” We had a vegetarian friend over to dinner recently who said, “I’m a vegetarian but I eat fish and chicken,” which made me think of a line from The Princess Bride: “I do not think it means what you think it means.”
No doubt there are vegetarians I wouldn’t like. It stands to reason that many of the nuttiest anti-hunters don’t eat meat that isn’t fish or chicken. But I haven’t met them personally. And besides, I wouldn’t dislike them because of what they don’t eat. I would dislike them because they are nuts.
Anyway, back to the ones I have met: I like them, I think, because even if their logic is not always perfect, they have bothered to think about their food. They–unlike the great chubby mass of Americans who stuff their faces obliviously–have a food ethic. And so we have something in common. Wrote Thomas McGuane, “I decided that unless I become a vegetarian, I’ll get my meat by hunting for it.” That seems about right to me.