Thursday, August 5, 2010

Meat Trauma

I was hungry a second ago, but now I can't eat.

Struggling to keep inner calm.

It's like this: I grew up with a mom who refused to eat another bite of meat at the age of 11 and a dad who gave up meat after he started seeing my mom. My childhood was tofu, soya burgers, beans, and sometimes vegetarian hot dogs on special occasions.

I never even smelled meat cooking until I started school. No wait, sometimes they would cook meat at my kindergarten and one time one of the ladies had forgotten to make a vegetarian meal for me, and she suggested that I pick out the meat parts from the soup she had cooked for the other kids.

I looked at her as if she were from outer space.

Then I think she got the message and she made me some kind of instant pudding or other which I ate instead.

My point is that I've never eaten meat in my entire life, I've never wanted to eat meat in my entire life, I've never touched meat unless I was wearing plastic gloves (once when I worked in a restaurant: I almost threw up all over it, then they put me on chopping vegetables instead), and I always look away when I see meat at the market or in grocery stores. I walk out of the room when meat is cooking, damn it. I can't even smell it.

So you can imagine what it was like for me when I just went out into the kitchen two minutes ago, at my boyfriend's parents' house (who eat meat on a daily basis), feeling a little bit hungry, opened the fridge and took out the little plastic container in which I put the sun dried tomato pesto I made last night and I see something red dripping from under it.

Not fully realizing it at first, I went: Oh, the container is leaking and the olive oil is colored red from the tomatoes. 

Then: But it wasn't leaking at lunch when I took it out, and nobody else has touched it.

Then, holding the container in my hand, seeing that the red whatever-it-was had dripped on my foot, turning my eyes back to the shelf in the fridge, noticing a blue plastic bag, remembering that Tarek's dad bought meat in a blue plastic bag today on the way home: No, it is NOT!

It hit me like a punch in the stomach. It was meat juice. Like diluted blood. Dripping on my foot.

I called for help. Meaning: I asked Tarek's parents to clean it up, because I could certainly not, and I desperately needed to run to the bathroom to wash my feet with soap.

I also changed my pants in case a tiny drop had landed somewhere I couldn't see.

Then I went back outside and cleaned my sun dried tomato pesto container. First with a paper towel that sucked up the juice and turned light red as if it was blood.

Which it was.

And then I cleaned it with soap and water. And fully aware of the fact that there is no way the meat juice that was leaking from the blue bag had actually entered into my pesto, I still put it back in the fridge (on another shelf, mind you). Completely unable to eat. Especially something dark red.

I need to convince my boyfriend of the benefits of veganism.

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Bo said...

Ah. My god! I feel for you. I could not live with a meat-eater. I just could not.

Anonymous said...

If u succeed would u mind telling me how?! But Ahmed likes veggies more and more and he keeps asking for veggie-tacos :) that's gotta mean somethning ;) xox

Hani said...

I have to say that reading this post made me feel incredibly guilty about the times we had lunch in the UN cafeteria and I was having meat. My apologies!

Ruby said...

Bo--I know! But the things we won't do for love...

Anonymous (a.k.a. my SISTER)--if I succeed, I will write a BOOK about it. :p

Hani--hahaha, it's totally ok, man. As long as it's already cooked, doesn't look too much like a dead animal anymore, not touching my food and doesn't smell too much... I'm completely cool with it. :)