Thursday, June 21, 2007

Vegans and barbecues don't mix

Did I ever say my wife has a big family? More than 1,500 people showed up this past weekend to a reunion for one branch of her family. It was quite interesting. I learned so much about her roots and where she comes from. A big part of the reunion is a gigantic barbecue (This is South Texas after all.), and it was the most attended event. One part of the family owns a ranch, and they converted some cattle sorting area into a barbecue pit and seating area. I was quite upset at all of the smoke and dead flesh smell permeating the air, but lest my vegan sensibilities get to me, I didn't have it as bad as some others. There were some cattle pens outside of this covered sorting area with cows, bulls and calves still in them. These gentle creatures, who just wanted some green blades of grass to munch on, had to endure the smells of their kind roasting. Are we so cruel as humans that we have to make animals in our care endure the sight and smell of their relatives getting cooked? Don't meat-eaters have a decent bone left in them? One of my wife's relatives actually came up to us and said she was uncomfortable with the manure smell near the barbecue area. She said it made her think too much about where her food came from. I doubt anyone else had that thought considering how gleeful the rest of them were chomping on the slow-cooked animal flesh. When I got home late Saturday night, I was so exhausted after such a long day. I really didn't want to take a shower, but this meat smoke from the barbecue just stuck to my clothes and my skin. After I had washed off, I realized it still smelled bad. Oh yeah, I realized, I had to wash my hair, too.


  1. Eeeew! I hate smelling like seared flesh. And you're right, it must be a lot worse for the cattle nearby...

  2. Oh how very sad. I don't think I would be able to endure a bbq like that. It's hard just to go to parties and cookouts with a handful of meat eaters, let alone a gigantic reunion like that. I can only imagine how awful that smell was, to you and to cows nearby.

  3. It was really hard, but it was one of those things I was obligated to go to. The last time they had a reunion like that was 14 years ago. That was before we were married. Hopefully, the next time they hold one again, the world will be a more compassionate place. I tried as much as possible to go to areas where I was up breeze from the smells. It really is amazing how many times we go to these family events that they could care less that we are vegans. We went to my wife's cousin's wedding a few months ago (Anita was in the wedding by the way.), and there wasn't anything at the reception that was vegan besides chips and salsa. I guess that's why we almost cry whenever someone goes out of their way for us.