Vegan thoughts with Jake
Jake is stranded on Pigadoon
Hello, I'm writing to you from a magical island. It's a small mound of sand, really. There's one, solitary nonfruiting palm tree, and I am wearing the standard-issue raggedy shorts. But this is no ordinary island. This is the fabled island that magically appears each time someone turns vegan.
Pigadoon, if you will. Because it's just me and that pig. And so, I am wondering if bacon is going to be my last meal, thereby negating the entire real world concept of veganism forever. It does beg the question, though: What would you have as a last meal?
I'll tell you mine in a bit, but I have to say I've never seen anyone behave all that convincingly in any kind of stranded-type scenario on TV or film.
Lost, the TV show with unquestionably the worst payoff of all time, representing two or three days of my life that I'll never get back, never quite got to the vegan-and-a-pig scenario.
There was one scene where two of the stranded passengers pretended to themselves they were eating peanut butter. Two points for choosing a vegan product, but the whole scene was so cringe it stripped enough enamel off my teeth to render them incapable of piercing porcine hide anyway.
Another describing-word-titled classic was Alive. Remember that movie? A plane crashes on a mountain and as people start to perish, the survivors face the awful decision to eat the dead. Awful, that. Of course, we've industrialised this process in other species.
I don't know if you've heard of 'Feather Meal', but it's processed chicken feathers, and we feed it, as a supplement to, er, chickens, among others.
Good ol' humans! Well, with 8 billion chickens killed annually, you end up with 2-3 billion pounds of feathers. That's a lot of scatter cushions. So, as a vegan, would you eat human flesh? (Sorry for the unpalatable nature of this. Let's console ourselves with the thought that it has probably never been so unlikely that you'd be in a plane crash as it is this year.)
My view is that in principle, well sure! It's all about consent, really. If the person had agreed to it before they'd passed on, well, I mean. Consent is everything, isn't it? It's worth remembering that in this scenario, vegans are kind. We are, essentially, grass-fed. Our meat is premium and delicious.
I'm practically Kobe Beef. I mean, I'm not massaged with Sake, but I enjoy the occasional bourbon. I bet I've got lovely marbling. But principle aside I don't think I could do it. I remember the last time I accidentally bit into meat, in Leeds in 2012 - there was chicken in a risotto sample, and I'd been told it was vegan - I nearly threw up. It was so distressing.
I dunno. Maybe if I knew it was my friend Lionel it would be easier. 'That liver! It is so him!' All of which brings me to my thoughts on what I'd eat as my last meal. And, you know. Hear me out. Omnivores, when they're not banging on about pigs on desert islands, are constantly banging on about 'Bacon, Tho! Brarrr harr harrr!'
And, not having tasted it for nearly four decades, I'm curious. And so, well, sorry, but if it's my last meal, I'm going for it… Because… Because if it's my last meal on earth, it means I won't need my legs anymore, will I? Which means… Oh, ok. You're way ahead of me. Good lord. You didn't think I'd eat the pig, did you?
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