The Straight Nope: Meaties

Somewhere in the wilds of Eastern Washington-- summer of 1993 -- a chicken truck drove past me with its pairs of chickens stacked in a cube of cages in such a way that it blew feathers all over my windshield. I turned to my girlfriend at the time and told her I wasn't going to eat meat anymore. No more cow, chicken, lamb, pork or any other weird stuff that might come up in the future. It was just a personal choice that I've stuck to with no regrets.

I personally don't really mind if people eat meat. Of course I'd prefer they didn't, but the world is a complicated and brutal place, so for me to claim my dietary choices as anything mightier than personal preference would be a bit hypocritically sanctimonious. Besides, nobody does quality sides like a steakhouse. The thing I do mind is when people want to rub my face in meat eating -- a phenomenon any non-partaker definitely knows. Being next to that guy who can't resist saying something like, "Yuuuummmmmm, you know you want some of this juicy steaaakkkkk" while I quietly enjoy my delicious soup and salad. I almost feel bad telling a guy who is having so much fun that I actually don't want some. It's not like it grosses me out either, it's just that after 20 years of non-participation, that juicy piece of steak does nothing to my mind, be it craved or repulsed. Instead, it's nothing more to me than another person's dinner.

What I'm noping here is the fact that this phenomenon now has legs. For lack of a better term, I've decided to call them "meaties". These are the meat equivalent of "foodies", and like foodies, just partaking in food -- or meat -- doesn't make you one. It's the people who relish it as if they have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the act than those who do so for everyday sustenance.

You all know what I'm talking about. Restaurants with names like Animal come to mind. So do hipster butcher shops, replete with the nouveau-bouchers and their inner-arm meat chart tattoos. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally cool with the good ol' boys having some BBQ ribs on a Sunday afternoon. There is even something about the ritual of it all I really admire, especially if they have the nerve to hunt it themselves. Sadly, us hipsters have a way of sucking the fun out of all things wholesome and organic and replacing it with pretension and entitlement. Turns out even something as simple as meat wasn't safe, though in hindsight I don't know why I'm surprised.

From where I'm sitting it all seems a little weird. We get it, you love meat. I guessed that when I saw it tattooed across your fingers. But let me just say that it seems like meat-stoke has finally -- ironically -- jumped the shark, subsequently leaving us to wonder if there is anything left that our bionically-informed and hyper-aware youth can't over-design, over-discuss, over-deconstruct and over-represent-with-tattoos while ultimately taking out whatever last wispy puff of fun was left in the sails.

And before you even say it jokingly, they've (we've?) already moved onto artisanal mayonnaise. Seriously.

As they may try with their truffle-oil-soaked sausages made from freshly hunted young country swine, they will never be as cool as this guy, proving once again that fight as we all might, the world tends to find its own balance: