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Baby Boomers Say the Darnedest Things

Yesterday I was at Whole Foods for the third time this week–and I’m not even cooking anything. As loyal readers know, I’ve ordered the entire, allegedly-festive meal, already cooked, from Whole Foods, and I’m picking it all up at 10pm this evening. While I was looking for some type of nondairy whipped topping for myself so I could partake in junk food just like everyone else, I realized I didn’t have one thing that might make my turkey even more of a disaster than it is for obvious reasons–a pan to heat it up in.

I went over to the, for lack of a better word, "carcass section," where they have slabs of meat under lights, ready for carving and consumption, to inquire about whether my carcass would be in a pan, or would I need to provide one of my own. (If it’s not in a pan–what the heck is it in? I thought.)

Standing at the counter, ordering some sort of rare beef thing, was a woman who was probably in her early 60s–a dreaded Baby Boomer. Now, I say "dreaded," because you never know where they grew up and what influenced them, so their age alone tells you nothing. They could’ve done LSD in Central Park, lived in Greenwich Village, and were taught Transcendental Meditation by the Maharishi himself. Or they could’ve been pro-Vietnam War and, well, that probably says it all.

According to wikipedia, those of us born in 1966 are part of the Consciousness Revolution, while also being Baby Busters (a.k.a. the "Sunshine Generation") and Generation X-ers. And regardless of which of those generations you relate most to as a 40-year old, you are likely to not relate as well to a Baby Boomer. Yes, it’s a generalization, but I’ve found it to be accurate in my experience.

The clearly Gen X-er carving the Baby Boomer’s meat says to her:

Can you believe some people are so lazy that they’re having us make their entire Thanksgiving dinners and all they have to do is pick them up?

Now, I’m right there, and I’m feeling ridiculed. You never know why someone chooses to do something. How does he know I’m lazy? Maybe I’ll be taking care of endangered, injured marsupials all day and I won’t have time to cook! Maybe I’ll be caring for the elderly all day!

Rather than hiding behind false philanthropy, I interject with the truth:

Hey, you know some people who ordered dinners from you did it so that their guests could have a traditional meal. I’m one of those people. I don’t eat meat, and I certainly don’t want to touch or cook it, but I get that my guests have different beliefs from me, and I don’t want to use Thanksgiving to fight about it.

And to that, the Baby Boomer responds: Turkey isn’t meat! Flummoxed, and partly wanting to preserve her blissful ignorance, yet partly wanting to crush it, I say: Of course it is. And like a 7-year old, she responds, Is not.

Rather than getting into an Is not/Is too situation, I decide to say my part and leave: Okay, how about this–I don’t eat animals. And before I can leave, she sneers at me, stomps her food, and marches away in a snit. And with that, the Gen X-er says: What does she think turkey is, some kind of pastry product?

And that, my friends, is the difference between Gen X-ers, Baby Boomers, and whatever the heck I am.

Oh, and I did need a pan.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Anonymous #

    I guess every vegan can relate to you when it comes to how awful it is to sit during a family get together while they shove murdered animals down their throats. Were just to sit there and not say anything no matter how much pain we are in and well like my boyfriend tells me …Just Don't Start. My boyfriend of 7 years is still one of them (sigh). Yes he is a huge disappointment to me but that's another story.

    Recently we were invited out to a restaurant for a family dinner and while I was watching my boyfriends 10 year old niece eating some sausage I was remembering that I was only one year older than her when my step father, who was a farmer, was going to go to the slaughter house and asked me if I had wanted to come. (he did not think that it would bother me) I said sure because I didn't know what that was. I'm not going to talk about the gore of it all but all I will say is the fear in an animals eyes is no different than in a humans. At age 43 I still remember that day in detail and I cry like a baby but for as much pain as it has caused me knowing what is really going on I still feel its better than being ignorant.

    After that day I look at everyone differently. I couldn't believe everyone was going on with their day like what was happening to animals was ok and that there was something wrong with me. I had been lied to for years and I was really angry. I still find myself to this day looking at crows of people on the street and thinking I'm not one of these people. There not human. They must be some type of pod people programmed to act almost human but their missing true feelings. Where is their compassion for all living things?

    So I have to sit there and watch my niece shove down these death animals and not say anything because as a child she is being programmed into a non thinking, non caring, animal eater. We must not brake the programming stage or she will end up being someone like me. The difficult person that just can't go with the flow.


    November 23, 2006

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