I like to think of myself as a person that doesn’t get too hung up on my self and my reasons for stuff. I mean, let me tell you, I have reasons. I have carefully thought out reasons for damn near everything I do. Some of that reasoning is old, starting back when I was a little kid, and some of that reasoning is new, like, last week new. Note that I’m not saying I don’t get caught up, just that I like to think of myself as a person who can take the high road.
I used to would (sic) argue pretty much anyone right to the floor about stuff I believed in. Argue so long people around us didn’t know any more why we were arguing. Argue so long I couldn’t remember! Argue so long everyone else wanders away and the person I was arguing with would “give up.” I really hated the win by surrender. I didn’t want them to say I had worn them down, I wanted to be right!
Then, over the years, I decided that maybe it wasn’t worth all that energy. I worked on being able to lay an argument down. I’ll admit I started with things like, “well, if you aren’t going to see reason…” or “I guess I’ve just thought about this more…” but I really believe I’ve gotten better at sometimes, just quietly, letting the argument go.
Except when someone hits that button – one of several – that somehow convinces my nervous system that this argument in front of me is a threat to my person. I don’t know what all my buttons are, but I can say there are a number of them that are arranged around my plate. Food. Yes, food. What to eat, how much, prepared in what way, why to eat it, why it’s bad for you, why it’s good for you, where it came from…all of that.
I re-learned this today.
Today, someone said to me, “Just accept it, that you are going to eat flesh. Just go ahead and eat it.” I had just been saying to this person that my plan was to buy chicken from Avedano’s, a local butcher shop, because if I’m going to eat meat, I’d like to eat responsibly raised meat. This person essentially said that it didn’t matter where I got my meat, that the chicken had a horrible life and death and I should just own up to my horrible choice (ok, they didn’t say horrible choice, but I that’s what I heard).
I countered with the fact that this person eats eggs and butter, both of which are factory farmed, hence unhappy animals. They scoffed at my rejoinder and I went on to ask if they had ever seen footage of an egg farm? Even as I said it I recognized a little part of me that wanted to argue “to the death” and another little part of me said, “nooooo! All those years of work!”
There comes a time, y’all, when you just have to set the thing down. So thank you, friend, for illuminating another button for me (or maybe two) and reminding me that I am part of a common humanity, who still reacts to my buttons.