Tuesday, June 23, 2015
I once had a good friend who was a strict vegetarian, though I can't remember whether he based this dietary decision on health concerns or conscience.
In any case, he introduced me to a Chinese restaurant, not in Chinatown, but further south and east. This place served his favorite salad, one with chopped vegetables, spices, and what he believed to be the secret savory ingredient -- sesame.
A lean -- one might say thin, close to emaciated -- man, he ate very little, but he ate this salad once a week and with gusto. Great huge helpings. It made him happy. That he was eating at all made me happy, too. That what he was enjoying wasn't exactly sesame, well...
As a carnivore, I detected the secret ingredient in this salad from the get-go -- bacon. Bits of bacon, so tiny, they were undetectable to the naked eye, and likely a splash of bacon fat in the dressing.
So, you know, I had one of those existential quandaries. To tell or not tell my vegetarian friend what he really liked about these vegetables was, well, meat. On the to-tell side -- the bacon was a fact, a truth, a reality. On the not-to-tell-side -- the guy was happy -- and eating.
Was I wrong to say nothing, bacon-wise?
Oh, probably. My IQ sinks rapidly when answering moral questions.
This quandary recurs throughout our lives, or throughout my life, anyway. When I find a piece of truth, I wonder -- should I put it on the fork, hold the fork to the light, expose something which won't substantially contribute to one day's happiness for anyone, all in the name of truth?
I don't know the answer. I just know, it's something I have not and will not do.
Perhaps I'm aiding and abetting a fool's paradise. But so what -- I like fools, and I like paradise.
Besides, truth is not in short supply. Truth doesn't rot, or die from lack of attention, care, or water. "Truth will out," said someone. Probably Shakespeare, who was able to say everything worth saying, as he got there first. Damn his eyes (he said that, too).
Truth is ample, always there, on the table, waiting; often cold, but never stale. Ready when you are. And equally ready even if you're not.
Labels: raw veganish