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January 4-10, 2006

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Silicon Veggie - Elisa Camahort

Silicon Veggie

I Did It All for Love


By Elisa Camahort

AT THE START of the new year, I must come clean with my Silicon Veggie readers about a bad habit I started years ago. You may be shocked when you hear this, and some of you may want to revoke my vegetarian credentials. I sometimes cannot believe my own actions.

My confession is this: every year, on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I bring plastic baggies full of cooked meat home to my cat, Samantha. The rest of the year I never touch leftovers for my cat, but after Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with my family, I feel compelled to get out the baggies and start loading up.

I already feed her normal cat food, which is, of course, not vegetarian. Unlike dogs, who can live quite healthily on a vegetarian diet, cats are true carnivores. You won't find anyone claiming to have discovered a healthy veggie feline diet.

But opening a can of cat food and spooning out the mystery meat within is quite a different experience from detaching big chunks of turkey or prime rib from a carcass or bigger slab of meat and filling a Ziploc, and then, for the next few days, tearing off pieces to sprinkle liberally on Samantha's regular food. Sometimes she can't even wait until I get her plate prepared—she climbs up on my leg begging for a piece right then. (She never does that for even the fanciest canned cat food, I can tell you.)

Some of you may be wondering how I can bear to even touch the meat after 17 years as a vegetarian. The answer is that, despite my years of vegetarianism, meat still looks and smells tasty to me. I'm just not grossed out by it. When I'm feeling guilty about feeding my cat meat, I like to think that I make up for it by sticking with vegetarianism despite the fact that I am not revolted by the taste, smell or look of meat, only the idea of it!

Some of you may be wondering what the big deal is. I already feed my cat meat. The meat in question was bought and cooked by carnivores already, without my involvement. Better to use it than to waste it, right?

Obviously, that latter perspective is my story, and I'm sticking to it. Hope other vegetarians out there won't kick me out of the club.


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