On our last night in Abisko, we invited some friends round for some pre-drinks drinks. One of said friends: a big, burly Swedish man (clumpy boots, fur coat and lumberjack shirt, I kid you not), had brought his supper along. Naturally it was a frozen reindeer heart which he requested to defrost in our sink.
Thing is, despite his gruff appearance, he was so softly spoken and polite, I couldn’t say no.
Though my ‘yes’ did not come easily, with a vocal fry to rival all of Hollywood…
I do find when it comes to friends eating meat, I can detach myself when I want to, the same way I remained detached during my veggie days. For example, I still remember the childhood taste and feel of chicken nuggets, inoffensive and good with ketchup. So I kind of get the intrinsic understanding of a ‘chicken nugget’ or ‘sausage’ by omni* folk.
After all, it wasn’t until I picked up a Viva! magazine myself, that I realised why people go vegan.
That said, it is getting harder to mute the miffed vegan in me, especially when people gush over a bacon sandwich as if it’s their life force.
And that reindeer heart, an integral part of something complex and beautiful, was so delicate and so intimately visceral. It made its tupperware receptacle and the chrome sink seem all the more crude.
But I knew nothing was to be gained in saying no. The reindeer would still be dead, and Oscar was still going to eat it.
And a vegans versus ancestral Sami reindeer herders debate was not something I wanted to get into.
Obviously not all this crossed my mind as I said ‘eeeerrrrrruyeeeah,’ but sometimes you just have to be gracious.
*omni: how seasoned vegans refer to omnivores; particularly a friend or similar.