Dialogue on Two Chief Dietary Systems

“Yo, you remember that vegan protestor from last week?”

“Oh yeah, sure. She looked kind of hungry, so I took a taco salad out to her. She gave me this appalled look at first and was gonna slap me with her ANIMALS DON’T EAT US (NOT VERY OFTEN ANYWAY) sign, but when I told her almost all our stuff is ‘clean,’ she understood. She screams at people outside KFC now.”

“What if she’s right? About being a vegan or vegetarian, I mean.”

“Dude, man has been eating animals for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s totally natural. What’s so wrong about that?”

“But what if some aliens came to Earth—”

“It’s possible to do that eardrum-popping palm slap thing to yourself, right? We’ll find out shortly, in any case.”

“No, listen, really. What if some aliens came to Earth and started harvesting us? Like, if our species became a new intergalactic delicacy that these super-advanced alien races couldn’t get enough of. And so their ships set up in the atmosphere and drop down these, like, vacuum cleaner things. Suck up thousands of people an hour. It’s like Deadliest Catch, but we’re the crabs.”

“At least you’d survive. They throw back the scrawny unappetizing ones, right?”

“Hardy-har-har. I’m being serious here. How is that different from us eating animals? We catch them and eat them, whether they’re happy about it or not. Maybe cows are saying, ‘Please don’t eat me, I really rather like living, kind sir, so just put down the cleaver and we’ll discuss this quarrel of yours like civilized folk, really I mean it, no, don’t, please, oh heavens, THINK OF MY CHILDREN!’ when they moo. How do we know?”

“You’re reaching, man. They’re just animals, there for the taking. Dumb and practically mindless, all of them. They eat and poop and squeeze out babies once in a while. There’s nothing special about ‘em.”

“But, like, it’s all relative. A super-advanced alien race could say the same about us. To galaxy-touring aliens, we’re closer to amoebas than to them.”

“Look, there’s a cutoff, though. Once you reach a certain level of intelligence, it’d just be wrong to harvest a species like that. You’d hope the aliens would have super-advanced morals, too.”

“And humans are conveniently above the threshold, while other animals are not.”

“Well, sure. Pigs didn’t build the frickin’ iPad, yo, that thing is so slick.”

“But is it, like, fair to judge an animal by human standards?”


“Does your head hurt too?”

“Couldn’t these aliens just clone us or grow our tissue on a stick or something?”

“My guess is that the alien corporate bigwigs got it banned, to keep supply scarce and prices real high. It is a delicacy, after all. Plus the yuppies that buy the stuff would never tolerate anything less than all-natural, free-range, totally-happy human.”

“Why do you even care about all this? You’re not a vegan.”

“I tried to give it up, but meat just tastes so good, you know?”

“I’ll try to remember that while the aliens eat me. A point of pride, even. ‘Can’t blame you,’ I’ll say while one nibbles on my leg. ‘If I’d known I was this delicious, I’d have eaten me, too.’ Hey, you think there’s ever been a suicide by cannibalism?”

“That’s sort of what death by starvation is, when you think about it. Happens all the time.”



“Yeah, well, just be thankful and eat the rest of that chalupa before I do.”

May. 26, 2011 dailytaleproject fiction humor