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My point could probably be summed up in one word: Bacon. But this post is not really a discussion of the merits or limitations of any one dietary practice. I have known a few vegetarians over the years and their eating preferences seem to vary widely.
The most strict vegetarian I ever knew was Leon, a fellow resident in my first medical residency. His family was devout Seventh Day Adventist and he claimed to have never knowingly ever eaten meat. He was generally very pleasant to be around, but he did have a type A personality that became almost obsessive when mealtime approached. Everyone accommodated this part of his persona and he was a popular guy.
One weekend my wife and I traveled to Asheville, NC, with Leon and his wife to explore the town and meet some of his family who had recently moved there. So after visiting numerous craft shops and open-air markets, we had dinner in one of the upscale hippie establishments which were taking over the tourist areas of Asheville. The restaurant was unusually dark.
Leon became very quiet and looked troubled. His wife asked him what was wrong and he stood up and said he needed to see the manager. He took his salad with him. When he got to the counter, where there was a little more light, he turned around and came back. When we asked what was going on he threw something from his salad on the table. It was a small banana pepper. He said he thought it was a mouse.
We laughed for many minutes because we knew he was as much offended by a potential rodent in his food as he would have been with any other form of meat.Published in