Recently, our Colorado governor issued a “Meat Out Proclamation” for March 20th, recommending that Colorado residents take a day to abstain from eating meat and consider the potential health benefits of other dietary choices. The proclamation has led to some unintended consequences, instigating a day of special deals on burgers and leading the NY Times to declare that “A Meat War Is Waged Across State Lines.” (Last week, I wasn’t thinking about that kind of bacon when I used the philosopher Francis Bacon’s famous quote about chewing on books for the sake of wisdom.)
In a much less serious mode, I’m encouraging folks to relax with all of this conflicted goofiness and chew on one of cowboy poet Baxter Black’s most humorous commentaries about our attempts to improve our eating habits. Baxter based “A Vegetarian’s Nightmare or a Dissertation on Plants’ Rights” on profound scientific research that discovered how plants feel pain.
I cherish the two times I got to briefly interact with Baxter Black: once at the Denver Stock Show and once at West Grand High School in Kremmling, CO. He’s quite the character, to say the least. His ability to take himself lightly is a long-term flourishing skill we all need, especially in these times of conflict.
For reasons other than Baxter’s insights about plants’ rights, I doubt that we’ll see a “Vegetables Out Proclamation” anytime soon. Maybe such a proclamation would stimulate alternative eating habits for contrarian Coloradoans?