PORTLAND, OR — It happened all too suddenly, last night, at a quiet bar-restaurant in SE Portland. And Dan Rodekilcatz remembers it like it had happened five minutes ago.
“He was sitting with our group — well, I guess you could say he was with our party,” Rodekilcatz reluctantly admits. “Everything was going fine. And then the waiter came, to take our order.”
“I’ll never forget how he just straight-up asked if the sauce had any dairy in it,” Mark Goldensteer — a second witness — corroborates, with a distant and haunted look. “Right in front of people. There were families eating there, children…”
That’s when Rodekilcatz decided he wasn’t simply just going to sit there and accept this kind of abuse.
“As soon as the waiter had left — and I had picked my jaw up off the table — I told him that there’s nothing wrong with eating meat. It’s perfectly natural. People have been doing it for billions of years.”
“I mean, I can understand an allergy, or something,” Goldensteer adds. “But this was meat and dairy. This was deliberate.”
“I asked him if he was going to give me shit for ordering meat,” Rodekilcatz retells. “I told him I was sick of sanctimonious vegans pushing their beliefs on me — when in reality, they’re the ones who are wrong.”
“It’s basically just an eating disorder masquerading as a diet,” Goldensteer cautions.
“I agree that some factory farms have some problems,” Rodekilcatz continues. “And it would make good business sense to address those issues. But I have an even bigger problem with orphans starving to death. Babies can’t eat tofu-steak.”
“I think local grass-fed beef tastes better,” Goldensteer offers.
“There was this time, about six or seven years ago, I knew this vegan,” Rodekilcatz recalls. “He was a real prick about cooking meat in his kitchen. God forbid — you’d think that somebody kicked his dog, or something. So I let this carrot-fueled vegetable-head know right off the bat that I knew all about his type, and that I wasn’t going to put up with any oppressive crap.”
“Farm animals were raised to be food,” Goldensteer stresses.
“That’s not to say that there aren’t some good ones, who don’t get all pushy with their beliefs,” Rodekilcatz magnanimously concedes. “But this asshole — he apparently wasn’t listening to any of the points I made. He just couldn’t wait to get all preachy. After a few perfunctory words about ‘not minding’ what I ordered — as if it’s any of his fucking business! — he made this smarmy comment about compassion. He pretended like he wasn’t going to say anything else — but you know, that’s exactly the pious act that these pissants like to hide behind. So I let him have it.”
“Jesus ate meat,” Goldensteer quietly notes. “Buddha ate meat. But this guy doesn’t, because — oh, he’s ‘enlightened.’”
Rodekilcatz grows visibly angry as he thinks back to the conversation. “I said to him, ‘You must really like being able to afford salads. I could afford salads too, if I rode a bike and lived in an apartment. You don’t have a car, or a home, or a family, or any other middle-class burdens. Maybe that’s why you can afford a broccoli in your pot and a banana in your basket.'”
“Some people are blissfully unaware of their privileged position in the grand order of things,” Goldensteer observes, shaking his head.
“That’s when this skinny kale-chomper decided to show his true colors,” Rodekilcatz concludes. “He started to get all whiny and pissy, so I told him: ‘This is why nobody wants to eat with you.’ And I told him that I didn’t want to eat with him anymore, either.”
“Why do we have these teeth?,” Goldensteer quickly adds — his mouth wide open, his fingers gesturing at the canines.