Time was when vegetarian dudes could be classified in two simple groups: “pussies” and “freaks.” No longer, reports the Boston Globe, noting the growing trend of “men in their 40s and 50s embracing a restrictive lifestyle to look better, rectify a gluttonous past, or cheat death. They are hegans. They are healthy. And they are here to stay.” Let’s leave the whole “hegan” thing aside and focus on these rationales for not eating meat like God intended: looking good and cheating death. They are exactly the same reasons people exercise. And it makes me sick.
Look, I try to be tolerant of lifestyles that are different from my own. I understand that it takes all kinds to make a world. I’m not arrogant enough to imagine that the choices I make are somehow intrinsically better than those made by anyone else. But you people who exercise constantly and eat healthy? I cannot help but look down on you. If you only knew the pity I feel when I step out of a bar at twilight of a Friday night and look across the street to see a bunch of people running on treadmills in some pathetic attempt to live longer or land a mate… it’s absolutely tragic.
I have no idea what kind of terrible narcissism fuels this urge to deny your body’s inevitable—and biologically necessary—decay, but it says something very sad about the level of self-importance you attach to your own corporeal husk that you need to jog for an hour before you head to the office or that you “just can’t start the day right without a quick workout.” YOU ARE GOING TO DIE ANYWAY. You are supposed to die. The human race needs to replenish itself with younger, healthier specimens, and your 45 minutes at Crunch three times a week is just gumming up the works. Again, I don’t want to be too judgmental here, but it probably needs to be said: Your selfishness is worse than even that of people who drive SUVs, because enough of them at least clear out the gene pool in rollover accidents. I’m sorry, constant exerciser, but the next time you look in the mirror—and let’s face it, it’s not going to be too long from right now—I want you to see that person staring back at you. If you can take a second to stop admiring what you see, remind yourself that you are looking at someone whose astounding vanity almost certainly merits inclusion in the DSM. Let yourself go a little. You’re not that special.