I Plan To Protest Outside A Vegan Restaurant

Not that I have anything against eating vegetables – I like potatoes and green beans and corn on the cob. I even like okra in gumbo. But I’m curious to see if I can get a crowd of people worked up for no good reason. It’s not an election year so this is the next best choice.

The people who really do eat only vegetables are not the target – they’ll probably be inside lifting the lids on the pots and seeing what’s cooking. And the people who eat meat are also not the main issue – I do love a good elk roast or moose stew. The ones I want are the knee-jerk followers who can be hoodwinked into anything with the correct pitch.

Part of me wants to make it funny and complain about how rutabagas are sentient beings with feelings and aspirations and really should be eligible for Parliament. And part of me wants to think up a disasterous-sounding health scare that involves some obscure chemical that you find in the leaves of any normal plant. Either approach should work if enough emotion and sleazy reasoning is applied. I plan to use the word ” toxic ” a lot.

There’ll have to be banners, of course, and I need to sit and think of a simple slogan with a good rhythm that can be chanted by people in woolen beanies and parkas. The sound of the howl is actually quite important – too simple and the protestors lose interest and too complex and it gets confused with the counter-melody. And you have to avoid getting close to commercial jingles because a lot of the advertising agencies have real lawyers.

I am also going to have to be careful about the use of the term ” root vegetables “. These days you cannot skirt too close to the semantic edge for fear of a backlash. Likewise I am going to have to carefully remove any reference to food that has any sort of ethnic or sexual connection. Zucchinis and black eyed peas are on the banned list for different reasons. Even collard greens are under the protection of federal agencies.

Still, with careful preparation and some cash in the right pocket, I think I can get my 15 minutes of fame in front of the restaurant. Don’t want to take much longer as I get hungry out on the footpath and they do a rather nice cauliflower curry that goes quickly.

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