The other night Will and I sat down to watch Life After People, which he had thoughtfully Tivo'd for me. As we watched as nature slowly destroyed what man had built, we kept remarking that it didn't seem all that horrible. Save for the fate of domesticated animals, a world without people was pretty damn decent.
But it was the footage of the dog locked in the house, the dogs scavenging the streets that got me. Daisy wouldn't make it, I whispered to him under my breath.
He glared at me. She'll be fine, he insisted, shaking his head no but pointing at Daisy as if she could understand that we were discussing her impending fate.
The fate we were really discussing was my own. A soft spot for animals will be my downfall, as it truly is the creamy caramel center that lies beneath my hard candy shell. I am a sucker for animals. I'm no Timothy Treadwell, mind you, and if someone was being attacked by an animal, I'd grab the nearest shotgun. (Or shovel, since I neither own nor know how to operate a shotgun.)
I understand the idea of the food chain, and I do eat meat. Of course, as my liberal middle class guilt dictates, I buy organic cruelty-free meat that's put to death by virgins singing lullabies. I know this makes me an annoying hypocrite, but if I had to kill and clean my food? I'd be a vegetarian.
In a Post-Apocalyptic World, I don't think I can hunt.
It's not the act of killing that scares me. It's the idea that animals seem innocent. Hapless. Minding their own business. If I knew that Mr. Deer was a jerk who cut people off on the freeway on the way home from his job at the puppy-kicking factory, I'd be picking venison out of my teeth as I type this.
Of course, if you follow this logic down to the bitter end, you could come to the conclusion that Rev. Phelps will be the main course at my first Post-Apocalyptic Dinner Party.
I could probably live with that.
Fish are exempt from this ruling. Sure, Finding Nemo made me cry...and then crave fresh raw yellowtail. Maybe because I saw my grandfather - the same grandfather who escaped from Russia during World War Two with his wife and his mother and his child and his dog (so the soft spot for animals is hereditary) - catching, killing, and gutting fish while I grew up. He'd slice then in half lengthwise and put it in the smoker, head on and all.
In junior high when the other girls had square slices of greasy pizza or PB&J with mini cartons of milk, I'd pull out that coppery half-a -fish-carcass with the glassy, dead eye and tear out chunks of the smoky meat while most of them screamed in disgust. I didn't care. It was good.
Survivorman caught a turtle in his Georgia Swampland episode last night. He cleaned it off-camera, but as he roasted it over his small campfire he said that he didn't like killing things, and it wasn't something he practiced in his everyday life. But sometimes it comes down to survival, and in those cases, you don't have much of a choice. So maybe I'm not as pathetic as I think I am.
Either way, I hope I never have to find out.