A pot is on the stove. I’ve chopped up some onions and carrots and celery, and in they go. In goes a tied-up sprig of fresh thyme. Some salt and pepper. A few cups of broth, and what’s left of last Friday’s chicken dinner. We had it with butternut squash and onions, all roasted in the pan together; tonight it will be chicken and dumplings. Using up the leftovers makes me feel all housewifely and efficient. Smug, if you want to hold it against me.
The only thing wrong with this picture is me. For years I’ve been mostly vegetarian, trumpeting the virtues of vegetable protein and even going vegan for weeks or months at a time. But now . . . I could blame it on my son, who’s not wild about veggies and would make himself sick with hunger before letting a cube of tofu pass his lips. Or I could complain about my husband, except that he’s a great sport and will eat whatever I put in front of him. The truth is, it’s all me. I’ve run out of willpower. There are only so many frittatas one woman can create. There are only so many sauces for pasta. I don’t want another fucking portabello mushroom or bowl of lentils or big green salad. I want beast.
Well. What’s one more carnivore in the grand scheme of things. Chickens are not as bad for the environment as cows, right? I can get free-range birds locally, can’t I? Humanely treated. Free of spooky chemicals. Allowed to see the sky, and stretch their little drumsticks. No one needs to get hurt in the making of this soup.
Oh god. The steam is curling like a smirk above the poor dead creature in that pot. But all I can think is, Where’s my spoon?
Have you lost the grip on your principles?