An Australian vegan was offended by a British ham and cheese sandwich this week.
I know, it sounds like the setup to a mediocre joke but, no, the offence was actually taken by the protein-deficient antipodean.
That vegans don’t eat, wear or use animal products is an incontrovertible fact. That they go around in a constant state of high offence that others do may be news to many of us.
Firstly, let’s remind ourself of the basic flow of offence when it occurs;
1. An external stimulus (words, pictures, sound, etc.).
2. The recipient mentally processes this.
3. The recipient then chooses to take offence (or in most cases, doesn’t).
4. The recipient loudly proclaims their new state of offence to the world.
5. The world continues to spin on its axis, the laws of physics are maintained, water still flows downhill, nothing of any consequence changes.
Imagine for a second, though, what it must be like to live in this state of constant offence; Joey Armstrong claims to be highly-offended by the sight of a “murdered” pig combined with “raped” cow milk processed into cheese.
This claim was made inside the BBC’s Broadcasting House, London. To have arrived there from Australia, Joey will have travelled to his nearest international airport, hopefully in a taxi that did not have leather seats, through the departure lounge replete with retail outlets selling leather products and multiple food outlets offering many meat items.
On the plane, he would have been unlikely to have avoided smelling and seeing the food choices of his fellow passengers; the clichéd “chicken or fish” option leaves little chance of an offence-free flight.
At Heathrow, he will have doubtless caught a whiff of the delicious toasted ham and cheese croissants sold by Pret á Manger just after the security checks. Then, into London, he’d be challenged to find a carriage on the Piccadilly Line or Heathrow Express trains without passengers wearing leather shoes, belts and jackets. There might have even been a bacon sandwich consumed in front of his crying eyes.
After such a traumatic journey, exiting at Oxford Circus station isn’t going to be much of a relief; he’ll have to pass yet more dead animal-wearing pedestrians, dead-animal flesh outlets (cafés) and, even when safely in the bowels of the BBC, he may have to witness a cold meat selection in the Green Room before the interview.
The poor chap will then have to experience it all in reverse on the way home to his vegan utopia homestead.
With so much offence and trauma being incurred, it’s a wonder Joey can still function enough to have a coherent conversation. Oh, hang on…..
One of two things are happening here, either;
- Joey is deeply offended and traumatised throughout most of his waking moments but somehow manages to function in a state of excruciating mental suffering, or
- He’s making it up and is a lying shit.
Lastly, who else is enjoying the irony of an Australian vegan called Joey Armstrong; a “Joey” being the name for a baby kangaroo and strong arms being the last thing one ever associates with pasty weak vegans.