As a child I was always given meat. I had no control of what I ate. My father would always have his steak on a Saturday, Mother would cook it in the frying pan for him and fill up the house with the smell. Years went by – meat, meat, meat. In my second year of college I met a girl. She was a Vegan who hadn’t ever eaten meat or anything that had come from a animal. She loved all creatures, even bugs. What surprised me most was she was a fan of wasps. No one is a fan of wasps. This should have been the first sign that she was odd. She would tell me as we studied how meat was murder and how the smell of cooked meat made her sick to the stomach. Meat had never bothered me. I loved the smell of cooked bacon. The joys of getting a kebab from the takeaway was the best way to end a night out.
I never thought much about about meat, it was just what we had for dinner. Sometimes I wouldn’t have meat, I mean I’d get chips or a salad, depending on the day and how much money I had left. Chips were only £1.50 where a burger was £4. I needed to save as much as I could. I was living the life of a college student, away from home, meeting new people going out most nights and trying not to miss classes.
One evening she showed me a documentary film about how I got my chicken burger. It was rancid. I couldn’t finish it; I couldn’t look at it. How could we allow this to happen? She explained how the government had just passed a bill that said animals didn’t feel pain and how they were bringing back fox hunting. She went into real details about how I pretty much caused all the suffering to all the animals. She was very convincing. Every burger, every kebab, every bucket of fried chicken. It had been me that killed them, skinned them, made those poor animals suffer. If I hadn’t wanted to eat meat they would still be alive, living their life. I felt disgusting.
I always had pets growing up, mostly dogs, some cats and a rabbit. I never thought about eating them. Actually the thought of eating a dog made me feel sick. Now I couldn’t even look at a burger, a sausage, a roasted lamb. I had decided to go vegetarian.
That evening I asked her over, I explained I wanted to go vegetarian and if she could help me. She didn’t seem too pleased.
“Vegetarian,” she said looking at me as if I was still a meat eater. “You might as well open up a fish and chip shop and fry up some fish in your deep fat fryer.”
“What’s wrong with vegetarians?” I questioned worrying how’d she would react.
She took a long hard look at me as we stood in my kitchen.
“Vegetarians are so fake.” she said
“Fake?” I questioned, slightly relieved she hadn’t gone crazy.
A few nights back I’d seen her go crazy, it wasn’t a pretty sight. She was a small girl, about 4ft 7 but, she had completely lost it at the bar. It took three of us to pull her away. I don’t know what was said to her but something had definitely made her snap and she wanted to hurt this girl. I’m sure it was drunken behaver behaviour. We’ve all done silly things when drunk and being a student ninety percent of the time is drunken stupid behaviour.
“A vegetarian will eat fish, they aren’t helping anyone, they are just fake,” she explained.
“I know vegetarians that don’t eat fish.”
“But they drink milk in their coffee and tea?”
“Milk?” I replied surprised
“They are still causing pain and suffering to the animals even if they don’t eat them they drink them,” she continued
I hadn’t thought about that; she did have a point. Cows have their calves taken away and the cow would actually cry and search for their young. When you see a cow crying out of heart break and people in the world actually say animals don’t have feelings it’s rather upsetting if you have any type of conscience.
I had decided to become vegan. I didn’t know much about how to be one but she said she’d help. She first recommended a blender. So with my student loan that I wasn’t going to spend on junk food I hot-tailed it to the shop and got a blender.
Over the next few weeks she would come over and we’d study and then make dinner. The more time I spent with her, the more I grew to like her. She wasn’t my normal type but I was spending a lot of time with her and she was teaching me how to cook some really good vegan food. Some was a bit iffy but that was probably my taste buds getting use to it. I was shocked at how good it was. Did you know there are so many different ways to cook a potato? Over 10 apparently.
It was Friday night and we had arranged for her to come over and hang out, like most nights. I had thought about it for most of the week. I was going to ask her out on a date.
She arrived right on time as normal, she seemed overly happy this evening. I thought this would be a good time to ask her.
“I was thinking instead of staying in and cooking,” I said squeamishly, “maybe we’d go out for dinner, on me of course?”
“Are you asking me out on a date,” she replied half smiling
“Nah, No, of course not. Well maybe, what do you think?” I replied holding my breath
“That would be lovely,” she replied.
A giant smile came across my face; I couldn’t control it. They do say you normally meet your wife/husband at college maybe. Lets not get too far ahead of ourselves now. It’s just dinner.
I let her pick the restaurant just to be safe. The food was good, the service was nice, they knew her by her first name when we entered. I wondered how many dates she’d been here on. It was a nice, small Romanian restaurant, I kept the chat normal trying not to make it too weird. First dates are tricky especially when you’ve been good friends for a while. I didn’t want to lose a friend. If there’s no spark, there’s no spark, not the end of the world.
After dinner I actually gulped when the bill came. I never knew dinner could be so expensive. I paid not letting on that it had pretty much cleaned me out till my next loan came in, which was in about three weeks. I can live on blended veg for a few weeks, that’s not a problem. I once saw a documentary about a guy that lived on it for 50 days and he got healthier so that’s not a problem.
She suggested we walk back to the halls along the canal as it was a nice warm evening and clear sky. It was dark but it wasn’t that dark with the moon light, rather romantic actually.
We walked along, I brushed my hand against hers trying to see if she’d take it and quickly thought better of it. Along the path I could see a few tents lined up next to some narrow boats and a BBQ set, we walked past a group who seemed to be having a nice evening. The smell of the BBQ food really took me back; I didn’t think I’d miss the smell of cooked meat but it was delightful. I didn’t let on, in fact I made a face of disgust and hoped she saw. We carried on walking till suddenly she took my hand and stopped. She turned to me and spoke
“Why haven’t you tried to kiss me?”
“I, I, I wasn’t sure if that’s what you wanted,” I replied surprised.
She went on her tip toes and kissed me on the lips, I didn’t know what to do. It was nice, I had a feeling of joy come over me. Then a sharp pain in my lip. Really hard.
“Jesus…” I called out pushing her off me and grabbing my bottom lip. I looked down at my hand to see she had actually bitten my lip till I bled.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it,” she replied.
“You bit me.”
“It was only a little nip, lets go back the other way,” she said
I held my lip to stop the bleeding and walked back along the path. I had let go of her hand as she walked a tad faster than before.
“What’s the hurry?” I called to her as she was now a few yards ahead of me.
“Come on, keep up. We need to get back and sort that lip out, I am sorry, you know that right?”
She kept getting further away. It was like she was running. I thought about it for a second and stopped. What is she doing? As she followed the canal around a corner she had gone out of sight. She must be so embarrassed I thought. Biting someone on your first date, I guess it means she likes me. Suddenly in the distance I heard a cry and a splash of water. She’d fallen in, I thought. I started to run to catch up. Just ahead I could see her leant over a deckchair by the group having the BBQ. I couldn’t see anyone in the water. I called out to her but no reply. I could hear a gurgling sound as I got closer. I called again and she stepped aside. She was covered in blood.
“What the hell are you doing?” I called out as I ran up
I looked down at the man in the deck chair, his shoulder and face both ripped apart, blood pouring out. He was unconscious by this point. She looked at me as she chewed on something, I could only guess it was this poor chap’s face.
“I told you I was Vegan,” she called out as she grabbed the guy’s face and bit into again, ripping his nose from his face. Blood squirted out everywhere. I stood there frozen and in shock.
“This isn’t vegan; this is….” I couldn’t finish my sentence, I started to throw up as I bent down watching her take another bite and watching the man slowly pass away. She pushed his body into the canal.
I could see in the distance another couple walking along the path towards us. As they got closer I called out:
“RUN! CALL THE POLICE, HELP US…”
Suddenly she grabbed me, her face was next to mine. The blood dripping off her lips, she grabbed my face and I prepared for her to bite. She kissed me on the cheek and looked into my eyes and said:
“Just because I’m vegan doesn’t mean I don’t love meat.”
She grabbed my hand and bit hard down on it. I let out a roar of pain and kicked her to the floor and shot up the path pulling out my phone as I ran. I called the police. I could see her standing there covered in blood, licking her hands.
That was the last time I ever saw her. The police questioned me for a few weeks until I was charged with the double murder and sentenced to 20 years. I’m waiting for a re-trial now but there’s no evidence of her ever existing. No college records, no nothing. The only hope I had was the two witnesses but they only saw me attacking a man. The they didn’t see her apparently. I tried to explain I never attacked them, but having his blood on my face was good enough for the jury to find me guilty.
I still don’t eat meat but it’s hard not to while in here. I will never say I’m vegan though. I spend sometime in the prison library researching newspapers about vegans. Once I found a magazine about gardening and growing your own vegetables and on the front cover stood the two witnesses from my trial. The headline read ‘Vegan couple, breeds new life into veg.’ My only hope of freedom vanished.