Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Vegan Haunted House

This year, I’ve decided I wanted to create my own vegan haunted house. It’s not the sort of thing that will scare vegans, though, because just navigating through life, we already deal with plenty of frights. (The annual catered holiday meal with the office; driving through parts of the country without a mention on the Happy Cow app.) Instead, my haunted house will be for omnivores and I won’t even show anyone the scariest parts, the blood and gore of animal agriculture. My haunted house may look like an ordinary home from the outside but it is certain to make an omnivores arms prickle with goose bumps. It is a house of horrors. Consider me your personal tour guide. 

Upon entering this seemingly normal house, intrepid visitors will be brought to the kitchen. What’s so alarming about the kitchen? Look inside the freezer, the cupboards: There are no chicken nuggets, no Chips Ahoy. What kind of insane asylum of deprivation is this?! The worst kind: It’s a vegan one. If that weren’t chilling enough, what on earth is that terrifying bright green liquid in the glass on the counter? Nuclear waste run-off? Primordial sludge? Worse: It’s a green smoothie. And what is this mysterious yellow powder in the container? Ground up witches’ teeth? Flaked off skin from the kneecaps of an ogre with psoriasis? It says “nutritional yeast” on the container. Have two words ever sounded scarier together?

Now, I will take you to the first of our staged rooms. This one is where you will get to time-travel and visit with a cardiologist ten years in the future. Men, you will also get the results of your future prostate exam. Before we exit, you will get to dip your hands in a disgusting substance that mimics the sticky plaque of clogged arteries. Squeeze it between your fingers. Who’s saying, “Mmm...bacon....” now, hmm? 

From here, it is only natural to go to the pharmaceutical rep room, where sample pills for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and more are dispensed. Wait: do you need a stent? It’ll just take a minute -- do you want to schedule an appointment to discuss that now?

Scared yet? Now we will go into the subsidies room, where the door will be locked and you'll be forced to learn about the true cost of hamburgers, McMuffins, chicken and Ben & Jerry’s. While you sit there, you will learn the cost to our environment and health care system and YOU CAN’T ESCAPE until it's over.

Next up, we will walk down the hall and the creepy advertising agency executive zombies will wildly grab at you, trying to stuff coupon circulars into your hands, and stare at you with their hungry, cold, dead eyes.  If that weren’t bad enough, fast food executives will be shouting their dollar menu listings into your ears. Want to supersize it?

Ah, now we will enter one of the worst features at my house of horrors: the olfactory room, where you have to experience what it smells like at a factory farm, a slaughterhouse and a fecal lagoon. Could you stand it for even a minute? 

Next, we will visit the food-born illness room: walk through it and try to avoid the creepy-crawly e. coli, the pernicious salmonella, the menacing campylobacter. They will jump on you no matter how much you try evade them. Did you pick up any antibiotics in the pharmaceutical rep room? No? Meh, they probably won’t work anyway due to antibiotic resistance. Oh, well. Hope for the best!

For our next stop, you will be brought to the argument room, where vegans will dismiss any and all arguments used to justify eating animals without even breaking a sweat. “Plants feel pain?” “Look at my ‘canine’ teeth?” Seriously, you don’t want them to laugh right in your face, do you? Our vegans won’t physically harm you but they may really damage your ego.

Finally, we will bring you to the animals room. Remember how I promised that you wouldn’t see any gore? I am keeping my promise. In the animals room, you will put on headphones and listen to the sounds of animals in captivity, crying to get out, driven mad, screaming. How long can you take it?

You may walk into my house of horrors and walk out a completely new person. What do you think? Want to give it a try?


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