Like most of my "friends" on Facebook, my "friend" Selma (not her real name, because she's actually slightly famous in some circles [so awesome]) was my friend in high school and I actually haven't met her in person since then. However, we two have a better reason than most: she lives in Sweden and I live in the U.S. Very far away.
I read all her posts and try to keep up on my Swedish. The other day, she was listing all the things she was making for Christmas. Christmas sort of lasts three weeks in Sweden. They start eating on Santa Lucia Day (December 13) and stop eating sometime after New Year's. Then they starve themselves the rest of January, and remain the sexy kittens we all envy so much, but I digress...
Selma was posting what she was cooking and it did include some pork. A friend of hers commented something like,
"If humans were treated the way we treat some pigs, would you eat humans?"
and Selma responded,
"I don't eat humans. I eat pigs."
(I'm horrible at translating, thus the "something like". The way I understand languages is, I just think in that language, and I understand. This makes translation very difficult. But I can approximate. God bless the translators.)
This little exchange made me slightly angry, because I know Selma, and she is a good person, and I also have believed that meat is murder, myself, but I believe very strongly that accusing people is no way to get your point across. Ever. No matter what you believe. Pushing your beliefs on people just never, ever works.
This little exchange also transported me, momentarily, to a moment in 1992, when I was on the phone with Selma one cold Sunday morning,
"You should come over!" she said. "I want to show you something."
This was no small request. Visiting her meant riding my bike in the freezing cold to the train station, getting on the train and requesting that the train conductor actually stop the train where she lived, and then trusting that she would be there to meet me.
Truthfully, though, I never thought twice. I would do anything for her. She was just the coolest person I knew.
So, I rode the bike in the freezing cold. I took the train. I made the request to the conductor. He stopped the train. I got off, feeling very conspicuous. And there she was! Waiting to meet me. Standing in a field of snow, in the middle of nowhere.
We walked to her house.
After some coffee and an interesting tour of her home, (there was a toilet right in plain view of the front door, at the bottom of the stairs- very worthy of Lovely Listing!) she showed me what it was she wanted to show me. It was out in the barn.
"Look!" she said, all flushed and excited. I looked, and there they were. A mamma pig and five or six tiny piglets suckling on her, laying there in the straw. "Aren't they beautiful?" I felt so ridiculous. I didn't even know she raised pigs.