April 30, 2020

Commentary: One man’s panic in the face of a meat shortage

1.9 min read| Published On: April 30th, 2020|

By James Combs

Commentary: One man’s panic in the face of a meat shortage

1.9 min read| Published On: April 30th, 2020|

Now we’re truly in a crisis. One that I may not survive.

Meat processing suppliers across the country are temporarily closing, meaning grocery stores could experience meat shortages.

Damn coronavirus. It wasn’t enough that you forced me to social distance, stay confined to my home and wash my hands more times in the past few weeks than I’ve washed them in the past 44 years.

Now, you’re trying to turn me into a—it kills me to even type this word—vegetarian?

I definitely have a beef with that. Here’s a brief list of things I’d rather do than eat cauliflower and green beans all the time.

*Play Spin the Bottle with the Golden Girls.

*Sleep in a bunk bed under Roseanne Barr.

*Smoke some wacky tobacky in a locked room with a cannibal and hope he doesn’t get the munchies.

I think about meat constantly. Greasy bacon for breakfast, turkey slices for lunch and fat-filled steaks for dinner. It’s a carnivore’s dream menu. And dare I forget my favorite go-to sandwich, the triple cheeseburger. I mean, one beef patty just isn’t enough.

Catch me driving down U.S. Highway 441 and you’ll hear me singing The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Ham” and Elton John’s “Don’t Go Bacon My Heart.” What you’ll never hear me sing is Madonna’s “Like a Vegan” or Kim Carnes’ “Betty Davis Pies.” I’d do anything to listen to Meat Loaf, but I avoid Bruce Stringbean and Elvis Parsley like the plague.

Vegetarians, I know you’re going to tell me this meat shortage is an opportune time to adopt your eating habits. Don’t waste your breath. And spare me your endless reasons why I should begin eating like you.

“You’ll help save the planet.”

“You’ll be much healthier.”

“You’ll save the animals.”

Save the animals? Hell, I’d rather grill ‘em, fry ‘em or boil ‘em.

Seriously, I don’t understand the logic, anyway. It’s as though you think being a vegetarian gives you some kind of moral high ground. Since you don’t want to hurt anything, you’re going to only eat plants? While you’re at it, make sure you never get angry, never drink and never swear. Don’t dare swipe a pen from work and take it home.

So, what’s my plan to combat this meat shortage? Well, there’s really only one logical answer. I’m going to my local grocery store and stock up on meat the way others have stocked up on toilet paper. So fellow carnivores, you better haul butt to Winn Dixie and Publix or endure a heaping helping of asparagus and broccoli for months.

And what if I’m too late?

Pucker up, Betty White.

About the Author: James Combs

Akers Media Group's James Combs has been a staff writer for several local publications since August 2000. He has had the privilege of interviewing some of Lake County's many fascinating residents—from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans—and bringing their stories to life. A resident of Lake County since 1986, James recently embarked on a journey to lead a healthier lifestyle. He has lost 60 pounds and walks nearly five miles a day. In his spare time, he enjoys target shooting, skeet shooting and watching his beloved Kentucky Wildcats!

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