It’s not meat that makes a man
Our meat-crazy culture becomes a minefield of misunderstanding for any vegan who dares to shun a braai, writes Setumo-Thebe Mohlomi
In SA, in my world, a plate generously embellished with meat is often seen as a form of culinary privilege, a signifier of being higher in the pecking order. When, as a black man who for various reasons has decided not to eat meat, you are presented with such a plate (worse if it’s brought to you on a tray), declining is no easy task. I have felt my eyeballs swell the way a cow’s do at the slaughterhouse, so dreadful is the prospect of having to explain, publicly, my decision and its ramifications for my manhood.
It is not only the giver of meat who is shocked at this rejection of their generous offering. The eyes of those within hearing also grow wide with the horror of witnessing an offence to another’s sensibilities. ..