Saturday, 5 May 2012

Moral Dilemma

Oh, but I am glad my membership to the Vegetarian Society has lapsed, for today I have committed a most heinous sin. A sin, if discovered by the bigwigs at the Society, that would have me expelled quicker than a greased pig through the greased hands of the competitors of a 'Catch the Greased Pig Jamboree' event.

No, I haven't eaten a bacon sandwich. No, I haven't inadvertently chewed on a jelly baby. And no, I haven't used the meat-frying pan to cook up a chilli con veggie.

I have purchased a...a...(oooh, I can barely admit it)...a....(c'mon, Denise...own up....)...a....

....SHEEPSKIN RUG!

There! I've said it. I've done it. It is here, in all its glorious, deeply softly, snuggly warmthness, on the floor behind me. And it's not just a single rug. It's a double rug. It is bluey-grey. There are two very happy cats spread out on it, padding in the fleece which almost reaches their armpits....

'....leg pits,' says Tybalt. 'Cats don't have arms. We have legs.'
'I have arms,' says Pandora Kitten. 'If I didn't have arms I wouldn't be able to wear my pink sequin T-shirt, would I?'

Anyway, since I started decorating my arty-crafty writing room, I've had a vision of what I want it to look like. Pale pink walls. Slightly darker pink carpet. White floaty curtains. Shaker-style oak desk. Purple chaise longue. And in the midst of this vision floated a bluey-grey sheepskin rug.

I argued with my Conscience. My Conscience is called Scarlett Daisy, by the way. She's a bit of a mix. Sometimes she advises me goodly, sometimes she leads me so far astray it makes me cringe.
'I can't have a sheepskin rug!' I said. 'I am a vegetarian.'
'But it's there...in the vision,' said Scarlett Daisy. 'You have to have one. The vision was sent. If you don't fulfil it, the Director of Vision Fulfilment will be very cross.'
'There's a Director of Vision Fulfilment?' I said.
'Yes,' said Scarlett Daisy. 'His name is Terry.'
I thought about this. 'Terry Vision?' I said.
'Yup!' said Scarlett Daisy. 'Patience as long as a very short piece of string.'

I have battled with this dilemma all week. Scarlett Daisy kept leading me to various on-line rug retailers whilst whispering 'Go on, no-one will know' in my ear. I tried to look at the 'faux sheepskin' sections. But they just didn't seem right.'

'It's a natural product,' said Scarlett Daisy. 'Not like that synthetic tat. Think of the production impact. Think of the planet. Think of the static you'll produce if you go faux.'
'But an animal has to die...' I said.
'It died for meat,' said Scarlett Daisy. 'Hundreds of people have chomped their way through bits of that animal. The skin is a by-product.'
'But...'
'You'd be supporting the British economy. You're very keen on buying British products, aren't you?'
'Yes, but...'

But it was no good. The vision remained strong. Every time I shut my eyes, there is was. And when I went into town today to stock up on nuts, I passed a rug shop and there, hanging in the window, was a double bluey-grey sheepskin, and before I knew it Scarlett Daisy had pushed me into the shop and handed over my credit card and now here it is, behind me, on the floor, covered in cats.

And I love it.

I am at the mercy of the God of Hypocrisy. I am hoping I shall not be smite by a thunderbolt. Nor mowed down by a flock of crazed sheep in an act of instant karma. I have hugged the rug. I have said a 'thank you, bless you' prayer to the two little sheep who once lived inside the rug. I have assured them that they will be loved more through their legacy in death than when they were alive, knowing how badly a lot of sheep are treated these days. Especially as I heard on the news this morning that about 25% of animals killed for meat are no longer stunned unconscious before slaughter because of the requirements of some religions. That is bad. And I accept I may now be regarded as a two-faced veggie who might just as well roll out the roast beef tomorrow for lunch for all the good I have done for the welfare of animals on the planet today. And I know I am just making excuses for letting Scarlett Daisy win the battle.

I am sorry.

But oooh, it's a lovely rug...

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