I am an ill-starred man. I always thought so; but occasionally small blessings like a wonderful marriage, success as an A-list food writer, and a healthy cholesterol count after a lifetime of wading in gravy kept me from seeing it. Here is a perfect example. I came up with a whole parody campaign for stopping vegetable abuse, and even produced the first of what were to be several posters for it. We also had plans for a video. “It will start with sad music and pictures of beat-up looking vegetables,” I said. “Then I’ll come on and say that we must stop vegetable abuse by all going to Meatopia. At the end will be a PETA parody logo. We’ll call it META.”


A clever enough idea it seemed at the time. We shot the poster Wednesday. Then Thursday night this aired.


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Yet another of my plans in ruins. First it was my live-animal petting zoo at Meatopia; then my plan to reunite Manowar as the house band; and now this. And yet, the vegetable abuse gag was a good one, because, aside from being comical, it allowed us to underscore just how devoted Meatopia is to progressive meat practices and the humane treatment of livestock animals. I’ll be writing in the weeks to come about some of our suppliers for the event, and how I visited their farms and slaughter facilities, and what I saw there. Whole Foods grades all their suppliers on a five-step animal welfare system, and all our meats are at least a 3.


I guess I can find other ways to communicate all that, but they won’t be as a elaborately comical. But I tried! As Uncle Charley says at Willie Loman’s grave, “A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.”