It started out innocently enough. A post about de-friending someone on Facebook for being particularly annoying. It devolved, quickly, into a shitshow like we haven't seen since the Men and Feminism debate that raged last year. Was the title of the post problematic? Sure. (I'm not linking to any specific posts or comments - that's not the point here. Plus, we all know what I'm talking about) But, Jesus on the Cross, did the comments get ugly. Omnivores were called murders. Vegetarians were called smug fanatics. Pescatarians were shit on by both groups. Lots of anecdotes were flung into the fray and presented as evidence that every single X acts like Y.
A rebuttal was offered. The point of which was to say "hey, you know what? There are dicks on both sides." Sounds reasonable, right? Apparently not. This attempt at de-escalation let to even more outlandish insults from both sides. We got into discussions about class and privilege. Vegetarians are privileged because produce is expensive. Vegetarians are classist because poor people are too dumb to know how to eat a balanced vegetarian diet. Etc.
This led to a third post alleging that vegetarians are ableist because medical issues require some people to eat meat. This was countered with the fact that some people are vegetarian because their health issues require that they abstain from meat. Ableist. I'll let that one sink in for a while.
In the end, this is what I have learned. Some people choose to eat meat. Some people choose to eat a vegetarian diet. Some people cannot, for medical reasons, eat meat. Some people cannot, for medical reasons, eat a vegetarian diet. Most people are viciously opposed to any eating habits outside their own. But the biggest lesson I learned from this whole embarrassing fray? We're ALL assholes.