Guilty Displeasures

two uncooked steaks

I’m good at guilt. For instance, I feel guilty that I wasn’t nicer to my mother. This is one thing, but I manage to take it further by feeling guilty that I’m healthy and fit, while my mother was the opposite–until she died at 62 of obesity-related heart disease. Maybe my concern about diet is partly a response to her diet; after all, if her food practices had been different, maybe she’d still be here (I’ll never know).

My mother was Italian and my father was Jewish, which may contribute some teeny-tiny bit to my food and guilt issues.

I feel guilty that I’ve eaten so many animals who had lived ghastly lives and died horrid deaths. I feel even guiltier that for several years, I did so knowing the reality of factory farming, and still enjoyed every bite. I feel guilty that, as I ate burger after burger, I had the hubris to smirk and call those burgers “guilty pleasures” as I ate them, as if that awareness would absolve me.

I’m working on the guilt. I know it serves no purpose. It’s like feeling pity for a homeless person and averting your eyes. Pity changes nothing. I don’t need to feel guilty, just inform myself enough to decide on some personal food policies and stick to them. Enough with the guilt already, I’m making myself nuts.

If yellow is the color of cowardice, and green the color of envy, what’s the color of guilt? I imagine it a deep, glistening red. Nicely marbled with beige fat.

3 thoughts on “Guilty Displeasures

  1. I too am out to eliminate “The Guilt” but I will say that in your case it seems to be inspiring a lot of great writing. So maybe hang on to just a little bit, like a chicken nugget sized portion of guilt.


  2. Don’t see guilt as red. It’s more insidious. Darker. Maybe a mottled purple streaked with formless grey…red rises. Grey washes over you like waves.

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