In the battle between vegetarians and meat-eaters, the vegetarians have two advantages: they live longer and they’re really good at recruitment. Even I, a man who once ate a turkey leg while riding on a jazzy scooter at a county fair, was once seduced into vegetarianism thanks to a zoo/recruitment camp that won my heart with a pig and its origin story. Only the smell of steak brought me back to the flesh — which is the one advantage that meat-eaters have as they try to keep their numbers up: the captivating smell and the illuminating taste of meat.
We also have Ron Swanson, Nick Offerman’s Parks and Recreation character — a man, a mustache, and the father of the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. And while The Pyramid informs us that a torso should be thick and impenetrable, it doesn’t tell us how to preserve our way of life when kindly vegetarians try to respectfully educate us on their meat-less ways or innocently mention that they don’t eat meat.
Thankfully, Ron Swanson’s meat-eating acumen stretches beyond his pyramid. Swanson is a prolific philosopher who oozes wisdom, and with that collected wisdom, we have built a list of ten life lesson that can be deployed to proudly state your case for meat-love — or steal one back for our side.
You should consume what you enjoy and you should enjoy what you consume. Especially when it’s meat.
While mere mortals can push themselves away from the table with a light sheen of meat-sweat and a feeling of satisfaction after enjoying one steak, Ron Swanson requires two steaks to find his happier state of being and a bit of whiskey to provide throat lubrication and, most importantly, even more joy. When was the last time you got meat-sweats from a salad?
Don’t be shy about telling people what you want and how much of it you want. Especially when it’s meat.
When presented with a steak that is unworthy of that grand title, Ron rejects it and orders every last strip of bacon and every last egg in the restaurant. Is this to punish the establishment for their meat hurbis, or is it Ron’s way of trying to fill the void left by his failed reach for a fitting steak? Maybe it’s both. We may never know the answer to that question, but what we do know is that Ron Swanson isn’t going to pay good money for a bad piece of meat in the name of politeness.
Intimidate your meat plate.
When we eat things without feelings — like brussels sprouts — how can they be afraid of us?
Go whole hog when returning to the meat-flock. A fish will not suffice.
Ron Swanson is a “no half-measures” kind of guy, so forgive him for thumbing his nose at the notion of fish as a “meat.” Yes, it’s an animal. Yes, it’s good for you and can be quite tasty when deep fried, but the same can be said about a Twinkie,. And you wouldn’t put a Twinkie in the same weight class as a steak, would you?
If you’re going to advise someone to break away from being a vegetarian, tell them to really break away and trade the poached salmon for a half-rack of ribs. Again, everyone talks about how heart-smart eating fish is, but no one ever talks about the foods that make a heart smile.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match.
Using the term “meat and potatoes” is a another way of saying that something is basic, so I can see the contrast between a pile of grey mutton and the colorful allure of a vegetable garden with a near limitless collection of choices, flavors, and textures. With that said, people like Ron Swanson are visionaries who look at a plate of various meat stuffs and ask: “Why not?”
Why not wrap a turkey leg with bacon? Why not wrap shrimp with bacon or stuff a pork chop with boneless riblets and chopped bacon? These aren’t just suggestions, they’re possibilities.
Try new things that resemble old things. Especially when those things are meat things.
Though Ron is a meat mixologist, he doesn’t like to stray from the basic meat groups. And he doesn’t like ethnic foods. When you tell him that a burrito is called a “Meat Tornado” and you disclose that it once killed a man, however, his mind will open up to a new “meat delivery system.” Learn from this.
Vegan Bacon is a lie.
I’ve tried the meatless meat-shaped things and I believe they taste like the darkest timeline version of whatever food they are masquerading as. Clearly, Ron Swanson agrees. While I agree with his philosophy as it pertains to vegan bacon, one should never abuse the free sample system, lest we start to see businesses kill the program altogether.
Ignore boundaries when it comes to portion size. #TreatYoSelf
In the words of the philosopher Eminem, “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow.”
Ron Swanson orders a party platter because he isn’t going to be held down by the societal standard of what an appropriate portion size is. He knows what he’s about. Do you, Beansprout?
You can find meat in the strangest places.
Everyone knows that you can find meat in a store, but nothing beats finding surprise meat. Whether it be from a gas station, a hotel you assumed had a muffin-only free breakfast, or a vending machine at a shooting range.
In the above video, Ron Swanson finds a buffet at a strip club. Look at that pile of bacon and the smile on that man’s face. He doesn’t have a care in the world, save for high cholesterol and the close proximity of his food to body glitter and hepatitis.
Always be prepared.
The meat supply chain can dry up quickly. One should always be prepared for a meat emergency, natural disaster, or apocalypse. A nice stick of jerky, a box of pre-cooked box bacon, or a can of spam — all of these can give you protein in a pinch should you need to fight off a wolf or a Democrat. Neither fake bacon nor a cucumber can do that. Lesson over.