Rixflix A to Z: Babe (1995)

Director/Co-Screenplay: Chris Noonan (AAN) // Kennedy-Miller & Universal; 1:29; color
Crew Notables: George Miller (co-screenplay, AAN); Dick King-Smith (book); Jim Henson's Creature Shop
Cast Notables: James Cromwell (AAN - Best Supporting Actor), Magda Szubanski; Voices: Christine Cavanaugh, Miriam Margolyes, Danny Mann, Hugo Weaving, Miriam Flynn, Russi Taylor, Roscoe Lee Browne (narrator)

Subtitled: How I Destroyed My Fake Vegetarianism
(Only to Linger In Self-Doubt Forever More...)

I have said more than once before that films cannot change your life. I say this because when a person declares such a ridiculous thing like "That book changed my life", or a film or whatever, what they are doing is what most of our society mistakenly does: places the credit (or the blame) on an outside force rather on the only people who can make that change (or bungle it): themselves.

I saw Babe and that deeply hidden animal rights activist deep within me said "How the hell are you gonna eat bacon now that you've fallen in love with a pig?" (It was a different, deeply hidden activist that said a much similar thing to me right after my wedding.) Again, I am passing the blame off on an imaginary being rather than myself, by creating the brain-activist, and so I will admit that I told myself that very thing instead. And I quit eating all pork products for four -- count them -- four solid years. And somewhere in that second year, going through a divorce, and already losing weight due to stress, I decided to go cold turkey -- as in, no more turkey. Or chicken. Or hamburgers. For two years, I cut out meat altogether.

At home, because at the time I really did not know how to cook, I relied on frozen and raw veggies, fruits and a heck of a lot of pasta, which really does not count as cooking. At least, not the way I do it. Because I had gotten a taste for veggie burgers, I was able to trick myself for a while that nothing had changed in my beloved burger department. But it had. It wasn't the same, and every time that I passed the greatest burger place in existence, the Arctic Roadrunner, my stomach turned flips on me.

But I held strong, and to combat the fact that I run with a pack that is almost 97% full-on balls-to-the-wall carnivorous, when it came time for carousing in eating establishments, I indulged myself in halibut. I can't stand fish, but I love halibut, and for the two years that I stuck to this mainly low-key hush-hush vegetarianism, that was what I got for dinner when I was out with my friends. There were also a lot of "I'm not so hungry tonight -- I'll just get French fries" nights out.

My downfall from the diet? As always -- reindeer sausage. A Sunday morning breakfast at Gwennie's, a former-cathouse-turned-greasy-but-excellent eating establishment, with some pals, and I needed comfort food. (I won't go into why...) It became one of those "Aw, what the hell --!" things, and soon I had a mountain of reindeer sausage piled up in front of me. (This is the main reason why Gwennie's is excellent: the portion sizes.) While it wasn't the moment when I announced that I was going to eat so much of it that my shit would come out in casings, it was pretty damn close. It was the end of my nascent vegetarianism, and though I really didn't pay attention to it, the end of my anti-pork campaign, even though I hung onto that ideal for another year. The reason? I had forgotten that most reindeer sausage is loaded with pork, and it took me that long to read a label and realize that I had ruined my campaign several months back.

The funny part is, this is all before I started dating Jen, a vegetarian since she was a child. And even though we have now been together for over 6-1/2 years now, I have yet to come close to turning vegetarian again. Sure, I mention the fact
constantly at work that I want to quit eating meat again, and every time I find a piece of gristle in a burger, or a vein in a chicken breast, I gag and throw the rest of the meal away. Except for occasional deli cuts for sandwiches, I don't bring meat home, and there are sometimes weeks at home where I don't get near the devouring of the flesh of animals. My main problem, really, is that I am now living in the Land of Fast Food Joints -- Anaheim, CA -- and right across the street from my office is a Jack-in-the-Crack. And now, perhaps due to a certain extent to this extreme change in habitat, my bad cholesterol is dangerously high and the good cholesterol is way too low.

The truth of the matter, I've been wanting to go cold turkey (and everything else) for quite some time now. I could lie and say that watching Babe again, which is a nearly perfectly rendered modern fairy tale on film, would get me back on the track (I have the DVD, but I actually have not seen the film since I bought it), but I should admit it: the only thing that will get me to stop eating meat, and losing weight, and reversing my cholesterol trend, is me. Not a movie, not a book, not a TV show. Me. I have to take the steps to making myself healthier and better.

To begin this, I will announce right now that my home is currently 100% free of all meat products. This is only because, right before I wrote this entry, I finished eating the Trader Joe's Barbecue Chicken Pizza I had been saving all week.

Hopefully, nobody will deliver a pepperoni and sausage pizza to my door tomorrow night, or I will never get started on this thing.

1996 Academy Awards: 1 Win (Visual Effects), 6 Nominations (Picture, Director, Screenplay Adaptation, Editing, Art Direction-Set Decoration, Supporting Actor)


ak_hepcat said…
No more BBQ for you, then, mr. man.

Oh, and If you didn't hear, my computer crashed before I could ship out your presents.

Yes.. they're still waiting. I'm a bad friend, i admit it.

But now i have an excuse, because I no longer have the address to illegal ly ship you legal liquids.

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