Sunday roast would seem to be a tradition of impeccable normality for most Australians. Gathering around the table on what was once the Lord’s Day, for an oven baked portion of meat of some brand accompanied by overdone vegies would be the stuff of most childhoods, and occupy a place in the homes and lives of many still today. Indeed, it is so in the household of Boethius, wherein, come Sunday, the tribe who have departed the familial home return for their meat and gravy, whilst passages from Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche are read and debated with much jocularity.
But all of this is a symbol of “a reactionary past of set values” which points to an “exploitation of people and animals… which we are better rid of,” according to the joyless Socialist types who inhabit inner city terrace houses near you. For these grim faced oracles “the associations of a roast dinner” evoke “received memories of oppression and an enslaved work force.”
What a blast the Sunday meal must be in the household of the embittered old hippy who actually wrote these words, no doubt with po-faced solemnity. The menu would not be all that inspiring – roast tofu with a side of wet spinach and cashews perhaps, washed down with ethically produced wine or de-caffeinated coffee? And just when everyone was starting to feel the slightest bit content, the host might suggest a John Pilger film for some self induced white guilt followed up with a confessional on identifying the latent racism, homophobia and Islamophobia within. A cleansing elixir of warm lemon juice might then follow as the candles and incense are lit, and the bean bags prepared, whilst the guests slip into their kaftans.
On the whole, I expect junking the Sunday roast in favour of a vegan alternative will have about as much success in the suburbs and country towns of Australia as a Mormon missionary selling a wine and alcohol free religion in France and Italy. All in all, it’s another reminder that the fantasies of the Socialist totalitarians out there, helpfully publicised by fellow travelers like the Guardian, hope to one day be telling you what to eat as well…