A big, pink mass. Pumping blood around this invisible thorax. It can't be. It must be in my mind. This animal is dead, it died a few months ago, for us to eat. NO! I won't have it! I am not consuming a pig just to satisfy one festivity with my family and to please my parents. After all, this could have been Wilbur…
Dad sits there, watching me with this stare that means "What are you doing? We've slaughtered more pigs than could fit in a book. Just eat it!" but I just can't. I've seen so many little piglets grow up, frolicking around the yard, eating mud- without even knowing that they're destined for our mouths! How can people detach themselves from this reality?
"Fern, what's wrong? Why aren't you eating your pork?" Asks mum, looking at me with a mixture of sympathy and confusion.
Dad sits there, with his questioning stare penetrating me even further. I have half a mind just to eat it, and to end this agony. But my conscience tells me otherwise; why would you let it slip, why would you eat it for fear of argument? Stick to what you believe in!
Just to make it worse, dad shovels the whole pulsating thing, lump by lump into his vast mouth. "You heard your mother, Fern- just eat the damn thing. No use being this emotional if you want to make money!"
But I don't, I thought. I don't want to make money out of an animal's death.
"Fern, eat it now or forget even working for me! Go and campaign for bloomin' vegetarianism- I don't care! Just sabotage your father's work! Go on!"
That's it. I can't cope with any more. I don't want to sabotage my dad's work, I just want to make justice for the animals who die needlessly when we have plenty of other things to eat!
I crash through the seemingly vast expanse of chairs, tables and silverware, and bolt for the door, when my dad puts his hand out and says:
"Is that it, Fern? Are you saying goodbye to your future- and all the good money you could earn? Are you?"
As my eyes start to mist up, all I can see is my mum sitting there, looking from dad to me, wondering what on Earth to do or say.