This article originally appeared in the War on Christmas Issue.

This Thanksgiving, my vegan friends and I decided to host our own dinner dedicated to clean-eating and inner peace. The idea came to us right before our respective families’ requested we not join them for Thanksgiving this year, so it actually worked out perfectly and literally nobody was offended. Apparently, our “vegan moralism” and “anecdotes from recent abortions” last year offended their delicate political sensibilities, but I have no regrets. That butterball was twice the size of the kid I dumped. Well, I guess when you factor in the twin they were about equal, but I wasn’t about to turn down a two-for-one special on Black Friday.

Anyways, as my friends and I chowed down on “smart mac and cheese,” which is steamed cauliflower with no oil or salt or cheese, we talked about how clean-eating isn’t just a meal-to-meal commitment. It’s a cult. So, after dinner, we headed to Target to pick up copies of Erin Willow’s manifesto, Mindfulness, Medicine, and Eating Your Way to Inner Peace. Little did we know, the Black Friday mayhem had already begun. The sight of so many Lululemon-clad women sucked into a capitalist frenzy made me sick to my stomach. It’s like, Athleta? Ever heard of it, ladies?

I resolved to make my purchase peacefully and leave, only to find every copy of Willow’s book pillaged by these heathens. Suddenly, I was overcome by a strange hunger, as if I hadn’t eaten all day. Granted, we purposefully undercooked the cauliflower so that we would burn more calories chewing than we’d consume through the food, but this was a different type of hunger. Without thinking, I grabbed the nearest high-pony and yanked hard.

The rest of the night was a blur. I remember only the screaming, her screaming. And the laughing, my laughing. And the blood, her blood. I was finally at peace, like in those movie fight scenes where everything slows down and tranquil music plays. I used to think directors who did that were just lazy, but now I get it. It’s like Tolstoy wrote: “Sometimes, war is the greatest peace of all. The end.”

In short, I spent so many years eating buckwheat and chia I forgot just how sweet blood can taste. So thank you, Erin, for teaching me how to eat my way to inner peace. It wasn’t the lesson I was expecting but one that will certainly serve me well in my notoriously violent cell block. And friends, if you’re reading this, don’t worry about me. I have made peace with the judge’s ruling. In fact, I wish both her and the bailiff a safe and speedy recovery. As for the wounds I inflicted upon the prosecuting attorney, however, I have no regrets. He should have been aborted. Happy holidays.


—C. Prendergast