CRANBROOK, Ohio – Local parents Molly and Chip Hartsock have been preparing for what is bound to be another awful Thanksgiving, as their vegan punk son returns home for his annual visit to ruin the family’s long-standing holiday traditions.
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great kid,” Mrs. Hartsock said of her son, Justin, who is the first in the family to have adopted an entirely plant-based diet. “But since becoming vegan, he’s been… well, sort of an asshole.”
“Last year — in the middle of dinner — he showed his grandmother a video of baby piglets being brutally beaten to death after she commented on how much she liked the ham,” she continued. “Damn near gave her a heart attack.”
Justin’s father is equally irritated by his son’s antics.
“He spent three hours lecturing his niece on the gory atrocities done to Indians by European colonists. She’s three months old,” Mr. Hartsock said, shaking his head. “I’m trying to watch the game, and he keeps chirping in my ear about ‘how many pigs have to die to make one football’ and ‘how I need to see all the blood on the quarterback’s hands.’ Then he’s lecturing me about the Redskins, even though I’m not even watching that game.”
“I only get a few days off and I have to deal with this crap.”
Mr. Hartsock cringed remembering past Thanksgivings, such as that of 2012, when Justin let out all of their pets — two cats, a mini schnauzer, three exotic birds, and a lizard — to “liberate them from the human prison industrial complex.” The following year, citing a strict DIY ethic and a hatred for waste, his son took his Thanksgiving meal from the neighbors’ trash cans. And, just last year, Justin punched his brother Kingston in the face to “smash the patriarchy,” subsequently punching himself in the face for the exact same reason.
“It’s perfectly normal for teenagers to return from college with subversive and radical ideas,” says Vickie Hart, a psychology professor at Ohio State University. “But this Justin fellow just sounds like a dickhead who needs to cool out a bit.”
“I love him, but I hope he doesn’t stay too long,” said Mrs. Hartsock through gritted teeth.
“He’s in the living room right now using stuffed animals to demonstrate how turkeys are butchered to his seven-year-old cousin.”