It was spring break in the Faber household, and we were sitting on $20,000 worth of airline miles and zero dollars in cash. Mrs. Faber and the three Faber girls decided that Texas was the place to go to see a country concert with a duo by the name of Dan and Shay perform. Mr. Faber was unaware that they kept making country music after the ’90s with the likes of Alan Jackson and Toby Keith.

Dwayne Faber is a writer, speaker and dairy farmer. He and his family operate farms in Oregon. To...

Leaving Seattle, I had the joy of sitting in an airplane seat next to the world's most annoying vegan. Now you may think that there isn’t much of a hierarchy in annoying vegans, as annoying seems to be the most common adjective to describe vegans. Let the record also show that I am very much a free-market libertarian in regard to someone's food choices. Want to eat nothing but meat? Cool. Want to eat nothing but soy, shaped into different meat shapes to make you feel better? Right on. Want to eat nothing but $1.50 Costco hot dogs for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I’m looking for ways to fight inflation too.

The first comment from our eco-warrior was an observation that no other animals consume the milk of another animal. So, I showed her a picture of cats licking up spilled milk in the milk house – and that’s where the fight started. Mrs. Faber was glaring at me from across the plane, as engaging with someone in a confined place such as an airplane is not the place for confrontation. The words of Shakespeare also briefly crossed my mind in that “discretion is the better part of valor.” Yet sometimes, it’s more fun to engage in the smaller part of valor and that is getting into meaningless arguments with strangers who have no desire to change their opinion or world view.

Our next engagement revolved around the observation that it wasn’t natural for us to eat animals. “Not natural to eat animals” was uttered from a mouth that contained canine teeth. Canine teeth are meant to bring down and eat a freshly dug-up carrot. Your author then offered to give up eating meat for life on the day that coyotes and mountain lions quit eating baby deer.

What followed was awkward silence and a hope for some distraction for the remainder of the flight. Given we were flying in a Boeing 737, there was a very real possibility that a door or a wheel could be flying off at any given moment and provide some level of momentary distraction.


Landing and spending time in Texas was a complete culture shock for the Faber family. While in Washington state, we are walking around on eggshells to make sure we use proper pronouns. Texans warmly walk around greeting people with a hearty, “Yes ma’am” or “No sir.” While sitting out front of the hotel, we met a local cowboy, and after chatting for a while, he offered up his truck for our family’s use. This fellow was a bronc rider in town for a rodeo and walked like he came into sudden contact with terra firma after being launched swiftly from the back of an angry horse.

We went to the Fort Worth Stockyards Rodeo, and it became apparent that no people are more friendly, more patriotic, more godly and more willing to fly halfway around the world to kill enemies of the state. In our experiences, Texas is some of the best parts of us. Our family even indulged in the local cuisine at the Texas Roadhouse and Cheesecake Factory.

After all the excitement, the flight home was rather uneventful as all the doors and wheels stayed on the airplane.