A Vegetarian Life?

Since choosing to cut meat from my diet nearly two years ago I’ve moved from being somewhat tentative about it to becoming convinced this is the right lifestyle choice for me. Over recent months I’ve even started getting a bit evangelical about it.

So, yes, the purpose of this article is to convert any meatarian readers.

Don’t worry though.

I’m not going to resort to any of the manipulative tactics used by many militant vegetarians. I’m not going to use them, not because I’m a warm, respectful guy, but because they simply don’t work.

Obnoxiousness Doesn’t Work

Many vegetarians (including me, vegans, raw foodies and fruitarians) would love to live in a world where animals are not raised and/or killed for meat. Most of them choose to achieve this by quietly living their life the way they’ve chosen and are only too happy to explain their reasons to anyone who is genuinely interested.

A small minority though, take a more aggressive approach to ridding the world of meat eating.

This minority typically believes they are morally or spiritually superior to meat eaters and find every opportunity to impress that on everyone who crosses their path with blood on their lips.

Their tactics usually follow this pattern:

Step 1. Try to convince you through skilful and logical argument that vegetarianism is the only sensible choice. They have plenty of research sources they can quote to prove that vegetarians live longer, are happier and have better sex.

Step 2. When you have proved your ignorance by not accepting their logic they move to the second step which is to appeal to your heart. They do this by the strange approach of trying to make you feel guilty! Tactics vary from holding you responsible, via the beef industry, for global warming through to showing you pictures of cute, cuddly lambs on their way to the slaughterhouse.

Step 3. Having proved you have a heart of stone to the plight of baby animals they then move to their last resort. They attack your moral code and values – after all there’s only a tiny step between eating eggs and the Holocaust! If they think you won’t laugh at them they may even appeal to your spiritual enlightenment.

All in all this approach is pretty obnoxious. Not surprisingly it gets a kick back reaction from most meatarians – some of whom can be pretty obnoxious themselves. No one likes to be treated like a heartless, idiotic Nazi and when we are we tend to resist!

In fact, these tactics have two effects:

1    demonstrate to the meat eater that becoming vegetarian makes you not only obnoxious but a social outcast too. While giving up meat may indeed be the right choice, the price of losing all their friends is too high a price to pay.

2   the vegetarian has simply proved to themselves the opinion they already held about meatarians – namely they are ignorant, stone hearted and lacking moral fibre.

Nothing changes.

My Strategy

Many meat eaters I know do so because they enjoy the experience of eating flesh. They have made a conscious choice about it and live without any stress in relation to it. There is no peaceful reason I can think of why they would change and become vegetarian.

I assume if you eat meat it’s through choice. I mean no-one is force feeding you, right? I also assume you are intelligent, warm hearted and with a clear moral code. You wouldn’t be reading this blog if you weren’t!

Which means:

  1. You have studied the research and opinions on both sides of the argument and formed your own conclusions.
  2. You have carefully considered vegetarianism as an option and decided meat is best for you.
  3. You’ve found a source of meat that sits comfortably with you and balances many conflicting demands such as cost, convenience, health etc.. This probably means you eat organic, free range produce or, if not, then it’s because of financial or convenience concerns.
  4. You have reconciled your personal moral code and spiritual life with the eating of flesh.

I’ve never once asked anyone to justify their meat eating, nor will I.

Some meat eaters, though, do just that without any prompting. When they learn I’m a vegetarian they start to explain why it is they eat meat. I haven’t asked them and I certainly haven’t justified my choices to them.

I take it as sign, for many meat eaters, something does not sit quite 100% peacefully for them. If you have any tension in relation to this then my guess is you’d be better off without it?

if this applies to you here’s what I suggest:

  • Find where the tension lies. Chances are you haven’t covered off one or more of the points 1 to 4 above so start looking there.
  • Maybe you can fix it by doing some research or by looking for sources of meat that you won’t feel guilty about or some other inner work on your moral code.
  • If you still can’t reconcile it, and the tension is still there, why not try a vegetarian lifestyle for a period? Decide yourself how long but I guess a month is probably the minimum to see if it suits. It’s an experiment not a lifetime commitment!
  • At the end of your trial period check to see if you feel overall better or worse.
    • If it’s better, extend your trial period.
    • If it’s worse, then you’ve got some more work to do to identify what’s going on. Go back to the points above. Do some more digging around. Or maybe your trial period wasn’t long enough.

One thing is for sure.

If you do give up meat you will only do so because you choose it and not because some obnoxious militant tries to manipulate you!

2 Responses to A Vegetarian Life?

  1. Cash on January 21, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    I am forever indebted to you for this intofmarion.

  2. 2000 euro kredit azubi on February 7, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Someone should ask a question about how they plan on improving the scientific literacy of Americans when some candidates, such as Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo, and Mike Huckabee, don't even have an elementary school level understanding of it. I'd love to see their response. 😉

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