A Vegetarian Who Eats Meat

I just kind of threw it in there, didn’t I? Not eating meat for 20+ years is kind of a big deal, in my mind. And then I did. And then I blogged about it like, “whatever.”

The reasons I stopped are all still really good reasons. Mainly, I couldn’t get with being any part of this process since I couldn’t get right with all parts of the process. I wouldn’t work in slaughter house or a factory farm, aesthetics or abilities aside. Most of them are morally corrupt operations, both in the treatment of the animals and the workers.

Reading Temple Grandin’s books helped soften me. Not in my opposition to how animals are usually processed. But it opened me up to the idea that there is an acceptable way to do it.

I remain conflicted. When I made the hamburgers I went to a hippie grocery store and bought conscience-soothing (whitewashing?) beef. But I still wouldn’t personally kill a cow. Not unless there was nothing else to eat. I feel like an accomplice.

But. Still. I believe that we’re built to eat meat. Humans are high on the food chain and I don’t intend to challenge nature. That’s how you get mutant monkeys and dinosaurs roaming the earth in modern times.

Being an absolutist is easy. Expressing compassion and ecological concern can be tied up in a nice bow when you take meat off the plate. Maybe my way through is to counter-balance these occasional returns to my carnivore roots with a heightened sense of those values in the many other ways they are available.


2 responses to this post.

  1. It is easy to be an absolutist in a black and white world.

    Unfortunately we do not live in a black and white world.

    I condition the air in my home one way or the other 365 glorious days a year; on the other hand, I’ve never once thrown a piece of trash on the ground and I combine my errands.

    I guess we just have to trust that if we mostly try to do right, it will all shake out about even in the end.


  2. Posted by Rachel on August 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I also chose not to eat anything with a mother or a face for years. Conflicted also, I returned to eating meat, and blamed it on my profession (at the time waiting tables in a 5-star gourmet restaurant.) As if I needed a reason. I spent so much time explaining my choice to “meat-eaters” who could not conceive of vegetarianism, or as I knew it just plain eating. The fact of the matter was I didn’t like a label like “Vegan” as opposed to “Normal.” I thought I was certainly normal. I mean, when someone I ate with ordered meat, I never asked them why not vegetables. Isn’t it funny how certain choices we make leave us obliged to explain and others not? Incidentally, if our species had always treated meat as the treat that it is, instead of the predominant center of cooking in our culture, perhaps I would never have been so inspired to take the opposite extreme. I rather like the middle lane, now. No more explanations necessary. But thank you anyway!


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