Reader wall0645 posted in the Friendly Atheist Forums about his potential conversion to vegetarianism.
Part of me wants to be vegetarian. I am really big on the philosophy of “efficiency”, and fruits/vegetables require much less energy to grow than meat for the same amount of food. Also there is the problem of unnecessary suffering of animals. Add to this that fruits and vegetables are very good for you. Vegetarianism is very very appealing to me.
However, another part of me wants to eat meat. My friends and family eat meat, and I don’t want to be the odd one who doesn’t. Meat is cheap and convenient. And, of course, meat tastes great. People have been eating meat for generations, and they seem healthy enough.
He asks a few questions:
1. What do you think of vegetarianism? Weird? Noble? Stupid?
2. To the vegetarians, why are you a vegetarian? (Convince me to join you )
3. To the meat eaters, why aren’t you a vegetarian? (Convince me to keep eating meat)
4. Should any diet be “strict”? Should I avoid eating only vegetables and just look to increase the percentage of vegetables, but keep eating meat?
For me, not eating meat seems like an ethical thing to do (animals are living too, right?)… but it’s been a while since I felt a holier-than-thou attitude about it. It doesn’t really faze me when someone around me eats meat and I don’t go into lectures about it. Maybe I should.
In some ways, I’m a hypocrite about it. I don’t oppose medical/scientific research done on animals. I don’t eat eggs because they have a potential to be fertilized yet I would call myself pro-choice on the abortion issue. (Is that fertilization thing true? That’s what I was taught as a child and it’s one of the things I never bothered to verify for myself.) And I still laugh when I read this article…
I’ve said it before, but I was raised as a vegetarian for religious reasons. When I left my faith, I kept the vegetarianism. I’ve still never gone fishing. Hunting seems barbaric. I never had to “transition” into it and I’m amazed when I hear about people who have made that switch. Still, I think it’s a good way to go.
It’s certainly cheaper than eating meat. It’s healthier. There are plenty of options for food, depending on where you live. And you smell better as a result. (Ok, I made that last one up, but that rumor should totally spread.)
Where do you stand on the issue?