I've gone veggie. Or more accurately, Pescetarian. There, I've said it. Meat no more.
Why? I could no longer hold back the tide of the unstoppable logic that killing animals for food is wrong. As Aristotle predicted, now I have that knowledge, I can only act one way. It's not being worthy, it's being rational.
Why still fish? Because they're an essential source of rare nutrients in a way that meat isn't. If I had the money and time, I'd give them up too: but I don't, so I won't. And I'm not going to feel guilty about it. Hello? Yo Sushi delivery?
Why still plants? Jainism conceptualises 6 levels of sentience, with water being a '1' and humans being a '6'. Plants are around a '2' I reckon. Chickens and pigs maybe 4 or 5. My argument is around cost/benefit analysis. Does eating X gain me more than the suffering it costs the thing being eaten? With plants, fruits and nuts, the answer is 'yes'.
This shows itself in the violence involved. Killing a pig is a pretty messy affair: I'm sure you've seen the documentaries. Grinding some mint into my mojito is relatively devoid of violence (though you should see me make a mojito).
Robert Winston will tell you humans needed to start eating meat to develop their enormous brains. Time to evolve!
I think I've always been vege/pescetarian. My mother will tell you the story: around 6 I thought it perfectly nice of the lambs bouncing around the field to be generous enough to hand over some lamb for us to eat. She didn't have the heart to tell me they gave a lot more than I anticipated. My logic then was clearer than it's been for twenty years, despite me supposedly becoming an adult inbetween.
So it's taken me this long to develop some integrity and stop the hypocrisy of claiming to be a decent human being while thoughtlessly purchasing the murder of other sentient beings. The market does more than that: it brings these animals into the world for the very purpose of creating their death. I find that distasteful - literally.
I'm not going to campaign for it, I'm not going to hassle my friends: it's a personal decision. Be the change you want to see in the world and all that.
I'm not saying I will never eat another piece of meat in my life: if I was on a desert island and there was no other food available, I'd do it (I might even enjoy it). But I'm not: I'm surrounded by Tesco. Actually, maybe I should try 'Fresh and Wild'.
A final dig (never one to miss an opportunity) at those religions that don't explicitly support vegetarianism, notably Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Given the obviousness of the problem with eating meat, I simply have no idea how they present themselves as the leading lights of ethics.
Any regrets? Sunday lamb? Bacon sandwiches? The thought is always better than the reality, isn't it?
No: I'm quite looking forward to it. I'm now driven to try new foods, new combinations, new restaurants. This is the start of an interesting adventure. Never mind the mooted health benefits: I feel more alive already.
I'll let you know how I get on..