my history with meat

Added up together, I was probably either a vegan or a vegetarian for almost ten years of my life. When I made the choice to stop eating meat it wasnt for health reasons and it wasnt because of my hatred for factory farms. For the most part, I gave up meat because it didnt seem fair to me to consume other animals when I myself didnt wish to be consumed. It may not make a great deal of sense to you, but in my Obsessive Compulsive mind, it seemed perfectly logical. If I were to eat meat, wear leather, or use milk and dairy products, then I would be a hypocrite, unless of course I wanted to be skinned for leather, eaten or milked. It didnt have anything to do with animal rights. It had to do with my not wanting to be perceived as a hypocrite.

At that time, I also did a great deal of theorizing about life on other planets. I would think, quite seriously, If they come to earth and if they enjoy the taste of human flesh, I would have absolutely no moral grounds on which to stand. If I were a vegan though, according to this logic, I could announce quite confidently, I do not eat other beings and therefore I do not deserve to be eaten. Of course, that might not have made a bit of difference to them, but at least Id know in my heart that I was in the right. (It was very important to me back then not to be wrong.)

Thats the way OCD works, at least for me. You try to arrive at solutions that will work in even the most unlikely of scenarios. Your mind is always clicking, always thinking of different things that could go wrong. I arrived at veganism because it seemed to me to be the most non-hypocritical thing I could do, the thing that would be the least likely to keep me up at night worrying.

And, in addition to being the most moral alternative, I was also convinced that it was healthier, better for the environment, more sustainable, etc. There was, from my perspective, no downside, other than the fact that I could no longer eat the foods that I grew up with and enjoyed.

So, I made it about five years before I started slipping. I cant remember where I was when I first had cheese. That was the first brick to pop out of the wall. Then it was leather. Once I started making exceptions, things started falling apart. Finally, in Savannah, Georgia, my wife convinced me that shrimp were just big, underwater bugs. I believed her because I wanted to believe her. I wanted to eat shrimp. I probably held that line for a year or so, but eventually it gave way to other seafood. I was able to hold the line at the shore for a year or more longer, but it eventually gave way too. Five years ago, while living in Los Angeles, I got on-line and found the closest Chick-fil-A restaurant (my old childhood favorite). Linette and I drove an hour, and I ate chicken. I thought that I would puke or something. I didnt think that after ten years of not eating meat that my body could tolerate it, but it did. That was the end. Within three years Id be sitting in Italy, eating veal. So much for not wanting to be a hypocrite.

Later this week, I plan to write about my search for a local, organic meat sources. This is merely an introduction. I hope you enjoyed it.

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