Note: I grew up vegetarian. You, assuming you are an Adventist of some sort, may have as well. I can’t say I ever quite knew why I was vegetarian as a child, except that it was supposed to be healthier than an omnivorous lifestyle, and I knew that that was the way Seventh-day Adventists (good ones, anyway) ate. And then I became a teenager, got rebellious, and began eating anything with a pulse. I loved meat, and I loved the freedom that I felt being able to eat whatever I wanted.
And now I do not eat meat, although I still like how it tastes. For a while I called myself a “flex-itarian,” because I was flexible about the whole thing. And then I was a vegetarian who ate meat when it was free and when it was otherwise going to be thrown away (ie. I wasn’t going to support the industry, but I wasn’t going to waste food). Now I try not to eat any – because I believe the meat industry is cruel, environmentally dangerous, and our living in denial of its violence is ethically damaging. Jonathan Safran Foer expresses the philosophical and practical reasons not to eat meat in his new book, Eating Animals. I express my admiration for the book in this review:
Eating Animals is Jonathan Safran Foer’s third full-length book, his first non-fiction, and the first major ideological risk he has taken. Foer’s purpose is not simply to describe the meat industry in all its nastiness (as has been done well by Eric Schlosser in Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan in The Omnivore’s Dilemma) – rather, Foer’s purpose is to convince the reader that vegetarianism is the only practical and philosophically satisfying means to influence the cruel, environmentally catastrophic industries of factory meat and dairy, and large-scale fishing.