On Vegetarianism

One of the biggest ethical issues I deal with in my daily¬†life is my treatment of animals. While I never directly inflict suffering on animals, I implicitly support it by continuing to eat animal meat and animal products. I don’t think eating meat can be morally defensible in developed society.

Having said that, I do eat meat every day, because it’s ingrained into me and my culture. That’s not meant to excuse my behavior, though¬†– this is explaining how the situation came to be. A couple years ago, I went on a ten day Goenka meditation retreat. The proffered meals were all vegetarian, which to me was no big deal. I could eat whatever was provided no problem. However, after I went back to the real world, I went right back to eating meat. It was really hard to continue eating a vegetarian diet. Why was it so easy there, but so hard in my daily life?

Here’s how I see it: it was easy to do because I was put in a situation conducive to doing so.

  • The choice was taken away from me. Because I didn’t have the option of eating meat, it wasn’t that big of a deal to skip it. If I were in a situation where they served meat and vegetarian dishes, it would be lot harder to stick with the diet.
  • Everyone else did it. It’s a lot easier to normalize behaviors when it’s reinforced by your surrounding culture. Consequently, it’s harder to break out of preexisting behaviors that are reinforced by your culture.
  • I didn’t have to do the work myself. If I were cooking, I’d probably make a meat dish because it’s a lot harder for me to fuck up a meat dish than it is to fuck up a vegetarian dish. Also, it’s easier for me in general to come up with meat recipes than vegetarian meals. Also, because if I were cooking, I’d feel like it’s almost a waste to cook vegetarian because it wouldn’t be as satisfying as accompanying a meat dish.

I don’t really have an answer here, I just wanted to point out that it’s kinda shitty of me to eat meat even though I abhor the ethics behind it. Ah, well. Fuck it.

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