I really enjoyed this article about a vegetarian who returned to eating meat after 14 years. I think she sums up my position really well: Nobody wants to eat animals that are mistreated, over-produced, and pumped full of nastiness. But things are getting better and, if you’re willing to spend a little more money, “healthy” meat can be found. Which is great, because meat tastes really good. I like lots of different vegetables, but nothing can beat a thick, grilled-to-perfection Aussie lamb chop. Yum.

That said, I’m wondering what you veggos think. (Like my Aussie slang?) Do you thinks she’s overstated improvements in the industry to justify her meat cravings? (Link courtesy of John, who already has a heated discussion going on over at his site.)

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  1. i have been a vegetarian for 12 years, because i have always been an animal lover, funnily enough it never really occurred to me what must go into creating meat until i was 15… and i loved eating meat. during the first view months of being vego i craved meat all the time but was internally fighting the urge to eat it because i morally felt it was wrong… especially when you read factory farming processes and the like. and i just couldn’t understand after a while why anybody would want to eat a feloow sentient being. not wanting to come across all preachy, but everybody has their own reason for wanting to be vegetarian… and if yours is a moral reason such as not wanting to eat animals or to protect the environment then you would never go back to eating meat. you rbody stops craving it. i haven’t had a craving since about six months after i stopped eating meat.
    sorry for blathering on, but people make excuses when they want to reneg on something. i have heard them all over the past decade e.g. low iron, cravings etc. it all just boils down to what you believe and what you are willing to give up for those beliefs.
    that being said, some of my best friends are meat eaters πŸ™‚

  2. Warning, Preachy Veggo ahead. πŸ™‚ I’d be more generous about this columnist’s decision to eat meat again if it weren’t for her fast food comments, which sound like a complete rationalization. Saying you’re eating humanely “where possible” is fine and dandy–except when you’re giving in and gettin’ some Finger Lickin’ to go because it’s just convenient, sorry little birdies. (Hmm. Maybe I’m more invested in the ethical parts of being vegetarian than I thought.)

    Perhaps chicken production–even for the massive chains–is more humane in England? I haven’t been out of the US, so I can’t say anything about the meat industries of England or Europe; I know BSE concerns forced some important changes in animal treatment, but that seems much less about the care of the animals than about protecting the consumer.

    My conspiracy lobe wonders if the meat industry paid her to write such glowing praise for a meat-eating diet. Mostly I’m left wondering how slow this news day must have been.

  3. You’re totally right about the fast food bit, Casey. I kinda glossed over that in my summary of her arguments, mostly because it was such an obvious case of hypocrisy (and I wanted to provoke y’all into an argument). πŸ™‚

    For the most part, I don’t think chicken production is that different anywhere. There seems to be more of an effort in the UK lately, though, to also provide free-range organic wheat-fed chook alongside the usual stuff. (Of course, I haven’t lived in the US for the last couple of years so it’s possible this is a worldwide trend.) It’s pretty pricey though.

    It’s weird, but I kinda think I would’ve respected her more if she’d just said, yeah, it tastes good and I’m selfish like that. Instead by trying to rationalize it she comes off looking even worse.

  4. For the sake of full disclosure, I should probably add that I’m a confessed selfish meat eater. I’d give it up but I like it too much. At the same time, I’m proud to report that I haven’t eaten fast food (outside of maybe one gordita) in the past year. That’s a personal record. (I can’t claim it was my idea though. It has more to do with the fact that the Snook can’t stand the smell of McDonald’s.)

  5. For full disclosure myself, I’ve had a few BK Veggie Burgers since they were introduced exactly because it was convenient. And I eat at my local Subway all the time. I hope I didn’t just blow my Veg Cred. πŸ™‚

  6. i haven’t had the chance to read the article as yet, and while my major motivation for being a pescatarian (love that sushi) for the past three and a half years is the cruel and abusive treatment of animals raised on american factory farms, i highly doubt my ability of falling off of the wagon for meat from animals which were raised and killed humanely.

    i’ve really lost the taste for the stuff and haven’t had a craving for a cheeseburger in some time. i think about how i’m going to cook for our kids down the line, and while i’ve long said that my dietary choices are just thatβ€”mineβ€”i don’t know how excited i’m going to be to cook meat on a nightly basis, especially since The Mister is currently trying out to play for our team. i guess we’ll just have to see how that one plays out.

    as for Veg Cred, PETA has praised Burger King for coming out with the BK Veggie and Subway was the only fast food chain that got good marks in Fast Food Nation. well, that and In-And-Out, but that hardly qualifies as FF since it’s made fresh and is so. damn. good! i’m referring to their burgers as well as the fact that they make grilled cheeses for us “veggos.” πŸ˜‰

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