I voted "other" because I will eat meat when that's all there is or when it would otherwise be thrown away. When a restaurant menu offers a vegetarian option, I will order it unless it's something totally repulsive to me, and I sometimes order things that have small amounts of meat and ask for no meat, e.g. a Western omelet with no ham. The only meat products we use in home cooking are canned salmon (because it's low in mercury and high in Omega-3) and chicken broth (because it's so much tastier than vegetable broth...we'll find a substitute someday!). We do occasionally buy frozen meals (when we are pressed for time and need lunches for work) that contain small amounts of chicken.
This is the current point on a continuum toward vegetarianism that I've been moving along for about 10 years. Mostly, I'm motivated by environmental concern, but health issues come in at a close second. My biggest shift so far occurred when MrBecca and I gave up meat (incl. fish) for Lent earlier this year: I found that my digestion was so much smoother and I just felt better overall. Also, after 6 weeks of avoiding meat, I found I really didn't miss it much! I ate chicken on Easter because that's what the relatives were serving, not because I craved it. MrBecca has a lot more meat cravings than I do and will still order some kind of meat in a restaurant (even when there are veg options) about 75% of the time. I've read that men are more likely than women to "fail" at vegetarianism, and I wonder if there's some kind of biological mechanism at work there...?
At this point, I have no plans to give up dairy or eggs. I'm not convinced that veg substitutes are inherently healthier; I would like to switch to organic, but aside from yogurt that's usually too expensive. Without dairy, I'd have trouble getting enough protein in my diet; as it is, since I love cheese and yogurt, there's no problem.
Animal-rights arguments don't sway me. Factory farming is a travesty, but animal rights are IMO a far less serious concern than the environmental damage, health risks to humans, and general wrongness of it. Yes, animals are living things like ourselves, but so are plants. We can survive only by being part of a food chain. The important thing is to respect our food sources, whatever they are, and avoid wasting them.
Mama to a boy EnviroKid
10 years old and a little girl EnviroBaby
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