“The time has come” the guilty carnivore said…

This title is inspired by a creepy, groovy pop-up book I had as a kid. I think it was an illustrated version of the poem ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter‘ by Lewis Carroll. I remember only two things about the book- the walrus on the cover who wore weird, John Lennon-y sunglasses and this line:

‘”The time has come,” the walrus said, “to talk of many things.”‘

Today, the time has come to talk about one very important thing for this guilty carnivore (ok, technically omnivore, but that doesn’t help me make my point). I am becoming a vegetarian. For real this time. Hopefully for good. Up until now I have been eating meat as long as I have not created the demand for it. I can do better.

This is not a new revelation. For decades we have known that a vegetarian diet is something that benefits many people, other animals, and the planet. Many people have made far more inspiring food choices than this. So for me, why now?

My immediate, surface-level answer: I finally got tired of feeling guilty. Yesterday, I came across an article on Twitter, from a couple of years ago. It was about a farm sanctuary in New York that offers the turkeys their own Thanksgiving feast of veggies, fruits, and pumpkin pie. I don’t know what it was about that simple idea of a Thanksgiving meal turned on its head. I stood there in line for my bubble tea and finally admitted to myself that while enjoying the occasional chicken nugget might satisfy me for approximately two minutes, eating according to my principles and showing compassion for other beings might ultimately make me a happier, more authentic version of myself. Maybe these assumptions are naïve…I’ll report back!

My real answer: Of course, I am not becoming a vegetarian simply to assuage my own guilt. This decision is not for me. I don’t want to eat other animals anymore. Each individual shrimp, pig, salmon, and cow has a life as worthy of living as my own. I’ve believed this for years. It’s time for me to start eating like it.

I’m sharing this decision with readers as a way of owning it and holding myself accountable. I may occasionally post updates about my progress and about if/how commitments to vegetarianism influence human relationships with animals and the natural world. If you have something to share on this topic, I’d love to hear it!

‘”The time has come,” the walrus said, “to talk of many things.”‘

Of hearts — and minds — and sentience — of cabbages — versus chicken wings —

1 Comment

  1. Susan Zak says:

    Good luck! Not an easy decision but I fully support you!

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