I’ve been mulling adopting a loose vegetarianism. I’d still consume dairy products and eggs, and possibly some seafood, but I’m mulling trying to eliminate much/most of the meat from my diet.

There are several disadvantages. One is, I like meat. I had a pepperoni pizza for dinner today. It might be hard to give it up.

Two is, I don’t wish to create awkward social situations. Restaurants should be fine, but if someone is inviting me over for dinner, I don’t want to have to inform them of dietary restrictions. I also would want to take care to avoid the appearance of any sort of “holier-than-thou” attitude.

However, there are several advantages as well. A major reason is health. While one can of course eat a healthful diet incorporating meat, it is certainly easier if the meat is eliminated. While I’m in pretty good shape right now, I’d expect eliminating meat to promote even better health. As it is, my diet is naturally largely vegetarian, for health and cultural reasons. Those veggie burgers in the cafeteria are a lot more healthful than even the turkey burgers!

A second reason is animal rights. I realize that it is part of the natural order of things for predators, including humans, to consume animals. But I am also aware of many aspects of our biological and cultural heritage we no longer follow—through culture and civilization we transcend many of our evolutionary characteristics. Given today’s technology as well as the increasing availability and diversity of vegetarian food, it becomes hard for me to justify the continued consumption of animals.

A third reason is the environment. The meat industry generates more greenhouse-gas emissions than the transportation industry; switching to vegetarianism would cut carbon dioxide more than switching to a hybrid car (see TIME article). If I’m serious in my efforts to combat global warming, then I must at least consider this.

If I do this, it wouldn’t be absolute. I don’t mind, of course, if there is beef flavoring in my french fries, and if someone has invited me over for a dinner with a meat dish, that’d be all right.

But I haven’t decided yet. Do you guys have any comments?


4 thoughts on “Vegetarianism

  1. Alithair says:

    well, since it would be loose, when you have a choice in what you eat, you could go vegetarian. but if someone invited you over and had meat prepared, go ahead and eat some, just to be courteous. your idea sounds pretty good, actually. maybe i’ll adopt it too.

  2. ninjastar says:

    There is nothing like a good juicy medium rare filet mignon… or a fresh piece of sashimi or nigiri salmon on rice.I can’t do vegetarianism….meat’s just too good.But in all honesty, if it’s loose, is it really vegetarianism? Granted reduced meat eating isn’t a horrible thing… but like I said… I enjoy meat too much.Great job on the run again Deepak! Congrats!

  3. Darmok says:

    Ninjastar, you’re right, it wouldn’t technically be vegetarianism, and perhaps I shouldn’t use the term so freely—but it seems to me that “loose vegetarianism” covers the concept well. In any case, I don’t have any special need for the label “vegetarian”; in fact, I’d probably prefer it not to be obvious. Really, there are only three reasons I can think of for strict vegetarianism. One is to say that you are one. Another is to follow some moral or religious code, especially one that exists apart from a practical reason. And a third would be to avoid the temptation of returning to old eating habits.In any case, I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet long-term, though I want to at least try it for a while. Al, let me know what you decide-it’d be cool to have a partner in this. In any case, today was day 1 of being meat-less. No big deal, so far. And I can definitely use the more healthful eating—I’m at x + 11.6 pounds today, where x is a (perhaps slightly unrealistic) target weight.Thanks for the feedback guys!

  4. Jux2p0ze says:

    I say go for it.  I’d term it minimalist carnivorism or min-carn 😉  I agree with Ninjastar though, I’m too much of an omnivore…must consume everything.

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