I have recently become a fish eating vegetarian. I don’t know how it happened, I just seemed to fall into it. It certainly wasn’t a moral choice based on animal cruelty, nor was it a protest against global warming. I don’t recall giving it a whole lot of thought, although I have to say, the idea has appealed to me for a long time. I guess having decided a while ago to not eat pigs and wanting only to eat free range chickens, there must have been a burgeoning sympathy with animals brewing, but I really hadn’t explored it.
The trigger came recently and as it often does, as a result of observation and experience. We were staying in the home of a close family member who had adopted this way of eating and we ate what they ate because we had no choice. There were no lectures on the virtues of vegetarianism or discussion of animal cruelty (which was their motivation). What I discovered, quite incidentally, was that the food was really appealing to me, more so than my regular diet. Not only that, I felt good after eating it.
So I guess my motivation can best be defined as self interest. But wait, surely I can tweak something noble from this revelation. Yes I can. I just watched a show called Talking Heads, a one on one interview program with people of note as guests. Today’s guest was Christine Townend, the amazing woman who started Animal Liberation. During the program video was shown of agribusiness in action. It was horrifying…as I was watching I was thinking ‘oh, what a great decision I have made!’
Yes all well and good, except another more persistent, disconcerting voice was saying ‘why has it taken me so long…where have I been?’ The answer, right here with my head in the sand, not willing to face the reality of where my food was coming from and worse, how it came to be in that clean polyurethane tray, wrapped in that clean clear plastic.
Conclusion: Although I can’t hijack animal cruelty as the motivation for changing my eating habits, I am glad I have. Also, in the future I hope I keep a closer, more discerning eye on the world around me than I have in the past.