I nevertheless made the effort to try and understand the mind-set of a vegetarian.
I can see for instance why one might treat the idea of eating red meat with revulsion. One can develop an attachment to a mammal, particularly if its raised from an early age. Cattle and pigs especially can be friendly creatures. In fields, they will often come up to the gate to greet you. Sheep on the other hand stare at you passively and zombie-like, then continue to graze as if oblivious to their own existence. And leaving aside the welfare the animal in question, there is also the welfare of one’s arteries and heart at stake here. No pun intended.
Fish, however is a different story. To my knowledge it’s impossible for a human to have any emotional bond with a fish. OK, there are ethical reasons, such as principled opposition to overfishing, but if one boycotts certain threatened species this problem is solved in one fell swoop. The health reason argument here is a no-brainer. OK, then lead and mercury contaminants in polluted seas enterig the food chain is a valid point, but think of the essential omega 3 oils and various vitamins, etc you get from oily fish like mackerel and herring.
Despite all this, I certainly eat less meat than I used to. Ironically though I am making a conscious effort to eat more fish. I’ve even started to use vegetarian mincemeat substitute for spaghetti bolognese. It’s nowhere near as good as the real thing of course, and lacks in taste, but at least it’s filling. I’ve also got into salads more.
So while I would admit that vegetarianism can be quite a noble pursuit in the interests of health and ethical concerns my problem is that roast lamb or beef, good quality ham or bacon just tastes too damn delicious to give up.
In order to be a committed vegetarian it probably helps immensely if you don’t like meat in the first place.
So while I could never envisage becoming a full time vegetarian (unless for health reasons I was forced to), I still feel it does no harm to reduce one’s meat consumption to a minimum.