Author Jonathan Safran Foer says that for people, including himself, going vegetarian is a lot like Mark Twain described quitting smoking.
“Mark Twain said that quitting smoking is among the easiest things one can do; he did it all the time. I would add vegetarianism to the list of easy things. In high school I became a vegetarian more times than I can now remember…”
Whether you’re trying to go vegetarian, vegan, or flex the process can result in multiple attempts to “get it right” whether the failings are brought on by cravings, environment, financial issues or pure convenience.
The strictest of vegetarians would like to call anyone who even ingests the occasional animal byproduct no longer vegetarian, but is that the best approach to take?
Jonathan gives his take on alternet.org:
“But I wonder if more of the difficulty doesn’t come from the ways that we talk and think about change. When it comes to meat, change is almost always cast as an absolute. You are a vegetarian or you are not. It’s a strange formulation, and it’s distracting. (Those who profit from animal suffering and environmental destruction want us to think in dichotomies, rather than practical realities.) Imagine someone asking you, “Are you an environmentalist or not?” For most of us, caring about the environment isn’t an on-off switch, but a set of daily choices that we try to respond to as best we can. I buy energy-efficient products, and turn off lights when leaving a room, and recycle and so on. But I also fly on airplanes. Does my occasional flying completely undermine my identity as someone who cares and tries? Should I, faced with my inability to live consistently, make no efforts to live better?”
Is being a vegetarian a continuous “process” that none of us should expect to get 100% correct?
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