if i hear another person say 'i was vegetarian for ten years and then i gave up because i had a keabab and it was really nice (&cetera)' i will slash my wrists, which i found out just now really hurts, even compared to hacking at a splinter in your foot with a knife.
a little context, maybe.
you've gotta notice there's a lot of them; the apostates. is there a ten year cycle or something? why do people give up?
for a start it's not unusual. look at any rebellious character; the 'millions of retired liberals' to quote half man half biscuit, the character in 'the ragged trousered philanthropists' who converted to the right wing because he decided the proles deserved the misery they got. it's hard to stay alternative for a while when there's no support. and that's the main thing.
i believe (and that's a strong word) that reason leads to vegetarianism. i also am of the opinion (perhaps a less strong word) that we are not all blessed with reason*, or rather, that reason is not universal, or is not the ultimate deciding factor in any decision process. we are only animals of course. reason is something that happens on a neuronal level; one cannot argue with simple additions of proteins and electrical charges. to abstract it to a conscious level is almost literally playing with fire; the physics are simple, but the complexity is horrendous. so reason only plays a small part. we wish it didn't but it does. of course we want to fall in line with the unreasonable majority, and after years of trying to no avail people will revert; behavioural psychology has many examples of this. it's hard to kick against the pricks; especially when the pricks are infectious.
but fuck, we are winning. there are more veges in the west than ever before. and sometimes, i really feel like i'm at war.
i don't think that everyone who gives up meat does it based on reason. most people who became vege that i know didn't even qualify it by reason to begin with, and that includes myself. it's only in continuation that they claim it to be 'the intelligent option'. and we might watch the barbarism of ducks when throwing bread at them; so does that mean we should sink to their level? if we did, we'd hunt them to extinction like so many other creatures.
some say that 'ultimately it's a matter of taste'. but it is not a matter of taste, not when they're chopping down rainforests to plant soy crops to feed your cattle. if you are even aware of environmental issues then fucking stop eating meat. if not, then read fucking monbiot dot com - and then stop eating meat. it's the first and easiest thing you can do to reduce your carbon buzz word footprint. what's your problem?
it is so hard to keep going when no one else makes the effort. when the world is clearly doomed to suffer a massive catastrophe and there's nothing we can do about it, because fucking people. why should idiots get all the fun? why did we get cursed with the intelligence to tell right from wrong, and even worse, the knowledge that it probably won't make any fate-damned difference whatever we do?
this is where lao tzu gets it wrong. if i have not drowned, he has said, it is because i have stayed afloat by letting the currents take me. but we simply can't afford to 'go with the flow' anymore. the flow is the universal consensus of idiots - the veritable confederacy of dunces. please, don't sink to they're level - rejoice in your freedom, excericse your illusion of free will. and if swimming against the tide condemns us too, then i guess we're doomed wither way. but as alan moore makes beautifully clear in v for vendetta, dignity is all we have and it can never be stolen from us - only given away. would you rather sign the confession you didn't write, or be taken behind the sheds, raped, and shot? similarly, would you rather live by a code of ethics that were never yours, or stand up for yourself, put forward the strong argument that you believe in and see if anyone is listening? only you would ever know. but who else does it matter to?
but what it comes down to; ultimately, we are all simply vessels for memes. i am carried away by the environmentalism meme (of which vegetarianism is a consequence). it is memes that are self aware, not us. either that or we too are self aware memes (surely i am just the grilly meme!). we can work harder at spreading the memes, but that too is just a peculiarly self-aware meme. spread that one first. the meme of free-will and the meme of determinism both lead to the ultimate self-replicating meme - the meme that says we should replicate memes. only by open rational discourse can we save this planet. and the 'rational' meme is all that can save us. because otherwise, the 'celebrity big brother' meme will just trump everything.
and it works both ways, the meme-individual interaction, just like the individual-society interaction; each influences the other. and you end up in a tautology so huge you can't see it's horizon.
if what i call reason is just another meme, then what good does it do us? did i forget my nihilism? no. i know every thing's meaningless, i just don't think that's an excuse to be a dick. because people who are selfish are clearly not nihilists, they're solipsists. but maybe, yes. a true nihilist would do nothing, nothing at all. a tempered nihilist might take the easiest route to death - which may be the long slow one. but isn't nihilism too just a meaningless meme, as valid as any other? i suppose i... [unfinished paragraph]
maybe in six years i will revert to being an eater of meat. i can't say i won't. but it won't be because i suddenly realised that all the things i've outlined above are wrong. it could only be because i didn't care about them any more.
that'll do, pig.
* i don't want to claim that i hold the 'ultimate truth'. i realise that what i consider 'reason' is just my opinion. but it's a very fucking well thought through opinion, so fuck off.
sub note.. thinking back, dangerously in light of certain false memory experiments detailed in 'opening skinner's box' i think i may have always been geared towards vegetarianism; i do remember being told in infants that 'kidney' was an organ of the body, and being disgusted, although 'steak' didn't seem to have the same resonance, and i did continue to eat kidney for about 15 years after that, so i don't think it invalidates what i've said. but as much as i became a vege through subconscious decision, i can't defeat the essential premises of what i've said. maybe that's a cause and effect thing; even if it is, is my reason wrong? this peice hasn't been about my actual reason at all, more the circumstances surrounding reason. but, you know...