(Before you read, a caveat: I’m an omnivore.)
I think most of us consider adopting the vegetarian diet, and then most of us who consider it reject it. But there is something about the vegetarian diet that I can respect: the line in the sand.
The rest of us explain our logic something like this, Vegetarianism is too extreme, too reactionary, too out of balance, too lacking in certain key minerals. Better to adopt a balanced, moderate diet, one that is not out of balance, one that is not lacking in any key minerals. Sure, a vegetarian diet will get more spinach and sweet potato, but I’ll get a proper amino acid mix. And unlike them, I won’t go overboard on the soy.
Maybe the internal dialogue even inspires some spring cleaning in your diet.
But then life happens. You have to work through lunch. The kitchen is a mess, so you elect to take the kids out to eat for dinner. You oversleep, so you get your breakfast — as well as your coffee — at 7-Eleven. One soft drink a week becomes two. Becomes three. Becomes one soft drink a day. Becomes two soft drinks a day.
Under the same forms of tiny daily duress, french fries once a week in time becomes french fries twice a day. Egg McMuffins and hash browns become a daily thing. Big Macs become a twice-daily thing. Your diet becomes even more extreme, even more reactionary, even more out of balance, even more lacking in certain key minerals than does the vegetarian diet. That is what I mean when I say vegetarians draw the line in the sand. No soft drinks, never, not ever. Not one a week. Not one a month. No french fries. No Egg McMuffins. No hash browns. No Big Macs. No, not now, not ever, never. I can respect that. The rest of us could use some of that.
There is no incrementalism in the vegetarian diet. You either are a vegetarian or you are not.
Patrick asks me how I’m going to relate this to music, and I don’t have a clue. How about this: Conor Oberst is apparently a vegetarian.
Ha! Did it. Doubting Thomas.