There’s a question that everyone eventually asks me. Sometimes it’s approached gently. Sometimes it’s brusk. But it always comes up: “Why are you a vegetarian?” People often ask it with a sorta befuddlement, as if I’ve decided to forego life’s only pleasure.

Today, I thought I’d put the answer down on digital paper just so I can have it all organized in my mind next time it comes up, but also to casually invite others to join me in vegetarianism.

Now, you may have reads that last sentence and said to yourself, “I could never live without meat, don’t try to change me!” Alright, that’s fine. I don’t wanna change you. Just like… keep an open mind, read on, and know you can always tell me I’m wrong point by point in the comments. Here are my reasons why I’m a vegetarian:


Did you know vegetarians live six to nine years longer than their meat eating counterparts? You may scream, “Correlation, not causation!” And you’d be right. But, vegetarianism seems to have some sort of virtuous cycle associated with it, so why get in that cycle? I want that six to nine extra years. I’ll down some broccolini purely for selfish reasons.


This is why I first went vegetarian when I was a kid. I love animals. I think if you’re on board with the premise that animals are capable of pain and suffering, you should consider how much pain and suffering the food system causes to animals, and how much suffering you’re willing to indirectly cause in any given meal.

I’m not saying meat-eaters have blood on their hands, but at the very least meat eaters are somewhat complicit. I don’t think one should have to do EVERYTHING one can do to end animal suffering, because that would probably be fire bombing meat manufactures or something. But, I think one can do something.

“But Meat is so Good!” Is it Really?

How much meat do you eat that’s real high quality delicious grade A meat? Really think about it. Inventory the last week or two. How often is it just factory farmed, ground up, hormone injected, unknown quality bullshit, that was just shoved in a torta so they could charge you an extra two bucks. If you’re like the vast majority of people, you’re not eating a ton of high quality meat. So how good is meat really? Do you enjoy every meal with meat in it as much as the last? Probably not. Probably because it’s not great meat!

Easier at Restaurants

There’s this thing called choice overload, and the idea is basically, when we’re presented with too many choices, making any choice becomes harder. Menus often have more than enough choices, and sometimes deciding is hard. For me, when I’m at restaurants first thing I do is scan the menu and just eliminate any options with meat. I’m left with usually 3 or 4 choices. Then, it’s pretty easy to decide what I’d like based on what’s left.

Also, it’s been studied and shown that when people have more choices, their expectations are less frequently met, and they’re more frequently dissatisfied. Think of it like this, “There’s were many options, I should have been able to find one that is absolutely perfect for me.” But, an absolutely perfect option is rarely the case.

The Planet

Turns out all the resources that go into mass producing meat isn’t great for the planet. Meat production requires insane amounts of water, fossil fuel, and soil. It also contributes significantly to global warming. Again, maybe I don’t need to do EVERYTHING I can do to fix global warming, but some of the things are probably good.

Fuck Defaults

Ok, so everyone else eats meat. Why? Because their parents did? Why did they? Probably because it was served. Why was it served? Who fucking knows?

Defaults aren’t always the best option. Reconsider them whenever possible.

Cause You Can Cheat WHENEVER

Here’s the thing, you can stop eating meat, and then just eat meat. It’s not an irreversible life choice. If you’re with a nice Italian family that’s insisting you eat their freshly cured prosciutto di parm, and you’re in a new country for the first time so you feel like you should try it, and you really don’t wanna be rude, but you’re like wait I don’t eat meat, you can be flexible in that moment and just eat meat. I can say that because, I DID IT. Was that giving up everything I stood for in that moment? No. I just felt like it would please that nice Italian family who opened up their home to us, and I wanted to make them happy by enjoying their food. And it was fine.

Or if you go vegetarian and you happen to go by a restaurant that you know has the best food ever, and you just need their burger, you can eat that burger, and the world will keep spinning. This is another situation I know from personal experience.

Ultimately I think you should eliminate meat if you can, but it doesn’t have to be a hard and fast rule that deprives you of any joy. If anything, just consider trying to cut back on meat:

Reduce Meat

Honestly, I don’t care if you become a vegetarian. I think you should. I think there are plenty of compelling reasons to go for it.

But, if it’s still not compelling enough, I’d wonder if it’s compelling enough to consider reducing meat. Like, say hey, I’m not gonna eat meat before 4 PM. Or, hey, I’m only gonna eat meat that costs more than $10 (that’s a rule going for eating only higher quality meat). Or even, I think I’ll just eat meat on the weekend. Those would be huge steps for your health, for the ANIMALS, and for the earth. A simple heuristic would probably change your whole meat eating life and probably be better in the long run.

Try it. You’ll like it. Disagree in comments.

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