I’m no vegetarian. I’ve confessed my love of meat before, not as virtue but simply a fact of preference and of my complete inability to conceive of a meatless kitchen.
Ten years ago I read a thoughtful but unconvincing book on the theology of vegetarianism. The argument was that a vegetarian diet is God’s plan for humankind and that my surrender to that truth is part and parcel of my full conversion: ‘Clearly, carnivorous eating is a mockery of all that God works toward and desires.’
With apologies to all of my more virtuous friends, I couldn’t come at it then and I can’t now. My grease smeared fingers are well and truly in my ears. I’ve decided to like Adam Gopnik’s perspective instead:
‘Evangelical vegetarianism … is closer to the Shaker prohibition on sex that it is to the abolitionist war on slavery: it does not ask us to be better than we have been. It asks us to be other than we are.’
Adam Gopnik, The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food, London: Quercus, 2011, 136.