First, I am not a vegetarian. While I do like the idea of becoming a vegetarian, I simply like meat too much. In addition, I have a high metabolism and plant proteins have done little to alleviate this. I need at least a small amount of meat to make me feel full. This actually hits me hard on meatless Fridays. While I like the idea, my stomach has a harder time with it. I am glad I can at least have fish but fish even gets tricky some days. Thankfully, the Vatican does make allowances for people with health concerns. So, while I certainly support reforms in our meat industry (organic meat, better treatment of animals, sanitary and humane slaughter practices) and believe that we all should eat healthier, I do not see myself joining the ranks of vegetarians. I think some vegetarians should keep aware of metabolic differences and tastes of their omnivore colleagues (as well as remember that they too are omnivores by virtue of biological structure). It's not like we wake up and scream, "I love the smell of death in the morning!"
Second, I have a hard time with people who think their way is the only right way. Aside from basic morals and ethics, as well as the laws of our countries (unless they prove unjust to people), there are many gray areas we face in terms of moral and ethical decisions. Whether it's our path to religious salvation, methods of fertility control, whether elephants or donkeys make one a great politician, or which animal is OK to eat on which day, human beings will never agree on these gray areas. A Muslim girlfriend of mine may feel called to protect her modesty via a head covering while jeans and a T-shirt may suffice for me. Likewise, I may have to attend Mass on Sundays, to fulfill my requirements to God but my Jewish friend does not. Our cultures, climates, legal systems, and beliefs may mandate different things for different peoples. I believe vegetarianism is one of those things.
Fight for a healthier world. Fight for fair treatment of animals, whether used in meat or not. Just please accept that my strategies may be different and that my needs may be different. A love of meat does not make one a brutal killer. Just like vegetarianism does not mean you're helping the environment (please tell me you don't fly private jets to make your point to developing nations...............while you criticize people who dare smoke a cigarette.......).
Now, I must finish this post so that I can attend a PETA meeting. What does PETA stand for? People for the Eating of Tasty Animals, of course! Bring on the meatballs!