I deeply admire vegetarians. Especially those who eschew hooved food not just because they hate the taste, or find it gross ("That little vein in the chicken leg pretty much d oes it for me!" says friend L.) but those who crave it, but still hold back.
There are so many good reasons to do so. It's a boon to our environment. It takes a lot of energy to grow and transport animal feed and cows and then slaughter them, more than the resulting caloric payoff. Plus the enormous amount of waste and gases the huge feedlots produce, and the trees felled and so forth to house the animals...you get the picture.
And, as the book and movie Fast Food Nation lays out so clearly, modern mass meat production is an abomindation. Cows crammed in feed lots, knee-deep in fecal matter, which ends up in ground meat all too often. Chickens pumped up with antiobiotics, stuffed so closely into cages they cannot lie down. And as my friend says, we may be natural meat eaters from way back when, but given the modern availability of different forms of protein, shouldn't we be able to rise above chomping into another sentient being?
But I can't stop. I would love to just be able to be meatless at home at at restaurants, and worry about dinner invites and travel later. And I can't even do that! Habits are indeed very hard to break; our brains get into a neural groove and basically stay there. Plus there are tons of sensory stimuli to overcome; humans are probably hard wired to hunt down and roast flesh.
But am I such a craven beast that I can't put mind over matter in such a basic way? I don't know anyone else who feels so strongly about the topic yet continues to indulge.