About a month ago, Jonathan showed me a video about how badly the animals we eat are treated. There was no point in making myself sick watching it, I felt, if I was certain I wouldn’t consider taking action as a result. The logic was: I already know these animals suffer horribly, so I won’t be learning much. If watching it won’t change my behavior, then the sole result of watching will be to make me feel bad, which isn’t helpful to anyone. So I refused to watch it.

Oddly enough, I couldn’t put it out of my mind afterwards. Fair enough, I know about the mistreatment, the knowledge is already there, so the video wouldn’t make a difference in my behavior. But why isn’t the knowledge itself making a difference?

I started examining my reasons for discarding vegetarianism outright. Mostly, I like to train and need to keep my energy up. I find it easy to eat a protein-rich diet by including meat. I worry about missing nutrients. A little summary research easily dispelled these worries.

Also, when shopping for the new condo, I had a few arguments with my mother, baby-boomer with a vengeance, where she attacked my decision to live in the city so close to neighbors. I defended it on the ecological grounds that it would be untenable for everyone to live the suburban bungalow life, where a relatively large swath of land is taken up by relatively few people, and a car is required just to reach a decent video store. But meanwhile, I couldn’t escape the conclusion that a similar argument can be made against meat-eating. That is, since many more resources are used to produce 1000 calories of meat than of grain, it’s untenable for everyone to eat meat daily.

But most importantly, the more I thought about all this, the more bacon tasted like dead pig, and eggs like the forced output of unhappy, half-mad hens. And then fate dealt my inner carnivore a final blow by dropping me in Scotland and Sweden for two weeks, two weeks of non-stop meatballs, steak pies and huge slabs o’ deer. As tasty as steak pie is (and God knows, it is), my very cells were screaming for arugula by the time I reached Trudeau.

So here I am, out of arguments against being a vegetarian. There’s no question that it’s better ecologically and ethically. It’s also better for me, and being already very focused on what I eat, I should be able to easily make the small necessary adjustments to ensure I get all the nutrients I need, even to support serious fitness training. And finally, I’m kind of sick of the taste of meat right now anyway.

So I’m embarking on a little experiment, giving vegetarianism a trial run. I will eat a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet for 100 days starting October 1st. It won’t be anal no-meat-must-touch-my-food vegetarianism, but rather loose pick-the-pepperoni-off-the-pizza vegetarianism. I might not have the thanksgiving turkey, but I’ll have the stuffing.

Another ground rule: no preaching. This post isn’t an attack on meat-eaters or bungalow-dwellers, but simply a clarification of my position. I expect my loved ones to respect this decision, and in my turn I won’t preach or moralize.

100 days should be long enough to feel the effects of the change in my lifestyle and habits as much as on my body, for better or worse. It’s long enough to find it challenging, and to work through the challenges. And maybe it’s even long enough to make a tiny difference.