Vegetarians who aren't vegans
I like meat. I like stroking the cold steel teeth of a steak knife into a lukewarm medium porterhouse and watching the cowsome juices ooze out.
When I was a wee small boy I was almost a vegetarian. I ate white chicken meat sometimes, because I liked the taste, but I ate the corpses of no other creatures. Animal flesh is unpredictable. It has tendons, fat, gristle and brown bits. You really don't know quite where you are with meat, even with a chicken breast, but the taste of chicken kept my eyes from migrating rabbitlike to the sides of my head. As I grew older I learned to let go and plunge into the unpredictable, dirty, gorgeous world of meat-eating.
Nevertheless, I can understand where vegetarians-by-gut-reaction are coming from. There are good reasons not to trust meat, and though humans have been omnivores for millions of years, you can eat a balanced vegetarian diet if you plan it intelligently. Vegans too: veganism seems to be the logical extension of vegetarianism. Animal byproducts are just as unpredictable as meat itself, and I can understand the principle of veganism, of not wanting to parasitise any animal.
What I cannot understand is the hypocrisy of people who claim to be vegetarians-by-principle and yet still eat eggs and drink milk.
A vegetarian-by-principle would not countenance eating the flesh of a chicken. A fertilised hen egg has all of the ingredients that would make a chicken: only three weeks and a little maternal warmth are needed to create something that a vegetarian would not point a knife at, from something that they would readily munch. And yet a non-vegan vegetarian eats an egg and feels no pang of conscience.
The same goes for milk: I have seen vegetarians guzzle gallons of milk without the merest blush, blithely denying the fact that, but for a little sunlight and a two-month maturation period, that milk would become a cow. Every schoolboy knows that "a mug of milk makes a moo-moo", i.e. that 500 ml of milk, deposited by a mature female cow into a trough, will become, with the aid of the sun's kindly rays (through a process known as "curdling") a baby cow. How then can a vegetarian drink a glass of milk and not consider his or her self to be a child murderer?
Some people are no more rational than baboons, who have wicked faces and strangely coloured arses.