Except for a brief period in my idealistic youth when I became a vegetarian, I’ve enjoyed eating meat. I enjoy the taste, the texture, the smell of meat of all kinds. I’ve eaten game I’ve shot when I used to hunt. Dove, pigeon, quail, deer, rabbit, squirrel.

For most of my existence, I have lived with the knowledge of the problems this practice presents: health, environmental, and moral problems. Most of the time I’ve been able to push these issues into the background so that I could continue to enjoy eating animals without conflict. I think we all live with some level of cognitive dissonance in order to get by in the world because it’s more convenient.

We drive cars that pollute. Even electric cars use power that is still mostly derived from coal and other horrible sources. We kill bugs and plants and animals we consider to be pests. I once read a fable about a monk who tried to live without harming another living thing. He only at fruits, vegetables, and nuts picked from plants and trees. He was careful where he walked so as not to crush bugs. He never bathed so as to avoid killing the mites that lived in his hair. He was devastated to learn that just by breathing his body killed bacteria.

I don’t have an answer or a path to living a more pure life. Do you?