Personal Views

Retreat from vegetarianism

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6983.880 (Published 01 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:880
  1. Mark Morris

    This is the second anniversary of my return to being a carnivore after 10 years. Being a vegetarian was one of the few student ideals that I remained faithful to since I decided to stop eating meat one day at the end of a long session at the anatomy dissection table. To some extent over the past two years I've missed the occasional taste of the moral high ground at the dinner table that some vegetarians constantly occupy, to everyone's annoyance. Looking forward to barbecues and cold meat salads this summer, I wonder why I continued to eschew animal flesh as a foodstuff for so long, even though the importance of most of the “isms” that make student life so colourful had long faded.

    My first contact with the idea was during my first Christmas holiday after starting university. I was asked to speak to another member of the family who had “gone vegetarian.” Having an interest in the biological sciences, I was expected to convince her that meat was essential for health and that, given the season, turkey was an especially wholesome food. Others had tried to bring her back to the straight and narrow with no success, but she would listen to me as I was going to be a doctor.

    It was during this discussion …

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