image: wood

I decided as a youth to be pessimistic, and as part of that would eat and drink as unhealthily as possible: so I became a vegetarian and vowed to drink a couple of pints of beer every day. Events have completely ruined this life plan—eating veggie has become dangerously healthy, and even drinking two pints or beer a day adds years onto life. What hope is there for pessimism?

Ok, so there is the ethical issue as well—I believe that animals may be conscious, so, while I have a choice, I prefer not to take part in the shortening of their experience of life. Of course, it’s a subjective decision; I have as much proof of the consciousness of animals as I do of the unconsciousness of plants, indeed as I do of the consciousness of anyone or anything but me.

Being a veggie is easy over here; every restaurant and pub has veggie items on the menu. Even in my early days as a veggie (18 years ago now, Gordon Bennett), it would have been difficult were it not for the vast number of Indian (read Bangladeshi) restaurants dotted all over the country.

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