It's been ten years since I deliberately ate a piece of meat. It was an appetizer laced with chicken at a pool bar somewhere in Northern Virginia. When 1999 began, I did not quit eating meat in order to satisfy a New Year's resolution. I just simply stopped eating it, and the transition was pretty simple and easy. I've never had a craving that lasted for more than a minute or so.
People often ask why I'm a vegetarian. I mostly keep my responses to myself, as I don't really feel the need to justify my choice to myself. I could say that not eating red meat lowers my risk of colon cancer. I could say I find it hard to disassociate the animal from the flesh that it grew. I could tell them about the time I was visiting friends in Maryland and watching them eat crabs repulsed me. I could tell them about my vegetarian roommate Chandran who cooked delicious feasts that opened me to worlds of possibility. I could tell them that I just don't like the taste of dead things.
I don't do that, for the most part. I don't want to change anyone else's mind about it.
Vegetarianism is incredibly important to me, but I don't find the need to advertise my choice to everyone at every moment of every day. However, I did want to mark the occasion and now I have.