I am not a vegetarian. I know factory farming and the meat trade are cruel to animals and to people made to inflict cruelty on them, and do environmental damage, greater than that from arable farming; and I recognise that it is good to reduce demand for meat, and that I can do that. I craved meat after eating vegetarian meals, before, and that may be something to do with being accustomed to it, or to the balance of the meal- more recently, I have not craved meat. I know some people become revolted by meat, and that is possible for me. I like the taste and other sensations of eating meat.
I would need to do more work to become vegetarian. I would need to learn new recipes, and probably some information on balanced diets which I have not really looked in to. The omnivorous ape can get by on all sorts of weird diets.
I am not aspiring to be a vegetarian. That is a moral position which I judge would involve greater work towards it than I am doing now. It seems to me that I make decisions other than by such conscious means. Consciously, I might say that I want to be a vegetarian- but then, why am I not already? Because I see problems with it. I may never advance any further towards that goal. As I do not know whether I will advance further, I cannot say that I aspire to vegetarianism. However last year I started buying filled pasta without meat, rather than filled pasta with meat, and this year I started frying mushrooms more. I have two or three meat free days a week, except when I don’t. I may eat more meat in the winter.
I love the word “velleity”- it is a desire so weak you never act on it. I never got round to hang gliding, and probably never will.
I am not a writer. I might be writing my book, right now- I pour out words, I refine ideas, and I have written over a million words here, but I might never distil them down to 70,000 for a book, or have any way of organising them into a coherent argument or narrative. I don’t really have a conception that I like or accept of what that might look like. So I am left with something like Casaubon’s notes for his Key to all Mythologies.
I have a small pile of magazines in a book case, which have words by me in them.
Your transition may be going something like this. Your dress sense and makeup skills get better, you go out regularly as your true self, but you have not yet gone round a supermarket dressed female. You are experimenting with telling people, but have not told anyone at work. You know what you must do and possibly at some time you will do it, but you have not yet. You could make a timetable for yourself, perhaps. What about starting beard removal? Have you seen a psychiatrist yet?
It would be reassuring to make stories about these things, but all I have is the evidence of what I have done, and the failure of stories I had before. I am not the adventurous hang-glider. Or, I could hold contrasting stories in my mind- “I aspire to being vegetarian”. “I am aware of difficulties in being vegetarian, and with other difficulties in my life and my way of approaching difficulties I am not working on them right now.” Or possibilities- I may reduce meat consumption, I could explore other meals I could enjoy. Who am I now? I don’t know, or not in the way of these reassuring word-pictures, which disappoint so when they turn out to be wrong.
Of course I desire to be vegetarian. I would not be writing about it here if I did not, or even if I thought there was no chance of it. Nothing is certain.