Anywho, without further ado:
Just to clarify, none of the following is written with a hostile tongue, please don't read it as such.
There are a few defences for meat-eating, most often, people will defend it as 'the circle of life'. This is true to a degree, however, it's simply not necessary to eat animals in this day & age. Each species has a fantastic virtue, developed in the 'survival of the fittest'. For example a Leopard its speed. Sharks the ability to smell blood from a mile away. Birds, there intuitive ability to fly in formation. (Don't mention the sloth) We should use our fantastic virtue, our conciousness (I think, therefore I am) to be above murdering other being's.
Another defence for eating meat is farming being good for the environment. This is true in the idealistic image of farming - happy pigs, rolling fields, a bloke with a stick of hay in his mouth etc, but that isn't the truth of the world. Consider the impact of capitalism on farming. If they can make the quantity of their produce bigger, their production method cheaper, & any other means to undercut their business rivals - of course, logically, they will. This has led to it's natural conclusion, demonstrated in the documentary above; The truth of modern farming is live chicken's on a conveyor belt - 'whats the most economical way to kill them?' capitalism asks; to have them catapulted into a brick wall at the end of the line, any live one's being stamped to death by steel toe capped boots. This actually happens. As if.
'It's natural to eat meat', true. But let's not pretend we are these all natural being's; Afterall, it's not natural to wipe your arse.
Oh and finally, I promise you, dinner is not boring without meat. At first it can be, when you're still stuck in the 'chicken & veg', 'sausage & mash' routine, but soon enough you'll be filling your plate with all the flavours of the world.
I think it's important for people - not necessarily to become vegetarian's - but to understand that eating meat is a choice. Be aware of you're choice when you sit down to dinner; was it worth an animal's life for you to fill your belly for an hour or two?
A great benefit I have found from being a veggy is the moment that veil drops in your mind. I remember walking along a roadside with my pal and seeing a huge billboard for McDonald's. It was a massive blown up picture of a Big Mac. That moment I saw this as no different to it being a human corpse up there, blown up big, all bloodied & battered, resting inbetween two buns, the stench of death. Anywho this was the moment the veil came down in my mind, & I saw it for what it was. I feel that vegetarianism is a pathway to feeling the interconnectedness of the whole world & the beauty that permeates. Eating meat is the closed curtain:- children don't see the connection between those chicken's in a field & those chicken nuggets on there plate. Adults don't see the connection between a rare rump steak & a bloody cows arse. But this is a beautiful thing - the moment the veil drops & you're able to feel that compassion within, to a greater extent than you've felt before. As Tolstoy put it;
"This is dreadful! Not the suffering & death of the animals, but that people suppress in themselves, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity - that of sympathy & pity towards living creatures like themselves" - Tolstoy
It helps you reckognise your own level of selfishness also - I don't mean to use this word as slander, I mean it in the true sense, how we are all selfish to some degree (the baby crying for milk, the man in a traffic jam kicking off about his right of way). Vegetarianism is simply saying i'm not cool with death for my dinner plate. It is not black & white - i've heard vege's chastised for walking on the ground incase they kill a worm, or whatever. My own level of selfishness finds it hard to extend any further passed vegetarianism. For example into being a vegan. I would love to, & have great admiration for vegans, but it's too much for me, too much of a lifestyle choice in terms of money & time spent pursuing the cause. This is where my selfishness draws the line - the simple practicality of being a veggy.
If you're interested in giving it a go, check out this great initiative set up by Paul McCartney.