I dabbled in vegetarianism for over 15 years. My previous record was eighteen months. Then, for about nine months, I was an "at home" vegetarian; I would not have any meat at home, but I allowed myself meat in restaurants depending on where I ate & what the menu options were. Even when I was an omnivore, most of my favourite restaurants were vegetarian. Currently, I am borderline vegan: I have a weakness for Ben & Jerry's ice cream in the summer. I have tried the vegan dairy alternatives but they do not satisfy me as much. Besides that, I am otherwise vegan. I am also careful about what products I purchase & make sure they have not been tested on animals. Having said that, I usually describe myself as "vegetarian." It's easier than the lengthy explanation I just offered. I have been a vegetarian since May 2, 2008. That was the day my beloved dog, Arrow, was put down. he was 13 & 1/2 years old at the time. He had trouble walking, was partially blind and had cysts on his body. I held him in my arms as he was put down. It broke my heart. Watching him die, I made the connection. I never wanted to be responsible for another animal dying. I saw all animals as equal. The epiphany I had when Arrow died was that if I had to go out & kill what I ate, I could never do it. If I was incapable of taking the life of an animal, then I had no business eating one ever again. When I was an omnivore, I usually bought skinless, boneless chicken. When it's packaged and chopped up, it was easy to not think of it as an animal. So, I became a vegetarian to never be responsible for another animal dying. I also see it as a way of honouring Arrow's memory. Perhaps, it's also good "doggie karma." The way I see it, Arrow is more likely to make friends with cows, ducks, chickens, turkeys and other animals in "Pet Heaven" if they know his guardian doesn't eat their brothers & sisters anymore.