I eat it anyway, because I have to.
The selfish part of me isn't sad that I have to eat meat, because meat is delicious, and banh mi is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. I have had a couple stretches of not eating meat, and they were complete disasters.
The first time was accidental: I stayed 3 weeks at San Francisco Zen Center, which doesn't serve meat at all. The food was good at the time--it varies depending on which student has been placed in charge of the kitchen, a position so important that Dogen wrote his most famous essay about it--so I didn't really miss meat. After maybe a week and a half, though, I was chatting with a resident, and I commented that I felt like my energy level had been ticking steadily downward.
"Oh, yeah," she said. "You need a hamburger. I need to duck out periodically to go eat meat somewhere."Off I went to Rosamunde Sausage Grill, and I felt better after the first bite.
The second time, I was farther in to Zen practice, and felt very keenly that I should stop eating standard urbanly-available meat, because it's really just a catastrophe for the planet, and unspeakably cruel to the animals. I figured I'd try it for a month and see how it went. I ate what seemed like pounds and pounds of lentils and beans, though I also wasn't really eating cheese or butter at the time.
I was running every other day, and after a couple weeks I suddenly realized that running had been getting harder and harder. My legs felt like they were made of lead, my muscles had no bounce-back; things I would expect every so often, but not every time. After 3 weeks, I ate some kind of meat thing, and again felt better immediately.
Now my body's all horked up and weird--or rather, it's mostly normal for the first time ever, but only with the aid of medication--and experiments in vegetarianism are out of the question, especially because the kind of energy issues I've dealt with for the past couple years feel suspiciously like those times I wasn't eating meat. It's sort of sad, though.
Maybe "cultured meat" will save the day.