I've never been a vegetarian- I've always eaten fish and seafood. However, it's been 10 or 11 years since I stopped eating birds and mammals. (Anything else I'll try at least once.)
I don't eat birds and mammals mostly because of the way our food animals are treated while they're being grown; I've no moral problems with the actual eating of animal flesh. In that same vein, I don't care what kind of animals are eaten, either. Dogs, cats, horses, snakes, frogs, whatever. I eat fish and seafood because the farming/catching of them doesn't so obviously torture them. Maybe I just don't believe their pain is as acute as those of a battery-farmed hen or a veal calf.
More and more recently, though, I think about starting to eat all kinds of meat again.
As long as the meat comes from happy animals, I don't theoretically have a problem with it. At home, I can control this by buying carefully; there's lots of ethically-farmed meat available. (For Pete's sake, the cat eats chicken that's been raised under the watchful eye of the RSPCA!) (Not that watchful, obviously, says The Limey.)
Outside the house, I'll probably keep more or less to the same eating habits I'm doing now. I'm certainly not going to start eating mammals and birds just to eat chicken mayonnaise sandwiches from Boots. Restaurants are easy as well. If they don't say clearly how and where they source their meat, I'll stick with the vegetables.
My problem is what to do when I'm a guest at other people's houses? Obviously, it is rude to say, Yes, I do eat beef, but yours isn't good enough for me. And I refuse to lie about it. (Just as I refuse to say I'm a vegetarian to make my life easier- fish are animals, too.) For instance, The Limey's mother really tried very hard to make sure there was lots of choice for me at Christmas dinner. She wouldn't have done it, and I certainly wouldn't have asked her to do so, if I ate turkey and bacon and sausages. But if it was noticed that I didn't eat them, there would probably be some awkward scenes.
Any ideas from y'all wonderful readers?