Beef. It’s what’s for dinner; at least in my house, as I am proud to declare my membership in the omnivore club. It’s not as if red meat is on the menu every night. But in my home a steak never goes uneaten and neither does chicken, fish or pork.

First off, let me begin by saying that I have nothing against vegetarians, as many of my friends and family are of that dietary persuasion. It’s militant vegetarians that amuse me.

They’re the ones that sit there and give me grief about the steak burrito I’m enjoying as they light up a cigarette. What about that crap you’re putting in your body and the amount of taxes you have to pay for that privilege?

The anti-meat proponents make some funny arguments. My favorite is the costs and consumption of raising one head of cattle to make one pound of beef. In terms of water, feed, land, energy and human labor, the costs keep piling up until you have a figure close to that of the national debt.

The mad cow disease phobia is the one anti-meat groups always launch to attack the meat industry. The possibility of getting this disease is excessively low. How many people do you hear about coming down with mad cow disease? Not many.

Vegetarians give props to hunter-gatherer societies of the past as true agrarian reformers. Let me remind you that the first word in the description of those societies is “hunter,” and I’m sure they didn’t hunt vegetation. Meat has been on the menu for humankind even before humans learned to make fire. This means that meat was eaten raw – so you could say that beef tartar was a staple since the early days.

All militant vegetarians that have tried to lecture me on the evils of eating meat have one thing in common: They wear Birkenstocks. While originally made in Germany and now in Novato, Calif., they consist of leather and it is a fact that leather doesn’t come from trees, not even in Novato. At least my consuming an animal is for nutritional purposes, not sporting it around on my feet like some kind of damned trophy. Might as well hang the cow’s head on your wall while you’re at it.

Some vegetarians are a very sensitive kind of folk. They took offense to those Jack in The Box commercials with the football team called “The Carnivores,” which were pretty humorous. Veggies didn’t think so. I’m not a Jack in The Box fan, but the commercials are funny. My guess is that the lack of true protein can make you miserable and lack a sense of humor.

My respect goes to vegans. They eschew anything made from animal products, even in the everyday products they use. It takes a lot of time and research to figure out what does or does not contain animal products, almost to the point of obsession. That’s good and cute and all, but it is just way too much work for me. I have better things to do, like enjoying a medium-rare steak.

I tried vegetarianism once. I nearly died. Cuts wouldn’t heal, colds lingered, constant fatigue plagued me and that’s just some of the more pleasant effects. My doctor said I was an idiot. My mom wanted to commit me to an institution. My friends called me a moron. I looked like an Auschwitz survivor.

For three months I went through this self-imposed regimen of no meat products, and then, one day, my body said screw this; enough is enough. The Outback never looked so good! That 16-ounce medium-rare steak was the best thing I’ve ever had. I was back and my body was happy to be well-fed.

Some of us are cut out to be of the vegetarian persuasion. That ain’t me. Blame it on culture, society, upbringing or whatever. If it’s cooked right, I’ll eat it.

So if you see me enjoying some sort of meat product, spare me the lecture and let me eat in peace. But if a sermon you must give, then be forewarned that some of my ancestors were cannibals. If you decide to pester me with an anti-meat lecture and there’s a cooking fire nearby, don’t be surprised if you find yourself on my plate the next go-round. Bon app