I am unsure when I realized that the moral arguments against eating meat and fish are compelling. It was some time after my period of being a practicing vegetarian (being in a relationship with a vegetarian). I would not be surprised if reading and teaching Coetzee's novels moved me decisively.
Thus, I admire the vegetarians.
As a non-trivial aside, I am no fan of European animal rights's movements that have for very obvious political reasons focused on ritual slaughter of animals -- practiced by unpopular, weaker, and often disadvantaged minorities -- as some of the main means of getting the message out (as opposed to taking on the much more powerful agricultural-industrial-killing complex) and thereby entrenching other very serious systematic patterns of exclusion. I am not claiming hypocrisy. But one often gets the impression that among animal welfare advocates there is not just contempt for religious minorities, but also that one happily takes advantage of other people's xenophobia in the service of noble ends. This is not to excuse cruelty toward animals, if any, practiced by religious minorities and also not to deny that religious thinkers and authorities ought to have ongoing reflection on reforming their own practices.*
Despite knowing it's wrong, I continue to eat meat and fish, albeit -- as a good bourgeois citizen -- the more expensive 'biological' and 'humane' stuff sold in the upscale farmer's market and specialty stores (with exclusive labels, etc.). I have wondered if I should describe my behavior in terms of weakness of will, or the power of (Humean) habit. Undoubtedly a bit of both. My behavior is certainly not some kind of rejection of morality or the feelings that might animate it; the idea of eating my (now long deceased) pet dog continues to horrify me. I am inclined to think, however, that my continued immoral behavior also reveals something else: that I tend to experience the pull of morality alongside other normative and non-normative pulls; some of which revolve around meals as a shared experience -- admittedly that sounds better in principle than the practice of trying to ensure that an overtired kid gets to be put to bed on time -- in which well prepared meat and fish add aesthetic, emotional, and sensual lustre to a meal. Unlike today's philosophical fashion, I am inclined to think that morality does not trump all other normative realms, so maybe my behavior is consistent with my larger normative commitments. (I am leaving aside here issues of health.) Of course, even if one were to grant my normative pluralism, it does not follow that my behavior ought to be excused.
I sometimes worry that knowing that it's wrong to eat, say, steak contributes to my pleasure of eating steak. There are guilty pleasures, after all, and it strikes me that -- given my occupation -- such guilty pleasures compensate for the cultivated tendency to 'over-think' quite a bit. I suppose akrasia can be a consequence of guilty pleasure, so maybe this should be my all things considered (that is self-deceptive) self-diagnosis. But I note that this akrasia is, then, in part philosophically induced and, oddly enough, that contributes to the pleasure.
*Coetzee's writings suggest (a point made to me forcefully by the Dutch novelist Arnon Grunberg), incidentally, that mass-industrialized killing of animals is one of the true evils of our time whereas some versions of genuine, ritualized slaughter has redeeming virtues.