But I am human, which is to say imperfect and complicated, as sensitive to social pressure and conflicting desires as anyone else.
And one night last summer, I agreed to join my family at a restaurant where I knew they would be ordering meat.
Some of the people I would be dining with live far away and I see them infrequently, and I wanted badly to see them as much as I could for the short time they were in town.
So I went.
But as the waiter took orders for veal and chicken and fish, I realized I could not stay there.
"I'm sorry," I told them. "I really can't do this," and I got up, walked to another table, and had my meal by myself.
Getting up from that table, walking the 30 or 40 steps across the restaurant, and turning my back on people I love was much harder than walking into prison.
It required more boldness than defending property destruction and more confidence than taking on evil corporations.
Similarly, shattering the veneer of consensus in order to make impertinent points about violence against animals will require much more bravery than marching in step with the drums of animal welfare.