I am not exactly a new vegetarian; It's been almost 10 months for me. However, I am still, to some extent, deciding what my "position" is on some issues. Although I am in full agreement with anyone who says dairy is terrible, and am slowly weaning myself off cheese, I must admit that I am having a hard time convincing myself that eating shelled mollusks - clams, abalone, scallops, mussels, etc. - is wrong. I've been doing a lot of research, and it seems to me that an "animal" with no brain, face, or means of independent locomotion is not really an animal at all. IMO, this more accurately describes a plant. The animals(?) I am referring to have only one defense mechanism, which is to snap shut (or, in the case of abalone, cling more tightly to a rock), and everything I've read suggests that this is simply a reflex. Doesn't that make shelled mollusks more similar to, say, a venus flytrap than an animal? Also, shelled mollusks do not reproduce through intercourse of ANY kind; they simply release their sperm/eggs into the ocean, and eventually it comes into contact with other sperm/eggs, and falls to the ocean floor to grow. I am eager to find out if anyone can find a solid reason why it is inhumane to eat this type of creature, since I certainly don't want to cause suffering to ANY animal (but I really like scallops!). Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me with an answer.