Vegetarian
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Joining the veggie way of life


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So...I just returned home from an extensive shopping trip in which I looked at more gluten-free, vegan-friendly, vegetarian, organic and other such foreign-looking foods for about five hours, within several different markets. I feel so lost and yet excited to be amongst so many different foods that I've never even heard of, much less can pronounce properly. Please advise me on some the roadblocks, tripper-uppers and common mistakes that are made, because I know that I will make all of them at least once lol. I'm stumbling around as a new vegetarian and I'm finding it thrilling. But I could use a little direction. I don't want to be a vegetarian who lives off of peanut butter and jellys. Thanks for any advice!

By the way: I decided to become vegetarian because I believe that it's beneficialto the environment, I've never been a huge fan of meat (thanks food poisoning in college), I see health benefits (yes, that I know are debatable by many), I believe that having a cause that I can stick to, believe in and share with my future students will be nice (be kind to the earth, not- don't eat meat) and I've recently become aware off all these wonderfully delicious sounding foods that I've been completely ignoring for years. (Where have you been all my life edamame!)

Anyway, I'm going to post this out into the abiss and muster the courage to beleive that my squabbeling deserves a response. so...thanks for any responses. I really do appreciate it.

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I'd say my main advice is to be adventurous!  There are so many amazing options out there for veg*n dishes, especially if you enjoy cooking and exploring new foods and techniques.  I'd say the most common mistake is to rely too much on the mainstream food market for your meals.  It's an easy path to eating a lot of junky or just non-nutritious food.  I mean, really, how many restaurants serve spinach at a reasonable price??  Part of the key to being successful as a veg*n is wide variety, and it's hard to get a ton of variety unless you are providing it for yourself.  Otherwise, you tend to find one or two things that work and get stuck in a rut eating them all the time.

For me personally, growing a lot of my food has been a great part of the experience as well.  It's kind of cool to walk into my back yard and harvest my dinner.  I definitely recommend a good garden if you have the space.

Good luck to you!

I would agree. Explore! Also, do you know anyone that has been vegetarian for awhile? They could definitely help you. One of my favorite things to do is challenge myself to take a meat dish and turn it vegetarian without ruining any taste. Recently, I created a sloppy joe recipe using lentils. I also use soy meat to make my own "burgers" - i mix one pound with a pack of onion soup mix. So good! I use the same "meat" to make taco meat. Personally I love lentils, soy, and tofu. If you start from there, you can make anything !

lysistrata: Thank you for responding! I'm so excited to start exploring and I love trying new things. I'm really looking forward to discovering a new way of eating. :) I know that you say it's easy to get stuck in a rut with certain foods, but do you have any go-to quick packaged snacks or dishes for those days that are overly hectic that you could suggest? I'd really appreciate it.

I'd love to have my own garden some day! I'm thinking about creating atleast a small back porch garden until I move (which will be happening soon I hope when I get a teaching job!).

Daniellemarie54: Thank you for responding! I don't really know any long-term vegetarians. My family is comprised of big meat eaters, but I've always been a bigger fan of the side dishes the huge portions of meat they dish up. Do you have a suggestion for a certain brand of soy "meat" to buy? I'm so in the dark about these things. lol. Thanks again for your help!

look online for recipes. google "fat free vegan" and you should come up with a great site that is not only vegan, but also doesn't rely on a lot of bread products. I've posted a few recipes on my blog that I've either found and adapted from books or made up myself (www.pursuitofidlepleasures.blogspot.com click on the recipes keyword).

More and more research is pointing to meat and dairy as sources of cancer and heart disease, that's why I've (mostly) gone this route.

Good luck!

Check out "Happyherbivore.com".  She has alot of great low-fat recipes and I have enjoyed all of her recipes that I've made.

 

Original Post by jvau6524:I know that you say it's easy to get stuck in a rut with certain foods, but do you have any go-to quick packaged snacks or dishes for those days that are overly hectic that you could suggest?

I'm a pretty dedicated brown bagger most of the time.  ;)  It's really not difficult to cook some rice and stir-fry some veggies in the evening, maybe throw in some tofu (or maybe not - I'm not real committed to pretending there is something meatlike in every meal!), and have yourself some leftovers tomorrow. I'm also a huge fan of enormous pots of bean soups or curries that you can dip into.  Most soups freeze well, so you can divide them into meal-sized portions and come back to them later.

For days when I absolutely have no time to cook (and I have them, for sure; this week was one), I will fall back on things like vegetable pizza, pasta, or some eat-out spots - Mongolian grill is great, Subway has the veggie delite, Pita Pit has the falafel or hummus pitas, and most thai restaurants have plenty of options.  Even simple things like mac & cheese can be souped up.  Every once in a while I'll make mac & cheese with a couple heads of steamed broccoli thrown in.

I'm not much of a snacker, but my main snacks are definitely nuts and dried fruit. 

Hope this helps!

Just a question from a carnivore...

 

What do vegetarians think of animals that eat meat like lions, tigers, Bears, vultures, dogs, cats, snakes, ( I could go on)

Are they not being environmentally consious? Are they being cruel to the other animals?

Do you not feel just a little bit hypocritical by saying stuff like that?

 

 

Human beings have the ability of knowledgeable choices, unlike the animals you listed. There are a million arguments both ways, and I won't protect my choices for being veg here. What I will simple say is meat is not a perfect protein and in most case it causes many more issues then good. Not eating meat is the one m
Most important step in protecting our earth from harm, waste and depletion.
Original Post by kf5nhr:

Just a question from a carnivore...

 

What do vegetarians think of animals that eat meat like lions, tigers, Bears, vultures, dogs, cats, snakes, ( I could go on)

Are they not being environmentally consious? Are they being cruel to the other animals?

Do you not feel just a little bit hypocritical by saying stuff like that?

 

Do you really think that humans are the same as lions, tigers, bears, vultures, dogs, cats, and snakes?

Do you not feel just a little bit ridiculous by saying stuff like that?

Last I checked, tigers don't keep horrifying factories in which they mass slaughter their food, raise them in disgusting conditions and stuff them full of harmful additives and other lab chemicals.

 

So, no. I don't really feel "hypocritical". Worry about yourself and stop trying to make others feel bad because of what they choose to eat or not eat.

Original Post by nomatophobia:

Last I checked, tigers don't keep horrifying factories in which they mass slaughter their food, raise them in disgusting conditions and stuff them full of harmful additives and other lab chemicals.

pretty much this.

There is a huge difference between animals eating other animals in the wild-- and humans domesticating and farming animals in gigantic, artificial operations where animals are mistreated and the environment is decimated

I would agree that operations with animals should be more humane... there are species of ants that keep other insects prisoner to produce food for them. Dolphins will work in groups to drive fish to a mass slaughter. There are other examples as well.

 

The Bible tells us that we should regard the life of our animals. It gives laws for the ancient Israelites like don't eat the mother bird with her young, don't boil a calf in it's mother's milk. These are strictly humane laws given to the Jews. They would be good examples for us as well. Food animals should be treated with a degree of respect. That does not mean we shouldn't eat them.

 

I percieve a kind of squeemishness in your anwer. Man has the ability to build fences and  husband the animals we eat. That does not make it immoral or wrong in any way.

The wrong is in the lack of respect for the way you are taking that animal's life to sustain ours. The act of killing and consuming an animal is not immoral, just distasteful to those with no experience with it (myself included-I have never eaten an animal I have killed except a fish) 

You get a much higher quality of food when the animals are treated humanely. I think of dairy cows in the northeast I have heard of giving much more and higher quality milk because they have names and are treated very well.

 Cows that are pasture fed are processed into meat that is much more prized for it's taste and quality. The way you grow produce is much the same. doing it more naturally gives you higher quality and more nutrition. Most people don't see that or don't care, they just want cheap food.

I see no logic in your belief that eating animals is wrong. The wrong is in the lazy attitude that doesn't care where your food comes from.

 

 

 

 

Original Post by kf5nhr:

I would agree that operations with animals should be more humane... there are species of ants that keep other insects prisoner to produce food for them. Dolphins will work in groups to drive fish to a mass slaughter. There are other examples as well.

 

The Bible tells us that we should regard the life of our animals. It gives laws for the ancient Israelites like don't eat the mother bird with her young, don't boil a calf in it's mother's milk. These are strictly humane laws given to the Jews. They would be good examples for us as well. Food animals should be treated with a degree of respect. That does not mean we shouldn't eat them.

 

I percieve a kind of squeemishness in your anwer. Man has the ability to build fences and  husband the animals we eat. That does not make it immoral or wrong in any way.

The wrong is in the lack of respect for the way you are taking that animal's life to sustain ours. The act of killing and consuming an animal is not immoral, just distasteful to those with no experience with it (myself included-I have never eaten an animal I have killed except a fish) 

You get a much higher quality of food when the animals are treated humanely. I think of dairy cows in the northeast I have heard of giving much more and higher quality milk because they have names and are treated very well.

 Cows that are pasture fed are processed into meat that is much more prized for it's taste and quality. The way you grow produce is much the same. doing it more naturally gives you higher quality and more nutrition. Most people don't see that or don't care, they just want cheap food.

I see no logic in your belief that eating animals is wrong. The wrong is in the lazy attitude that doesn't care where your food comes from.

 

 

 

 

It's rather presumptious of you to assume that somebody you don't know doesn't know or doesn't care about where their food comes from.

Personally, it seems to me that somebody who admits they have never killed their own meat while insisting that how you kill the meat makes all of the moral difference, is the one being a little lazy about forming their opinions.

 

I percieve a closed and foolish mind with no wllingness to face the facts....

 

Since I am not looking for a fight instead of a discussion... That is all I will post on this thread..

 

Original Post by kf5nhr:

I would agree that operations with animals should be more humane... there are species of ants that keep other insects prisoner to produce food for them. Dolphins will work in groups to drive fish to a mass slaughter. There are other examples as well.

 

The Bible tells us that we should regard the life of our animals. It gives laws for the ancient Israelites like don't eat the mother bird with her young, don't boil a calf in it's mother's milk. These are strictly humane laws given to the Jews. They would be good examples for us as well. Food animals should be treated with a degree of respect. That does not mean we shouldn't eat them.

 

I percieve a kind of squeemishness in your anwer. Man has the ability to build fences and  husband the animals we eat. That does not make it immoral or wrong in any way.

The wrong is in the lack of respect for the way you are taking that animal's life to sustain ours. The act of killing and consuming an animal is not immoral, just distasteful to those with no experience with it (myself included-I have never eaten an animal I have killed except a fish) 

You get a much higher quality of food when the animals are treated humanely. I think of dairy cows in the northeast I have heard of giving much more and higher quality milk because they have names and are treated very well.

 Cows that are pasture fed are processed into meat that is much more prized for it's taste and quality. The way you grow produce is much the same. doing it more naturally gives you higher quality and more nutrition. Most people don't see that or don't care, they just want cheap food.

I see no logic in your belief that eating animals is wrong. The wrong is in the lazy attitude that doesn't care where your food comes from.

 

 

 

 

Thankfully, we are not ants and we are not dolphins. We are human beings capable of building large fences, beautiful pastures and raising animals humanely. But we don't. Mainly because of money and greed and because most people don't really care what happens to an animal before it gets to their buffet plate.

If you really want to bring the bible to the table, alright. But I'm not religious and even if I was, I wouldn't eat my grocery store chicken just because the bible tells me I should. But there are a lot of things that I wouldn't do that the bible tells me I should. But that is an entirely different discussion for an entirely different forum that isn't appropriate here.

If you want to eat chickens and cows, I'm not stopping you. I don't understand why everyone else refuses to let people eat how they want to eat without calling them hypocrites or other nasty names. What's on my plate doesn't concern you and I don't need your opinion to enjoy my kale. Live and let live. I'm not suffering, and I can make a sweet potato or mushroom taste better than any steak I've ever eaten. It's what I like, it's what I choose. Who are any of you to judge that? If anything, it just means more prime rib and buffalo wings for you. 

I have a friend at work who is consistently criticizing my lunch because it's not like his greasy cheeseburger or pepperoni pizza. He gives this argument: "You know, if we were in the midst of the apocalypse, you would be have to catch squirrels for your dinner to survive." That's absolutely true. If I had to catch and kill my own food, I would definitely be out in the wild hunting squirrels. Hand me my fork for delicious apocalypse squirrel stew. Thankfully, we aren't in the apocalypse and I have the luxury of choice. And until farming methods are more humane, I choose not to partake. 

I'm not opposed to eating animals. I'm opposed to what we do with them before the die. It's horrendous and doesn't need to be that way. I donate to farms that are being humane, I wish more people would, and I wish it was cheaper to do this everywhere. Until it is, leave me to my rabbit food and keep your negative opinions to yourself. 

 

 

Original Post by kf5nhr:

I percieve a closed and foolish mind with no wllingness to face the facts....

 

Since I am not looking for a fight instead of a discussion... That is all I will post on this thread..

 

Bye bye!

Wow, this discussion got a little off track.

I'm not vegan, vegetarian in any way.  BUT, I have read that beginning vegans, vegetarians, etc, usually do not get enough protein.  So, please, make sure you get protein in the form of beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, or however.

Enjoy this article:

http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm

#20  
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If I ate pizza, pasta, mac n' cheese and snacked on nuts and dried fruits, I'd be 400 pounds in a heartbeat.  My hats off to you for being able to eat those foods in a controlled manner while keeping your weight down.

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