Author Topic: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?  (Read 2165 times)

Mr stuble

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Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« on: January 30, 2017, 05:49:34 AM »
Hi all,

I have recently decided to completely eliminate red meat (Beef, Pork etc) from my diet and to have meat free days each week. I wanted to see everyone else's opinions on vegetarianism, as in my opinion, it ties in with mustachianism as it is cheaper, and environmentally friendly. I think it would be good to get everyone's 'story' on why they decided to eliminate/cut down on meat or not, in order to get inspiration and/or facts and opinions on the subject. I will start with my admittedly brief story.

I was watching Sugar Free Farm (British TV) and one of the contestants had to go into a field and hand pick the pigs, about halfway through the task he realized that the pigs he was choosing where to be sent to the slaughter to feed the contestants. I was under no illusions about how meat gets onto my plate, however something about it really struck a nerve with me and I decided I don't want to eat meat again for now.

Does anyone else have similar stories or motives for cutting out meat? Have people tried and failed? Does anyone have a good counter argument to vegetarianism? All thoughts welcome!

Thanks!

Tris Prior

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 11:46:51 AM »
I have been a vegetarian since I was 19 (I'm now 45).

I stopped eating meat in college mainly for ethical/environmental reasons. I wasn't OK with animals being mistreated and dying so I could eat - I don't recall ethically sourced meat being a thing back then, though obvious that doesn't solve the dead-animals issue - and I had a college roommate who was involved in environmental causes and explained to me how our meat-based diet is harmful to the environment. She quit eating meat and I decided to join her.

If I'm going to be totally honest, I also thought it might help me lose the weight I'd put on living in the dorms.

This ended up having an unexpected consequence, which is why I've stuck with it: Up until then, through my entire childhood and adolescence, I had been CONSTANTLY sick with whatever crud was going around. I had repeated bouts of bronchitis. I once got strep 5 times in one year. When I stopped eating meat, it was like flipping a switch. Suddenly I was almost never sick and this continues to this day. Could be coincidence, but I also felt a lot better and had more energy.

It works for my body. I know plenty of folks for whom it does NOT work, and that's cool. I don't really care what choices other people make as long as they respect my choices.

yakamashii

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 03:30:12 PM »
My wife is hasn't eaten meat for four years. It started as an ethical thing thanks to reading Fast Food Nation and watching the many documentaries about factory farming out there, and it has since morphed into a health thing. She simply feels better without meat in her diet. Since she does the lion's share of the cooking in our house, we haven't cooked meat in our house for four years. We've since stopped using cheese, dairy and sugar at home as well, and I can tell you it makes cleanup a lot easier. When I have meat at restaurants the few times we eat out each year, it's a real treat. I'm against factory farming but not against eating meat in moderation, and believe we've (let's face it, she's) done our (our) part to decrease demand for meat, because factory farming wouldn't be profitable if there weren't so much demand. Anyway, it's mainly a health thing, and we have enjoyed markedly better health since eliminating meat from the home menu.
"There isn't time -- so brief is life -- for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving -- and but an instant, so to speak, for that."

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Cole

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2017, 04:07:35 PM »
Logged on to my laptop to type this - LOL :)

I have been vegetarian for some time and recently made the switch to veganism. Honestly to me it seems the eventual logical outcome for anyone who cares about the environment, their health, and their money. It has improved my life in every way. The only thing I ever have to deal with is people who ask "how do you get protein?" and then I have to explain to them that eating a varied healthy vegan diet it is effectively impossible to become protein deficient. I follow a whole food plant based diet (watch Forks over Knives on Netflix if you don't know what this is) which cuts out nearly all processed food.

It saves me money and makes me want to eat at home because when there is only 1 option at a restaurant you are much more likely to not want to go. I was very healthy before I adopted this lifestyle with my fiance and I feel exponentially healthier now. I am in the best shape of my life and wouldn't give this up for anything.

rpr

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 04:15:44 PM »
Was born into a vegetarian family. Recently, I've switched to being vegan by giving up dairy and eggs primarily due to the fact that I cannot accept the cruelty to animals involved in factory farming. As a side benefit, I've noticed a big reduction in digestive issues such as acid reflux etc. since giving up milk.  I'd been suffering from acid reflux for more than a decade. Once I gave up milk, it seems to have gone.

Hotstreak

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 04:33:45 PM »
I've toyed with the idea but never gone through with it.  I believe the evidence that among entire populations of people, eliminating meat and replacing it with vegetable proteins will generally produce better health outcomes, is cheaper, avoids animal cruelty, and may be better for the environment.  However, as an individual, I am able to make smart meat choices that accomplish most of those things and in come cases exceed them. 

For example, having cattle graze grasslands sequesters carbon in the soil, improving soil health and eliminating that gas from the atmosphere.  The meat produced by those cattle is healthier than "normal" CAFO meats, providing a wide variety of highly bioavailable nutrients.  It provides large amounts of protein with minimal carbohydrates, which is difficult to duplicate with foods like beans that have quite a few carbs.  A low-carb diet is beneficial for my health and longevity.  I avoid any personal ethical dilemmas by eating this way - these animals are raised in a natural way and are killed with much less pain or suffering than they would ever experience in the wild.  Meat is obviously more expensive than whole vegetable proteins, but I am okay with this expense (and work to limit it).  All of the benefits I described also apply to properly killed wild animals, such as fish, birds, rabbits, deer, etc.

On the other side, one of the reasons a vegetarian or vegan diet turns me away is that most of the foods are grown in large farms, which often are built over the top of natural habitats.  This does not result in the death of any individual animal, but it permanently reduces their population by reducing their range.  I can't wrap my head around the idea that it's more ethical to eliminate entire local populations, as well as death of the animals like mice and rabbits that live in these fields, as a way to avoid killing a single cow which would provide me enough meat for over two years.

rpr

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 06:32:29 PM »
I've toyed with the idea but never gone through with it.  I believe the evidence that among entire populations of people, eliminating meat and replacing it with vegetable proteins will generally produce better health outcomes, is cheaper, avoids animal cruelty, and may be better for the environment.  However, as an individual, I am able to make smart meat choices that accomplish most of those things and in come cases exceed them. 

For example, having cattle graze grasslands sequesters carbon in the soil, improving soil health and eliminating that gas from the atmosphere.  The meat produced by those cattle is healthier than "normal" CAFO meats, providing a wide variety of highly bioavailable nutrients.  It provides large amounts of protein with minimal carbohydrates, which is difficult to duplicate with foods like beans that have quite a few carbs.  A low-carb diet is beneficial for my health and longevity.  I avoid any personal ethical dilemmas by eating this way - these animals are raised in a natural way and are killed with much less pain or suffering than they would ever experience in the wild.  Meat is obviously more expensive than whole vegetable proteins, but I am okay with this expense (and work to limit it).  All of the benefits I described also apply to properly killed wild animals, such as fish, birds, rabbits, deer, etc.

On the other side, one of the reasons a vegetarian or vegan diet turns me away is that most of the foods are grown in large farms, which often are built over the top of natural habitats.  This does not result in the death of any individual animal, but it permanently reduces their population by reducing their range.  I can't wrap my head around the idea that it's more ethical to eliminate entire local populations, as well as death of the animals like mice and rabbits that live in these fields, as a way to avoid killing a single cow which would provide me enough meat for over two years.

@ Hotstreak -- Thanks for your post.

I can see that you have thought deeply about what is right for both you and the environment. I agree with you that in general plant based diets are more friendly to and sustainable for the environment than meat based ones. 

Regarding, your objection to large scale farms, you could employ the same tactic that you use in sourcing your beef to be grass fed instead of grain fed. Look for small, local farms to source most of your produce such as fruits and vegetables.  I am fortunate that I live in a tropical place so I can get lots of fruit and locally grown vegetables. Plus stuff from my small garden as well.

Personally, I'll stick to my plant based higher whole carb (60%) diet which I'm happy with and one that I can sustain for a life. I feel that it has a decent amount of protein and fat in addition to carbs.  On a plant based diet, I can go to higher fat more easily from healthier sources such as nuts, avocados,  seeds, olive oil etc. I've found that this diet really helps me a lot. At the same time, this may not be for everybody.

Recently, I have come across the blue zones project which shows a very strong correlation between eating a diet centered around plant based sources and health/longevity.  I have been intrigued by this book. I have only skimmed through parts of it and I'm waiting for it from the library.

waltworks

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 07:46:23 PM »
I was 15 and felt that it was wasteful to destroy complex things that might/might not feel pain than to destroy simpler things that definitely do not.

So I guess I've been an entropic vegetarian for 25 years...

-W

Mr stuble

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2017, 03:24:52 AM »
Thanks all, one thing that has surprised me is the amount of people who have commented on the 'health' aspect of vegetarianism. I have been a strong advocate of a paleo based diet, which seems more geared towards eating more meat, I have noticed that my energy levels have been up since I have cut down on meat. I have been replacing meat with vegetables so perhaps it is a sign I was/am deficient in some vitamins etc?

I have a couple of questions which you may be able to offer advice on as well. Do those of you who are vegans typically replace animal based foods? Such as milk replacements, or do you just find that you eat less food that requires animal products (Butter on sandwiches, milk with breakfast cereal)?

Secondly, at the moment, the only time I find myself eating meat is when it is cooked for me by someone else, for example, I go to my girlfriend's parent's house once a week, and to my mums once a week for dinner. I would feel as though I am being rude by turning down the food on offer, but would also feel like I was being difficult by pressuring them to make vegetarian dishes instead. Have any of you had similar situations? What did you do?

Thanks again for all the comments, I have been reading about vegetarianism voraciously and it seems to make a lot of sense, as mentioned above by a couple of posters. Cheers!

marielle

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 06:20:52 AM »
I went vegan a little over a year ago. I originally justified my eating meat by saying I don't really eat that much of it to make a difference, and I was also a poor college student so I would do it as soon as I graduate. Well, my boyfriend went vegan to try to lose weight...and I figured this was the excuse I finally needed even though I was still a broke college student. Found out it wasn't expensive or difficult at all. Eventually it turned into ethical reasons for him and not just health reasons. I also found out that dairy and eggs are worse ethically than the meat industry. We watched Earthlings together on Youtube. There's no going back after that.

We went on a road trip and tried dozens of vegan restaurants last year. We had the best food we've ever had and now we eat food that has more variety and more flavor than when we ate meat.

I only regularly use milk and butter substitutes, which are pretty cheap. I also occasionally make seitan, which is a great meat substitute for protein and super easy. Tofurkey sausages are a favorite of my boyfriend's, and they're only $2.99 at Trader Joe's. Other than that we don't try to substitute anything. We make a lot of bean burgers, homemade bread/buns, stir-frys, lentil soups, oven roasted veggies, hummus, etc.

As far as meals that other people make for you, that's a decision you have to make. You can't "kind of" go vegetarian and sometimes reject meat, sometimes not. If you want to be vegetarian, you have to tell everyone that you're going vegetarian and you will never eat meat again. They will be confused the first time, but after that initial change it'll be fine. You have to pick one or the other. You can't pressure people to make you vegetarian meals if you're not 100% vegetarian yet.

rpr

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 08:57:50 AM »

I have a couple of questions which you may be able to offer advice on as well. Do those of you who are vegans typically replace animal based foods? Such as milk replacements, or do you just find that you eat less food that requires animal products (Butter on sandwiches, milk with breakfast cereal)?

There are a number of choices for milk replacement such as soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, etc. Try them out. Do not expect it to taste exactly like milk. Each of these has its own unique taste. Pick one you like. Personally I prefer the taste of Soy milk.

I usually don't put butter on my sandwiches but you can get vegan spreads or even vegan mayo. Or put something like mashed avocado.

One other thing that I also gave up was breakfast cereals as most of them were pretty sugary. I have switched to making oatmeal with plenty of fruit like bananas and berries to provide natural sweetness.

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Secondly, at the moment, the only time I find myself eating meat is when it is cooked for me by someone else, for example, I go to my girlfriend's parent's house once a week, and to my mums once a week for dinner. I would feel as though I am being rude by turning down the food on offer, but would also feel like I was being difficult by pressuring them to make vegetarian dishes instead. Have any of you had similar situations? What did you do?

Thanks again for all the comments, I have been reading about vegetarianism voraciously and it seems to make a lot of sense, as mentioned above by a couple of posters. Cheers!

As for getting along with others, see the following video by Dr. Lisle.

http://esteemdynamics.org/video/getting-along-without-going-along/

It's a bit long but I like the way he puts things.

MasterStache

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 09:07:23 AM »
I dabbled in being a Vegetarian for a bit. However, it didn't work for me. I saw a significant drop in weight (good for most, but I have struggled with being "skinny" my whole life). My energy levels declined quite a bit. I just felt really bad in general. Once I incorporated some meat back into my diet, everything seemed to return to normal. However, I am not an avid meat eater and have drastically reduced my consumption. I applaud anyone who can make the change and/or has stuck with it for years.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2017, 11:57:09 AM »
I am a veggie, been so for many years. I also was vegan for a while but went back to lacto-ovo veggie. To me true-blue strict veganism just isn't sustainable or reasonable for most people today, and I found the vegan ideology of absolute extreme prohibition to actually be very damaging (there is alot of martyrdom, guilt tripping, and shaming that can occur in the vegan community - tons of pressure and feeling "not good enough"). Vegetarianism on the other hand tends to be far more flexible.

Vegetarianism has many health benefits but it should be noted that most of its benefits can absolutely be found in an omni diet as well. Veggie strengths are increased intake of fruits and veggies, and no intake of the processed meats that have been associated with certain health conditions. Notice how both of these things are not necessarily vegetarian-specific behaviors - plenty of omni people eat loads of fresh produce and avoid red or processed meats. Beware of veggie propaganda that likes to spin these behaviors into an argument for vegetarianism - as if omni eaters can't do the same things.

Downsides of vegetarianism are limited choices/flexibility in ones eating pattern, and if vegan, abnormally low levels of fat and b vitamin intake. If you are going to go all in and be mostly vegan, you really have to know what you are doing from a nutritional standpoint, take supplements, and make a concerted effort to eat lots of higher fat plant foods like avocados, olive oil, and nuts on a daily basis. Many people harp on the protein, but I found it much easier to get protein than fat in a vegan diet. Lacto-ovo vegetarians generally do not have this issue as they get alot of fat from egg and dairy. Also important to know is that sometimes the act of getting too into veggieness can be harmful for mental health - a disproportionate number of people who go veggie have mental health issues or histories of disordered eating patterns. If you already struggle with black and white thinking, self esteem, or have a history of eating issues, think carefully before committing to a diet that requires you to constantly be enforcing restrictions and measuring yourself against a benchmark of what "good" eating is. Vegetarianism won't cause these things, but being strongly drawn to the black and white restrictions of certain dietary lifestyles can be indicative of unhealthy thinking patterns. For these people, constantly living life by strict rules of what they should and shouldn't eat might be far more damaging than adopting a more flexible eating arrangement.

Based on my health background, I am not an advocate for any one style of eating, but rather think people should eat a whole foods diet with low/limited processed foods and low sugar. Refined carbs and sugar are the worst health offenders, but avoiding processed meats except as a treat is probably also important. After that though, it really is all about how you feel on your given diet. Vegetarianism can be great but only if you feel good and enjoy it - if you do not, then it isn't the right path for you. No one dietary ideology is right for everyone, so experiment and be flexible. It is totally okay to bounce around or change your mind. You can be mostly vegetarian (reductionist or flexitarian), pescetarian (only fish), any number of vegetarian (lacto only, lacto ovo, ovo only), vegan, etc. No one is "better" than the other for a given individual.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 12:22:17 PM by little_brown_dog »

birdiegirl

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2017, 03:38:21 PM »
I've been vegetarian for about 14 years now.  For me, it started with giving up red meat because I wanted to lose weight.  I was also volunteering at an avian rescue at the time and heard about the horrible conditions on factory farms from one of the other volunteers (who was probably what you'd consider an animal activist).   Decided to do my own research and was horrified by some of the videos and stories I found.   Went cold turkey right then - there was no way I could live with myself if I ate meat after that.  I didn't want to be responsible for the perpetuation of that kind of abuse of animals. 

That said I haven't been able to make the transition to vegan.  I do limit dairy and try to use alternatives where I can but haven't been able to cut out all animal products (even though i know the dairy industry isn't kind to animals either).   I'm already limited in my diet being vegetarian and having food allergies, so totally eliminating dairy on top of that has felt pretty much impossible...so I just do the best I can to minimize my intake. 

MasterStache

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 07:56:38 AM »
I've been vegetarian for about 14 years now.  For me, it started with giving up red meat because I wanted to lose weight.  I was also volunteering at an avian rescue at the time and heard about the horrible conditions on factory farms from one of the other volunteers (who was probably what you'd consider an animal activist).   Decided to do my own research and was horrified by some of the videos and stories I found.   Went cold turkey right then - there was no way I could live with myself if I ate meat after that.  I didn't want to be responsible for the perpetuation of that kind of abuse of animals. 

That said I haven't been able to make the transition to vegan.  I do limit dairy and try to use alternatives where I can but haven't been able to cut out all animal products (even though i know the dairy industry isn't kind to animals either).   I'm already limited in my diet being vegetarian and having food allergies, so totally eliminating dairy on top of that has felt pretty much impossible...so I just do the best I can to minimize my intake.

The factory farm conditions still disgust me. The way around this for our family is to buy local. I can actually see what I am eating, know where it was raised, fed etc. It's definitely more expensive, but I am ok with that.

Johnez

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2017, 01:33:45 PM »
I'm considering it for health and economic reasons. What stops me (beside procrastination/laziness) is the nutritional concern (vitamin b12 in particular) and satiety worries. Not satisfied with supplements. Fish would solve nearly every problem that meat diets and vegetarian diets present, however other half only likes it when it's "crispy and fried." Here's to finding a mind blowing fish soup or something as healthy.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 01:35:54 PM by Johnez »

redbirdfan

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2017, 10:38:47 PM »
I've been veganish/vegetarianish for the last couple of years.  If left to my own devices, I'm a vegan.  If I go to work where there is leftover food with meat after a meeting or a party or if a friend orders a meal that has meat and it is going to be thrown away, I'll eat it or take it home.  My desire not to waste food trumps my vegetarianism.  I will not order meat and only occasionally break down and get cheese or eggs.  I now prefer almond milk to regular milk.  I'm a Midwesterner through and through and grew up on meat, potatoes and cheese.  I became a vegan for a week after watching a few factory farming and food documentaries on Netflix then continued once I noticed how much cheaper my grocery bill was without meat.  I don't have a problem with eating the same or similar things so going veganish hasn't been too difficult.  I figure there's no reason to eat meat when I'm just as content without it and it's better for my waistline, my wallet, the environment and some animals.  If I have a strong craving for meat I'll grab a fake meat dish from Veggie Grill or the vegetarian Chinese restaurant near me that serves vegetarian 'beef', 'chicken', and 'fish' dishes.  It's not the same as the real thing but it's close enough to get me through the craving.  That happens about once every six weeks.  I will fully admit that my veganism started as more of a dare than a strong ideological belief.   
 

rpr

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2017, 11:03:37 PM »
I'm considering it for health and economic reasons. What stops me (beside procrastination/laziness) is the nutritional concern (vitamin b12 in particular) and satiety worries. Not satisfied with supplements. Fish would solve nearly every problem that meat diets and vegetarian diets present, however other half only likes it when it's "crispy and fried." Here's to finding a mind blowing fish soup or something as healthy.

I have been mostly vegan over the past couple years and vegetarian my entire life. I do take a B12 supplement regularly. It seems to work for me. I haven't tested my B12 levels but may do so in the future.

Also, not worried about satiety at all as with the lower calorie density, I can eat a lot more veggies. But I do add some good fats and that seems to also help.

Cole

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2017, 05:29:54 PM »
I'm considering it for health and economic reasons. What stops me (beside procrastination/laziness) is the nutritional concern (vitamin b12 in particular) and satiety worries. Not satisfied with supplements. Fish would solve nearly every problem that meat diets and vegetarian diets present, however other half only likes it when it's "crispy and fried." Here's to finding a mind blowing fish soup or something as healthy.

Animals only have b12 because they drink dirty water. If you are worried about the effectiveness you could always switch to veganism and take a supplement and have your b12 levels tested a month in.

Cole

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2017, 05:31:41 PM »
I've been veganish/vegetarianish for the last couple of years.  If left to my own devices, I'm a vegan.  If I go to work where there is leftover food with meat after a meeting or a party or if a friend orders a meal that has meat and it is going to be thrown away, I'll eat it or take it home.  My desire not to waste food trumps my vegetarianism.  I will not order meat and only occasionally break down and get cheese or eggs.  I now prefer almond milk to regular milk.  I'm a Midwesterner through and through and grew up on meat, potatoes and cheese.  I became a vegan for a week after watching a few factory farming and food documentaries on Netflix then continued once I noticed how much cheaper my grocery bill was without meat.  I don't have a problem with eating the same or similar things so going veganish hasn't been too difficult.  I figure there's no reason to eat meat when I'm just as content without it and it's better for my waistline, my wallet, the environment and some animals.  If I have a strong craving for meat I'll grab a fake meat dish from Veggie Grill or the vegetarian Chinese restaurant near me that serves vegetarian 'beef', 'chicken', and 'fish' dishes.  It's not the same as the real thing but it's close enough to get me through the craving.  That happens about once every six weeks.  I will fully admit that my veganism started as more of a dare than a strong ideological belief.   
 

Be strong! Cut out all the animal products and proudly call yourself a vegan :)

neverrun

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2017, 07:12:16 PM »
I came to Vegetarianism gradually.  I started cutting down on meat for a couple of years for mainly health reasons.  The end came maybe 6 years ago when I hadn't had any meat for a couple of months and on a work trip we were going to a great Lebanese place and I had the lamb.  While the lamb was good, I enjoyed the Hummus, Baba Ganoush and vegetarian grape leaves a lot better. 

I'm working my way toward veganism in the same way but if I don't get there I'm ok with that. 

As far as substitutes.  I buy various sausages and trader joes meatless meat balls for lazy meals, and I stock up on Setine when there is a sale and use it in some recipes.  I've been recently working on my homemade Cashew Creams which are really easy as a dairy replacement.  I'm going to look into experimenting making a Cashew yogurt as the vegan yogurts don't seem to have a lot of protein in them.

thisisjeopardy

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2017, 04:16:02 AM »
I watched Forks Over Knives and immediately went mostly vegan. I still eat some cheese.

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Kimbl

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2017, 07:34:10 AM »
I am 98% vegetarian for the last 7 or so years and when by myself will eat vegan.  That 2% or so is me not sweating it when I'm at a restaurant and the "vegetarian" dish has chicken broth in it or Thanksgiving at my mom's or I accidentally shove some of my kids food in my mouth without thinking (old habits die hard).   I used to feel shame/guilt when that happened  but I'm learning to get over myself.   And I agree, there seems to be a lot of pressure to be perfect in the vegan community or at least with the vegan activists.  This is not my cause in life so I forgive myself these imperfections.

I started this for health reasons and what I like to think of as balancing karma.  I am a veterinarian so know very well how the meat industry works plus because of my work often contemplate the human-animal bond and, of course, perform euthanasias.   I also know as a species we do not require animal sources of nutrition.   I can't defend *me* eating animals with my background and knowledge.  After making the switch, I also discovered that I personally am casein intolerant (allergic?).  What a surprise when my arthritis improved significantly and my skin cleared (oh, if only I had known this as a teenager) after eliminating dairy from my diet.   I also hardly ever get sick now and when I do,  I recover very rapidly.  Milk now smells bad to me and though I still like the taste of cheese, I rarely eat it.   Cooked/cured meats still taste very good to me however the smell of raw chicken/pork makes me gag now.

As for weight management,  it made no difference whatsoever.  In fact I gained weight in the beginning.  Breads, pastas, white carbs in general etc. are my issue and I ate more of them at first.  Lately I'm more focused on eating whole fats (avocados, nuts, seeds) which helps with the satiety and cutting back on the carbs plus intermittent fasting.   I can understand why people loose weight with paleo and I'm sure I would too.   Paleo just doesn't fit with my overall life plan. 

marielle

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2017, 07:50:03 AM »
It's impossible to be 100% vegan and I think most vegans realize this. The definition of veganism is avoiding animal products as far as possible and practical. Key word being practical. For example, white processed sugar isn't vegan (bone char) but if someone bakes something with it or if a baked good in a store used it, it can be hard to tell and I'm not going to refuse to eat it. However, if I buy just a bag of sugar I make sure it's the raw, vegan version. Or, if I buy something by accident that isn't vegan I will most likely eat it, like if I already opened it and can't return it. I think wasting food is worse than eating an animal product. I also still have some non-vegan items from before going vegan, like wool socks, honey, and a wool peacoat.

It can also extend to not buying products that come from slavery or child labor like cheap clothes. But a lot of us buy used here so that's already a big plus in that aspect.

Some vegans might eat honey. Some might eat eggs if they're from a chicken in their backyard (as long as the rooster/chicken ratio is 50/50 of course!). Some might buy used products that aren't vegan. Some might buy a car or bike with non-vegan tires (go for Michelin!).

pattycakepdx

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Re: Vegetarianism - What made you go for it?
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2017, 11:36:30 AM »
I've been a vegetarian for about 8 years. I was never a very big meat eater to begin with and originally quit eating meat for environmental/ethical reasons. I don't think eating meat per se is unethical, just that it's unlikely that most meat I'm encountering was ethically produced. After cutting out meat, I noticed that I was now putting a lot more thought and care into what I ate, which resulted in an all-around more balanced and nutritious diet. At this point, it would be hard for me to go back - I'm so accustomed to vegetarian cooking that I don't even know how I would fit meat back into my diet.

My husband officially quit eating meat about a year and half ago after being stuck behind a chicken truck on the highway and being horrified by what he saw. He already only ate meat out (since thanks to me, we never had meat in the house), but that visual really pushed him over the edge.

To be perfectly honest though, neither of us is super intense or strict about the "rules" of our diet. At this point, it's more habit than anything else. My husband will occasionally eat meat at his parent's house or some where else special and we both eat seafood occasionally as well. We both are more concerned with having an overall healthier, less expensive, more ethical/environmentally conscious diet than adhering to any strict way of eating.