Author Topic: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!  (Read 64180 times)

Sebastian

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You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« on: August 02, 2013, 07:51:59 AM »
Hey All,

After reading and watching a bunch of documentaries on eating a plant based diet and all the health benefits you can get from that. My gf and I decided to go vegan. Not only do I feel a million times better, but it helps slash the grocery bill by a ton! Considering I was eating 1-2lbs of chicken a day for lifting purposes.

The first thing people always think is.. what a weirdo why do you care about the animals so much? Honestly I'm not doing it for the animals. That would be   like me not using a piece of paper to save the trees. The tree are already cut down and dead people. I care about it for health purposes specifically, but when you bring that up. Then you get bombarded by a million other questions. Where do you get your protein, calcium, etc. etc.

We just had a breakfast at work today and all I ate were the potatoes and I got so many stares and "why don't you eat meat anymore??". Has anyone ever gone vegan and experienced this? If so how do you respond to it.

Silvie

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2013, 07:57:08 AM »
Not vegan but vegetarian. Though it's becoming more and more common (at least in the Netherlands), I ALWAYS get ask WHY i'm a vegetarian. I appreciate that people are interested but I've been a vegetarian for 15 years and kind of tired of explaining.

The other day, I was at a barbecue and they had no veggie stuff for me at all. Even the salads had bacon or fish in it :( In general, I find that restaurants in North America have much better options for vegetarians than here in Europe. But having adopted the Mustachian lifestyle, I don't eat out that much (never did anyway).

Still, eating meat is the standard and anything different from the standard is considered "weird".

Silvie

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2013, 08:01:15 AM »
By the way, are not eating any dairy products anymore or "just" no meat? That would make you vegetarian.

Sebastian

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2013, 08:02:08 AM »
Not vegan but vegetarian. Though it's becoming more and more common (at least in the Netherlands), I ALWAYS get ask WHY i'm a vegetarian. I appreciate that people are interested but I've been a vegetarian for 15 years and kind of tired of explaining.

The other day, I was at a barbecue and they had no veggie stuff for me at all. Even the salads had bacon or fish in it :( In general, I find that restaurants in North America have much better options for vegetarians than here in Europe. But having adopted the Mustachian lifestyle, I don't eat out that much (never did anyway).

Still, eating meat is the standard and anything different from the standard is considered "weird".

exactly. i haven't gone that long, but i will eventually. i'm just already sick of explaining it. i wish people would mind their own business!

Spork

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2013, 08:32:17 AM »

Is it at all possible that folks are just trying to make polite conversation?  "Tell me something different about you."

...or even remotely possible they're looking to solve some problem they've had and wondering if your diet might be at least a partial clue?

Just a thought.  (Not a vegan.  Not a vegetarian.  Not giving up bacon for anything.  BUT: I certainly don't care if you live that way!  And that also doesn't mean I don't like vegetarian cuisine.  I like pretty much all food.)

Kazimieras

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2013, 08:34:20 AM »
exactly. i haven't gone that long, but i will eventually. i'm just already sick of explaining it. i wish people would mind their own business!

The simple way is to not make a big deal of it, when you stop shouting it from the rooftops people will tend not to care how/what you eat.  If you are not doing it for ethical reasons (that is a whole other topic) how about this approach: If you're at a friend's house and they offer you a salmon filet with veggies, rice, etc. Take it and eat it. Now your lifestyle choice isn't even an issue. I would strongly recommend reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. The core aspect of the book is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants". I can easily understand why you are feeling better. If I ate over 1-2lbs of chicken a day, I too would be sick. It is startling what happens when you actually start paying attention to what you eat.

PolarBeer

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2013, 08:41:40 AM »
I would be curious. But I wouldn't be impolite when asking. But as with many other choices, why a person chooses something is often more interesting than the actual result of the choice. You don't go into detail about your choice, so if I was stuck there with you at a dinner/lunch table, I'd probably pry a bit to understand why.

Also the fact that you mention watching "documentaries" and "health benefits" would make a skeptical person like me wonder about your choices. What kind of documentaries? The unsourced, conspiracy type ones? Or well documented ones weighing pros and cons? Health benefits of cutting out meat also depends a lot on what kinds of meat you used to eat and what you replace it with. With a varied healthy diet, just cutting out meat would probably leave you with a less healthier diet unless you made great efforts to replace the specific nutrients from the meat. If you had an "average" fast food diet with tons of unhealthy meat related products in it, going cold vegan would probably be better for you. So, all of this would naturally make me question you. But that would be about your reasons and your facts, not clueless prejudiced stuff.

kms

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 08:43:14 AM »
How do you spot a vegan? Don't worry, (s)he'll tell you :)

Kidding aside I think it's the same social expectations category as "You don't have a car? What's wrong with you?" or "You still haven't replaced your two year old 40" flat screen TV with this new shiny 47" one? What's wrong with you?" I'm with Kazimieras on this one: stop talking about it and people will stop bugging you. If they do so purely based on observation explain them you're doing it for health reasons.

Oh, and btw: one of my ex girlfriends was a vegetarian and she was everything but healthy. When a fly coughed in the same room she got sick instantly.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 08:44:45 AM by mj0 »

Hunny156

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2013, 08:52:44 AM »
Hi,

I've been a vegetarian for almost 3 years, fish-eating vegan for about 9 months now.  I often use the term "vegan" to easily describe my eating habits, mostly b/c it's easier than saying that I eat a whole foods, plant based diet.

People ask all the time, mostly its curiosity and lack of knowledge.  The meat and dairy industry have done a great job of convincing people that you can only get protein and calcium from these sources.  I also get a lot of questions about what I actually eat, as so much of the American diet is centered around meat.

I don't give long involved answers when people ask.  You'll generally get those who are genuinely interested, questions like "why did you change your diet?", and you'll get the ones who think it's a big joke "Wow, you picked the wrong state to not eat meat!"  Answer accordingly. 

Most of my friends are really cool about my preferences, and gone far to accommodate me at get togethers.  I've specifically told them not to worry, b/c there's always a salad or crudite dish and I'm not terribly picky, but I really appreciate them trying to accommodate my diet.  I believe that this trend will continue and become easier in the near future, as more people become aware of the food supply in this country and pursue ways of eating better.

Silvie

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2013, 08:54:34 AM »
I never tell people I am vegetarian, unless I'm having dinner with them. I spend 1 minute explaining why I am vegetarian so the topic won't come up again anymore. My friends know I'm vegetarian so it's normal to them now.

Sometimes it's a little bit of a hassle though. I went out for dinner with some people from work. We went to a steakhouse! My only option was a corncob lol.

Bill76

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2013, 08:56:18 AM »
We went vegan about two years ago, and we got the same kind of reaction from people.  Most of them were just interested in how we adjusted from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to eating nothing but real food.  Others, like my mom, were freaked out that the kids wouldn't get enough protein/calcium/fat/whatever in their diets.  She also claims that everything we eat is "boring and flavorless" without ever trying any of it.

With most people, I just don't talk about it unless they ask.  However, I did spend hours and hours arguing with my mom about nutrition before giving up after she tried to make points about the nutrition content of Hot Pockets and Mountain Dew (yes, she really did that).  When others bring it up, I explain that I lost 15 pounds without really trying and that my blood pressure dropped 10 points in just a few weeks.  That usually satisfies them, but if not, I go into some of the science until they just want me to shut up. :)

Since our original transition, we've reintroduced eggs from our own chickens/ducks and some occasional seafood, but most meals are still basically vegan.  This year, we've cut back significantly on our gluten consumption as well.

I like the Michael Pollan approach that was mentioned earlier.  Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.

Samsam

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2013, 09:31:57 AM »
How do you spot a vegan? Don't worry, (s)he'll tell you :)

Kidding aside I think it's the same social expectations category as "You don't have a car? What's wrong with you?" or "You still haven't replaced your two year old 40" flat screen TV with this new shiny 47" one? What's wrong with you?" I'm with Kazimieras on this one: stop talking about it and people will stop bugging you. If they do so purely based on observation explain them you're doing it for health reasons.

Oh, and btw: one of my ex girlfriends was a vegetarian and she was everything but healthy. When a fly coughed in the same room she got sick instantly.

Haha, I like the joke. 

Honestly this does work both ways too.  I've lost track of how many times I've gotten yelled at by vegetarians / vegans because I do eat meat.  I have an ex that is vegetarian too and she wasn't healthy either...all she ate was pizza...the fast food kind.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2013, 09:33:38 AM »
Oh my. I've been vegan for 14 years. I have dealt with people being genuinely curious to downright rude. The only time it really comes up is when I am eating with someone new for the first time. If someone asks me why I am vegan, they usually accept the reason I give them (ecology, efficiency, health, habit, etc). I bring my lunch to work and for the most people folks are really interested in what I am eating. I make vegan cookies for the office and people gobble them up. It's just not a big deal. Meat is not food to me, just like carpet is not food. It's not even on my radar anymore.

When people ask about protein, I simply say I eat a well balanced diet and protein isn't an issue. A large portion of my friends are also vegan, so it isn't weird at all, and that is a wonderful thing.
 
exactly. i haven't gone that long, but i will eventually. i'm just already sick of explaining it. i wish people would mind their own business!

The simple way is to not make a big deal of it, when you stop shouting it from the rooftops people will tend not to care how/what you eat.  If you are not doing it for ethical reasons (that is a whole other topic) how about this approach: If you're at a friend's house and they offer you a salmon filet with veggies, rice, etc. Take it and eat it. Now your lifestyle choice isn't even an issue. I would strongly recommend reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. The core aspect of the book is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants". I can easily understand why you are feeling better. If I ate over 1-2lbs of chicken a day, I too would be sick. It is startling what happens when you actually start paying attention to what you eat.

This is exactly the sort of reaction that I find so frustrating. Not eating meat does not equal shouting from the rooftops. Just eating the salmon to appease the meat eater is a fairly ridiculous thing to suggest. "Just a little bit" of dairy/meat/eggs will make me very sick, but since I like to keep my intestinal issues private, it's easiest when I simply decline the proffered food. I don't impose my dietary restrictions on anyone, and I appreciate when I am treated with the same level of respect. It's really not that big of a deal. Militant vegans are not as common as folks would like to believe. I've meet many more militant meat eaters than militant vegans.

My favorite vegan joke:
"How many vegans does it take to change a lightbulb?"
"None. Vegans can't change anything"

tuyop

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2013, 09:39:07 AM »
So how many grams of protein are you getting a day? You mentioned that you lift.

Sebastian

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2013, 10:06:54 AM »
By the way, are not eating any dairy products anymore or "just" no meat? That would make you vegetarian.

nope, no dairy or animal based products. i'm going vegan.. i'm actually going to start a blog because i am a weight lifter trying to pack on some more muscle. i think it will be an interesting journey, and hopefully one that inspires others to go the vegan route :)

Sebastian

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2013, 10:09:15 AM »
exactly. i haven't gone that long, but i will eventually. i'm just already sick of explaining it. i wish people would mind their own business!

The simple way is to not make a big deal of it, when you stop shouting it from the rooftops people will tend not to care how/what you eat.  If you are not doing it for ethical reasons (that is a whole other topic) how about this approach: If you're at a friend's house and they offer you a salmon filet with veggies, rice, etc. Take it and eat it. Now your lifestyle choice isn't even an issue. I would strongly recommend reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. The core aspect of the book is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants". I can easily understand why you are feeling better. If I ate over 1-2lbs of chicken a day, I too would be sick. It is startling what happens when you actually start paying attention to what you eat.

That was actually one of the first books I read in eating healthier :) The China Study is the book that got me into going vegan. It's interesting because I almost thing the dairy products are more damaging than straight up meat.

Honest Abe

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2013, 10:13:59 AM »
I eat fish and some dairy...I never have a problem except one time a friend (not a very good one) brought it up while at dinner and got very aggressive about it. I think it will be hard for my wife and I when we have children, but we'll deal with it.

I wish I could go vegan, maybe someday when I break this ice cream/cheese addiction.:)

JR

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2013, 10:16:44 AM »
I have been vegan for years and I have never been one to tell people that I am vegan. When people do find out because someone else tells them I do usually get the comments that what I eat is not healthy and I am not enjoying life. My only recommendations are to eat real food and the only supplement I can recommend is methylcobalamin. Inadequate B12 levels are not exclusive to vegans (there is no physical ailment exclusive to veganism) but vegans are more likely to be lacking. I do not take iron supplements and have not had any problems running 35-40 miles per week and riding my bicycle in the mountains. The only issues I have had is when my dietary fat intake drops too low. I usually eat a lot of coconut (milk, oil, and flesh), avacados, olives (oil and flesh), and flax but for a few weeks last month I did not eat nearly enough and it really hurt my running performance. I usually do not track my nutrient intake but the few times I did I was well over 100% RDA for all micro nutrients.

Sebastian

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2013, 10:22:55 AM »
Ok, just one thing to clear up after reading the rest of the posts. I do not shout this from the roof tops. In fact, I only bring it up when I am asked. Which unfortunately is often :( See in my office people live to eat. Everyday I'll have 3-4 people asking me what I'm eating and why.

The reason why I posted this today is because during that breakfast I made mention of. All I grabbed were some potatoes, and that's when everyone started asking what was wrong with me, and "how was your awesome breakfast". It's just kind of frustrating, but people look at me like I'm retarded when I say I made the switch just do to health reasons because I am and look fairly healthy already.

Honestly at this point I don't know how much protein I am getting a day. I have been eating a ton of lentils and other legumes. So I'd imagine I'm in the 60-70g+ per day. But again, that is why I'm going to be making my blog. That way it will force me to track my food and my macros and it will show the results on if I can really build some decent muscle with this type of diet :)

Either way thanks for all the responses I enjoyed reading every ones thoughts on the matter.

mikefixac

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2013, 10:26:23 AM »
If you want to read and view something that will knock your socks off http://www.gardendish.com/news/2013/8/1/the-thought-leaders-that-you-absolutely-must-meet.html. Nathan Pritiken, Dr Burkitt and Dr Swank being interviewed by Dr McDougall around 30 years ago. Fantastic stuff. Enjoy for those of you who watch.

Perhaps I shouldn't post this below because I don't want to take away from my link above.

Quote
How do you spot a vegan? Don't worry, (s)he'll tell you :)

Actually, I've been vegan so long I don't even think about it when ordering. And it's others who make the comments, not me. When people mention how I eat, it's like STFU and mind your own business. No offense meant to the poster about his vegan sick girlfriend, the fact is, being vegan doesn't mean shit. But put on one side people who eat a plant based diet to those who eat the typical american diet and let's look at their collective health in 20-30 years.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 10:43:19 AM by mikefixac »

Kazimieras

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2013, 12:10:59 PM »
Ok, just one thing to clear up after reading the rest of the posts. I do not shout this from the roof tops. In fact, I only bring it up when I am asked. Which unfortunately is often :( See in my office people live to eat. Everyday I'll have 3-4 people asking me what I'm eating and why.

The reason why I posted this today is because during that breakfast I made mention of. All I grabbed were some potatoes, and that's when everyone started asking what was wrong with me, and "how was your awesome breakfast". It's just kind of frustrating, but people look at me like I'm retarded when I say I made the switch just do to health reasons because I am and look fairly healthy already.

Honestly at this point I don't know how much protein I am getting a day. I have been eating a ton of lentils and other legumes. So I'd imagine I'm in the 60-70g+ per day. But again, that is why I'm going to be making my blog. That way it will force me to track my food and my macros and it will show the results on if I can really build some decent muscle with this type of diet :)

Either way thanks for all the responses I enjoyed reading every ones thoughts on the matter.

In my experience there are a lot of loud vegans out there. There are many quiet ones too, but oddly you never hear from them as they are quiet. My wife and I love food and happen to not eat a lot of meat. She brings in weird and delicious veggie dishes all the time to work and they don't ask if she's a vegetarian, they are more interested in her food. If you brand yourself something, such as a vegan, expect people to be a) curious b) confused c) annoyed d) other. That happens anytime you associate a label with someone e.g. oh look he's gifted. Now look at something like brownies. If you can say these are brownies or these are vegan brownies - which will garner a larger number of questions? In either case the brownies will be tasty, and may be different, however no more so than if two people used two different recipes. Those people with food sensitivities can ask the cook for specifics.

If people ask why am I eating it, answer. I enjoy it and it is tasty. Oddly people will never have much to say after that. And as soon as you start to tout health benefits that is where problems come in. Most people don't know healthy food if their life depended on it (they are surprized when they find out a potato is not a vegetable). I had a coworker start eating only"raw food". My boss, a biochemist, asked her what is she using as a protein source (mostly since she is always looking for alternates for her diet), my coworker answered lettuce.

Abe

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2013, 07:57:44 PM »
I have found it interesting when people are surprised that someone can survive without eating meat.  Most of my relatives are vegetarian, as are a billion other people in or from India.  There are a lot of health problems in India, but they are due to sanitation, not due to being vegetarian.  My home state is sparsely populated so has good sanitation, and the median life expectancy there is the same as in the US. If you eat a bunch of different types of beans and vegetables, you will be fine from a nutrition standpoint. I wouldn't get too caught up in the details. Only if you ate one type of food would you develop a problem in the long run.   

minimalist

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2013, 10:56:42 AM »
Why were you even eating breakfast at work? Do you also each lunch at work? You can't be sure the food you're eating is vegan or healthy unless you make it yourself. Many "non-meat" foods are prepared with meat/fish product (stock, flavor, fat, etc.), dairy, gelatin, etc. plus other unhealthy ingredients.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2013, 11:44:52 AM »
I would be curious. But I wouldn't be impolite when asking. But as with many other choices, why a person chooses something is often more interesting than the actual result of the choice. You don't go into detail about your choice, so if I was stuck there with you at a dinner/lunch table, I'd probably pry a bit to understand why.

Also the fact that you mention watching "documentaries" and "health benefits" would make a skeptical person like me wonder about your choices. What kind of documentaries? The unsourced, conspiracy type ones? Or well documented ones weighing pros and cons? Health benefits of cutting out meat also depends a lot on what kinds of meat you used to eat and what you replace it with. With a varied healthy diet, just cutting out meat would probably leave you with a less healthier diet unless you made great efforts to replace the specific nutrients from the meat. If you had an "average" fast food diet with tons of unhealthy meat related products in it, going cold vegan would probably be better for you. So, all of this would naturally make me question you. But that would be about your reasons and your facts, not clueless prejudiced stuff.

I'm not the OP, but the documentaries that have changed my eating are:

Forks over knives
Fat, sick, and nearly dead
Food, Inc

Forks over knives convinced us to eat plant based whole foods diet. We don't prohibit meat and dairy,but we have cut it way down. Meat and dairy is now a flavoring, not a food group. It's often easy to skip it all together. I haven't noticed incredible results, because we weren't eating bad before. But we are also juicing, and I notice huge differences with that.  My husbands shoulder and elbow tendinitis abruptly disappeared after two green juices a day for two days. We had tried steroids, ice, Advil and rest for three months before that. He had to sleep in a certain position and it often woke him up in the night. He did a juice cleanse and the pain literally disappeared in his elbow and he only slightly felt it in his shoulder. Post hoc, but it was compelling to us since we were about to do more medical tests and possibly surgery.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 11:47:46 AM by Crazyfun »

urover

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2013, 12:10:45 AM »
Hey All,
Not only do I feel a million times better, but it helps slash the grocery bill by a ton! Considering I was eating 1-2lbs of chicken a day for lifting purposes....
Then you get bombarded by a million other questions. Where do you get your protein, calcium, etc. etc.....
With a varied healthy diet, just cutting out meat would probably leave you with a less healthier diet unless you made great efforts to replace the specific nutrients from the meat.

A certain large religious sect of Hindus in India have been vegetarians (Lacto-vegetarians) for several centuries (probably even thousands of years) and have survived just fine :D. I happen to belong to that religious group and have got by just fine so far. I found it hard to find vegetarian food outside the house in the US but Subways and (authentic) Mexican food were a blessing. But being a vegetarian in India is very easy and a lot of food options exist outside the house. India is after all the vegetarian capital of the world!

When I was in the US, it was easy to answer people's questions, I'd just say "religious reasons", although I couldn't care less about (any) religion. Nobody really continues the conversation after that. My personal reason is that I never ever touched meat and don't feel like doing so, ever. Simple. In the modern world, most people have no idea where their meat comes from or how the animals are treated and killed. Heck, some may even say meat comes from the supermarkets.

Btw, I've been trying to cut diary consumption, and that can be hard in my country because most people consider milk a part of their vegetarian diet (plus govt. propaganda) and the thought of it being cut from their diet seems weird to them. Not unlike Americans' reaction to cutting out meat. I already have my tea and coffee black and my breakfast is standard oats porridge (without milk) every day. I need to find a way to avoid milk cheeses and milk-based Indian sweets.

KMMK

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2013, 07:03:53 AM »
I do think being vegan is a lot harder for a man than a woman. There's the stereotype that real men need to eat meat. I think men get hassled more.

Outside of my immediate family I only know 1 man who is vegan. But I've know several women. Actually, every year, more of my co-workers are vegetarian. I used to be the only one; now it's quite common.

It's relatively easy for me to fend off questions about health and "do I miss it?" when I tell them I'm second generation vegetarian and have never eaten meat (poultry a couple times when I was very young). They tend to shut right up, as it must be healthy enough since I'm still alive and look fine.

MustacheMatt

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2013, 07:19:26 AM »
Hey All,

The first thing people always think is.. what a weirdo why do you care about the animals so much? Honestly I'm not doing it for the animals. That would be   like me not using a piece of paper to save the trees. The tree are already cut down and dead people. I care about it for health purposes specifically, but when you bring that up. Then you get bombarded by a million other questions. Where do you get your protein, calcium, etc. etc.

We just had a breakfast at work today and all I ate were the potatoes and I got so many stares and "why don't you eat meat anymore??". Has anyone ever gone vegan and experienced this? If so how do you respond to it.

You're in the right place!  I gave up wheat, grains and almost all sugar completely!  I feel fantastic and have lost a considerable amount of weight!  I hope your dietary change leads to the results you're looking for too!

I have experienced what you're talking about myself.  Anyone who deviates gets the incredulity and questions.  Wait.... you're not a megaconsumer anymore?  What you want to retire early?  What you're not going to eat what the federal government tells you?  NO MORE PIZZA?!?!

This is less about vegans and more about going in a different direction in general.

When out at restaurants, I refuse to explain the difference between "gluten free" and "grain free" any more.  It's a hopeless battle against the media and advertising.  So instead, I pick menu items that need little if any alterations - and even apologize in advance if it's more than 2 changes.  In rare instances of stupidity I just tell people i'm celiac, that usually fixes their wagon and stops the questions.

At work, i've inspired a few others to change and they've had some great results too.  Overall these people you have to see every day so it requires a different tack.  It's easier to answer questions without silliness to one or two people - groups aren't for serious discussions like this.  You can always just get to work instead of sitting around explaining yourself.  Hopefully, your results will speak for themselves!  If someone starts ballbusting (all in fun), I return fire with looking down at someone's gut and saying, "I lost 35 lbs without any exercise, what's it like going to the gym all those years for nothing?"

Friends and family:  This is the worst part.  The people closest to you will try to derail you at every chance they get.  "Oh so and so made your 'favorite' you have to just eat a little."  Finding polite ways around those incidents are the most challenging.  Holidays, parties, bbq's, really all events where there are people and food.  My mother-in-law just yesterday told me to stop losing weight.  I'm 190 lbs at 6'1" (have been steady at this weight for 8 months).  That's perfect for me imo, but to the rest of the world, being fit and having a flat stomach causes you to be a giant target for opinions.  TOO BAD IM NOT CHANGING, WHY WOULD I GO BACK TO BEING FAT, UNHAPPY, AND HAVE ENDLESS DOCTOR VISITS????

Just like MMM gets his share of complainy and whinypants comments - you too will be a beacon for success and that hurts other people's feelings.  (provided you don't talk a bunch of shit and then fail or give up, at that point you just need some humility and a sense of humor)

This is the same with money, ability, talent, or anything else other people can be envious of or mock to make themselves feel better because you're different.  If you've got a group of haters, you're either a giant douche or a huge success that they think they can't achieve (hopefully the latter!).


slowth

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2013, 12:25:39 PM »
This is anecdotal, but food for thought. I've had hypertension my entire life. I almost didn't get a medical clearance to play sports in middle school because of it. Before I started meds, I decided to experiment with a vegan diet to see if that would help at all. Over the past few months I've watched my blood pressure steadily drop to normal. Throughout my entire life my blood pressure has been around 145/95. It is now hovering around 120/80, which is perfectly fine. It might not remain low, I just don't know, but for now I'm very pleased indeed.

englyn

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2013, 06:09:59 PM »
Slightly off topic, but I thought I may as well ask: any veggie recipe sites / blog recommendations? I would like to eat meat meals less often but find that vegetarian cookbooks are full of soups and salads (I know how to make vegetarian soups and salads!) and risottos and the like (I want to be eating vegetables, not grains, as the focus of the meal).

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2013, 07:09:35 PM »
No offense to all you vegetarians, but I like the fact that I eat meat.  Our ancestors won at evolution, because they were predators and they were good at killing things.  Killing things and eating them makes us who we are.  Of course, that doesn't mean that somebody should eat excessive amounts of meat, because that would be wasteful (and excessively expensive)  but our bodies were designed to take in a certain amount of meat.  It's healthy and it tastes good.  If I didn't live in such an urban area, I would probably be out killing something right now to eat it.  It's only natural.

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2013, 08:15:00 PM »
... but our bodies were designed to take in a certain amount of meat.  It's healthy and it tastes good.

Well, actually our bodies are designed to be able to take in a certain amount of meat. Humans are true omnivores - we are able to live on a diet that is primarily meat and also one that is completely vegetable based. We are able to survive in a huge variety of situations. We certainly don't have to "take in" any meat whatsoever. Healthiness depends on so many factors. I highly doubt I have the proper gut bacteria to digest meat, since I've never had any. And meat doesn't taste good to everyone.

slowth

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2013, 09:21:21 PM »
Slightly off topic, but I thought I may as well ask: any veggie recipe sites / blog recommendations? I would like to eat meat meals less often but find that vegetarian cookbooks are full of soups and salads (I know how to make vegetarian soups and salads!) and risottos and the like (I want to be eating vegetables, not grains, as the focus of the meal).

Check this out:

http://www.amazon.com/Veganomicon-The-Ultimate-Vegan-Cookbook/dp/156924264X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375672718&sr=8-1&keywords=veganomicon

Silvie

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2013, 05:23:00 AM »
The reason why I posted this today is because during that breakfast I made mention of. All I grabbed were some potatoes.

Potatoes for breakfast? Is that normal in the States? In Holland we just eat bread or cereal for breakfast. But I guess you can't eat that as a vegan?

Peter

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2013, 06:14:05 AM »
Are there any vegans on here willing to share the findings of their research which concludes that a nutritionally complete diet is received by skipping out on meat/eggs/fish?

I've been getting into paleo reading/eating for the past year now which (I believe) pretty strongly debunks the idea that eating a lot of beans, lentils, and breads is a healthy replacement for meat. Most of the things I've come across (which is admittedly not much) fixate on the fact that being vegan is better than the "typical" American diet, which of course is a non-argument, and doesn't help me in any way come to a proper, informed conclusion.

I am truly interested in reading a cogent, rational, and scientifically sound article which concludes that eating a healthy organic diet without meat is more well received by the body than a healthy organic diet with meat. Does such an article/paper exist?

kt

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2013, 06:31:18 AM »
i love meat but have been cutting down a) for costs reasons and b) because it forces me to be more adventurous in my cooking.

Slightly off topic, but I thought I may as well ask: any veggie recipe sites / blog recommendations? I would like to eat meat meals less often but find that vegetarian cookbooks are full of soups and salads (I know how to make vegetarian soups and salads!) and risottos and the like (I want to be eating vegetables, not grains, as the focus of the meal).

not a vegetarian website but a recipe i've made twice and enjoyed very much:
beetroot, red onion and goats' cheese tart
http://www.sainsburys-live-well-for-less.co.uk/recipes-inspiration/recipes/beetroot,-red-onion-and-goats%27-cheese-tart/

this is a vegetarian site, some of the recipes look a little fancy with too many weird/unusual (for me) ingredients but i have a few bookmarked. i've made and really enjoyed this one:
Leek, squash and stilton pithivier
http://www.vegetarianliving.co.uk/recipes.php?do=view&recipe=517

unfortunately neither of these freeze and reheat well as is, if you want to do this you might try freezing the filling before you cook a smaller pie for today/tomorrow.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2013, 06:42:52 AM »
Slightly off topic, but I thought I may as well ask: any veggie recipe sites / blog recommendations? I would like to eat meat meals less often but find that vegetarian cookbooks are full of soups and salads (I know how to make vegetarian soups and salads!) and risottos and the like (I want to be eating vegetables, not grains, as the focus of the meal).

Vegan Dad has a ton of great vegan (and some gluten free) recipes on his blog. He stopped posting earlier this year, but all the recipes are still there.

http://vegandad.blogspot.com/

tuyop

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2013, 07:56:49 AM »
Hey, this is a serious question, I'm not trying to troll:

As a vegan weightlifter, how many grams of protein do you get per day?

brewer12345

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2013, 10:52:23 AM »
Are there any vegans on here willing to share the findings of their research which concludes that a nutritionally complete diet is received by skipping out on meat/eggs/fish?

I've been getting into paleo reading/eating for the past year now which (I believe) pretty strongly debunks the idea that eating a lot of beans, lentils, and breads is a healthy replacement for meat. Most of the things I've come across (which is admittedly not much) fixate on the fact that being vegan is better than the "typical" American diet, which of course is a non-argument, and doesn't help me in any way come to a proper, informed conclusion.

I am truly interested in reading a cogent, rational, and scientifically sound article which concludes that eating a healthy organic diet without meat is more well received by the body than a healthy organic diet with meat. Does such an article/paper exist?

I suspect that there is research out there showing just about anything you'd like.  That said, there is plenty of research that suggests that execssive consumption of meat is bad (*duh*).

I don't do pork, lamb, veal, and I rarely will do beef (like once a year).  My issues have more to do with the abominable treatment of animals in the meat industry than health considerations.  Conversely, I am a fairly avid fisherman and hunter.  In the summer I eat fish I have caught as often as possible and in the fall and winter I eat a fair amount of game (mostly squirrel and rabbit, hopefully adding game birds and venison this year).  I know what I catch/kill, where I get it, and the critters/fish live a free life until I take them.  Nothing beats organic, free-range "limb chicken" (squirrel) properly prepared, IMO.

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2013, 11:21:49 AM »
Slightly off topic, but I thought I may as well ask: any veggie recipe sites / blog recommendations? I would like to eat meat meals less often but find that vegetarian cookbooks are full of soups and salads (I know how to make vegetarian soups and salads!) and risottos and the like (I want to be eating vegetables, not grains, as the focus of the meal).

Two of my favorites are this blog: http://101cookbooks.com/ and the book Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.  Both have amazing flavors. 

I was a vegetarian 12 years and always avoided the diet question whenever I could.  At parties or events I tried to hide my plate a bit (put a big roll on top of everything or position my glass or napkin in front) and if anyone asked if I was going to have the turkey at Christmas I just pretended I'd already eaten all of mine.  I now still eat vegetarian much of the time, and often vegan, but I also enjoy the occasional steak or roast chicken, so I no longer define myself as anything in particular.  But I am experimenting with no sugar & no flour.  So at birthday parties I pretend to share a big piece of cake with my husband and rave about how great it is.  I know it's childish and silly but good god those questions get annoying!
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 11:24:30 AM by Roses »

DirtBoy

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #39 on: August 05, 2013, 12:31:01 PM »
To the OP...

My wife, 2 kids, and I have been vegan for the last 10 years.  My wife was vegan for both pregnancies too.

I do get sick of getting flack from people that can't grok not eating animal products.  I don't evangelize or anything, but there is something about it that really bothers folks.  It will affect many of your relationships, especially family.  We have so many things that revolve around food.  When you are bringing your own dish or not eating what everyone else does that seems to bother people.  In my case it took a few years of adjustment for my family to get that this is what we do.

I like to think about it as a way to toughen me up and further test my discipline to remain patient with someone that cracks a vegan or "boy how I love meat" joke for the 10,000th time once they discover my dietary choice.  So, I don't really have any profound advice people will be people.  I have found that you will earn respect over time.  Good luck to you.


onehappypanda

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #40 on: August 05, 2013, 02:50:18 PM »
Food habits and our attitudes toward them are weird, in general. No matter what you eat, someone always think it's their business to comment on it, or pressure you to cheat "just this once," or bug you to explain/quote research supporting your way of eating, as if what you put in your mouth needs to be publicly defended.

I don't think this is limited to vegetarians. I've gotten comments on my food ("your lunch is so healthy/huge/small/lacking protein/low-carb/whatever) regardless of how I eat. I have found that a few personal rules help:
1) I don't defend my food to anyone. If I'm following a particular diet at the time, I'll explain why to anyone who seems genuinely curious. But if someone seems to go on attack, I'll shut the conversation down completely. My food habits aren't up for debate.
2) I really enjoy my food and eat whatever makes me feel healthy and happy at the time. Usually, when people can tell that you're totally happy with how you eat, they won't bother as much with the snarky comments. And if they comment anyway, their comments have no power.
3) I try not to take it too seriously. I don't really believe there's a single correct way of eating anyway, so there's no sense in getting bent out of shape about all the crazy food debates going on. Once people realize that I don't really care if they think this-or-that diet is better or worse, it usually shuts the argument down.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #41 on: August 05, 2013, 03:55:45 PM »
My personal story is that I tried going Paleo and accidentally lost 20lbs, my acne, indigestion, chronic ear infections and dry skin.

I eat a dozen eggs a week, sausage and drink raw milk and eat plenty of butter from grass fed cows. Raw milk/butter is the only dairy I eat. I eat plenty of meat/seafood and fruits/veggies and nuts/legumes. I pretty much cut out all grains including wheat (read Wheat Belly). I stopped drinking soda and cut out most sugar treats. I lost over 20lbs and am near 40yrs old and in the best shape of my life.

I was allergic to store bought milk and it was giving me 3-4 ear infections a year. Those are gone! Meat is not the issue (unless it conflics with some personal belief) The real issue is industrialized food like wheat and dairy. The stuff is toxic. Organic is the best, and is money well spent considering healthcare from eating bad food cost a lot more.

earlybird

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #42 on: August 05, 2013, 05:11:57 PM »
To the OP, I totally understand what you mean about coworkers questioning your meals! I work 10-12 hour days and bring my breakfast, lunch and snacks. I've been vegan (really whole foods plant based no oil) since 2009, for health reasons. No meat, dairy, eggs, or oil. I lost 35 lbs in 3 months without exercising at all. I feel great too. For breakfast I often eat potatoes, brown rice, or just fruit. My lunch could be a huge salad, rice and beans, rice and veggies, baked potato and veggies, whatever. I get a lot of different comments, from "wow, your food looks and smells delicious" to "I don't understand why you won't eat meat." I usually just tell them I like what I eat and I do it to be healthy. A major issue at work for me is that everyone is constantly bringing in food or treats to share, or getting a birthday cake for everyone. Everyone except me that is. I get excluded a lot but I try very hard not to let it bother me. I find myself really not wanting to socialize outside of work with them though. I'd rather go home and enjoy a great meal with my also WFPBNO husband.

To whomever asked about websites, I love http://www.drmcdougall.com/ and especially Happy Herbivore. Check out this series about vegan fitness: http://happyherbivore.com/2013/07/marathon-training-nutrition-plant-based-vegan/

At the end of the day you have to do what makes you happy and healthy!

MrsStubble

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #43 on: August 05, 2013, 07:27:37 PM »
. But we are also juicing, and I notice huge differences with that. 

I also went mostly plant-based (meat/cheese for flavor, not as a dish) and started juicing.  This was purely for health reasons and I was a total skeptic when I started but now i find that i not only feel 100x better healthwise, but that i crave the salad, lentils, veggies, fruit/veggie smoothies in the morning.   I can't believe how different you feel when switching cold turkey to a healthy diet!

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #44 on: August 05, 2013, 07:35:26 PM »
No offense to all you vegetarians, but I like the fact that I eat meat.  Our ancestors won at evolution, because they were predators and they were good at killing things.  Killing things and eating them makes us who we are.  Of course, that doesn't mean that somebody should eat excessive amounts of meat, because that would be wasteful (and excessively expensive)  but our bodies were designed to take in a certain amount of meat.  It's healthy and it tastes good.  If I didn't live in such an urban area, I would probably be out killing something right now to eat it.  It's only natural.
Furthermore, God gave Noah permission to eat animals in the book of Genesis, so i figure we're on solid ground eating a burger or steak. 

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #45 on: August 05, 2013, 07:40:48 PM »
Hey All,

After reading and watching a bunch of documentaries on eating a plant based diet and all the health benefits you can get from that. My gf and I decided to go vegan. Not only do I feel a million times better, but it helps slash the grocery bill by a ton! Considering I was eating 1-2lbs of chicken a day for lifting purposes.

The first thing people always think is.. what a weirdo why do you care about the animals so much? Honestly I'm not doing it for the animals. That would be   like me not using a piece of paper to save the trees. The tree are already cut down and dead people. I care about it for health purposes specifically, but when you bring that up. Then you get bombarded by a million other questions. Where do you get your protein, calcium, etc. etc.

We just had a breakfast at work today and all I ate were the potatoes and I got so many stares and "why don't you eat meat anymore??". Has anyone ever gone vegan and experienced this? If so how do you respond to it.
When my teenaged daughter expressed an interest in going vegetarian, I told her that if she wanted my support, I had two conditions:  First,  she had to read a couple books and websites about nutrition; I know too many "vegetarian girls" at the high school who eat nothing but candy and potato chips, and I wanted my girl to make this choice in a healthy way.  She ended up taking a class in nutrition in college, and she is now a walking wealth of information.  Second, I told her that she could not go around being a jerk to other people.  She immediately promised she wouldn't become preachy and arrogant -- and she hasn't. 
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 07:42:59 PM by MrsPete »

shusherstache

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #46 on: August 05, 2013, 08:25:42 PM »
A major issue at work for me is that everyone is constantly bringing in food or treats to share, or getting a birthday cake for everyone. Everyone except me that is. I get excluded a lot but I try very hard not to let it bother me. I find myself really not wanting to socialize outside of work with them though.

I work at a large company near a rather crunchy town and while coworkers sometimes bring in baked goods, I always make sure to bring a vegan/gf side or fruit to potlucks and to larger events and they're always gone quickly.  Ratitouille, quinoa salad, a big pile of fresh-cut fruit all go over swimmingly, especially with my coworkers who are usually prone to the latest food fads/diets.  Or, I stock my cube with a small amount of candy (for my boss - a good reason for her to stop by!), but also clementines/apples/gum when the season and price are right for other healthy-eating coworkers.  Perhaps you don't like your coworkers anyway but regardless you can socialize in a group without eating the food they're eating.  Or! Even better! Bringing your own water/tea in a bottle so that you can consume something communally without having to eat their thing.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 08:28:17 PM by shusherstache »

Storypage

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #47 on: August 06, 2013, 09:41:25 AM »
No offense to all you vegetarians, but I like the fact that I eat meat.  Our ancestors won at evolution, because they were predators and they were good at killing things.  Killing things and eating them makes us who we are. 

If I raised and killed it myself, or know well the person who did, I'll eat it. If I didn't, I won't, and prefer to go vegan. I consider industrial animal agriculture to be inhumane and choose not to partake of its products if I can help.

If I didn't raise it myself, I'd be 100% vegan. I respect those who are, and who do so for either ethical or health reasons. I'm often amused at how defensive some of us meat eaters get about it, when most of us have no clue what it takes to get that meat to the table.

As to the protein argument, romaine lettuce has more grams of protein per calorie than steak, and broccoli has twice as much. Kale is probably the most nutrient dense of all foods. Vegans and vegetarians who are unhealthy likely got that way by eating processed foods and a diet heavy on starches.



 

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #48 on: August 06, 2013, 10:56:03 AM »
No offense to all you vegetarians, but I like the fact that I eat meat.  Our ancestors won at evolution, because they were predators and they were good at killing things.  Killing things and eating them makes us who we are. 

If I raised and killed it myself, or know well the person who did, I'll eat it. If I didn't, I won't, and prefer to go vegan. I consider industrial animal agriculture to be inhumane and choose not to partake of its products if I can help.

If I didn't raise it myself, I'd be 100% vegan. I respect those who are, and who do so for either ethical or health reasons. I'm often amused at how defensive some of us meat eaters get about it, when most of us have no clue what it takes to get that meat to the table.

As to the protein argument, romaine lettuce has more grams of protein per calorie than steak, and broccoli has twice as much. Kale is probably the most nutrient dense of all foods. Vegans and vegetarians who are unhealthy likely got that way by eating processed foods and a diet heavy on starches.

But you're still missing the essential saturated fats from animal meat. Weston Price studied this years ago on why our ancestors were so much healthier and had virtually no heart disease and cancer. It's only from the invention of margarine and industrialized food industry did heart disease and poor health become an epidemic.

Like you I like to eat clean for that reason I buy local meat from organ livestock raised here in town. No antibiotics, hormones etc.

Storypage

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Re: You don't eat meat anymore? What's wrong with you??!
« Reply #49 on: August 06, 2013, 10:58:18 AM »
I'm not the OP, but the documentaries that have changed my eating are:

Forks over knives
Fat, sick, and nearly dead
Food, Inc

Forks over knives convinced us to eat plant based whole foods diet. We don't prohibit meat and dairy,but we have cut it way down. Meat and dairy is now a flavoring, not a food group. It's often easy to skip it all together.

Great movies, all. Although I was a little less impressed with Forks and the China Study than you. Vegan can be a very healthy diet, but I don't see veggies curing cancer, and the data from the study showed people who eat less meat and more vegetables and fruits were healthier. It did not find a vegetable only diet was healthier than one with little meat.

All the same, I enjoyed it a lot. You might want to try FRESH, which I think is streaming on Netflix right now. Joel Salatin, the guy at the beginning of the movie, raises his chickens same as we do. Or rather, we raise ours same as he does, since we copied his system. :)