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Journey to Vegetarianism

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am feeling the need to take meat out of my diet for reasons of principle. I don't oppose the general idea meat-eating, but I do oppose the current economic and agricultural system that produces 95% of the meat on the market today. I've done a lot of reading on the subject lately, and I can't even enjoy eating meat anymore now that I know what happens to bring that meat to my table. It's just not worth it to me anymore to be a part of that.

But I am finding it is not as simple as just waking up one day and not eating meat anymore. There are questions and other implications.

- What about fish? How do I feel about eating fish? I don't know yet. An animal is an animal...is the cow on some higher level than the salmon? I don't know. I don't think so.

- Does this mean I can't buy anything made of leather anymore? What does it say about me if I do?

- What about eggs?

- Will I get enough protein when I am pregnant?

- How do I deal with others' comments? I have no veggie friends, I live in a *very* redneck area, and my father comes from 2 big cattle ranching families.

- Do I still feed meat to my kids? Do I make the house vegetarian? (My husband is totally supportive of me in this, mainly for health reasons on his part.)

Can anyone who has gone down this road please relate to me their experiences and how you deal with the issues and questions I've mentioned?
post #2 of 11
Hi. I've been a vegetarian since I was about 8... 16 years!! But, I'll just answer these questions quick... I hope it helps some anyway!

- What about fish? How do I feel about eating fish? I don't know yet. An animal is an animal...is the cow on some higher level than the salmon? I don't know. I don't think so. ***********fish = meat.

- Does this mean I can't buy anything made of leather anymore? What does it say about me if I do? ****That's what I think it means. But I know some "vegetarians" do use leather and are fine with it.

- What about eggs?

***Not eggs from fertile chickens (chickens that live w/ roosters that is!)

- Will I get enough protein when I am pregnant?
**sure. If you have a healthy and well rounded diet!

- How do I deal with others' comments? I have no veggie friends, I live in a *very* redneck area, and my father comes from 2 big cattle ranching families.

*******My father raises cattle here in Maine. : I'm not my father... Honestly I haven't ever received too much grief about being vegetarian. Your friends/family may surprise you too!

- Do I still feed meat to my kids? Do I make the house vegetarian? (My husband is totally supportive of me in this, mainly for health reasons on his part.)
**********My ds (29 months) has always been a vegetarian. My husband fell off the wagon last month and at seafood---- but he's since gone veg again ( ). So, for us, feeding our child was an easy decision. Maybe you could hold a family meeting and see how everybody else feels about giving it a try too???

Good luck!
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta
I am feeling the need to take meat out of my diet for reasons of principle. I don't oppose the general idea meat-eating, but I do oppose the current economic and agricultural system that produces 95% of the meat on the market today. I've done a lot of reading on the subject lately, and I can't even enjoy eating meat anymore now that I know what happens to bring that meat to my table. It's just not worth it to me anymore to be a part of that.

But I am finding it is not as simple as just waking up one day and not eating meat anymore. There are questions and other implications.

- What about fish? How do I feel about eating fish? I don't know yet. An animal is an animal...is the cow on some higher level than the salmon? I don't know. I don't think so.

- Does this mean I can't buy anything made of leather anymore? What does it say about me if I do?

- What about eggs?

- Will I get enough protein when I am pregnant?

- How do I deal with others' comments? I have no veggie friends, I live in a *very* redneck area, and my father comes from 2 big cattle ranching families.

- Do I still feed meat to my kids? Do I make the house vegetarian? (My husband is totally supportive of me in this, mainly for health reasons on his part.)

Can anyone who has gone down this road please relate to me their experiences and how you deal with the issues and questions I've mentioned?
What helped me is that I challenged myself to go without meat for a week and I told people about it. That way there was some accountability as I got asked at least once a day if I was still doing it, was it hard...etc. And because I am that kind of person, I would not let myself be defeated. That week was so easy (because in my mind, as it was a challege, I could not let myself lose kwim?) that I decided to challenge myself again for a month. And during that time, I lost my taste for meat and lost track of when that month was supposed to be up and I know that I have been without meat for at least 4 months. I has not been nearly has hard as I once imagined.

I do eat eggs, milk and cheese and such. My husband is not ready to give meat up (it is a cultural issue with him) so I cannot force it upon my kids either.

Eating fish though, is not vegetarianism. I looked at a website when I was researching this and it addressed this very thing. Fish is flesh and consuming flesh is the opposite of being vegetarian is basically what it said.

That is my tale
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your quick replies, and I welcome more!

I haven't had meat in a week or so and it's been pretty easy to do that. It's just these other things I have been thinking about and dealing with.

I agree about the fish thing. That will, oddly, be the hardest meat for me to give up even though I don't eat it often anyway.

I can give up leather -- it'll save me money anyway (as does not eating meat anymore.)

edamommy, what do you mean by this?
Quote:
***Not eggs from fertile chickens (chickens that live w/ roosters that is!)
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta
Thank you for your quick replies, and I welcome more!

I haven't had meat in a week or so and it's been pretty easy to do that. It's just these other things I have been thinking about and dealing with.

I agree about the fish thing. That will, oddly, be the hardest meat for me to give up even though I don't eat it often anyway.

I can give up leather -- it'll save me money anyway (as does not eating meat anymore.)

edamommy, what do you mean by this?

It means *i think* that eggs from fertile chickens have the potential to become baby chicks so eating them would be wrong.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
So, basically, all eggs would have that potential so they would be off-limits too?

FTR, for the past few years I've always bought cage-free eggs, but I don't really know how much better those chickens are treated than others. My main point in giving up meat is to no longer support our current ag industry. (Which technically would leave open the option of eating free-range, grass fed beef and all of that, but I still don't know how those animals were really treated or killed, so I still can't do it.)

The egg thing is complicated for me because I really rely on them for my breakfast and daily protein, but at the same time, especially being pro-life, I really have to think of them as the same as actual chickens, pretty much.
post #7 of 11
I am feeling the need to take meat out of my diet for reasons of principle. I don't oppose the general idea meat-eating, but I do oppose the current economic and agricultural system that produces 95% of the meat on the market today. I've done a lot of reading on the subject lately, and I can't even enjoy eating meat anymore now that I know what happens to bring that meat to my table. It's just not worth it to me anymore to be a part of that.

I think your reason for going veg will direct how you feel about your questions. If eating animals is okay with you and the agricultural practices is what bothers you then I'd think supporting the farms that practice the practices you support would be important. When I was O/L veg, I was opposed to eating the flesh so I just stopped that.


- What about fish? How do I feel about eating fish? I don't know yet. An animal is an animal...is the cow on some higher level than the salmon? I don't know. I don't think so.
Eating fish means you are not vegetarian. I've always wondered where this came from.

- Does this mean I can't buy anything made of leather anymore? What does it say about me if I do?
I don't know much about leather practices, but my guess is the animals used for leather are treated in the same fashion as the animals used for food consumption. It is pretty easy to find nice non-leather bags/shoes/belts...

- What about eggs?
Eggs and dairy are animal products and the animals are again treated poorly in your typical farm setting. It would be very hard for me to give up either of these items. Mostly because I'm too lazy to deal with finding alternatives.

- Will I get enough protein when I am pregnant?
It can be done but you'd want to pay especially close attention to your diet to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need. Tofu and beans will become your friend. I think we generally eat way more protein than we actually need so it probably won't be that hard to get the right amount.

- How do I deal with others' comments? I have no veggie friends, I live in a *very* redneck area, and my father comes from 2 big cattle ranching families.
Expect a LOT of crap from people! I tried to find the humor in others comments and don't let them bother you. It's your life/your body to treat as you wish.

- Do I still feed meat to my kids? Do I make the house vegetarian? (My husband is totally supportive of me in this, mainly for health reasons on his part.)
If you and DH are veg, I see no reason to feed meat to your kids. Unless your kids are already eating meat and old enough to protest. I'd let kids make their own choices about meat when they are old enough to make the decision.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta

- What about fish? How do I feel about eating fish? I don't know yet. An animal is an animal...is the cow on some higher level than the salmon? I don't know. I don't think so.

A fish is animal , if you eat fish at all then you aren't a vegetarian.

- Does this mean I can't buy anything made of leather anymore? What does it say about me if I do? I know vegetarians that do buy/wear leather and at different times I have. I now will occassionaly buy used leather because I view it as recycling and not directly buying from the meat industry.

- What about eggs?
Most vegetarians I know eat eggs. I didn't for years then I did for a couple of years and now I don't again. I don't think eggs are all that healthy and I am know trying to eat a vegan diet anyway. If you were going to eat eggs it would be better to know where they come from and that the chickens are definitly treated well.

- Will I get enough protein when I am pregnant?

Even most vegetarians get more than enough protein. I was a vegetarian during both of my pregnancies and yes I got enough protein and so will you.

- How do I deal with others' comments? I have no veggie friends, I live in a *very* redneck area, and my father comes from 2 big cattle ranching families.
I would just be as respectful as I could.

- Do I still feed meat to my kids? Do I make the house vegetarian? (My husband is totally supportive of me in this, mainly for health reasons on his part.)
That's a personal decision but I do believe your kids will be healthier if they are vegetarians. My household is a vegetarian one, my kids have been vegetarian from the start.

Can anyone who has gone down this road please relate to me their experiences and how you deal with the issues and questions I've mentioned?
I decided to become a vegetarian when I was 18. I lived with my boyfriend, now husband, at the time. He didn't become a vegetarian then but did about a year later. I knew we would raise our kids vegetarian. I don't have the family pressure that you might have so I can't really help there. If you are really solid in your belief that a vegetarian lifestyle is right for you then just try to ignore those who tell you are wrong. Be respectful of your extented families choice of how to eat and ask they do the same with you.
post #9 of 11
Everyone has been giving you some good info, but I thought I might make a book recommendation. It's called "becoming vegetarian" and there are a couple of authors, one with a hard to pronounce name. This book will give you lots of information about the questions you are asking and will provide some good information for you to use when you talk with people you know about why you want to be a vegetarian. There is also a type of FAQ with helpful hints on how to deal with certain social situations. I found it most useful when I went veg- if only because I would loan it to people (like my parents). There are some recipes in it and good nutritional information. It's a good place to start your journey.
post #10 of 11
Just to address the egg issue - we've had our own chickens for years and we have no rooster. THe chickens just lay the eggs every other day and I feel fine about eating them because they are not fertilized so they are not a baby chick. And eggs are a great source of nutrients - plus we love having chickens running around our yard. I would not eat eggs from battery farms - those chickens are so badly mistreated. If you want to eat eggs but can't have your own chickens, you may be able to find someone who does have chickens - or maybe there is a small local farm that has chickens running around (that's where I get eggs when our chickens are molting) - also a local farmer's market is another place to get eggs from well-treated chickens.

That being said - you certainly don't need any animal products to be healthy but I would take special care if you are planning to be or are pregnant or breastfeeding to make sure you are getting enough protein, minerals, and essential fatty acids. These can be obtained from beans and legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens, sea vegetables, etc.
post #11 of 11
I am feeling the need to take meat out of my diet for reasons of principle. I don't oppose the general idea meat-eating, but I do oppose the current economic and agricultural system that produces 95% of the meat on the market today. I've done a lot of reading on the subject lately, and I can't even enjoy eating meat anymore now that I know what happens to bring that meat to my table. It's just not worth it to me anymore to be a part of that.

But I am finding it is not as simple as just waking up one day and not eating meat anymore. There are questions and other implications.

- What about fish? How do I feel about eating fish? I don't know yet. An animal is an animal...is the cow on some higher level than the salmon? I don't know. I don't think so.

*A fish is an animal. If you want to be veggie, then you can't eat fish. But mainly there are two reasons: 1) If you read any oceean ecology books you'll find that the world's supply of fish/all other sea creatures are dropping like you wouldn't believe and it is having a devastating effect on the entire ecosystem. 2) farmed fish are given all sorts of chemicals, etc. and kept in small pools, get lots of infections, etc. so it really isn't any different than a farm of cows or chickens.

- Does this mean I can't buy anything made of leather anymore? What does it say about me if I do?

*Well, the leather industry brings in more money than the meat industry (sme cows) so you really shouldn't support them. There are so many companies making practical and stylish shoes/bags/wallets/belts, etc. Check out these great places:

www.veganwares.com
www.mooshoes.com

- What about eggs?

*Egg-laying chickens are (in the opinion of farm industry expert Temple Grandin) the WORST treated of all meat animals. So if you want to continue eating eggs, follow Cathe's advice - although I would also want to eat them from chickens that I knew weren't going to be killed.

- Will I get enough protein when I am pregnant?

*Sure! Most of us get way more than we need per day if we eat meat and dairy products. My diet is full of nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and veggies - all full of protein. If, for breakfast, I have two slices of whole wheat or sprouted wheat bread with almond butter, a banana, and a cup of soymilk, I'll have already had 26 gm of protein (and my daily recommended amt for not being pregnant is only about 65 gm) - add some snacks and two meals and I'm way up there. And obviously being pregnant will make me eaet more.

- How do I deal with others' comments? I have no veggie friends, I live in a *very* redneck area, and my father comes from 2 big cattle ranching families.

*Check out www.vegfamily.com for their articles and discussion forum - lots of people live in redneck areas and are vegan/veggie. As for the people in the area, I think you'll just have to deal with their comments and try to be as diplomatic and quiet as possible (otherwise you'll be accused of preaching)

- Do I still feed meat to my kids? Do I make the house vegetarian? (My husband is totally supportive of me in this, mainly for health reasons on his part.)

*If you're DH is supportive and wants to do it to, then it seems best to have the whole family eating one day. Otherwise you'll be cooking extra. Make the kids have an active part of choosing groceries and deciding what recipes to make. There are veggie kids books so they could even make the food themselves.
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