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All Or Nothing?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've tried going vegetarian and vegan multiple times and I just can't seem to stick with it. I'm hoping I can try again in the future. My question is, is it better to cut down on meat consumption or is that just hypocritical? Like should I try to eat as little meat as possible and kind of slowly adjust to going veggie? Or do you think it's an all or nothing type thing? Thanks, Jess
post #2 of 14
It depends on your reasons for wanting to go veggie. Is it because of concious or health? Do you feel awful where your food is coming from, or are you concerned about health issues?
I have been finding myself thinking about the same thing. I have been eating a vegan diet for a week. I am struggling with my own reasons. It is both health and wanting to eat food with a concious. I feel healthier with some animal products in my diet (although I have been enjoying my food and feeling pretty good this past week), but the concious side is really tugging at me. I am an advocate of an NT diet and believe in all the health benefits, but after dealing with my mom having a near fatal heart attack this past week I am really struggling.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
It is both health and conscience based, and if it were up to me it would be all or nothing, but I still live with my parents and they buy the groceries. And they like to make fun of me and tell me how stupid veggie is. They have the money and the power, so it's really hard for me in that aspect. I can't buy any different stuff that could add variety. I mostly only eat PB&J sandwiches. So you can see how it would be hard to stick to a diet like that.
post #4 of 14
I know where you are coming from. My parents made fun of my eating for years and years. I did go veggie when I was living at home and it was very hard. I ended up giving in because of how they made it so difficult for me. But I did not stand up for myself.

Now my parents both praise my eating because of the poor state of their own health. After making fun of me for years he told my mom last Christmas that he wanted me to make the food for our Christmas eve gathering. This is a big meat and pototoes man, who has now had 9 shints put in his arteries and has 3 heart attacks.

I would have a heart to heart with your parents. It's no more difficult to buy a can of chick peas as it is to buy a chicken. Perhaps offer to help with dinners. My dh and kids are not veggie, but it's their choice. I still cook for them and I will cook meat, but I have changed my cooking stratagy. I will make a hearty vegetarian/vegan main dish, and grill up some chicken or fish (once is awhile a steak) for the rest of the family. Salad and side vegetables as well. They get their meat plus a hearty veggie side that I eat as my main. This reduces the amount of meat they are eating and keeps us all happy.

I would gather up a couple of dishes that are vegetarian mains, ask your mom to buy the ingredients (keeping them as simple as possible, but filling your nutritional requirments as well) and tell her you will help prepare dinner with her. Then you will also have the leftovers from the vegetarian main for lunches.

My mom is very pursuasive and tells me what I should think. For a long time I was lost without my own identity. I wish I had stood up to her in my early years. You are your own person and you are permitted to eat what you wish or not eat what you wish, even if you are living with them and they are buying the grocheries.
post #5 of 14
I definitely do NOT think it's all or nothing, and I don't think it's hypocritical to eat meat sometimes, and not others.
It would by hypocritical if you told others how bad they were for eating meat, then had a big steak for dinner, though. lol And it wouldn't be very nice if you ate meat on your own time, but insisted that when others cook for you that it must be veg.
Anything you can do is better than nothing. Any meal you eat that is veg, you are contributing that much less to animal cruelty. You do what you can do.

Of course, that's coming from someone who eats strict vegetarian 6 days out of 7, but will eat whatever is served when I visit someone, and who will eat whatever sounds good when I go out.
I think you have to do what you can do. If you make it all or nothing, you're much more likely to choose "nothing" yk?
post #6 of 14
I've been vegan for 7 years and while for ME, it is all or nothing, it would be insane to say that for anyone else.

From both a health and ethical perspective, less meat is better than all meat, even if not as good as all meat.

Each less animal you eat means less supporting the meat industry and hurting animals, and less of what is unhealthy in meat.

So if I were you, I'd do the best I could while living at home and then do what I liked once on my own.

And also, from personal experience, it's better to keep eating some meat/eggs/milk and be healthy than it is to try to be veggie/vegan before you have the resources/knowledge to do so, and end up being really unhealthy and giving up on the diet anyway.
post #7 of 14
Those are good suggestions for living with people who don't support veggie. From my perspective, it is never an all or nothing thing. Each animal matters and a lot of animals can be helped just by cutting back on animals and their products. Thinking of our health, I think it's better to change to vegan at a pace that feels right. There shouldn't be so much guilt for eating cheese that you just say "forget it, this is too hard". It really is a process, becoming vegan, where you are learning how to do it. The circumstances are different for each person and it varies how much support you have but everyone who is vegan is living in a very non-vegan-supportive world. So you gotta figure out the logistics over time. And I think it's a great start to talk to your parents and let them know that you don't want to be made fun of for something that is important to you. Don't give up on sharing your reasoning with them.
post #8 of 14
Definitely not all or nothing. I think going all the way is still the ideal, but just because you can't do everything doesn't mean you should do nothing.

Some people can't just give everything up cold turkey. It can be a process.
post #9 of 14
I think it is ok for it to be a process and for a person to do what they can. I would LOVE to eat a raw vegan diet but I know my finances and family situation do not make that practical. Also there are a lot of foods I would miss since I enjoy cooking and baking, foods that have nothing to do with animal products. While the raw vegan thing looks so healthy I just think it would be too extreme for me to keep up with. Sooooo I am going to work toward trying to eat less and less meat until maybe I will not eat it at all. Nothing wrong with that. Like any "addiction" it can be hard to go cold turkey!

Good luck!
post #10 of 14
Definitely not all or nothing. PPs have already discussed the ethical and health aspects, but there's also the environment to think about. Eating less meat is better than doing nothing at all. Do what you can and feel good about every positive step you take.

Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler
post #11 of 14
My resasons for being veg*n have relatively little to do with animal suffering as a general rule. I am vegetarian because I believe that meat production wastes far too much energy for me to justify eating it and because I believe a vegetarian diet to be healthier. I initially did not cut out dairy or eggs because I found the vegan diet to be fairly restrictive. I subsequently discovered I have moderate food allergies and feel much, much better with no dairy or eggs (or gluten and little soy...), so while I call myself vegetarian, I am mostly vegan at this point.

I personally tend toward extremes. Its my personality and can be a flaw. If I believe that eating less meat is environmentally good and that I will be healthier for it, then does it follow that I would reap more benefits from further minimizing my animal consumption. My research indicated yes, so I continued to lessen my meat consumption until I was eating none.

Your mileage may vary, of course!
post #12 of 14
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, who does the Food for Thought podcast, addresses this many times in her episodes. Basically, what she says comes down to this quote of hers:

"Don't do nothing because you can't do everything. Do something. Do anything!"


ETA: I see in your signature that you babysit. Do you get paid for this? If so, you could use your babysitting money to buy some things you could use to make veggie meals: beans, grains, fruits and veggies. Try to stay away from fake animal flesh products.
post #13 of 14
"Don't do nothing because you can't do everything. Do something. Do anything!"

I decided to go veg when I was 13. For me it just felt natural, I never felt like I was giving anything up. I also didn't just stop everything all at once. First I stopped pork cause I thought it was gross, then beef, then chicken/turkey and then I stopped eating anything with meat additives (boullion, etc). I definitely had a crappy diet initially, consisting of chips, pbj, french fries, mac and cheese, etc. My Mom sort of humored me because she thought it was a phase. Well, this phase has lasted almost 30 years now.
I've never been much of an egg eater, they always kind of grossed me out nor did I drink much milk but it took me until about 3 years ago to cut out most dairy and eggs from my diet. (Cheese is the one thing I do miss.) What finally did it for me (and turned my husband veg) was watching the movie "Peaceable Kingdom".
So, we eat vegan at home but I don't consider myself a vegan because when we're out at a restaurant I do my best to get something vegan but if my 5 yr old really wants something with dairy/eggs or there's really no good alternative I'll get something for us with dairy/eggs. Or, I find that friends/family are really stumped with how to make vegan food so I don't make a big deal about eating dairy/eggs when visiting. For me, it's not black and white, I do my best but definitely something is better than nothing.

At any rate, my Mom and Stepdad as well as other people in my life definitely teased me about it (still do sometimes). What I figured out was that if I didn't get riled up about it, if I just laughed along with them, the teasing pretty much stopped. I think a lot of times people tease because vegetarianism makes them feel uncomfortable. Like they really don't want to examine their food choices too closely so to make themselves feel better they make fun of yours. I'm not a "preachy" vegetarian so I'm always a little shocked when someone lays into me about vegetarianism but I just chalk it up to their own issues/discomfort and just let it roll right off my back.

post #14 of 14
I gotta agree that is doesn't have to be all or nothing. everyone has already said better what i would have said.
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