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I am slowly moving towards a vegetarian life, I think.<br><br>
Please give me great reasons for WHY its better to not eat meat! Both physically and environmentally..(sp?)<br><br>
Sometimes its hard to keep up the work towards a vegetarian lifestyle, so I would really appreciate if you could give me some help, here!
 

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Read Diet for a New America.<br><br>
But also, read this link... it's really informative and is a quick read. Sums things up nicely.<br><br><a href="http://www.aapn.org/vegstats.html" target="_blank">http://www.aapn.org/vegstats.html</a>
 

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I personally think vegetarian food tastes better, too.
 

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Some advise from someone that was a vegetarian for over 8 years. If you are going to go veggie then make sure you don't eat too many of the wrong carbs. I have recently started eating meat again and am trying to eat mostly fresh whole foods instead of processed foods. The reason... I have gained so much weight since being a vegetarian it's not even funny. I've always had a problem with my weight, and being a vegetarian hasn't helped at all. I also wonder if it has anything to do with some other health problems I have.<br><br>
I think being a vegetarian is good, but it's just not for everyone.
 

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I think it is good to not just eat a lot of processed food if you are vegetarian- that wouldn't be too much healthier. I've been a vegetarian most of my life and have always been on the thin side. I have never done that well with a lot of carbs, though and mostly eat whole foods with some things like chips that I really like.
 

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It's good not to eat alot of processed foods or the 'wrong' carbs, period. Not just for vegetarians. I've done both, I gained weight when I first went vegetarian (thanks to a diet of cheese pizza and junk food) and I lost 115lbs as a vegetarian (thanks to a healthy, balanced, whole foods diet). I don't think this is an issue with vegetarianism, but with diet in general.<br><br>
I mean, I don't think the average new vegetarian will go from poached fish and whole grains and lots of veggies to cheetos and cheese pizza! so, relaly, chances are if you gained on an unhealthy veg. diet you would have eventually gained on your meaty diet too, assuming it was as full of unhealthy foods.<br><br>
I second "Diet for A New America", it's what did it for me!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Attila the Honey</i><br><b>so, relaly, chances are if you gained on an unhealthy veg. diet you would have eventually gained on your meaty diet too, assuming it was as full of unhealthy foods.<br><br></b></td>
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That's the thing. I don't think I would have. I used a lot of vegetarian meat replacers and I really don't think they are all that good for us. The weight wasn't the only issue - and that didn't happen just from pizza and cheetos either. I think some people do very well on a vegetarian diet, and others don't. Some need more protein than carbs and I feel I'm one of those people. That's nearly impossible to do on a vegetarian diet IMO. I don't like veggies so I would eat too many bread and cereal products. Obviously that didn't work for me, but for others with a different body type it could be just fine. My whole point is everyone is different. What works for one might not work for another.
 

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I really don't think those meat replacers are all that good either- they are loaded with soy protein isolate and gluten and flavor enhancers that can make you eat too much. They are not real food. A simple diet with lots of beans, veggies, fruits and healthy grains seems best to me.
 

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AFter trying many different diets: regular american, vegan, raw foods, macrobiotic, I have settled on a diet that works well for my family - a whole foods, plant based diet supplemented with animal products (our own eggs, wild fish, occasional yogurt and organic poultry). I try to be responsible with my animal product choices but found that I was too tired and anemic without them and I prefer not to rely on supplements.
 

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I am not a vegetarian but know quite a few even in my own family. If you want to go the high protein route then maybe vegetarianism is not for you. However I go to weight watcher meetings where many members are vegetarians and do lose the weight. It is all in balance of what you eat and portion sizes and what you choose for snacks. Maybe if you want to give up meat you could stick to fish for meat as well as beans, whole grains and legumes. Tofu is good too. My BF is rastafarian and they do eat fish but not scavengers as in seafood, (shrimp lobster etc). He eats good food from scratch and has no weight problem. When you eat your rice take a 1/2 cup of brown rice only per meal. Portion control is one of the keys. It is not a single food that makes you fat it is the total amounts eaten in ratio to calories burned. There are a lot of books out there on nutrition so get cracking. I wish you luck.
 

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I strongly disagree that it's almost impossible to eat high protein while vegetarian. I am pregnant now, and following the brewer diet recommendations for protein (100g a day), and most days I easily fall between 90-120g with little effort even though I eat no meat and very little dairy. (days pass between my servings of dairy)<br><br>
I was confused on this issue before until I started keeping a food jounal and realized that my diet is in no way low protein. I do think it's almost impossible to eat high protein while vegetarian if you aren't eating whole foods, though.<br><br>
Of course, food preferences are another thing altogether. If you don't LIKE veggies and other whole foods, and prefer to eat cereals and bread, then yeah, it's going to be hard to have a balanced diet.
 

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Hi Crunchy<br>
Great question to ask.<br>
The reason to go veg first and foremost is your health. Meat is pumped full of hormones, chemicals and antobiotics, all very bad for your health. Steers and chickens in US farming are fed ground up remnants of deceased chickens and cows - many who have died from disease in the field. This is how mad cow started, yet the USDA allows this kind of feeding to this day. It's highly contaminated. Red meat putrifies in your colon and is responsible for more than 80% of colon and digestive discorders as well as cancers.<br><br>
The second reason is the earth. The amount of corn it takes to feed one steer to the weight of slaughter (one steer= food for 10 people who eat meat regularly for a week) could feed 1000 people for the same week. If the United States alone (not to mention Japan, Argentina and the UK) scaled meat production down by just ten percent, world hunger would end. (of course the bureaucracy that keeps food from being circulated properly would also need to be fixed, but that's the basic math)<br><br>
Thirdly, but the foremost reason for me, is cruelty to animals. Animals think feel and have emotions just like humans do. Your pet dog is no more sentient than the cow taken to slaughter who almost perishes in terror before he meets the axe. If you are curious about farming practices in the United States please go to <a href="http://www.peta.org" target="_blank">www.peta.org</a> I urge you to look at the video "meet your meat" There is a face to every steak put on every table. The treatment of pigs and chickens is equal to what humans suffered at Auschwitz.<br><br>
I was an enthusiastic carnivore until I read a book called "When Elephants Weep" (a NY Times bestseller) about ten years ago while on vacation in Big Sur. I understood fully at the end of that book that animals have the same feelings and needs as humans do. Therefore for me, eating meat is equal to cannbalism, and it's cruel. I know this sounds fundamentalist, but I believe it 's the truth.<br><br>
Now for people talking about vegetarianism being a threat to one's protein intake, I just have to say I have found that to be a real myth. Many vegetables (not soy) are full of protein, beans, green beans, grains, brocoli, I am not vegan and eat some eggs and cheese on occassion (free range of course <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> but not very often.<br><br>
I was %100 percent veg throughout my pregnancy and had an 11 pound, extremely healthy baby who is exclusively vegetarian. She breaks the percentiles at the doctor's office at 19 months - she is taller than most two and a half year olds with plenty of great meat on her bones. I am ten pounds overweight form being pregnant still - I was veg before that for 8 years and always kept my same weight - 130 at 5'9".<br><br>
Veg is the way to go for a lot of good reasons and it isn't hard and it's not that big of a deal. I think it's about consciousness shift really. Once your heart is in it, you just go.<br><br>
Good luck.<br>
(great cook books for veg food: Greens, Moosewood Cookbook, The Passionate Vegetarian - all food fit for kings! and not all soy!! you'll never be hungry again!)
 

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<a href="http://www.meetyourmeat.com/" target="_blank">http://www.meetyourmeat.com/</a><br><br>
all the stars are in it! Just kidding. You can watch the video on your computer for free<br><br>
It will give you a real, true and unforgettable picture of what animal slaughter in the United States means to billions of animals every year.<br><br>
here's the summary:<br><br>
More than 25 billion animals are killed for food every year in the United States. This video shows the lives and deaths of chickens, cows, and pigs and makes a poignant case for vegetarianism and humane legislation.<br><br>
Pigs, cows, and chickens are individuals with feelings—they can feel love, happiness, loneliness, and fear, just as dogs, cats, and people do.<br><br>
The purpose of factory farms is to produce the most meat, milk, and eggs using the least amount of space, time, and money. The animals suffer the consequences of these shortcuts. They are never allowed to do anything that is natural to them—they are never able to feel the grass beneath their feet, the sun on their faces, or fresh air.<br><br>
They endure mutilation—chicks have their beaks burned off, cows and pigs are castrated without anesthesia, cows are dehorned and branded, and the list goes on—all without any painkillers. Some animals, such as veal calves, are kept in lonely isolation, while others, such as chickens, are crowded so closely together that they can barely move. Factory farmers restrict animals’ movement, not only to save space, but also so that all their energy goes toward producing flesh, eggs, or milk for human consumption. They spend their lives confined to concrete stalls and metal cages, terrified and suffering in such unnatural conditions.<br><br>
Their fear and pain end only after they have been driven, without food or water and often in extreme weather, to the mechanized murder of today’s slaughterhouse, where millions each year are skinned and dismembered while still conscious.<br><br>
The best thing you can do for animals, as this video makes clear, is to go veg. For more on what you can do, click here.<br>
 

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You can eat a healthful diet with or without meat. But the ethical and environmental considerations build a good case for vegetarianism. Most of the meat we eat comes from so-called factory farming. It uses a tremendous amount of water, far more per serving of food than vegetable foods like grain.<br><br>
In addition, without rigorous attention, animal husbandry is a serious pollutant. People can't even live near industrial pig farms because of air and water pollution, and cows, because they are fed unnatural diets, produce methane gas! Even fish, which I still eat, are a problem. Farmed salmon, one of the foods I haven't succeeded in giving up, intensively pollutes its seacoast pens in the same way as larger land mammals do. In addition, the farmed stocks can break loose and genetically weaken wild fish. The wild salmon is less environmentally problematic, but other wild fishes are worse. There was a fad for Chilean sea bass for awhile, a slow-growing fish--some of the fishes people were eating in restaurants may have been as old as 50!<br><br>
Then there are the pollutants in your meat and fish. First, the mercury levels in fish have turned it from a health food for pregnant and nursing women into a scary potential toxin. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Conventionally grown animals are fed with conventionally grown grains and beans, which contain a lot of pesticides. The pesticides accumulate in the bodies of the animals, so that when you eat them, you get a mega-dose of the stuff, much more than if you ate the vegetables (or so I understand.) Plus, conventionally grown meat has antibiotics. <a href="http://www.mindfully.org/Food/Power-Steer-Pollan31mar02.htm" target="_blank">Here's a really neat article by Michael Pollan about how beef is grown.</a> He explains that because corn is cheap, we feed it to cows even though their digestive systems can't handle it. Then we give them antibiotics because they get sick. If we would just feed them grass, they wouldn't need so many drugs.<br><br>
Now for the kicker. Slaughter. If you find a farm (like Michael Pollan found--<a href="http://www.organicconsumers.org/organic/010403_organic.cfm" target="_blank">here's his neat article on sustainable meat eating</a> ) where meat is raised ethically and ecologically, you still have to confront slaughter. There is a lot of disagreement about what constitutes humane slaughter. How do you feel about it? It's a tricky question.<br><br>
On a personal level , if you restrict your diet to vegetarian foods, you can compost nearly all of your organic waste. You can't do that if you eat meat, because it will attract animal scavengers.<br><br>
It is possible to avoid some of the problems I've outlined with the omniverous diet, but it requires a high level of consciousness about what you eat. To me it seems easier to choose the vegetarian option. YMMV.
 

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On the composting- that is a good point. We compost all of our vegetarian meal scraps. I wouldn't compost eggs or dairy, though in a standard compost pile.
 

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I will give you my take on things which is in somewhat disagreement from most people on this thread.<br><br>
I am not into comparing animals and humans in terms of worth and quite frankly find the comparison to the holocaust a tragic dehumanizing of people. However, I do find myself more and more turned off by the thought of eating a once living creature. But not completely yet.<br><br>
I was raised where meat was the main dish and everything else was complimentary. As I have gotten older and with my family now I try and use meat more as a flavoring or side dish and everything else as the main dish.<br><br>
My reasons for doing so are as follows in order:<br><br>
1) definitely healthier to limit meat just for meats sake and up the intake of veggies and Healthy carbs. I firmly believe that white flour and white rice are THE biggest problem in American diets and weight problems.<br><br>
2) cheaper on the family pocketbook.<br><br>
3) the less meat eaten means the less resources needed to produce it.<br><br>
4) most factory farms do not treat their animals humanly. The less you support them the better the chances of getting them to change.<br><br>
5)
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by oatmeal</i><br><b><br>
Now for people talking about vegetarianism being a threat to one's protein intake, I just have to say I have found that to be a real myth.</b></td>
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Great for you, but for some of us it's a reality. Again, not everyone is the same.
 

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Here are a few practical reasons that my DH and I notice:<br><br>
fridge rarely smells<br>
fewer food born illnesses<br>
better GI health if you kwim<br>
everything Oatmeal said!<br>
during hurricane season, I don't panic about the lights going out , having no food, and the meat going bad ( ok, maybe this does not apply to you!)<br><br>
As with any diet, processed foods are not that great and should be avoided. This is true with veggie nuggets or chicken nuggets. Think whole foods- foods that have not been processed and foods that can still remember their original form!<br><br>
I know plenty of junk food vegetarians, and they are just as unhealthy as junk food meat eaters. I also know many wholefoods meat eaters that are healthy- they only buy organic meats and local fish. Same with veggie eating- eat with the seasons, eat for your environment and geography too.<br><br>
Have fun, and get lots of magazines and books
 

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i don't think that anyone can argue that factory farming is a good thing, but i don't think that it is in and of itself a good argument for not eating animal food. JMO. (though certainly if the death of the animal is the issue, then it is a very valid reason!)<br><br>
also, i am on the opposite side and feel that the largely vegetarian assertion that there is protein in all foods, etc. is somewhat of a myth. i mean, i on the whole believe that there is indeed protein as a component of all foods.....and certainly when i was vegan i did get kwashiorkor or something like that! BUT, i still think that for particular body types and people who are fast oxidizers, actual protein foods can be important. i know that in my own case i do not crave or eat sweet things when i eat at least small portions of protein in my day. for me it has been a real blessing to get some of these foods back into my life because i eat much less sugar. i am sorry to say that vegans that i know eat a lot of grain (in the form of flour more than whole grains) and lots of sugar and refined carbs like white rice, breads, etc. lots of soy products, too. though i don't think that that has to be the experience of the vegetarian diet and it sounds like it is not for many here.....that's just what i've seen. but honestly the people i know all eat lots of bread and rice products and sugar and it doesn't vary much depending on whether they eat meat or veggie. so who knows? i think no matter what diet you're moving towards sticking to whole foods as much as possible is a good bet.
 

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I forgot to add -<br><br>
5) less worry about undercooking your food and causing illness or death.<br><br>
6) contaminating your other food products or kitchen surfaces.<br><br>
7) you rarely have to second guess whether or not the vegetable has passed its exspiration date
 
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