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If You Are A Vegetarian.... Why?
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WHY I'm suddenly considering this... Is it primarily Health reasons? OR am I getting grossed out by eating animals? Both are true for me in smallish degrees. I just have been feeling this pull to go vegetarian. Sometimes when I eat meat these days, I get so grossed out and I don't know why. I chalk it up to the feed they give these animals and the injections and the processing of the meat. But then I also consider how inhumane it all is to treat them like that until they finally kill them. I'm not a bleeding heart, PETA type. Or am I ... slowly becoming one?? :blink:

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I've thought about going vegetarian for a number of reasons (the following being equally important to me):

1. the meat industry, in general, has some abysmal practices. absolutely abysmal. living in a capitalist society, not being terribly politically active (beyond voting), I speak my preferences in my consumption choices, and I wouldn't choose to perform the process they use, so I don't want to support it.

2. obtaining meat for food is a violent act. I'm working towards better expression of non-violence, on many levels. one of the standards I would use here is - if I would do it, I'll support it. so, could I kill a cow, skin it, dress it, butcher it, and hang it? could I chop the head off a chicken, drain it, pluck it, dress it, and then the rest? could I catch a fish, scale it, gut it, and so on? I think I could with a fish, I don't know about the rest.

3. meat places a much greater environmental impact on the planet than a nutritionally equivalent amount of non-flesh food. not only from the issue of working up the food chain, but from the amount of labor involved, and the by-products.

All that being said, without the gluten, the dairy, the limits I have on soy, and the hypoglycemia, I can't do vegetarian. It's just downright unhealthy for my body. So, I do what I can, taking the items above into account, minimizing my meat consumption, trying to focus on things that I would be willing to prepare myself, eating vegetarian dishes often, and choosing the source of that meat as wisely as possible. It's not a perfect solution, but it's the best compromise I've been able to come up with so far.

Interestingly enough, a number of serious yoga practitioners discuss this often (as the students in my training class did last week). One of the aspects of yoga (of which the poses are just a very small part) is the yamas (moral considerations), and one of those is ahimsa (non-violence). (hehehe... saw that above... ;-) ) So, you get the "can you practice true yoga if you're not a vegetarian?" question asked. And some people say 'yep, that's true." Other's say, "if you're body needs meat, and you don't eat it, then you're doing violence to yourself to avoid it, and that's wrong too." I've heard a very similar debate amongst some Buddhists, who also believe in non-violence, but tend to be very practical as well, though they are far more often vegetarian or vegan. (Though, man... finding vegan vitamins! Darn those gelatin gelcaps!)

Why not try going vegetarian for a month (something my brother in law did, just to try it) and see how it goes?

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Ok. Your response was way more thoughtful than my question! But you hit on some of what I'm thinking about. I just looked up a good web site

http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.htm

and it has tons of great, and practical info on eating a healthy vegetarian diet. While I was making salad for dinner tonight (which I do often as we are dairy free and need our calcium from the spinach we eat), I decided to do what you suggested. Go vegetarian for a month. That way, psychologically, I'm not making a life-long commitment just yet. I have the option to eat meat within a month's time. SO, I'm going to go for it. WHY not? I'm gluten free for nearly a year, mostly dairy free, eating way less meat, and now have GERD according to my dr and have to eliminate Coffee and other goodies that I like. So, how hard can a veggie diet be?!

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Ok. Your response was way more thoughtful than my question! But you hit on some of what I'm thinking about. I just looked up a good web site

http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.htm

and it has tons of great, and practical info on eating a healthy vegetarian diet. While I was making salad for dinner tonight (which I do often as we are dairy free and need our calcium from the spinach we eat), I decided to do what you suggested. Go vegetarian for a month. That way, psychologically, I'm not making a life-long commitment just yet. I have the option to eat meat within a month's time. SO, I'm going to go for it. WHY not? I'm gluten free for nearly a year, mostly dairy free, eating way less meat, and now have GERD according to my dr and have to eliminate Coffee and other goodies that I like. So, how hard can a veggie diet be?!

lol! I've been thinking about it, off and on, for ... five, six years? and I have a number of friends/family who are vegetarian/vegan for a number of moral/health reasons.

here's a recipe I made yesterday when I was tired/lazy:

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1 large carrot

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp chili powder

pinch salt

dice the carrot fairly small (about the size of half or a quarter of a garbanzo bean).

heat the oil in a skillet, add the carrot and garlic and sautee until fragrant and the carrot is starting to cook through (about 4 minutes).

add the rest of the ingredients, continue sauteeing until everything is nice and hot and cooked through (another 4-5 minutes)

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Read "Being Vegan".

Great, great non-biased book.

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I was vegitarian for health reasons for abourt 5 years, the last 3 I have been mostly vegitarian. I often only eat meat once a week. I only will eat meat that I know where it came from and all that. I like the free range, all natural, all organic, air chilled meat. I get it at whole foods. I feel better about it.

I haven't had any problems being vegitarian, but I can have dairy and eggs. I get alot of my protein and calcium from those sources.

I thought I would add my favorite supper recipe:

1 yellow squash

1 zuchini

1 small bag of baby carrots

1/2 bag of baby spinach

Any other vegie I'm in the mood for ie.eggplant....

I cut all the vegies to about the same size and saute in a little EVOO and butter. Adding the spinach at the end. When I have it I add fresh basil at the end too. I serve over jasmin rice with lentils. (You just cook the lentils and rice at the same time together) I might add a sprinkle of cheese.

We have this almost every other night. And that includes my 5 and 3 year olds!!!!!

Good luck with what ever you choose! Just try and eat healthy!

Lollie

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Tiffany pretty much explained what I feel about being a vegetarian. I try to make my voice heard as a consumer too. I don't eat much meat, mostly fish lately. If I do buy meat, it's usually organic, when I can budget for it. Since I don't eat beef, I don't use gelatin and so on. But the problem is that I wear cow leather boots for work. So, call me a hypocrite. It's tough, I really would like to be a vegetarian but I can't eat dairy and of course no gluten.

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lol! I've been thinking about it, off and on, for ... five, six years? and I have a number of friends/family who are vegetarian/vegan for a number of moral/health reasons.

here's a recipe I made yesterday when I was tired/lazy:

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1 large carrot

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp chili powder

pinch salt

dice the carrot fairly small (about the size of half or a quarter of a garbanzo bean).

heat the oil in a skillet, add the carrot and garlic and sautee until fragrant and the carrot is starting to cook through (about 4 minutes).

add the rest of the ingredients, continue sauteeing until everything is nice and hot and cooked through (another 4-5 minutes)

Hey, thanks! We have tons of garbonzo beans here because my kids love them. I'll make it tomorrow.

Lollie, I love anything with basil!

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I decided to become a vegetarian at the tender age of 4. Neither of my parents are vegetarians. I watched the movie "Charlotte's Web," made the connection between animals (which I love) and meat, and declared, "I'm never eating anything with eyes again!"

My parents thought it was a phase, but 20 years later, I'm still a vegetarian. I think it's totally a personal decision - I don't condemn or lecture anyone who wants to eat meat. I don't think I am "saving" the lives of animals by choosing not to eat meat. BUT, the reason I am still a vegetarian is b/c the thought of eating animal flesh disgusts me. I don't do it to be healthier, or because I dislike the taste. Truthfully, I don't even remember what meat tastes like!

I am not vegan though; I eat eggs, drink milk, etc. Vegetarianism is just part of who I am, and when I was diagnosed with Celiac (at age 21), I didn't even think about changing.

- Lauren

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I am a vegetarian simply because I think murder is wrong. Just because I can kill something doesn't mean I should. In my head I can't stand knowing that a living, thinking, and feeling being died just so I could eat when I could be just as fine and healthy letting it live. These thoughts just took over and a few years ago I just stopped eatin animals.

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If you decide to try going vegetarian, really consider taking a couple cooking classes in it. Some of my mom's friends were vegetarians/foodies and they made the BEST food. I'm still to this day kicking myself for not getting recipes for some of their food.

Nancy

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I have been vegetarian my whole life and I can't bring myself to eat meat. It is for health reasons that I don't eat it. It really isn't that good for you, like they would like you to think. My son can't have gluten either and I was talking to his pediatrician about whether he thought he was ok without it. He said he thinks he is better off without it. He says he thinks we all would be better off without it, but he still hasn't given it up. He told me about something he had read recently and it was the best reason to go vegetarian. In the article it said that when you eat vegetables and there is anything "bad" on them, that our intestines or something in the vegetables can kill whatever is bad and our bodies don't absorb the toxins. If we eat meat, whatever it is the kills the "bad" things on the meat doens't happen and our bodies absorb the bad stuff. Sounds complicated, but really isn't.

Having to go gluten free and give up the "meat alternatives" made from gluten has been very hard, but I can't bring myself to eat something dead. I also agree with everything Tiffany said. It takes SO much more of our environment up to eat meat.

I think it is a good idea to try it for a month and see how it goes. If you are gluten free, dairy free and meat free, it will be very hard to eat out. I guess you could have salad still.

Learning to cook vegetarian is very important. I don't think I could do all three of those without consuming some soy though. You would be very bored probably. I eat a ton of Mexican food and avocadoes (which are very good for you and flavorful).

I also don't want to offend anyone about meat eating. If you feel you want to eat meat, then that is your right and I don't condemn.

MOnica

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I like some others, have been toying with the idea of vegetarianism, for the last 33 years. Yeah, I know that is a long time to sit on the fence but when my son was growing up he did not like vegetables that much and still doesn't. So, the meat was for him, really. I could never be a farmer like my cousins unless it was a grain farm. I could not kill anything I have raised.

I never eat red meat. I only eat free range, no antibiotics, corn fed poultry. 6 months ago I had bought 4 packages of chicken and now have one left...shows how much I eat it. I eat more seafood than anything else and that is only once or twice a week.

I just can't see Yule without turkey. For us Tofurkey is not an option because it is loaded in gluten.

I guess one could say I am almost there. The more I see mad cow, avian flu the more it encourages me to stay away from it but for me it is more than that, it is the animals.

One of the most traumatic moments of my life was when I was four years old, seeing my cousin cut the head off the chicken and it chased me about the yard. I can't watch any show that shows that an animal may be killed or hurt because I am in tears.

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I forgot to mention yesterday, that my five year old has recently decided to become vegitarian. My husband looked at me and I just looked surprised. She broke into a full out sob over having to eat an animal. She doesn't want to hurt any other living thing. I told her she didn't have to eat any meat, but she had to eat eggs and dairy and beans. All of which are not her favorites, but so far so good! She would rather eat things that don't taste as good as she would like them to, then hurt an animal. Personally, I'm really proud and impressed with her conviction. It's been over a month and she hasn't changed her mind!

lollie

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I forgot to mention yesterday, that my five year old has recently decided to become vegitarian. My husband looked at me and I just looked surprised. She broke into a full out sob over having to eat an animal. She doesn't want to hurt any other living thing. I told her she didn't have to eat any meat, but she had to eat eggs and dairy and beans. All of which are not her favorites, but so far so good! She would rather eat things that don't taste as good as she would like them to, then hurt an animal. Personally, I'm really proud and impressed with her conviction. It's been over a month and she hasn't changed her mind!

lollie

What a dedicated young lady you have! I think it's great :)

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I forgot to mention yesterday, that my five year old has recently decided to become vegitarian. My husband looked at me and I just looked surprised. She broke into a full out sob over having to eat an animal. She doesn't want to hurt any other living thing. I told her she didn't have to eat any meat, but she had to eat eggs and dairy and beans. All of which are not her favorites, but so far so good! She would rather eat things that don't taste as good as she would like them to, then hurt an animal. Personally, I'm really proud and impressed with her conviction. It's been over a month and she hasn't changed her mind!

lollie

I did that, too, at her age! I may have been a touch older, but not much. I don't remember why, but I think it had to do with porkchops. I think I went 6 or 8 months and had a hamburger at a friends house. I was SO SICK! But I kind of added meat back in slowly after that. Vegetarianism was hard for me because I'm hypoglycemic and eating meat helps.

That's awesome that she has such conviction! It's even more awesome that you're supporting her!

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My granddaughter told me two years ago when she was six that she was Vegetarian. My son confirmed that she does not like meat and on very rare occasions will eat chicken or turkey but she prefers vegetables. Her brother prefers meat like my son.

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Well, I'm going for it. I told my kids and husband. They're ok with it. We're having split pea with OUT ham tonight. :)

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I did that, too, at her age! I may have been a touch older, but not much. I don't remember why, but I think it had to do with porkchops. I think I went 6 or 8 months and had a hamburger at a friends house. I was SO SICK! But I kind of added meat back in slowly after that. Vegetarianism was hard for me because I'm hypoglycemic and eating meat helps.

That's awesome that she has such conviction! It's even more awesome that you're supporting her!

Well, I love her! I wouldn't make her do anything that makes her feel that emotionally sad. She loves shrimp, her favorite thing in the world. Well she had said she wasn't going to eat meat like the day before I had planned to cook these really pretty gulf shrimp. Well I went ahead and cooked them.....She grabbed one and ate it. About mid bite she realized that a shrimp is an animal. She cried and continued to eat it. It was so sad, she had her conviction to not hurt animals, but it tasted so good! We talked a long time about that and I told her I wouldn't cook shrimp at home for a while. I don't know she is a very sweet, sensitive child! I just love her!

lollie

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Well, I love her! I wouldn't make her do anything that makes her feel that emotionally sad. She loves shrimp, her favorite thing in the world. Well she had said she wasn't going to eat meat like the day before I had planned to cook these really pretty gulf shrimp. Well I went ahead and cooked them.....She grabbed one and ate it. About mid bite she realized that a shrimp is an animal. She cried and continued to eat it. It was so sad, she had her conviction to not hurt animals, but it tasted so good! We talked a long time about that and I told her I wouldn't cook shrimp at home for a while. I don't know she is a very sweet, sensitive child! I just love her!

lollie

Well, tell her that shrimp, crabs, lobsters, and crawdads are underwater bugs. Which, really, they are, what with their antennae and exoskeletons. That'll either 1: turn her off seafood completely, and then she won't like them or 2: She won't feel bad she's eating an animal, because it's a bug :P

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Well, tell her that shrimp, crabs, lobsters, and crawdads are underwater bugs. Which, really, they are, what with their antennae and exoskeletons. That'll either 1: turn her off seafood completely, and then she won't like them or 2: She won't feel bad she's eating an animal, because it's a bug :P

I tried that! She, for a little while, said she would only eat mean animals. So I tried to convince her that fish was really all just sharks and shrimp were bugs. But, she really likes bugs! She's out in the garden all the time collecting doodle bugs, so she just related them together. I just decided that I would let it play out. I will let her eat meat if she wants to, or if not, fine. I just keep up with her diet. But I am a little concerned, with our upcoming trip. We usually eat alot of seafood, and my DH always catches fish while we're there and I cook it. I guess she'll have alot of baked potato's.

She keeps getting on to Daddy, that he shouldn't fish and hurt the animals. My three year old says she's going fishing with Daddy and when she catches something she's gonna EAT IT!!!! It's pretty funny!

Lollie

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I just happened to notice there's some vegetarian/gluten-free info. and recipes on www.glutenfreeda.com

I haven't read it yet myself but I thought maybe the veggie folks on here would want to check it out.

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I am not a vegetarian, but I'll give you reasons for why I think being a vegetarian is a good or bad idea.

Good Idea

Growing vegetables usually takes up less space and produces less harmful greenhouses gases than pastures for cattle.

Non organic meat can contain hormones, how do those hormones affect us?

Mainstream non organic meat is usually not very lean, since the animals usually aren't free range.

Dairy cattle and hens raised for eggs do not have the best lives.

Bad Idea

Humans need protein and meat is the best source of protein.

Without a good source of protein, you may develop anemia. You may also get tired and notice a lack of energy.

You already have to eliminate a lot of foods if you are on the gluten-free diet or if you have any other intolerances.

Personally, I chose not to be a vegetarian. I do not eat pork though, which is a personal decision and I don't eat dairy products because I am allergic. The meat that I do choose to eat is very high in protein and low in fat such as, extra lean hamburger, turkey, salmon, shrimp, tuna, chicken, and lean steak. Most of the meat that I eat is locally grown.

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It is strange but my brother who used to call my sister and me the green sisters from hell. Now he declares he will not eat red meat because it takes up too much space. So, most of my family only eat seafood or poultry.

As for protein, beans and tofu are excellent sources of protein. I suffered from anemia without being vegetarian.

I once had a book called Recipes for a Small Planet and it was probably one of the first vegetarian books out. I have no idea where it is now but I did love that book. Just like we can make delicious gluten-free meals, just make them gluten and meat-free. Mine are that way most of the time.

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