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Any Vegans Or Vegetarians Here?


Gamecock1973
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So in my former life, pretty much the trifecta of evil was being an atheist, homosexual, and a vegan. The three seemed to go hand-in-hand describing all that was bad about humanity. I know it does not follow that to be an atheist one must also fall into the other two categories, but I'm curious if there are some vegans out there.

 

After watching the documentary "Forks Over Knives," which I recommend to anyone, I experimented with a completely natural plant-based diet for a couple of weeks and really felt better physically than i have in years. I'm a lifelong carnivore who LOVES meat, but I'm seriously considering a big lifestyle change for the sake of my health. I'm just not sure I have the willpower to forego meat and dairy (I'm from Wisconsin!) for the rest of my life.

 

I know that Veganism at its core is about the animals, and that taking on a plant-based diet for health reasons is not really being a vegan per se. Some vegans tend to be quite militant about this and look down upon even vegeterians. I'm not necessarily anti-meat, although I certainly wouldn't be sad if a lot of the corporate practices in food production disappeared and we became as a whole more compassionate and environmentally conscious.

 

Anyway, I would be interested to hear from anyone who has gone from being a meat-lover to a vegetarian (and especially a vegan), and how it worked out for you.

 

Atheism, Veganism....If i can get these two down, maybe I'll have to start experimenting in bi-sexuality (love the ladies too much to give them up!)! Hahahahaha

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It's interesting that you bring this up. As a Christian, there was never one thought about eating animals. After all, God said that we were to be the rulers over the earth. Once I was leaving the thought patterns of being a ruler, converting over to the thought patterns that we share the earth with the animals, and realizing that animals also have consciousness and a strong desire to live, it has become harder to eat meat. I don't know that I'll ever become completely vegetarian, but have definitely cut back on how much of it I eat.

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I could probably go veg, but I think I'd starve on a vegan diet. My body type seems to demand fats, and I like creamy food.

 

What do vegans eat for fat? Olive oil is a long way from dairy cream in my book. I just couldn't feel satisfied dripping olive oil over baked egg plant. I'd go to bed with my stomach rumbling for food.

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I wouldn't try to go cold-turkey (pardon the food idiom). Try gradually introducing more vegetables into your diet and make sure you actually cook proper dishes with them. Steamed broccoli can be great but it gets boring fast. There's a good cookbook called "Vegan with a Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskovitz that has some great recipes for interesting, full-flavored vegan food.

 

If you're primarily interested in it for health reasons, you can try pescetarianism. It's what I've been doing for the past 3 years and it seems to be serving me fine. Fish is often a lot healthier than meat & poultry and it still addresses your body's animal-protein cravings. Failing all else, it's a way to transition from a carnivorous diet to a vegetarian one.

 

Most important part of the transition is to go easy on yourself. If you slip up, no big deal. A slice of pepperoni on your pizza won't kill you, so make sure you don't drive yourself crazy with it.

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I was a vegetarian for a long time when I was a believer--for the animals--and for a short time was vegan. My primary reason for this was that 'dominion over' never sat well with me. When I moved to the Bible Belt/Beef Belt I had to re-incorporate flesh into my diet because no one here knew what vegetarian was.

 

I am a 'preferred vegetarian' and focus on ethical food sources as much as possible.

 

CelticWhisper has good advice--do what you can and don't be too hard on yourself. Also, find some winning recipes so that you don't get turned off.

 

Eat well!

 

Peace.

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I've been vegetarian off and on most of my life. When I dabbled in theism I was and wasn't a vegetarian, just depended on how I was eating. I'm not a strict vegetarian now but I do not really eat a western diet- mostly I eat traditional Chinese food (very little meat), or Mexican food (chia seeds, tortillas, beans). The one exception is seafood, I eat shellfish or sardines several times a week in larger quantities.

 

I also have explored Buddhism and currently consider myself a humanistic Buddhist. Actually most Buddhists are not vegetarians and it isn't required to be vegetarian to be Buddhist. Some people do it as perhaps in alignment with the Eightfold Path, but Buddhism is not merely a moralistic recipe for life, a list of shoulds and should-nots. While compassion for animals is important, due to karma there are limits on how idealistic we can be without leading to all sorts of unproductive mental states within ourselves.

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I wish I could be a vegan/vegetarian but I just can't; meat is too damn delicious. One of my Indian friends is a hardcore vegan and I've tried their dishes; they're pretty good but I couldn't see myself doing permanently, I'm too weak willed.

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Hi!

I am in a hurry here, but

I wanted to just chime in and say "I am a vegetarian!" For lots of reasons, I'll tell ya later. I would LIKE to be vegan...and I can share recipes with you, if you like :)

 

I'll come back later to talk to you some more. But hey! Congratulations on being a Heretic. Heretic means "able to choose" and you are making ALL kinds of good choices! ;)

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I can't afford to be ethical right now. I'm broke and I'm hungry which means I'm eating meat. You know that plants are sentient, right? They're aware that you're eating them. Poor bastards.zDuivel7.gif

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Thanks for the responses, everyone! I'm living in China, so there are actually a lot of good, tasty options here in the native diet of the land. I've come to LOVE eggplant and tofu, two foods I never even considered eating back home in the USA. But they do know how to prepare them here! Delicious!

 

As well, there are not as many temptations for junk food or other incredibly delicious restaurants as back home. So that is helpful.

 

As I said in my original post, I went cold turkey for a couple of weeks (no meat, dairy, or sugar at all), and physically felt fantastic. I had much, much more energy, my acid reflux disappeared, I had the most incredible bowel movements, and several other positive effects. Haha. But I soon found myself craving a cheesburger... After eating the cheeseburger my body reacted badly, and I really think it was more of a psychological impetus than anything else.

 

Anyway, if anyone is interested in this topic and wants to discuss further, feel free to drop a message in my mailbox! Cheers!

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But I soon found myself craving a cheesburger... After eating the cheeseburger my body reacted badly, and I really think it was more of a psychological impetus than anything else.

 

I've heard from several people that once you stop eating meat and then suddenly go back to it, your body tends to react badly. I'm not a MD/dietary specialist so I’m just guessing, but I think it has something to do with digestive enzymes.... if you stop eating meat your body eventually stops making the enzymes that help digest it. If you switch back too fast you're going to have problems.

 

Something has always troubled me... if we were truly meant to eat meat as much as we do, wouldn't evolution have given us more pointy canine teeth instead of the pitiful four that we have? Since we have flat teeth in abundance, it seems like evolution set us up to be mostly plant-eaters.

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I've cut back on my red meat quite a bit though I still eat fish/seafood quite regularly. I don't see much wrong with a steak or burger now and then but I definitely think people need to be more aware of what they are putting in their bodies.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting topic. As a previous poster mentioned, I was also taught that we were SUPPOSED to eat meat, because we are at the top of the food chain, and besides God GAVE us animals to eat, right? It never really jived with me.

 

Yep, I'm totally a vegan now. Ok, I'm not 110% vegan, I literally just popped a cheeze-it into my mouth, but I'm at least 98% vegan, have been since shortly after my religious deterioration. I had some health reasons that pushed me in the direction but I've always felt a connection with nature in general. After studying Buddhism, and a bit of paganism, my feelings really started to materialize.

 

I don't punish myself for anything, so I don't feel guilt about the cheeze-it, but I do my best to live a cruelty free life, in all regards, and to be eco-conscious as well... which is something that's so wildly ignored in the Christian community and I never got that. It's almost as if recycling or re purposing items (except if you're very poor) is considered taboo.

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I can't afford to be ethical right now. I'm broke and I'm hungry which means I'm eating meat. You know that plants are sentient, right? They're aware that you're eating them. Poor bastards.zDuivel7.gif

 

Our grocery bill went down by 50% when I went vegan. Apart from specialty items such as Veganaise and Earth Balance, there are faux meats but they are not really necessary to the ethical experience, just good for some convenience.

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I could probably go veg, but I think I'd starve on a vegan diet. My body type seems to demand fats, and I like creamy food.

 

What do vegans eat for fat? Olive oil is a long way from dairy cream in my book. I just couldn't feel satisfied dripping olive oil over baked egg plant. I'd go to bed with my stomach rumbling for food.

 

Nuts, Veganaise, Earth Balance, Creams.

 

Here's an example of one of my favorite recipes: http://crashtestvegetarian.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/rotini-and-cashew-cream-sauce/

 

Ok, done hijacking this thread now.

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To each his own,but drastic dietary changes can cause problems on a systemic level.Fluid and electrolyte balance,acid/base balance and usable fat intake depend on steady intake and consistency. Vegan done wrong can cause starvation like reactions in some folks. By the way when you brush your teeth ever notice the canine teeth GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif we are omnivores on a basic level or we would have evolved differently.

 

Be smart about it cause vegan used to mean "lousy hunter" carved on the headstone.

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To each his own,but drastic dietary changes can cause problems on a systemic level.Fluid and electrolyte balance,acid/base balance and usable fat intake depend on steady intake and consistency. Vegan done wrong can cause starvation like reactions in some folks. By the way when you brush your teeth ever notice the canine teeth GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif we are omnivores on a basic level or we would have evolved differently.

 

Be smart about it cause vegan used to mean "lousy hunter" carved on the headstone.

 

Haha...Well, I've been vegan for about a month and feeling wonderful and have seen significant results in my health. I'm amazed at the number of people who think not eating meat or dairy is UNHEALTHY! I'm not sure why people feel threatened by this. There will still be plenty of cheeseburgers to go around in our lifetime. Obama ain't coming for your guns AND your steaks.

 

A little research beyond the smug, "why do you think you have canine teeth" argument shows that humans are omnivores and capable of eating meat to survive, but we are certainly not designed to eat it in large quantities! Those pitifully small canine teeth could never cut through the hide of most animals and then tear out the meat (I always love the image of a person jumping a cow and biting through its hide). As well, we have no claws to assist us with this task. More importantly, the digestive acids in our stomachs are MUCH weaker than that of carnivores for breaking down meat, and we have a long digestive tract which is not suitable to serious meat consumption, but rather designed to slowly absorb nutrients from plants. We are simply not designed to deal with cholesterol. Animal fat and cholesterol does not affect carnivores who are designed to consume meat, and they do not suffer from hardening of the arteries, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or strokes. There is a reason why doctors are so concerned about their patients' cholesterol level (which only comes from animal products). All over the 1st world headstones are being erected based on this "imbalance," far more than people dying from eating a natural, plant-based diet. Meat can definitely be a healthy part of one's diet. But let's be honest, where I come from meat consumption not in balance at all. Add to this fact that people eat processed, unnatural foods (hell, even the meat is chuck full of hormones, etc) and real unsweetened fruits and veggies (which our TEETH and bodies were primarily designed for) has become a miniscule part of most people's diet.

 

There are more and more high profile, world-class athletes who are completely vegan. I will never be a crusader against meat (as you said, to each his own), but I do think that many of the misconceptions and "warnings" people put out there like HappyChef are based on skewed examples of people with eating disorders who starve themselves. A vegan diet doesn't cause a "starvation reaction." In fact, for most people, a natural, healthy vegan diet brings their body (fluids/acids/fats, etc) into balance for the first time! The far great danger is the normal American/UK/Australian diet which seems to cause an obesity reaction and a host of health problems leading to early death! There are a hell of a lot more people (like me) who are are on the fast track to the grave if we don't make a drastic dietary change! Maybe that headstone was the case in the days of hunter-gatherers, but we have evolved and have plenty of food choices today.

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I've never judged vegetarians (although I've always found it odd that people choose to not eat meat, but to each their own), but leaving religion hasn't changed anything. I couldn't make the change myself.

 

Way I see it, it's a case of survival of the fittest biggrin.png .

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Hi Gamecock1973, I'm mostly vegan meaning I will eat dairy on occasion, usually when a guest at someone's house or out to dinner. I do it for the animals, not for health reasons, but I feel good physically so that's a bonus. I watched the movie Earthlings two years ago and stopped eating meat that day. As long as I stay away from the organic (Amy's) frozen dinners I can eat pretty cheap. I have to say I was never a huge meat eater before so I don't know how hard it would have been to give it up if I were. After having been a raw vegan for about four months, I realized how easy regular vegan was- there were so many more options.

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Yeah, i've found I save a lot of money on the grocery bill, as someone else said. The downside is that I have to spend a lot more time in planning and preparation of meals. I do miss the convenience of being able to pick up something quick and easy after a long day at work.

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Vegtarian about 19 years. Was Vegan for 1 year and was the healthiest of my life. Had to give it up for cheese pizza though.

 

I refused to eat hamburger when I was 6 and 7 and at 8 years old, my fundy family sent me to therapy to try to get me to eat beef. I will never forgive them for this. Slowly I phased out pork at age 19 or 20 and then phased out chicken at 25 or 26.

 

I survived on the worst kind of trashy non-meat food (with small bites of bacon and KFC) for years because that is all that my stupid cracker redneck family could comprehend as "vegetarian". Family meals were a total trauma. Everyone made fun of me and thought I was queer and "peculiar" My grandma and mom thought vegetables could only be served if they were steamed until they turned into pure water. Eating their food used to make me puke. I managed somehow to survive on French fries, crackers, sugar cereal, potato chips, pop tarts and whatever else garbage they could find and throw at me in contempt. In fact I am amazed that I survived to this point to be sane and well enough to be writing in this forum.

 

In college I finally got my cooking chops together and became a decent vegetarian cook with couscous, rice, bread, pasta, etc...Then I worked in a bookstore and read John Robbins "Diet for a New America" and "The McDougall Plan" by John McDougall. I know my stuff now and I can rock the serious Savage and Raw veg-head diet.

 

I was happy to live and work in China, Taiwan and Thailand these past few years where veg-head-ism has been practiced for centuries and some of them actually know how to do veg.

 

I was a union organizer for UFCW for a while and I saw the horror and terror of factory farming and I know first hand the damage that is done to the animals and also to the people who work there. I know the host of rationalization, lies and outright denial that many to most people indulge in regarding what is going on. I prefer not banging the drum too loudly, but to live my life and let people decide for themselves.

 

Watch out...it won't be long before you join the Animal Liberation Front and after that who knows...hahahha....

 

Bite Back Magazine http://www.directaction.info/

Voice of the Voiceless http://www.animalliberationfrontline.com/

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Interesting topic. This is also something that my husband and I have been considering for a few months, esp after watching "Earthlings' ... which is VERY eye opening!! I would like to watch the doc you referred to as well. I think I need a reminder. I have tried to emphasize veggies more in our meals and have made a few vegetarian dishes and loved them but I find our grocery stores, advertising etc is so geared around meat as the main dish, it's hard to break away from that --- kind of like breaking away from Christianity in the midst of fundamentalists!

I can also relate to the 'dominion over' theology as it pertains to being meat eaters. Though I love animals and feel great compassion for them, it was always drilled into us that we are far above them and our value is much greater... I don't see it that way now. I recently lost one of my older dogs to cancer and it was heart wrenching. If I'm honest, I grieved more over her death than most people i've lost to death over the years.

 

Thanks to everyone who continues to contribute thoughts and insights into life and esp how it relates to those of us who've walked away or are in the process of walking away from 'faith'.

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  • 1 month later...

Yeah, i've found I save a lot of money on the grocery bill, as someone else said. The downside is that I have to spend a lot more time in planning and preparation of meals. I do miss the convenience of being able to pick up something quick and easy after a long day at work.

Hey there!

So, can you heat up meals at Work? My "Fast food" Is an Amy's frozen dinner (SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good) or some of the Kashi meals. If I am on the road and starving, McDonalds has oatmeal, coffee, yogurt and fruit smoothies (I looked it up, no HFC), fruit and yogurt parfaits. I am not a fan of how they get their meat, but they do have the most veggi food on a fastfood menue. I have thought about going vegan, but that does make it even harder. I try to limit my dairy and egg consumpstion at home to make up for it. Another good thing to do is keep a can of cashews in the car, to munch on while you drive home to get those yummy leftovers.

Also, I read recently that Quinoa is really good because it has all the proteins and amino acids that you need in one meal. Maybe you could find a few good recipes for that and make them up, have them waiting for you when you get home.

Here is simple goodness....Succotash! WEird? Yes. But I like it. One big can of diced tomatoes, one can of drained Lima Beans, half a can of drained corn. Mix it, heat it, at lots of pepper.

No cooking required :D....

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Thanks for the responses, everyone! I'm living in China, so there are actually a lot of good, tasty options here in the native diet of the land. I've come to LOVE eggplant and tofu, two foods I never even considered eating back home in the USA. But they do know how to prepare them here! Delicious!

 

As well, there are not as many temptations for junk food or other incredibly delicious restaurants as back home. So that is helpful.

 

As I said in my original post, I went cold turkey for a couple of weeks (no meat, dairy, or sugar at all), and physically felt fantastic. I had much, much more energy, my acid reflux disappeared, I had the most incredible bowel movements, and several other positive effects. Haha. But I soon found myself craving a cheesburger... After eating the cheeseburger my body reacted badly, and I really think it was more of a psychological impetus than anything else.

 

Anyway, if anyone is interested in this topic and wants to discuss further, feel free to drop a message in my mailbox! Cheers!

I remember when some POWs were released from Vietnam during that war, all they had eaten for the years they were held captive were vegetables and rotten meat, if they got any at all. Some became ill after eating 'normal' food upon their release. The body needs a variety of food sources in order for it to remain healthy. People want to be a total vegetarians and not eat meat or meat by-products, they are putting their health at risk. Yes there are many substitutes for meat but meat really is good for your physical and mental health.

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I do not restrain myself to eating vegetables alone on principle. That's right. That's right. Now listen here....

 

I have teeth which some call canines. Observe...

 

lion_rctb-6394_blog.jpg

 

 

Now, I have grounds to believe that these teeth are here for a reason. Observe...

 

evolution-of-man.png

So basically, you veggy heads can all go straight to hell.

 

And have a steak while you're there.

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