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Thread: Vegetarianism

  1. #1
    Ginkgo
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    Default Vegetarianism

    Chances are, you have a vegetarian friend or once had one. You've probably entertained the thought of becoming one as well.

    What are your experiences with vegetarianism? Do you think it's good, bad, viable or impractical?

  2. #2
    ReflecTcelfeR
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    I would eat vegetarian food only from someone who is one, which I have, in order to give the best first impression. I think experimenting on this if it is seriously being considered as a life style change may be too risky.

    I honestly don't know how viable it is, but I do know that when I spent money in order to buy the ingredients we enjoyed great dishes. I think the viability is mainly: smart shopping.

  3. #3
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by momental View Post
    I would eat vegetarian food only from someone who is one, which I have, in order to give the best first impression. I think experimenting on this if it is seriously being considered as a life style change may be too risky.

    I honestly don't know how viable it is, but I do know that when I spent money in order to buy the ingredients we enjoyed great dishes. I think the viability is mainly: smart shopping.
    Yeah smart shopping seems essential; beans, rice, grains and nuts offer certain amino acids but they don't add up to complete proteins like meats do. Hummus is another alternative but none of the alternatives are quite as convenient and can be more expensive, pound for pound, than a 'cheaper meat' like turkey.

    I've tried a vegetarian diet, focusing mostly on fruits, veggies, and beans. I made it for about a month until I caved and ate a burger. At a certain point, the body starts to reflexively dictate what you put in it, but I'm thinking that I have more discipline these days.

  4. #4
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    my brother and sister in law are vegetarian. And if I really wanted to I could be a vegetarian, but I don't have any real motivation. So I'm not. I ate a mainly largely vegetarian diet when I lived with them for 6 months, but I did eat meat on occasion. But there's a lot of really good vegetarian dishes. Basically what I say is I don't see any harm in vegetarian. As long as you aren't scowling at meat eaters.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  5. #5
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    I've been veg for 15+ yrs... At this point I could only imagine going back in a survival scenario. This would include pregnancy if I were feeling like I were not getting the right nutrients.

    I personally think it's super viable. It maybe takes a little effort because the quick and easy veg options aren't really that nutritious, usually it's just refined carbohydrate and maybe a few vegetables, or else a salad, which is just not that filling for a meal. Or else you have to pay a lot of money.

    I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, and for carbs I try to go for whole carbohydrates that naturally have more protein. Beans, legumes, whole grains, etc. As well as nuts/seeds and eggs and cheese. And "good" fats like olive oil, and some butter too. The protein and fat and whole carbs make it very filling. I'll occasionally do tofu or veggie burger or something, but mostly try to aim for less processed. I'm of course a sucker for junk food too. But try not to eat that until after I've eaten a real meal, so hopefully it's not too great a percent of my calories.


    Anyway I hike at high altitudes, ski, play contact sports, planning to do a triathlon this summer. I have never found it to be a limitation on what I want to do physically. Perhaps if I wanted to be like a body builder or something... but I think @wolfy even mentioned a veg weight lifter, so seems like it could be doable, just maybe a little more work.
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    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    I know a ton of vegetarians. They're all really good people, and I mostly agree with their philosophies. I do imagine that there is some judgment though; I have good intuition about people but I also tend to be paranoid, so I don't know if this is true, but it seems like there is the implicit assumption with most vegetarians that everyone should be vegetarian. I understand if you think it's the most ethical, but really that's debatable considering it's likely a pretty recent phenomenon in human history. I am just as motivated by ethics in my food choices. I do consider that they might be right though. That said, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that people in hunter-gatherer times ate much less meat than we imagine. In any case, meat should be balanced by just as many greens, seeds, and such. People who are vegetarian tend to be more into healthy eating in general, but you can eat healthy, natural, non-processed food and still have meat occasionally. I really think we are meant to be able to be omnivorous, meaning that it will be healthy for most people to eat meat if that's what is available; and that there are some people for whom eating animal products is healthier than not.

    My thing is that I disapprove of the factory farming industry, so I stay away from meat which is not ethically obtained. It's hard to get it completely ethically sourced though, and the stuff that is is expensive, so I end up not eating much meat. Fish I don't worry so much about but most fish is polluted so it's not that great either. I would like it if more people would take this approach of eating ethically sourced meat because I think most people think that it has to be all or nothing, and that just supports the factory farming industry because most people aren't willing to totally give up meat.

    I try not to judge, but if I do it's people who don't really consider where their food comes from. And a lot of people just assume that things have to be the way they are, even though it's completely false. Believe it or not it's possible to eat healthfully and ethically on a small budget, and industrial farming hasn't eliminated world hunger. We don't need this system to feed everyone. In fact it has created a lot of hunger by driving small farmers out of business and economically exploiting people who would otherwise have enough resources to feed themselves. And what about feral foraging? There is enough wild food around to feed a lot of people. Furthermore, we could use the space and resources we have far more efficiently and sustainably and feed just as many people if not more.

    Ok, I'm off the soap box.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    Yeah smart shopping seems essential; beans, rice, grains and nuts offer certain amino acids but they don't add up to complete proteins like meats do. Hummus is another alternative but none of the alternatives are quite as convenient and can be more expensive, pound for pound, than a 'cheaper meat' like turkey.
    While I'm not a dietician, I've read enough contradictory information about the "complete protein" idea to cast doubt on that as a hard and fast fact. And the personal evidence in my life over a decade and a half indicates that eating a variety of nutrient-dense plant foods (with occasional dairy/egg) is sufficient for micro and macro nutrient needs even at high levels of physical exertion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    my brother and sister in law are vegetarian. And if I really wanted to I could be a vegetarian, but I don't have any real motivation. So I'm not. I ate a mainly largely vegetarian diet when I lived with them for 6 months, but I did eat meat on occasion. But there's a lot of really good vegetarian dishes. Basically what I say is I don't see any harm in vegetarian. As long as you aren't scowling at meat eaters.
    Heheh agreed @bold!

    I've definitely experienced my share of meat eaters scowling at me (even Christians quoting the bible at me haha)
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Heheh agreed @bold!

    I've definitely experienced my share of meat eaters scowling at me (even Christians quoting the bible at me haha)
    Yeah and this doesn't even make sense, because no one could make a case for eating meat being more ethical. People seem to think it's some sort of patriotic duty, which is whack. That whole Biblical hierarchy of God-angels-humans (man-woman)-animals-rest of nature has been used to justify all sorts of unethical and unjust things, and I'll leave it at that.

  10. #10
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    While I'm not a dietician, I've read enough contradictory information about the "complete protein" idea to cast doubt on that as a hard and fast fact. And the personal evidence in my life over a decade and a half indicates that eating a variety of nutrient-dense plant foods (with occasional dairy/egg) is sufficient for micro and macro nutrient needs even at high levels of physical exertion.
    Yeah most of the sources I've come across either have contradictory or incomplete information. The complexity of an amino acids varies from one product to the next, and just because one is different from another doesn't mean that they complete each other to form a substitute for a meat protein.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    I know a ton of vegetarians. They're all really good people, and I mostly agree with their philosophies. I do imagine that there is some judgment though; I have good intuition about people but I also tend to be paranoid, so I don't know if this is true, but it seems like there is the implicit assumption with most vegetarians that everyone should be vegetarian. I understand if you think it's the most ethical, but really that's debatable considering it's likely a pretty recent phenomenon in human history. I am just as motivated by ethics in my food choices. I do consider that they might be right though. That said, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that people in hunter-gatherer times ate much less meat than we imagine. In any case, meat should be balanced by just as many greens, seeds, and such. People who are vegetarian tend to be more into healthy eating in general, but you can eat healthy, natural, non-processed food and still have meat occasionally. I really think we are meant to be able to be omnivorous, meaning that it will be healthy for most people to eat meat if that's what is available; and that there are some people for whom eating animal products is healthier than not.

    My thing is that I disapprove of the factory farming industry, so I stay away from meat which is not ethically obtained. It's hard to get it completely ethically sourced though, and the stuff that is is expensive, so I end up not eating much meat. Fish I don't worry so much about but most fish is polluted so it's not that great either. I would like it if more people would take this approach of eating ethically sourced meat because I think most people think that it has to be all or nothing, and that just supports the factory farming industry because most people aren't willing to totally give up meat.

    I try not to judge, but if I do it's people who don't really consider where their food comes from. And a lot of people just assume that things have to be the way they are, even though it's completely false. Believe it or not it's possible to eat healthfully and ethically on a small budget, and industrial farming hasn't eliminated world hunger. We don't need this system to feed everyone. In fact it has created a lot of hunger by driving small farmers out of business and economically exploiting people who would otherwise have enough resources to feed themselves. And what about feral foraging? There is enough wild food around to feed a lot of people. Furthermore, we could use the space and resources we have far more efficiently and sustainably and feed just as many people if not more.

    Ok, I'm off the soap box.
    I agree with many of the points you made here, and my instincts usually tell me that if someone is an alleged vegetarian, they harbor subtle expectations that others should be too - to weaken meat industries, to live with greater cleanliness, to exercise a greater amount of compassion for animals, or all of the above. Some, however, become vegetarian strictly for dietary reasons that depend on unusual health circumstances. So I think it's likely in both your case and mine (as we both have the leverage to liberally choose what we eat), that we may project our ethical attitudes on others in this regard.

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