View Full Version : Trying to be Vegetarian: Missing Meat big time

11-19-2007, 01:50 PM
Well, I'll preface this with the article I read in Gourmet magazine a month ago. It revealed the grim grim reality of how they kill chickens in this country (and alternative more humane ways they are doing it in Europe). It upset me so much I haven't eaten chicken since then (except a little bite of my husband's chicken salad sandwich which was delicious). Actually, it's not just about how they kill them, it's about what they are as they are forced to mature in only 6 weeks.

That article really upset me, as has some of the videos I've seen presented by Whole Foods owner John Mackey.

Is anyone else out there who is upset by factory farms and has made a big change in your life? I am buying organic more and more...

We tried to be vegetarians in the past. The last time, 3 years ago, we ate a lot of pasta and gained a lot of weight. Then we tried a few weeks ago. Last night we had an enormous porterhouse after quite a while of no beef. (for me, not DH). It was delicious.

I found after a 2 to 3 weeks of not eating meat, (I do eat a lot of fish) that I was getting weaker, esp my legs. Like when climbing the stairs I felt my muscles were just not strong at all. That's worrisome.

I'd like to walk away from meat, but the more I don't eat it, the more I think of all the delicious dishes I love to make: spicy chile, chicken paprikash, kielbasa, cheeseburgers. It's so hard to come up with really great vegetarian dishes every night.

How do you deal with killing animals, being vegetarian, or not? I'd appreciate any input here.

11-19-2007, 02:13 PM
I know that animals are being treated quite aweful while being bred for meat. But, i can't live without meat. No soya and no other stuff will replace a steak or a chicken dish. I also have a rare kind of anemia, so meat is very important to me. I would have bought organic meat and chicken and also "freedom eggs", BUT they cost a fortune here and i can't afford myself. So i keep eating the usual meat. In your place, especially taking into consideration the weakness you've described, i would buy organic, if you can afford it. I'm sure there are farms that raise normal chicken and kill them in a more appropriate way. In Israel it's a special problem, because the kosher way to kill a cow or a chicken is horrible, so at least you don't have that on your conscience.
Please, if there are any vegeterians out here, i don't want to offend anyone's feelings about this subject, i just expressed mine.
VictoiseC, whatever you will choose to do, good luck :hug:

Jan in CA
11-19-2007, 02:36 PM
I'm certainly no expert, but I do know that whether you are a vegetarian or a meat eater you need to have certain nutrients for your body to function properly. I think one of the big things for vegetarians to consider is what nutrients they need to replace when giving up meat. One of the biggies is protein. If you aren't willing to eat beans and soy products in suffient quantities you might find it hard to get what you need.

What did you use to replace the protein, etc in meat? Getting weak means to me something is missing. :think:

11-19-2007, 02:59 PM
That's a really tough question ...to be vegetarian (I am not) takes a lot of attention to nutrition to be sure you get enough protein and other vitamins/minerals found in meat. I made myself pretty sick once by being vegetarian without trying - I really do not like the texture of meat at all and have to make myself eat it. PLus, there are of fair number of products that are made with animal by products - gelatin being a big one. As "we" moved away from self-sustainable farming, factories to provide food became necessary. I am not sure that organic means it was any more humanely slaughtered as Tyson now has a line of organic chicken. Kosher is the "old" way that food was slaughtered back in the day before USDA and FDA. Seafood really isn't humanely caught and killed either as the fish (or whatever) are caught in large nets that often kill other sea life and then they are thrown into holds and die "like a fish out of water." Shoot - I grew up on the Bay and we always caught and boiled crabs....how's that for humane?
So how do I deal with it...in my mind there is no way to humanely kill something. I had an aunt that boycotted cruelty in slaughter houses by raising her own chickens and rabbits for protein...I really don't find chopping somethings head off or bashing it against a tree to break it's neck a more acceptable form of slaughter. I figure people have been eating meat for years and I need it to survive and be healthy.
I focus more of my attention on buying shampoos and lotions that haven't been tested on animals. Recycling everything I possibly can, using reusbale bags for grocery shopping, etc.

11-19-2007, 04:32 PM
I rarely eat meat, but it's not because of the humane factor. I do not agree with the way the animals are being raised and what they are fed. The hormones that are injected into animals to make them mature faster have horrible affects on our bodies after we ingest the meat.

There are such things as free range chicken and beef, where chickens are allowed out of the chicken coop and fed natural diets. Same thing with cattle. Check your labels very carefully. You can purchase meat online as well. I have not done this, but a friend has, and she says she will not go back to eating meat from a store again.

You would be surprised at the amount of protein you actually need to survive. It's far less than the "experts" claim. Once you start substituting your source of protein, you'll find that you benefit in other ways because you are getting other nutrients as well.

Try reading "The Maker's Diet," which explains how diet affects our bodies and gives alternative diet plans, with explanations of what foods affect your bodies in what ways.

11-19-2007, 05:14 PM
I've been vegetarian for 15 years. One of the things you learn is about nutrition.

First, a minor point, vegetarians do not eat fish. Fish were once living animals. You're welcome to continue to eat fish if you like, but please don't call yourself a vegetarian if you do.

Nutrition: check out sites like Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and Vegetarian Resource Group for information on vegetarian nutrition. You might also like the book Becoming Vegetarian, which outlines nutritional guidelines for various age groups. It IS possible to eat a healthy vegetarian diet and get all the nutrients you need. In fact, you'll learn that most of us eat much more protein than we actually need.

Eating your favorite meals: I (or other vegetarians) can help you vegetarianize your favorite meat-based meals. Take advantage of our years of learning to do this for ourselves. I really like a mock-tuna salad which uses chopped chickpeas instead of tuna. I have a fabulous chili recipe - you can easily substitute for what meat you include in your recipe. When I craved cheeseburgers in my early vegetarian days, I found what I really craved was all the toppings - and a veggie or bean burger with tomato and onion and pickles and lettuce and cheese and ketchup was just as good for satisfying those cravings. www.veggieboards.com has a lot of people who will help you adjust your recipes - there are some great cooks there.

Some people go vegetarian for health reasons, others for ethical reasons, and some for environmental reasons. I went vegetarian for ethical reasons and can't imagine going back - those reasons trumped any cravings I had early on. BUT I can't and won't make those decisions for anyone else. Whether you decide to transition to vegetarianism more slowly (and not go "cold tofu") or you cut back on your meat consumption some, or jump in with both feet, I'll be happy that it's helping more animals. But at the same time, I know that it's an incredibly personal decision, and that holidays are a tough time to make the change, with all those traditional meat-centered meals. You may want to wait, or make the change more slowly than you had anticipated.

Personally, though, I do not see the point (in Western society) of killing animals just so I can eat, when I can eat a perfectly healthy diet without it.

11-19-2007, 06:38 PM
I remember trying the very thing when I watched a movie with Billy Crystal.... about cattle farming or something... and I tried so hard... but it's really impossible to be a vegetarian, when you do not like vegtables... So you can see, i was stuck with pasta. all the time. :neutral:

I ended up deciding that I am a carnivore by nature, some people are able to adjust to suit lifestyle, beliefs or are even born vegitarian, I know several people who have never liked the taste or texture of meat.

cftwo had some pretty great suggestions, so as long as you love your veggies too, I wouldn't give up. You may not end up a vegetarian, but if you even just managed to limit your meat, that would make a difference too. ;)

I wish I liked veggies... :sad:

11-19-2007, 06:52 PM
I have been a veggie for nearly 15 years. I thought it was going to be a hard transition but I do not miss meat at all. Sometimes it is difficult to find things to eat (especially on road trips) and that does get annoying.

DH and I became vegetarians after living in a town with a slaughterhouse/meat plant where they would burn the blood weekly, and that was just the most disgusting thing I have ever smelled in my life.

I'd like to walk away from meat, but the more I don't eat it, the more I think of all the delicious dishes I love to make: spicy chile, chicken paprikash, kielbasa, cheeseburgers. It's so hard to come up with really great vegetarian dishes every night.

We make and eat all these things, veggie style. Spicy chili tastes just as good with no meat, or you can add TVP or morningstar crumbles. My DH makes a fantastic veggie "chicken" paprikash. Boca makes veggie kielbasa and Italian sausages that are pretty good. And there are a zillion different veggie burgers out there.

11-19-2007, 06:55 PM
Thanks for the input!

Well, first, I wouldn't call myself vegetarian when I'm obviously not, so you don't have to worry about that please.

Mark Bittman, a New York cook & writer (his videos are on the NY Times each week & a lot of fun to watch) has written a new vegetarian cookbook. In his preface he talks about how many people are changing their way of eating & getting organic but he's also coined a new interesting word, flexitarian... for people who are cutting way back on meat, eating organic and once in a while eat meat and fish.

I know fish die in nets and organic chickens don't die any nicer. And I used to buy kosher thinking it was more humane then I found out what the reality is!

The real problem is transport. (that's made clear in the Peta videos that are online at Whole Foods.com when John Mackey debated Michael Pollan, The Omnivores' Dilemma) Pigs and cattle suffer like crazy on the way there... well I don't want to get into all the gory details. People don't want to hear it.

Actually, that's one problem, the other is yes, all those antibiotics.... which has been showing up more and more in kids being resistant to... antibiotics.

Thanks Nathalie for that book reference I'll check it out. Also the websites. So right about the holidays being the wrong time...

Beans and rice Ingrid! :teehee: beans beans and more beans Just kidding, actually I love making things like artichoke/spinach dips and veggie chili and scalloped potatoes, I LOVE vegetables. Cauliflower gratin. You actually find a lot of new vegetable dishes if you stop meat for awhile, it's pretty fascinating. Funny, it's that taste of FAT though that we've grown to love... and you start missing, esp with the cold weather. That cannot be replaced in tofu.

11-19-2007, 07:04 PM
Tootie, I didn't read your post til after I posted. Thank you so much for those tips. Boca? Never heard of them. I grew up on Polish/Czech stuff and it was always meat based. A vegetarian chicken paprikash huh!? That is interesting.

We once traveled through, I dunno, maybe it was Nebraska, the northwest somewhere, and at one point this smell started up and it just got worse and worse and worse. It was a cattle ranch/slaughter house and I couldn't believe it. I can see how that changed your life.

Can you recommend a substitute veggie burger that's good? I hear a lot of them are terrible.

11-19-2007, 07:04 PM
You have to remember that what you are talking about is a HUGE change for your body. Your body has to go through a pretty big process to understand what you are asking of it now. That is probably a lot of the issue. The other issue, is that if you are really getting NO protein then ... well... you can't go without any protein at all. There are LOTS of ways you can get protein though, that don't just include loading up with tofu products.

The other thing to consider, if you really do want to eat meat but are concerned about humane treatment, is where you get your meat. Stop buying it at walmart or the local grocery store. Go to the old fashioned meat locker (Sam the Butcher!) KNOW where your meat comes from. Nobody's meat came from walmart... it came from SOMEWHERE. In this country we have a big problem with having NO idea who raised our meat. If you can buy locally that is ideal. If you can buy directly from the source it is even better. Not all farmers are factory farmers and they would love it if you would buy their product. They are hanging often hanging on by the skin of their teeth and everything we can do to help them beat the factory farms is golden.

This is all true of your veggies and such as well. Go to farmer's markets and local food stands. Get to know the source of the food and you will be less likely to feel guilt over how your food is produced. (and you may be able to encourage them to become more organic in their production processes too!)

This isn't to discourage you from being Veggie though. I think veggie is ideal, but there are other options if it doesn't work for you.

11-19-2007, 07:09 PM
Tootie, I didn't read your post til after I posted. Thank you so much for those tips. Boca? Never heard of them. I grew up on Polish/Czech stuff and it was always meat based. A vegetarian chicken paprikash huh!? That is interesting.

We once traveled through, I dunno, maybe it was Nebraska, the northwest somewhere, and at one point this smell started up and it just got worse and worse and worse. It was a cattle ranch/slaughter house and I couldn't believe it. I can see how that changed your life.

Can you recommend a substitute veggie burger that's good? I hear a lot of them are terrible.

uuh... in defense of Nebraska... we aren't in the northwest (not that there is anything wrong with the northwest mind you)... we are in the middle...lol.

I would be curious who told you that the sub burgers are terrible. I watched a news story a while back when Burger King decided to start offering veggie burgers and their whole spin on the story was that the burgers were icky compared to a "regular" burger. The texture is DEFINITELY different and you have to be prepared for that. I thought boca burgers were pretty decent but i am not a fan of their "gourmet" burgers. Just the plain ones with regular burger fixings on it. Worked pretty well for me.

Anyway my point there was not to take the word of confirmed carnivores about things that are good and things that aren't. You will almost always hear the word "yuck" whenever anybody mentions tofu... and the vast majority of those people have never had tofu or haven't known it when they did.

11-19-2007, 09:00 PM
Can you recommend a substitute veggie burger that's good? I hear a lot of them are terrible.

I think Boca burgers are the best, but I do agree with brendajos that just the plain Bocas are better than the gourmet ones. DH prefers Morningstar Farms Grillers. We get both of these at our regular chain grocery store in the freezer section. Both these companies also make a lot of other yummy meat substitutes too.

11-19-2007, 09:11 PM
I am also a big fan of Amy's foods if you are looking for anything that is prepackaged. I also like some of Kashi's stuff, though not all of theirs is veggie.

11-19-2007, 09:30 PM
Remember its not just the protein that you have to look for in other foods its the iron. the weakness you were feeling may have be due to the reduction in iron. For me, I have to eat meat esp during "that" time because I get anemic and meat gives me that extra iron boost i need. so do your research for iron rich foods besides meat to give you energy.

11-20-2007, 01:01 AM
Making the switch to a more healty and humane diet requires research and some self-education. Your body needs nutrients and you have to learn how to get balanced nutrician from a plant-based diet.

It can be done, quite easily in fact, but you do need to put some thought into it. You need to find recipes for foods that you will actually enjoy eating and that will give you the nutrients your body requires. You may be surprised at how easy that actually is once you know how to go about it.

11-20-2007, 11:01 AM
I like the Boca Vegan burgers the best, if I'm looking for something more traditionally meat-like. There are also some good veggie burgers which are more bean or rice based - but they don't have the meat texture thing going. I think Morningstar farms does the best veggie hot dogs. Either the Boca or Morningstar Farms "crumbles" are good substitutes for ground beef in things like chili. I can find these products in my regular grocery store, as well as in WalMart (WalMart shelves them in the freezer section near the breakfast foods).

11-20-2007, 11:45 AM
Thanks again for the tips on the brands... I'm going to look for them today. I'll bet Whole Foods has them.

Brenda, yes, I already began trying to buy local as much as possible. Since I'm in NYC there's a big movement here to do that and there's a famous/fantastic greenmarket every Sat & Wed downtown that a lot of chefs go to also.

Funny, I noticed Walmart now has an organic food section.

Plus I have a place upstate and there are a bunch of local growers. I met a lady yesterday (funny, in Chico's clothing store) who lives here in the city and also upstate only 5 miles from me and she told me she goes to this farm and buys their meat... a half a cow at a time which just sounds so gross. But I really am trying to buy local and know where my meat comes from.

(Brenda, are you vegetarian?) (sorry about the Nebraska thing!) I happen to LOVE tofu, esp in some Chinese restaurants, I've even gone to "Korea town" here in NY and eaten a whole Korean lunch that consisted of a big pot of freshly made spicy tofu casserole. They serve tiny salty fish on the side. Weird but pretty neat.

That's very true about the IRON THING. Boy do I know when I'm missing iron, I ususally run over to this Mexican take out and get their black bean soup.
I had big cravings for beets also in the past couple weeks.

I'm planning on getting some books from the library and reading up on this more. Btw, did anyone see the Peta film last night? It had me crying actually, to see the way some of the animals (fox) were being killed. Wow.

Oh, VAknitter... if you hate the texture of meat maybe you should try to stop eating it? I had a black bean burger that was outstanding and I'm going to try tempeh, another version of tofu which I guess you fry. And there's a lot of stuff, well I mentioned that already, like last night I made chile rellenos, stuffed peppers with cheese and fresh tomato sauce, rice, it was great.

11-20-2007, 11:51 AM
My 12yo has decided to be vegetarian, and she is doing well with it. for the mst part I M really proud of her.
she does not expect people to make alterntives for her if she is a guest, but she knows how to mke wonderful quick salads and vegie "side-dishes" that she can sustain herself on.
here is a descent protein intro
and does anyone here use Fitday.com, it is a GREAT way to see if your vegetable alternaties are meeting your protein requirments. You can even set up Goals for nutrients. I send my kidsere when they start the whole 'I am eating TO MUCH' thing.
I have a TON of the books, and I love them, my current fav is "Vegitarian Handbook" A HUGE index of combination proteins, and complete proteins, now if I couold get a book with a descent index of amino acids to balance evenly, that would be COOL

11-20-2007, 12:04 PM
I'm not a vegeterian, but I try not to eat too much red meat because I have a blood disorder where I have too much iron. I've tried a lot of the veggie burgers never to like them until I tried the Boca Flame Grilled burgers. They have a very similar texture to meat and you almost can't tell the difference. I don't like the veggie burgers that are more rice or grain based because I find they get very dry around the edges. Also, the Boca chicken patties are really good, those things pretty much taste the same as regular chicken patties to me. There are some really good meatless products out there but it just takes a little experimentation to see what ones you like.

11-20-2007, 10:23 PM
Vic, my kids and I eat vegan about 1/2 of the year (for about 10 years now). When we first started, we ate a lot of soy replacement products--soy "cheese", soy "pepperoni", etc. to ease into having no meat/dairy. The soy replacement products are a bit costly and I'm not sure if they're much healthier than the stuff they're replacing. I've eaten meat my whole life and I don't know if I could become a vegan 100% of the time--every time I consider it, I crave a big, juicy steak or hamburger.:oops: Anyway, for what it's worth, here's a few suggestions.

1) If you've eaten meat your whole life, you may want to ease into it and try not to do it "cold turkey" (pardon the meat pun:rofl: ). You can commit yourself to say eating vegetarian maybe 1-3 days a week, but then stick to those days. For example, if you chose to eat vegetarian Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, then don't beat yourself up for eating meat on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday. If you can go without meat on those alternate days too, that's fine, but if you can't, don't be too hard on yourself. Every little bit that you do without meat "counts", both to the environment and to your health.

2) If you're up for it, try ethnic foods. I can LIVE off of Thai curry without any protein (no tofu, seafood, or meat) any time, same goes for their spring rolls, and I don't miss the meat one bit. I can have tacos (the fried corn shells) with just lettuce and pico de gallo; very rarely, I'll chop up some vegan "cheese" (also "Fantastic" brand makes a taco filling (http://www.fantasticfoods.com/catalog/taco-filling-p-58.html) if you're interested...it's a dry mix that is on the grocery store shelf). Some Indian food is vegetarian, as is some Middle Eastern. Some of the healthiest people on the planet live on the Greek Island of Crete, and some of their dishes are vegan. One of my favorite facts--if baklava is prepared with an oil brushing between phyllo sheets rather than the butter, it's a vegan dessert--how AWESOME is that???:cheering:

3) Cooking with onions and garlic will make things taste more hearty and can help to "beef up" the taste of regular dishes.

4) Trial and error. Buy a few things here and there to see if you like them. Somebody mentioned "Amy's" brand--they have very tasty food (although it's a bit pricey where I'm located), but it's nice because it's a convenience food. "Veganaise" vegan mayonnaise is a very tasty substitute for regular mayonnaise, probably the best I've come across; I actually prefer it to regular mayonnaise.

5) Lentils and beans are excellent sources of protein and are inexpensive sources as well. Lentils are very versatile and can be prepared in a variety of ways. I've made lentil "sloppy joes" which came out excellent, and I think you can make lentil "meat loaf" as well as lentil burgers, and there are some salads you can prepare with them too. Lentils are also quicker to prepare than dried beans which makes them nice to prepare on a weeknight.

6) Invest in a good vegetarian cookbook (or two). I have a few, both regular vegetarian, as well as ethnic vegetarian to offer some variety.

7) Experiment. Many desserts that use one egg can be made eggless without any adverse effects--I make vegan cookies all the time from traditional recipes (like Nestle Tollhouse cookies, for example), and although they are a bit more crumbly, they come out great! I also make a vegan chocolate cake that nobody would know is vegan, right down to the frosting.

Good luck!

11-20-2007, 11:48 PM
I've been a vegetarian for 5 months now. It's really hard at first, but just keep trying. Trust me it is tempting!

11-21-2007, 10:25 PM
Tootie, I didn't read your post til after I posted. Thank you so much for those tips. Boca? Never heard of them. I grew up on Polish/Czech stuff and it was always meat based. A vegetarian chicken paprikash huh!? That is interesting.

Can you recommend a substitute veggie burger that's good? I hear a lot of them are terrible.

To my taste, the soy-based veggie burgers that try to imitate meat taste like chemically-enhanced rubber. (They're the ones with the fake grill marks on top.) The ones I truly enjoy are based on... vegetables. Gardenburgers has several tasty varieties including a spicy Southwestern with corn and green peppers (good with salsa) and one made with portobello mushrooms (try it with fried onions on top). If you're ever on West 22rd St. in Manhattan, the Empire Diner makes a fabulous lentil burger that they serve on a ciabatta bun with a creamy sauce spiked with horseradish. Order some sweet potato fries to go with it.

You can make a satisfying veggie chili exactly as you make meat chili, but substitute diced mushrooms for the meat and throw in plenty of carrots, celery, peppers, onions and spice.

11-22-2007, 12:28 AM
I just became vegetarian and it really hasn't been that hard for me. I've never liked the cruelty factor. I grew up with a dad who worked at a meat processing plant, and I remember when I was 6 or under, my mom and I would go out there to pick my dad up, or get his check, and when we were waiting, I'd go to the gate and grab it and talk to the cows. I knew they were going to die and I didn't want them to. I felt like I could see the fear in their eyes.

One day, they actually charged out and I was yelling "run! Run!" To the cows. My mom had to run out and get me back into the car.

When I was about 10, my mom made the decision to stop eating beef and pork. She was the primary cook of the family, so that was that. She just didn't like the taste or the industry anymore.

So, ever since I was about 10, I haven't had any beef or pork - over time it just stopped tasting good. And I had the memories of the fear and the cows. Not to mention the fact that my dad would come home with veins on his shirt.

So, ever since then, I've always had compassion for animals. When I was a young child, I even named flies and called them my friends. I just don't like killing anything and I especially do not like that animals are just killed in mass everday for consumption.

For about half a year, I have been going back and forth between wanting to be a vegetarian. Turkey and Chicken started to taste gross to me sometimes, and I would always think of the death that had to occur for me to eat and it stressed me out.

Just last week, I decided to look up becoming vegetarian. I made sure to do the necessary research for proper nutrition before taking the leap. Then after reading all the stories about what they do to the chicks that they get to lay eggs and the ones that end up being male (they grind them and chunk them back into the food source of the other chickens), I was utterly disgusted and refused to eat mass produced eggs as well. I will only eat locally produced eggs.

Vegetables do not have to be disgusting or gross. A lot of the time it has to do with how they are prepared. If you have vegetables raw, then yes, they certainly can taste gross, but if you can find some of the thousands, probably more than thousands, of vegetables that you like, then you can learn to prepare them in a way that is completely scrumptious. It's all in the sauce, spices and the herbs that you use.

For me, it hasn't been hard. This is mostly due to how I was raised - all I had to do was cut out chicken and turkey and mass produced eggs. And for the past half year, I have been experimenting with homemade bean burgers and more vegetables.

The only thing that has been tough recently, is that, I want to be almost vegan, but not eating cheese would be so hard for me. I want to be pretty much a ovovegetarian. That means I would only eat eggs. Or, I'd like to be just a vegetarian with only getting locally produced cheese and eggs. I am already lactose intolerant, but there are certain kinds of cheese that I can have which have low lactose levels.

So now, I just try to cut back on cheese and milk products. It's better than nothing. So you could do the same thing with meat? Just don't eat as much, and try to really research the nutrition you need so that you can supplement your diet with the appropriate foods. You can get lots of iron from greens. There's certain veggies that have lots of calcium and all the vitamins you need. I went to http://www.veggie123.com and vegcooking.com . I also picked up a copy of Vegetarian Times magazine. Not only that, but I have started eating Tofurky deli slices (taste a lot like Turkey without the harm) There's SO much you can do with Tofu. They even make celebration tofu/stuffing feasts now too (for thanksgiving or christmas)

I also just got the Gardener's Community Cookbook - there's meat recipes in there too, but there's a lot of stuff in there that isnt, and the stuff that is meat can possibly be substituted with tofu.

http://www.vegetariantimes.com is cool too.

But ya, knowing what you need for nutrition, and having a willingness to cook your own food and buy more variety of things, or even be willing to buy the vegetarian hot dogs, deli slices and everything else is definitely key. I'm opting to mostly make my own food and to buy SOME commercial vegetarian food.

It also helps to scout out local vegetarian restaraunts if you have any.

I hope that helps?

Oh ya! http://www.eatbetteramerica.com has a great bean burger recipe that has no meat in it. Only has one egg. I make it for myself and my boyfriend almost every week now. I make it with sauted onions and red bell peppers, cheese, jalepenos, pickles and bacon bits (the fake kind). It's SO yummy even my meat eater dad loves it.

I also am adding that there's such a thing as a semi-vegitarian that only eats fish, no poultry or fourleggeds. It's called being a Pesco Vegetarian. Also, not all vegetarians quit eating meat just because animals and other beings are living things that they don't want to harm. Some people do it for health reasons and some do it for vain reasons.

11-22-2007, 10:48 AM
I haven't read all the replies, but if you want to eat meat, but dont' want to support the mass commercial killing machines, consider looking for alternative sources for your meat. There are chicken farms that have free range chickens that more humanely slaughter their chickens and have no added hormones, antibiotics and "up to 15% solution" added to them (what the heck is "solution"?????) You can usually find these at natural food coops that offer meat or through private butchers. For beef and pork you can always check out private butchers or purchase a side of beef from some sort of buying program that guarantees humane treatment and death of their animals.

If you do decide that you want to go veggie, you need to make sure that you are eating enough protein and balancing that with carbs. No meat does not equate to all carbs. There are lots of ways to increase your protein consumption without eating tons of pasta. For instance you can add tofu, milk products and eggs (making sure to get these also from humane resources), and nuts and other veggies that have a higher protein value. Instead of bulking up on pasta (which is cheaper) add more veggies which are nutritionally more dense. Also remember to eat whole grains rather than regular white flour products.

When you take an ingredient out of your diet that is beneficial to you for energy, protein, iron and calcium (such as meat) it is important to make sure that you are substituting what you took out with other products that will duplicate what is missing. Do some research on veggie meal planning because you still need to get a full amino acid that you would easily get from eating meat. Eating whole grain breads together with your protein rich foods (beans, nut butters, and tofu) will help with this.

I don't eat a lot of meat myself and have gone veggie for many years at a time (harder when you live with a bunch of omnivores) so I've done quite a bit of research into proper eating when you are eliminating meat.

11-22-2007, 11:44 AM
Hi. I'm a vegetarian, been one for 5 years. I even helped my mom become one 2 years ago. It's great having someone you care about/are close too being one too. It wasn't hard for me to go veg because I'm a big animal lover and I really love cows. Right now I really want to go vegan but, for me, it's proving to be a difficult switch but one day I hope I can do it.

I know that once you are veg...you really start to hate meat smell. Right now my dad has turkey in the oven and I have my nose covered in another room. I think if you really want to be one then you can do it!

11-26-2007, 12:10 PM
Just a quick mention of a great veg that my doctor just happened to mention (she mixes concepts from alternative medicine with the conventional kind): Sweet Potatoes.

They taste fabulous just roasted with a little butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon; "fried" in the oven; deep-fried; mashed, casseroled; every which way but raw. (My Thanksgiving sweets were baked with apples, walnuts, orange juice and a decadent once-a-year concoction of butter and maple sugar.)

They are as filling as white potatoes and pasta, but they contain loads of nutrients and anti-oxidants and can help stabilize blood sugar.


11-26-2007, 01:00 PM
I have been a vegatarian for many years. As most have said you really need to learn about nutrition to do it properly. I eat LOTS of beans and Tofu for protien and I do include Dairy in my diet. Eggs are also a great source of protein.

There are alot of GREAT cookbooks out there. It does take alot longer to prepare good nutritious vegatarian food but once you get the hang of it it isn't too bad.

11-26-2007, 02:00 PM
ECB, thanks much for that website! I'm reading it now.

And Kaydee, thanks for the tips also. I've yet find those Boca burgers! but I found a spicy black bean burger yesterday and am going to try it today.

I've been going through some of my cookbooks, I have a great old one by Sheila Lukins (Silver Palate owner) and her receipes are from all over the world. Lot of meat recipes but last night I found some wonderful things I never though of making like blazing squash chile. (I like spicy). Some of her recipes from India are fantastic.

11-26-2007, 03:11 PM
Holy Moses ... I missed some great replies and just got to reading them all.

That's some story HumbleStumble jaysus. What a picture, you yelling at the cows to run! That's a long time you haven't eaten pork/beef. When I was in my early 20s I lived down in Key West and became a vegetarian for a year. When I went home to MIchigan, my dad kept pushing the grilled tbones he had made at me and yelling at me What the H.. is the matter with you!"
In a tropical climate it's soooo easy. Btw, I recently saw that movie NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Anybody see that? Even though it's supposed to be an incredible Work of Art, I wish I hadn't seen it. (I love Tommy Lee Jones which is why I went). Now I know exactly how cows are killed.

I have to say, turkey and chicken started to taste not so good to me also. Well, I'll fess up, we decided to do NO turkey this year but we went and got some quails which my DH loves. I didn't enjoy them much. I have bought organic chickens several times now, Price Chopper has some that are really delicious.... but I haven't missed eating it and it's been a month or so.

KNITASHA! Wow, I haven't been to the Empire diner for 20 years.
I think it's time to go try that lentil burger. THANK YOU!
I LOVE lentils.

COOKWORM, cold turkey :teehee:.. naw, I'm not ready for that yet but I am buying local as much as possible and, well, I have ALWAYS loved Indian food with a passion... I discovered it in London over 20 years ago and I usually eat it at least once a week. Aloo gobi, dahl and the way they do spinach! I've got two Indian cookbooks and I'm getting closer and closer to making it as good as a restaurant. Ghee is the trick but that's butter.

I don't mind eating butter cheese milk ha! I love those things. I buy 3 or 4 kinds of cheese every single week.... And I won't give up fish. Living in NYC we really get the most amazing assortment of beautiful fish. Oysters, fried, chowder, ummm.

Your tips are great, thanks for taking the time to do that. If you come to NY I'll buy you a Thai lunch how about that! I go to this place in my neighborhood I recently found, $8 for lunch and one day I just asked if they could substitute vegetables for the chicken in the chicken and green curry sauce. What an amazing dish!
I'll try your suggestions, I think it's important not to feel guilty if you want that big juicy steak once in a while. But our taste buds are definitely changing.

SWEET POTATOES. I always forget to eat those!

Last item I promise: I made this vegetable soup yesterday... I realized a few weeks ago that I was dumping chicken broth into so many of my home made soups, which I make very often. The soup I made yesterday was so delicious, much better than with the chicken broth. Herbs are the answer and some parmesan cheese at the end. Today I'll serve it with couscous.

At the top of this little mountain near me this man has the most beautiful cows ever:

Jan in CA
11-26-2007, 03:52 PM
P.S. Jan (I assume it was you?) thanks for flagging this subject, it's really good to learn all these new recipes while trying to make the change. :hug:

What do you mean "flagging" it? I didn't actually do anything and the thread doesn't look any different to me.. :??

11-26-2007, 04:41 PM
My father raised chickens all his life...more as a hobby...it gave us chicken several nights a week along with a good supply of eggs. When I was about 10 years old, one rooster used to wait togive me a hard time trying to get into the house after school. I have very little sympathy for chickens. However, if I had to kill and prepare my own meat I would have to become a vegetarian. Wouldn't be able to bring myself to kill a cow or anything else. Also, I still remember the STINK in the house when my mother was boiling a chicken to remove the feathers. I'll never do that myself. I may have to starve, lol.

11-26-2007, 09:44 PM
Also, I still remember the STINK in the house when my mother was boiling a chicken to remove the feathers. I'll never do that myself. I may have to starve, lol.

Oh my... I do know what you mean!!! My mom and grandmom killed chickens when I was a girl very often... and that horrible smell is hard to forget!!!:teehee: I remember my mom grabbing the dead chicken and passing it trough the flames in the burner to "kill" any feathers left behind in the already featherless chicken.... that without mentioning opening the animal and taking everything out to clean it.... I better stop recalling now :ick:
Anyway.... today, I am a vegetarian and I have been a vegetarian for the last 5 and a half years... I am happy with my diet (everything but meat or fish) and really enjoy soy or tofu products.... I became a vegetarian after too much thinking about how I was able to eat animals' muscles.... not a fun image.... but I have to say I saw some improvements in how I felt... more energy, less need for naps during the day, more alert, and much less stomach problems! But I do respect everyone's diets and lifestyles....