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I decided to do something that I have been flirting with for a few years now and that is give up all meat and fish.  I DO enjoy eating animal flesh, especially the seafood variety, but for ethical and health reasons I have decide to go vegetarian and perhaps I will eventually lean more towards vegan.  Right now I am still allowed eggs and dairy so finding things to eat is not that tricky. 

 

It is my understanding that fish and the meat of animals are full of hormones/chemicals and seafood is full of mercury and pcb's.  I also know for a fact that animals are abused.  They are just not treated right.  It's morally corrupt.

 

My other thought is that my Anatomy teacher told the class that humans were not meant to eat the flesh of large animals and that we were meant to be more omnivorous.  Meat is extremely hard to digest.  

 

So here I am three days in to a somewhat low calorie vegetarian diet and I feel good.  I had to poop a lot the second day in but today was not like that.  I am going to a restaurant in town tomorrow that has a full vegetarian/vegan menu and I'm really excited!  So far i've enjoyed all the different flavors in my diet and i can't wait to explore even more.  

 

Lately eating meat had become a chore. I am glad I don't have to eat it now.  Even looking at food porn on Facebook that involves animal meat doesn't make me hungry or even enticed. 

 

I'd like to know if any of you CB'ers are vegan or vegetarian and what helped you decide to be that way?  Do you think it helps your brain?  

 

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It is my understanding that fish and the meat of animals are full of hormones/chemicals and seafood is full of mercury and pcb's.  I also know for a fact that animals are abused.  They are just not treated right.  It's morally corrupt.

 

 

^^I totally agree with you on this.  There are wild fish that aren't abused, and there are other animals raised humanely, but the rest (who aren't raised humanely) are full of hormones and stuff.  I've read so much about that lately.  Have you ever watched the movie "Food, Inc"?  That talks about how inhumanely animals can be raised, about the hormones injected into them, etc. 

 

I'm not really vegetarian or vegan, but eating meat is a huge chore for me also.  I can/will eat salmon, but other than that I hate eating meat and fish.  And I don't cook it, so I only have it when I am out or if someone else is cooking it, so it is really rare that I eat it.  I eat a hamburger (not fast food ones) every once in awhile, a little bit of turkey at Thanksgiving ... but otherwise I really don't eat much meat.  If I do it is a small portion. 

 

I don't think it was a decision I made, not to eat it; it is just because I started not liking it as much and sometimes cringe at the thought of eating it.  I will eat eggs though, but rarely cook them myself.  I eat dairy ... only cheese and yogurt though, no milk.  Almond milk I love, but no regular milk.  I dont drink regular milk because of the hormones in it as well as I started just not liking it.

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I'll have been an ovo-lacto vegetarian for 17 years this January.  Initially it was something I just flirted with, but found difficult because (1) I was still living with my heavily meat-eating family and (2) food labelling in my country was particularly bad, so it was sometimes impossible to tell whether or not there were animal products in a food item.  Then I moved to the UK on my own and suddenly it became much easier.  In subsequent years I've moved back to my home country and the labelling has radically improved.

 

I initially didn't have any major reasons for making the decision, but my moral objections to meat consumption have grown radically over the years.  When I was in high school I had to do a project that involved visiting a chicken factory, and I witnessed the full process from electrocution to slaughter to packaging, and that memory rests heavily on me.  To be perfectly honest, I have issues with people who claim to be animal lovers but support hunting or happily knock back a rack of ribs or stuff themselves with hamburgers.  It revolts and repulses me, but I bite my tongue because I would cause major ructions among  my family and friends if I admitted that out loud. I don't believe that there is such a thing as truly "humane" animal slaughter.  (Please note that I am expressing this here as a personal opinion, not as a means to look for a fight with anyone.)

 

The vegan issue is difficult for me because I suffer from osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis).  I have very low bone density and have been told outright by specialists that I can't completely cut dairy from my diet.  I don't drink milk, but I do eat some cheese (as long as it doesn't have animal rennet in it - you should watch out for that; cheese doesn't automatically mean vegetarian, and the hard cheeses are particularly bad), yoghurt and eggs from a local ethical free range dairy, and I take daily calcium supplements on top of that.

 

Good luck with the choice you've made! My best advice would be to do a lot of reading up on what constitutes a well-rounded vegetarian diet so that you can ensure that you're getting all the correct nutrients.  For starters, I've always liked this site: UK Vegetarian Society

 

eta I forgot to answer your last question.  I have no idea if it actually helps my brain, but I certainly feel better for knowing I'm not walking around with a bunch of animal flesh rotting away in my gut because it takes so long to process.

Edited by MiaB

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i'm a vegan. i've been vegetarian for a little under eight years and vegan for half of that. initially i flirted with vegetarianism for unhealthy dietary reasons (easier to avoid eating food - easier to make excuses for not eating food), and then eventually gave up meat totally because it just didn't feel like the right choice for me anymore. once i had given up meat i started looking into vegetarianism and that's when it became an ethical thing for me. i justified to myself that eating dairy and eggs was okay because no animals had to die for my meal and then about four years ago, i happened to watched the documentary earthlings and followed it up with jonathan safran foer's eating animals. the day i finished that book was the day i became a vegan. i just couldn't justify consuming dairy and eggs when confronted with the reality of how much cruelty is involved in the process.

 

since then i've been vegan. if i'm being completely honest, i don't think it did too much for my mental illnesses - it did initially help me physically, though. i lost weight in a healthy manner and overall had more physical energy and much less GI issues.

 

my best advice would be to educate yourself about vegetarianism and being healthy on a vegetarian diet - or a vegan one if you choose to go that route. whatever happens, i wish you good luck and am happy to have you on the meat-free team.

Edited by cosima

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In the industrial farming system, dairy and eggs probably cause more suffering and death than meat. Non-dairy cows probably have the best lives of any animals in the system, actually, odd as that may sound. Ovo-lacto vegetarianism is far from being vegan lite. You might as well eat the steak and skip the yogurt and omelettes. The problem is the industrial system, though. It's also a nightmare for crops like corn and soy. The problem is not so much what you eat, but how the food you eat is made. It totally possible to eat humanely treated and sustainably raised meat, but it is harder to find and costs more. Joel Salatin's Polyface farms is a good example. On the other hand, monoculture cropping is an environmental disaster and killing machine, wiping out whole ecosystems. So that soy burger may look a whole less appetizing in that light. We definitely have to change how we raise crops and animals, that's for sure.

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^^I was thinking of Joel Salatin's Polyface farm also.  There is a lot on you tube about him.

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I'm a pretty-much vegan ( I do eat honey...bee rent...some of my meds probably have animal-based gelcaps, and I think one of my supplements is not vegan)

My guidelines for avoiding leather shoes for work tend to be more like " try semi hard to find vinyl shoes that meet dress code and are cheap", and I am willing to wear thrift-store and hand me down leather belts.

( one of my favorite belts was out-expanded a long long time ago by my brother, who's close to 400 pounds these days...my other fave leather belt was swapped for a woven cord belt of mine when I went to see my beloved Mr Crazypants...I wear that one a LOT. )

My grandma was a type 2 diabetic and died a miserable death at age 62, and I understand vegetarians are less likely to become type 2 diabetics.

So, point one, I want to dodge that genetic tendency.

Point two, all the vegans I knew were skinny little farts.

Point three, I figured out through self-experimentation that dairy really does make my asthma worse... It may not for everyone, but it does that for me.

I went vegetarian in 95, vegan in 2000...I do miss cheese, because there is no good pseudocheese. Meat? Naaah.

Edited by Stickler

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I went plant based for a while. I liked it. I felt less crappy when I ate just fruits and veggies. Mentally idk. Physically yes. I'm going to be living alone next year (bf going to vet school) so I plan to just have a raw diet. I suck at cooking and cleaning dishes. :P Bf is the one who cooks, I just burn stuff. If you're doing it for ethical reasons, then vegan is the way to go. It's not that hard. Watch earthlings. 

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Ha... the current ad that's just popped up at the top of my screen is a dating site for "single vegetarians"... lol

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I am no longer vegan or vegetarian, but I try to avoid things that are products of industrial agriculture. But it's not possible to avoid them completely if you eat any amount of processed or restauarant food (totillas, bread, the rice accompanying your red curry, the gyro from the food cart, the tofu in your hot and sour soup, the farmed salmon in your salmon Caesar, as well as many seasonings and condiments). For dairy, I get my butter from grass-fed cows, but my yogurt and some cheeses are merely organic (still industrial, but a step up from normal). If I can motivate myself to make my own yogurt, I can get locally pastured milk to make it with. But I don't know that I like yogurt enough to bother with that.

I didn't notice a big difference between vegan and vegtarian and omnivore in terms of how I felt, but I felt substantially better when I went omnivore and eliminated grains. For this reason, I try to limit my grain intake (and because they are product of industrial agriculture monoculture cropping). But it's hard when tempted with fondu or a taco.

The all mortality health outcome of vegetarians appeared superior at first, but then the difference disappeared when adjusting for confounding factors. Turns out vegetarians are more health conscious than the average omnivore. Shocking, I know. LOL. They tend to shop at health food stores. When they compared like to like, they found no difference in overall health outcomes.

I find that I feel best when my fruit and vegetable intake is high and my calorie intake is less than what those online calculators say you need. Veggies tend to fill you up because of the high water and fiber content (and sheer volume), so I think a diet high in veggies and fruits tends to reduce the amount of calories consumed. So I try to augment with veggie and fruit snacks. I eat little in the way of sweets or junk food, although I am addicted to sriracha peas and wasabi and soy sauce almonds. I don't generally drink juice, as it's better to eat fruits and vegetables. My biggest downfall is alcohol, which for me is bipolar's twin. But limiting that has proved challenging, to say the least.

One thing I did notice when I was vegetarian was the cost. It was definitely cheaper, especially if you avoided the fake meat and dairy products, and stuck with conventional produce. Going for pastured meats, wild caught fish, and organic/local/sustainable produce while eschewing grains can make a big dent in your pocketbook.

Edited by Flash

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Ha... the current ad that's just popped up at the top of my screen is a dating site for "single vegetarians"... lol

Makes sense. My ex was vegetarian, and when I switched back to omnivore, it made things more difficult (and less satisfying). I wouldn't date a vegetarian now. Then again, I wouldn't date someone who didn't like spicy food. LOL.

Edited by Flash

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My ex husband is an omnivore.  Maybe I should have taken that as a sign right at the beginning, but hey, love is blind.  Even to nasty things being cooked in your kitchen.

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My ex husband is an omnivore.  Maybe I should have taken that as a sign right at the beginning, but hey, love is blind.  Even to nasty things being cooked in your kitchen.

I've known lots of people who are "mixed" couples, and they get on fine. I just don't wanna do it again. Maybe if they cooked their own stuff, but I'm not into making two separate meals all the time.

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Long ago ex bf was out with me and the folks...

He said, " Yeah, vegetarians can't cook."

I replied, " dear, how many vegetarians HAVE you shacked up with?"

...almost had to Heimlich my aunt R at that point...

Mr Crazypants, the current romantic interest, prefers to go kill his own food.

This led to pigeon hunting with an air rifle, in full camo... in an otherwise very...um...normal English village.

...sometimes you really do need to worry about what the neighbors will think, he was court-ordered to sell the air rifle.

Edited by Stickler

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It was when I was vegetarian that I really learned to cook. Prior to that, I hardly cooked at all. Many of my vegetarian cookbooks are still favorites of mine. It can be time-consuming to make tasty vegetarian dishes, however, and some things never seem to turn out right (thai coconut curries without fish sauce, for instance).

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It was when I was vegetarian that I really learned to cook. Prior to that, I hardly cooked at all. Many of my vegetarian cookbooks are still favorites of mine. It can be time-consuming to make tasty vegetarian dishes, however, and some things never seem to turn out right (thai coconut curries without fish sauce, for instance).

You see, needing to cook is the huge obstacle for me. Cooking vegetarian takes more time (generally) than omnivore, and I barely cook as it is.

 

I always say I am going to give up beef, because of the enormous damage cattle does to the planet, but I haven't yet. I'm interested in ovo-lacto, not vegan. I know vegan is the most ethical, but I've only had one truly vegan meal I have enjoyed in my whole life.

 

My best friend is vegan, and she keeps handing me different cookies and muffins saying, "They don't even taste vegan!" when they totally do.

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I kind of disagree on the "cooking vegetarian takes more time" idea.

 

I've been learning how to cook bulk batches of grains and legumes and then portion them out into different dishes with different flavors throughout the week. Also making big batches and freezing individual portions = less expensive and more healthy fast frozen meals.

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