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Topic: Why are you Vegetarian/Vegan?  (Read 46889 times)
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hellocello
« Reply #200 on: June 01, 2008 04:30:13 PM »

Originally, I went vegetarian in the 7th grade (1997) because we had to dissect fetal pigs in my science class. If that weren't disgusting enough, the first week of the dissection my mom put a ham sandwich in my lunch bag (and lunch was in the middle of the science class hour). I put two and two together right quick!

It's 11 years later and I've been vegan for the past year (there was also a spell of veganism for two years a few years ago). Eating meat or its byproducts is just not something that crosses my mind anymore. And health-wise, I feel great. Perhaps relatedly, I started a new job and every co-worker I've introduced myself to has thought I am 4-5 years younger than I actually am. One was actually lamenting to me she didn't know anyone old enough to buy her beer. Hah! (I'm 23.)

Anyway, hurrah for vegans and vegetarians!
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« Reply #201 on: June 04, 2008 10:46:04 AM »

Just to add to what suinoko said...

I personally/philosophically don't care what people want to call themselves.  I call myself vegetarian, but ocasionally cave when it comes to all my favorite candies that are full of gelatin.  One of the grossest things to sway on, but whatever.   

However, the reason the fish thing is a frustration for us vegetarians, is because it blurs the line, then people who aren't vegetarian at all get confused.  For instance, when I go to a restaurant and am told that a soup is vegetarian, only to find out later that it actually has clam or something in it.   That specific example hasn't happened to me, but it has to people I know, sometimes even with chicken.  A lot of times I will ask a server what foods on the menu are vegetarian, and I find myself having to clarify what I mean by vegetarian.   One person even told me "well, we have vegetable beef soup..."   I can't imagine how frustrated I would be if I was trying to order vegan. 

However, if someone is a vegetarian, but sways ocassionally, I am not going to try to take their label away.   You don't get kicked out of the Christian club for sinning (usually- and I'm not a Christian, just using an analogy), and I kind of look at this the same way.
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Domitilla
« Reply #202 on: June 10, 2008 01:47:44 PM »

I've been a lacto\ovo vegetarian for a few months right now, but I've stopped eating meat while still eating fish a couple of years ago. I also eat only eggs from my own chickens or from organic farms where chickens don't live in small cages. I still feel very *guilty* for eating milk and dairy products because I know what happens to those animals.
I became a vegetarian because I love animals. I'm studying to become a vet now, and it's a big big pain to me to see what happens in slaughter houses and how animals are treated. They are like machines. Nothing more. Even when they're *well treated* they still have to suffer a lot, especially pigs, and they know that they are going to be killed. Some of them get mad in the slaughter house, especially horses (I know that a lot of people, including me, thinks that eating a horse it's like eating a dog, but here in Italy is considered a normal thing...)
 I stopped eating fish for coherence.
I'm considering to stop eating milk and dairies, while I think I'll keep eating eggs, only if I know from where they are from.
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MissMoonlight
« Reply #203 on: June 11, 2008 03:36:27 AM »

I've been a vegetarian since I was 15 (I'm 19 now)and I'm in the process of going vegan.
I did it because I don't think it's right that something shoud die just so I can eat.

It's the best thing I've ever done.I don't miss meat for a second. Smiley
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« Reply #204 on: June 21, 2008 06:01:47 PM »

I'm vegan. For ethical reasons. Period.  Grin
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gizmo13
« Reply #205 on: June 23, 2008 05:38:16 PM »

I've been vegetarian for three years. I turned after watching those gruesome videos at this PETA2 tent at a festival one year, and it brought back bad memories of when I vacationed in my country. The smell of meat out in the humid 80 degree air at 10:00 AM is not something that one can forget Tongue
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TherapySession37
« Reply #206 on: June 26, 2008 08:02:54 PM »

Um, I know that this may not be in the spirit of other posters, but I'm not vegetarian. My family, being Asian, does not usually consume that much meat, but then again, we do eat a lot of fish.  Roll Eyes I have a surprising number of friends who are vegetarian, and I wholly support them and their efforts, and they understand that no one wants to be forced to change their eating habits, and are not pushy in that way at all. I've never heard a tale of anyone trying to "scare" them with meat or animal products, but that just seems totally unnecessary and horrible.  Angry One of my friends is also debating going vegan, which I will support if she does. (I can bake egg/butter/milk free cookies!) The only concern is that she's 14, and at this age, she's not sure whether or not going vegan may affect her growth.
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mmd32
« Reply #207 on: June 26, 2008 08:29:56 PM »

Um, I know that this may not be in the spirit of other posters, but I'm not vegetarian. My family, being Asian, does not usually consume that much meat, but then again, we do eat a lot of fish.  Roll Eyes I have a surprising number of friends who are vegetarian, and I wholly support them and their efforts, and they understand that no one wants to be forced to change their eating habits, and are not pushy in that way at all. I've never heard a tale of anyone trying to "scare" them with meat or animal products, but that just seems totally unnecessary and horrible.  Angry One of my friends is also debating going vegan, which I will support if she does. (I can bake egg/butter/milk free cookies!) The only concern is that she's 14, and at this age, she's not sure whether or not going vegan may affect her growth.

It won't, but she's going to need to be diligent about her nutrition, esp as a teen and female. She needs to really make sure she gets her calcium and iron, both a little harder to get as a vegan. Totally can be done, but she needs to be more aware of what she's doing.
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TherapySession37
« Reply #208 on: June 28, 2008 06:35:48 PM »

Yeah, it's really just the nutrition that she's concerned about, but she's really lucky in the way that her entire family is vegetarian, and obviously supports her. Unfortunately, one of my other veggie friends doesn't get such positive feedback from her parents, and is sometimes forced to eat fish when her mother makes it, and even though I eat fish, I still hope that I understand where she's coming from, being forced to do something that she doesn't want to.
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« Reply #209 on: July 02, 2008 11:34:15 PM »

I'm not quite there yet, but working on it.  Smiley  I've read through this whole post with a lot of interest, as I've just in the last couple of days realized that my reasons for wanting to do this have expanded quite a bit from my original health reasons.

I've always been sort of interested in vegetarianism.  As a kid, I just wasn't naturally superkeen on meat (which baffled my mother, who had fond memories of hangin' with her grandfather in his butcher shop), and had a harder and harder time each year when I watched the market lamb I'd spent months playing with be put on a truck that I knew was going to the slaughterhouse.  Being a vegetarian in my house would have been incredibly difficult, though, and I knew I didn't know enough or have the follow-through to maintain a decently nutritious diet.  So I learned to put it aside and eat what was set before me.

I think I had a few brief tries at going veg in junior high and college, but the above difficulties were still there, and at best I probably lasted a week.  I'm just not someone who can stick with something very easily if the whole world is doing something different, and it involves food.  Me and food, we've got some issues, yo.

So now I'm 26, and badly overweight.  This winter, our local newspaper ran a Biggest Loser style contest, and as a part of it, the local hospital offered weekly talks on a variety of health topics.  One of the talks was about a class offered in communities in several states, called Food for life. It's a cooking and nutrition class that encourages people toward a plant-based diet to help prevent/fight cancer and several other serious health issues, and to promote better general health.

So.  I signed up for the next session, and I went, and it was one of the coolest things I've ever done.  I highly recommend it if there's one in your community.  One of the best things about it was that the teacher showed us how to make a bunch of different things, and then we could try them.  I am SUCH a wimp about trying new recipes if I've never had them before.  With veggie stuff, it's ten times worse because so frequently there are ingredients involved that I've never tried in my life.  The nutrition information was invaluable, and while I wasn't able to maintain veganism through the whole of the 8-week class (travel, plus a death in the family which meant more travel, plus more family related travel = a lot of eating out in small towns.  Under stress, I just couldn't swing it) it did have a tremendous effect on the amount of animal products I consumed.

The class is over, and it's months later, and I'm giving this whole veganism thing another go.  Initially, it was all about health.  My dad was diagnosed with cancer last year (hopefully all gone, fingers crossed!) and my mom is diabetic.  On both sides there are heart problems and a tendency toward overweight.  I am very, very lucky that so far overweight is the only issue I've picked up, and it would be foolish of me not to take the opportunity to change my habits and lifestyle now and prevent a lot of badstuff down the road. 

Now, though, it's not just health.  I'm not cool with what information I've been able to absorb about how a lot of meat is raised/processed.  (I'm not able to tolerate a lot of the information very far, as it is often delivered in an extremely graphic way that I just can't handle.  Would really, really like to be better informed, but it's hard to be well-informed about something that seems to be generally too ugly for me to hear about at all.)  Food shortages and the argument about pounds of plant foods vs. pounds of animal foods is very compelling.   I'm trying to pay more attention to who I am all by myself, sans the influences of voices forever telling me what I should and shouldn't think, and it occurs to me that I've never been very comfortable with eating meat or eggs, I don't like most fish, and cheese makes me sick, even if I do love it.

I'm really hoping I can manage to stick with veganism this summer, long enough that it will stick.  I know it can only improve my health, and thanks to the Food for Life class I know a couple of recipes that I can definitely make and enjoy, and several more that I absolutely -could- make and enjoy, if I just got it together and tried making them. Smiley

I have a friend who's giving me a hard time about it.  Her arguments are poorly informed ("It's just so unhealthy."  "Well, actually, based on ___blahblahblah things I learned in my food class___") and I think really it just bugs her that I'm doing something different.  I wouldn't say that about most people, but I do think in her case it's true.  I'm not sure why my personal choice, which I'm not shoving down her throat or proselytizing about, bothers her so much.  She also has a tendency to rant derisively about people who like genres of books she doesn't read, though, so.

Mostly, though, I'm lucky that most of the people in my life are pretty supportive of it.  My friends think I'm a little weird, but they're okay with it as long as I don't forcefeed them tofu, and my mom is planning on taking the Food for Life class in the fall.  My dad and the step are even trying it, since I gave him my copy of Eat to Live by Joel Furhman in May.  I generally make a point of not thrusting my current info-obsession on anyone, but I was so impressed by many of the cancer-related statistics I heard/read during the Cancer Project class that I gave him my copy of Eat to Live and asked him to read it.  The whole cancer diagnosis has really scared me, and this sounded like something that might actually make a big difference.   I was so surprised when I spoke to him on the phone for my birthday and he mentioned that they'd been trying it, eating a lot from their garden.  I don't know that they'll stick with it - my dad was and is a farm boy - but I'm so happy they're trying it.  Awesome birthday surprise. Smiley

I don't know.  I think it's interesting reading about all these different backgrounds that people come from, and I've enjoyed this thread a lot.  (My apologies for rambling so long.)  Sometimes I feel a little guilty, as though I'm somehow forsaking my farm roots by eschewing meat.  Like because I was raised on a homestead, I should be more of the opinion that animals are there to support us, to provide food and other useful products.  And I do understand that view to a point.  But those animals were my friends, too; I didn't really grow up hanging out with kids from school, because we lived too far away.  Instead, I played with the sheep or visited the cows.  They were my buddies.  I think as much as my homestead upbringing made me understand the position of those who remain staunchly and makes-sense-to-them omni, I think it's also played a big part in my wanting to not eat animal products anymore.  I really liked those animals as people.

Anyway.  I have rambled on WAYYYYY too long here.  It's hot today!  I can't think!  I'll blame that. Smiley
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