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Author Topic: Vegetarian
TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2003 11:01      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've been thinking of becoming a vegetarian for a while, and if I became a vegetarian I would have to go all the way and be vegan. I don't think I could be an ovo-lacto vegetarian. I bought a book over the weekend called Becoming Vegan. It's pretty good so far. I've only read a couple of chapters. Some interesting facts:

Over 10 billion food animals were slaughtered in 1999 in North America. Only 43.2 billion animals were slaughtered for food worldwide.
40% of antibiotics are used in animal agriculture, and 80% of those promote rapid growth.
90% of calves are taken from their mothers at birth.
Cows only live out 1/4 of their life span before being turned into ground beef.
Mose male calves become veal at only 4 months of age.
90% of broiler chickens have trouble walking because of the unnatural growth we put them through (eg, chicken breasts are 7 times larger than they were 25 years ago)
70% of pigs have pneumonia at time of slaughter.

There is obviously a lot more, but I don't feel like writing it all and I'm sure you don't feel like reading it all. I know from the Food thread that some of you are vegetarian (like Xanthine, and snupy was talking about converting).

I was wondering what do you think about it.

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óMiss Piggy

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evilbibo
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Icon 14 posted April 28, 2003 11:17            Edit/Delete Post 
That's great to hear!

And for the reasons you are choosing to become vegan will make it easier to do it. I basically went cold turkey (or should that be cold tofurkey?) in 1988 when I could not justify killing an animal for my own benefit, and decided the only way I would eat meat would be if I was the one to kill and prepare it. I have not eaten any meat since.

The people that generally don't stick with it are the ones doing it for health not ethical reasons.

I am definitely not doing for health reason, I'm out of shape, eat junk food, don't eat enough fresh fruits and veggies and drink alcohol.

If your family still eats meat be prepared for "it's (insert holiday), a special day, surely you can eat this roast beast I prepared.. It's already dead.

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2003 12:01      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My reasons for considering it (don't congratulate me yet, I'm still doing research) have nothing to do with killing animals. I have no problem with people eating animals, they taste good and are a good source of nutrition. My problem is partly with how they are treated prior to slaughter, but mostly because of this

quote:
Approximate tons of manure from North American food animals per year: 1.5 billion
Approximate tons of solid sewage waste from North American humas per year: 0.73 billion

Pounds of corn and soy to produce one pound of pork: 7

Portion of US grain crop fed to animals destined for slaughter: 70%

Not eating animals would do a lot for our pollution problem, and would give us a lot more food for ourselves and to feed hungry people around the world.

My parents don't know I'm considering veganism. I'm pretty sure Dad would flip [Roll Eyes] , but I'm moving in less than 9 weeks so they aren't really an issue. My fiance was looking at the book with me yesterday. I keep trying to tell him that I haven't decided on anything yet, and even if I did become a vegan I wouldn't have a problem with cooking steaks for him, but he seems to think that if I become vegan then he should too. (Very sweet.) We'll see.

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óMiss Piggy

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Lumina Manson
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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2003 12:22      Profile for Lumina Manson   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know why, but every time I hear the word Tofurkey, it sounds so wrong. [Razz] Anyway, good for you for being a vegan! [Razz] I'm not one myself, but I did try. I failed miserably, but I tried.

---the snack that smiles back, C.P.

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evilbibo
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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2003 12:32            Edit/Delete Post 
Yes it is a silly product name, we always get teased when we have it at holiday dinners [Wink]

They also make Tofurkey Jerky.

BTW I'm not a vegan, I'm a lacto-ovo-vegetarian.

quote:
Originally posted by Lumina Manson:
I don't know why, but every time I hear the word Tofurkey, it sounds so wrong. [Razz] Anyway, good for you for being a vegan! [Razz] I'm not one myself, but I did try. I failed miserably, but I tried.

---the snack that smiles back, C.P.


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Allan
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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2003 12:48      Profile for Allan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Finally something on the forums I can claim some degree of expertise in. I was vegan for around 3 years, followed by another 5 of no meat.

So what's being a vegan like? Get used to eating the same stuff a lot, and read up about nutrition, if you do then you'll find that there's only one supplement you need. In the same way that it's difficult not to smoke if your partner does, it's also more difficult if you share a fridge with cheese or meat. The things you'll miss most are probably milk but Soya milk is OK for breakfast cereal, or you can also have muesli with fruit juice as a good alternative, and cheese, err this is the toughie becuase everyone knows that the best part of a pasta bake for example is the toasty cheesy bit on top. but stick with it, once you get off diary for a few months your cholestorel drops to like nothing. You'll probably lose a few pounds too, not a reason to be vegan, but a good side effect. On the whole I would advise anyone with some willpower to give it a go. my final word is consider your position on free range eggs carefully, if you include them your general happiness with the rigours of the diet may be increased, but it is an ethical question.

I wouldn't recommend that anyone becomes a vegetarian, without warning them of the dangers of overloading on the diary. most vegetable dishes come with cheese sauce etc.

These days, my diet is the traditional West European and I have the extra pounds to prove it.

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Snaggy

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Icon 14 posted April 28, 2003 22:33      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
PB! great! You're evolving into a higher life form! :-)

(lacto-ovo-vegetarian here too)

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2003 23:08      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'd try vegan but 1) I'm hooked on dairy and 2) I eat badly enough already. Seriously. Being a healthy ova-lacto veg is challenging enough in college. If I'm not careful I get anemic and that really crimps my lifestyle. I don't need to add new restrictions right now.

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gallimaufry
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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2003 23:43      Profile for gallimaufry   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
after a couple of years of eating almost no meat products, I was able to start cooking for myself and became totally vegetarian. Then i was vegan for about 2 years.

after not eating much of anything for the first 2 months of college i wanted to gain some weight... so i started eating frosting, frozen yogurt and lasagna a LOT. then i dated a guy who ate so many bad foods, so now i'm still a vegetarian but i eat a lot of treats that i used to never crave! not only did i go through a bad break up, but he left me with a serious love of pizza, soda, and milkshakes!

i need to cut back on my dairy calories so i can have more alcohol calories without becomming a fatty mc fatterson. :-)

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cheezi git
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 00:53      Profile for cheezi git     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
pb, good to hear that you are thinking of becoming a vegan. it is always good to consider radically changing one's lifestyle.

one thing i never understand is why people have this idea that beoming vegan means eating the same old boring food. there are the staples: bread, rice, pasta, pulses. there are vegetables and fruit. lots of different oils, herbs, spices, nuts. and then think of all the combinations!

if you are stuck for good recipes p/m me. i think a lot of vegan recipe books are horrible.

and finally, eggs are okay if they are free range and organic.

good luck!

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 02:41      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by cheezi git:
there are the staples: bread, rice, pasta, pulses. there are vegetables and fruit.

Yeeeeessss. Bit dodgy there, old fruity. Pasta? How can you be sure that the manufacturers have used free range eggs? Not bloody likely. You're better off making your own - which is piss-easy (but mine always goes a bit gloopy - the trick, I think, is to let it dry out properly - never all that simple).

Anyway, yeah - good luck! [Smile]

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cheezi git
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 03:14      Profile for cheezi git     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
quote:
Originally posted by cheezi git:
there are the staples: bread, rice, pasta, pulses. there are vegetables and fruit.

Yeeeeessss. Bit dodgy there, old fruity. Pasta? How can you be sure that the manufacturers have used free range eggs? Not bloody likely. You're better off making your own - which is piss-easy (but mine always goes a bit gloopy - the trick, I think, is to let it dry out properly - never all that simple).

Anyway, yeah - good luck! [Smile]

not all pasta has got eggs in it. read the ingredients.

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there were so many stains on the road. squashed miss mitten-shaped stains in the universe. squashed frog-shaped stains in the universe. squashed crows that tried to eat the squashed frog-shaped stains in the universe. squashed dogs...

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 03:26      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, but pasta made without eggs tastes like the devil's poo. I'd rather eat my own ass.

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Slurpy
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Icon 3 posted April 29, 2003 03:30      Profile for Slurpy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Me too!

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 04:16      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Before you start feeling too morally superior about becoming a veggie, ask yourself this question

What does the carrot farmer do when the rabbits come calling?

I've heard a fairly convincing case (backed by figures, which sadly I no longer remember) that veggie farmers actually kill a lot more critters per Calorie of food produced than beef farmers.

Cows basically stand about in a field and grow fat until they're eaten, that's about 300kg of food for one critter killed. The farmer may have to shoot an occasional fox or dog, but the numbers are small compared to the amount of food produced.

To grow an equivalent amount of veggies (say 500kg) a typical farmer will kill a great many 'vermin' to protect his/her crops. These 'vermin' are typically killed in a far less humane manner than is typical in the meat biz, often in very nasty traps, or by poison.

Just to be fair, I should point out this arguement is based on Australian agricultural methods, we're not so keen on feed-lot beef as USAians. Your kilometerage may vary.

And remember, becoming a vegetarian may help you live longer, or it may just seem like it. [Wink]

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 04:25      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In fact, there is a good case for eating more animals - of many diverse kinds. For example - imagine we all ate panda-burgers, or Kentucky Fried Eagle Wings - there would be a greater need to breed these endangered species, thus increasing their chance of survival. So, as one can see, it is in fact our duty to munch on tiger nuggets, etc.

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Allan
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 06:18      Profile for Allan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
In fact, there is a good case for eating more animals - of many diverse kinds. For example - imagine we all ate panda-burgers, or Kentucky Fried Eagle Wings - there would be a greater need to breed these endangered species, thus increasing their chance of survival. So, as one can see, it is in fact our duty to munch on tiger nuggets, etc.

Whilst you've got a very valid point, doubtless they would just dometicate and genetically mutate whatever animal was the next food crop.
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Doco

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 10:32      Profile for Doco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
> Not eating animals would do a lot for our
> pollution problem, and would give us a lot
> more food for ourselves and to feed hungry
> people around the world.

While I am absolutely a meat-eater (and yes I butcher or hunt for some of the meat I eat) I do respect those who want to avoid eating animals or animal products.

What I don't like are incorrect conclusions such as these. Yes - the facts you stated might lead you to those conclusions - but they need to be put in context. The waste products from animals (and humans for that matter) are almost always used as fertilizer. Farmers are very careful to use that resource because it is far cheaper than chemical fertilizers (and more environmentally friendly too). Chemical fertizliers wash more and generally lead to more watershed pollution than manure. If we dramatically reduced the amount of animals raised for food we would increase the amount of chemical fertilizer (usually derived from oil) required to grow our crops, probably resulting in more - not less pollution.

While most of the grain in the US is used for feeding animals destined for the dinner plate, it is incorrect to assume that taking the animals out of the food chain would dramatically increase the amount of food available to everyone. First, the grains used as animal food produce much higher yields than the corn, soybean, etc varities that are commonly used for human consumption. Then you would have more land that would have to be switched to growing non grain crops (carrots, lettuce, etc) which again would feed less people per acre.

I have a farming background, and from that point of view - I think that the animals are usually treated very humanely. Most farmers are very aware of what they do and the impact on the environment. More so that most non-farm related people that I know.

All that being said - if you want to be vegan - go for it. More meat for me [Smile] [Big Grin] [Smile]

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 10:36      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So far it's working out okay. I cooked dinner for everyone last night using a recipe for tofu steaks I found on the internet. We had the tofu, some corn on the cob, and a salad with lettuce, carrots and celery. I had a nice glass of soymilk to go with it. I should have gotten some rolls or some kind of bread to go with it, but this was a last-minute thing so I think I did pretty well. I was a little disappointed that the tofu was so soft. I was hoping it would be a little more chewy. I guess I'll have to cook up some mushrooms. (<Homer>Mmmmmmmm...mushrooms...</Homer>)

quote:
Originally posted by cheezi git:
and finally, eggs are okay if they are free range and organic.

I totally agree there. I'm also not quite sure what the objection is to honey, so unless the book I bought has a convincing argument I'm going to keep eating that too.

quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
Pasta? How can you be sure that the manufacturers have used free range eggs? Not bloody likely. You're better off making your own - which is piss-easy (but mine always goes a bit gloopy - the trick, I think, is to let it dry out properly - never all that simple).

I've already thought of that. I've got a 1975 copy of the Joy of Cooking which has a very nice recipe for making your own noodles. I've been wanting to try it out for a while and now I have a good reason.

quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Before you start feeling too morally superior about becoming a veggie

Morally superior? Nah! I've killed enough cows (second+ hand) already to know that they taste good. Besides, I'm sure I've got plenty of other bad secrets that more than tip the scales. Mwa ha ha ha. [evil]

--------------------
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
óMiss Piggy

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 10:40      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Doco: Thanks for speaking up from the farmer's point of view. I could use the perspective. [Smile]

--------------------
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
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raydreams
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 10:49            Edit/Delete Post 

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perfectstormy

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quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
So far it's working out okay...I was a little disappointed that the tofu was so soft....

Assuming you got firm or extra firm tofu. Next time when you have more time, squeeze the water out of the tofu by slicing it into slabs, wrapping it in something absorbent and putting a weight on it in a colander or something.

Freezing it can also give a chewier texture. Keeps that lasagna from getting soupy and you can get a bit of crust if you pan fry or saute. Good luck!

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 15:29      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I could never ever be a vegetarian.

Cooking and eating well is one of the best and most fundamental pleasures of life, and you can enjoy it for your entire life, which is not always true of other comforts.

Sharing food has also a very deep social and spiritual meaning. It is not accidental that a ritual commemorating the sharing of food lies at the heart of Christianity. The kitchen also is pretty central to the Jewish religion. Sharing a meal makes a deep bond with friends and family. Being able to put a pot on the kitchen table, which everyone eats from binds people together. Eating different food around the table does the opposite, so of course your fiance will do as you do. When someone with a restricted diet come to eat with us I always attempt to cook a meal everyone can eat. For the same reason I would think it mildly insulting to go to a friend's house and refuse to eat their food ( unless it is a risk to my health ).

I do not eat much meat, and usually one or two meals each week that I cook are vegetarian. But to go vegan would need a joy denying Calvinistic attitude that I just could not contemplate. Why would a painter completely deny himself the use one colour as a matter of principal?

This is going against what the majority of you are saying, but I honestly think that being a vegetarian, let alone a vegan, is completely stupid.

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evilbibo
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Icon 8 posted April 29, 2003 16:32            Edit/Delete Post 
HUH?!?

I am not denying myself of anything and I cook great meals for friends and family that happen to be vegetarian. And MY friends and family know I don't eat meat so I should be the one insulted if they try to force meat on me, and I know I'm not forcing my vegetarianism on them otherwise they'd suggest we out out to eat instead of requesting me to make one of my dishes they love.

So what you are saying is I'm going to hell (if you believe it that) if I refuse to eat meat?!

And where the F*ck do you get off calling me stupid for not wanting to eat "god's" creatures!? Yeah that's very christian like!

BTW many scholars believe Jesus was a vegetarian.

I could say more but I DON'T FORCE MY BELIEFS ON OTHERS!

quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
I could never ever be a vegetarian.

Cooking and eating well is one of the best and most fundamental pleasures of life, and you can enjoy it for your entire life, which is not always true of other comforts.

Sharing food has also a very deep social and spiritual meaning. It is not accidental that a ritual commemorating the sharing of food lies at the heart of Christianity. The kitchen also is pretty central to the Jewish religion. Sharing a meal makes a deep bond with friends and family. Being able to put a pot on the kitchen table, which everyone eats from binds people together. Eating different food around the table does the opposite, so of course your fiance will do as you do. When someone with a restricted diet come to eat with us I always attempt to cook a meal everyone can eat. For the same reason I would think it mildly insulting to go to a friend's house and refuse to eat their food ( unless it is a risk to my health ).

I do not eat much meat, and usually one or two meals each week that I cook are vegetarian. But to go vegan would need a joy denying Calvinistic attitude that I just could not contemplate. Why would a painter completely deny himself the use one colour as a matter of principal?

This is going against what the majority of you are saying, but I honestly think that being a vegetarian, let alone a vegan, is completely stupid.


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GMx

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2003 18:35      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by evilbibo:

BTW many scholars believe Jesus was a vegetarian.

So was Hitler. [Wink]
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