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Vegetarianism/Veganism

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  • #103105
    Joe
    Participant

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 6 years now, when I was 18. Recently I have been making more of an effort to eliminate dairy from my diet.

    I didn’t decide to become a vegetarian because it seemed like the hip trendy thing to do. I had been overweight for most of my childhood and teens and I chose vegetarianism as an excuse to eat healthily and slim down. That’s not to say I’ve always made healthy food choices over the past 6 years, there were times when I’ve over-indulged or binged on processed junk foods and frozen pizzas – weight has fluctuated over the years (I did used to be a chain-smoker as well, that probably played havoc with my metabolism but I don’t smoke anymore) . Over the past year or so, I’ve started to take this more seriously, really thinking about where food comes from and making more conscientious food choices. I want to get back into the habit of cooking from scratch again and trying to stay away from processed foods as much as possible (even the faux-meats like those Linda McCartney sausages). I love making soups, casseroles, stews and sauces. I feel like a wizard in the kitchen!

    My reasons for wanting to go vegan are based on empirical evidence – I went vegan for a month during my last year at university – I cooked from scratch, I was at my slimmest, I was full of energy.

    Then, of course are the obligatory conversation prompts from other people when they find out I am one of those mythical creatures known as vegetarians…I have to stop myself from sighing and rolling my eyes when I am always asked the following questions;

    “Are you really a vegetarian?”
    “Are you doing it for the animals?”
    “What do you do for protein?”
    “Why are you a vegetarian?”
    “Do you eat eggs?”
    “Don’t you miss meat?”

    I am a vegetarian purely for health and dietary reasons, and I feel uncomfortable having to answer these questions from people I don’t know because I don’t like discussing my health and weight problems as a general rule. I just don’t eat from certain food groups – why is that so fascinating? I understand that vegetarianism could be seen as a controversial topic for some people but me being a vegetarian is probably the least interesting thing about me.

    Is anybody else here on TinyBuddha a vegetarian or vegan?

    😀

    Joe

    #103113
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Joe:

    I like your topic. And I will not be asking you the questions above that you listed. For short periods of time I tried being a vegetarian, most often my efforts were to be vegan. I am neither one and hasn’t been for many years.

    As to why people you don’t know ask those particular questions, I can relate to this: some vegetarians or vegan express their attitude that they are superior to the one who is not a vegetarian. Maybe some of the people asking those questions feel defensive as to this point.

    You had excellent experience with being a vegetarian, losing weight, feeling energized and enjoying being a wizard in the kitchen cooking from scratch. It makes sense to me that you would pursue the diet that affected you so positively and keep evaluating how you feel in connection to your diet. Keep learning and be flexible as it is not about the diet itself; it is about the interaction between the diet and you, and that is a personal interaction.

    anita

    #103117
    Joe
    Participant

    Anita

    That’s one particular idea I have found reading about other vegetarians/vegans, the whole superiority thing. I have came across other vegetarians in real life who are like this, but I don’t think my dietary/lifestyle choice makes me in any way superior to anybody else. I don’t eat certain foods, that doesn’t make me better than anybody else. I also know many omnivores, many of whom are probably more fit and healthy than I am. We all have different metabolisms, different dietary needs. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another person.

    Maybe some people see vegetarianism/veganism as being really restrictive and limiting but I see it as an opportunity to be creative with my cooking. I have cooked for my omnivore friends and relatives many times – not trying to win them over with vegetarianism or trying to prove a point to them, I just used to like cooking for my friends for the sake of cooking and they loved my vegetarian pasta dishes.

    Joe

    #103120
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Joe:

    I understand. Different motivations in different people leading to the same choices, in this case diet. Some people go vegan, like you, because they experience a health benefit. Another motive for you- the wizard in the kitchen experience (since if you want palatable food being vegan, I suppose it takes some creativity and skill). Other people have other motivations and pick up ..side benefits as in I-am-better-than-you. Your thread is reminding me to pay attention to different motivations in one behavior by different people, and not assume all motivations are the same.

    anita

    #103145
    Eris
    Participant

    This is an interesting topic. This isn’t completely thought out but these are the things that your post has made me ponder about why there is a defensiveness/curiosity about it.

    Labels – is it because this is a label that it becomes more than about a diet. I am Vegan v I follow a vegan diet. The label has so many more connotations – an implied sense of ‘I am different’ that people are then interested in/feel like they are being judged.

    Extremism – in the sense that it is an all or nothing choice which in a non black and white world maybe makes a diet choice feel like not just a diet choice.

    Separateness – In the sense of you can’t eat majority vegan and still be allowed in the club of special disciplined people which makes it again not all about just choosing what to eat.

    I think if anyone gave something a label, had rules around how to live a life in order to be able to use that label, people would naturally be curious about it/feel that the person may be judging them for not making the same lifestyle choice especially if some of those people who took on that label and lifestyle claimed that the alternative lifestyle was about murder and suffering.

    In terms of curiosity I think with veganism particularly its understandable as its fairly new and it isn’t a diet that is found normally in the world so people want to understand how it works. It is only in the developed west we are lucky enough to be able to make that choice and still get the nutriments we need to live because we have the nutritional education, access to a wide variety of plant based foods and the science to create the one vitamin that we can’t get naturally without it being grown from bacteria.

    I also wonder if some people who ask you those questions are genuinely interested and because it is a fairly new idea don’t know many people to ask about it?

    Anyway those were my ponderings, congrats on finding a diet that makes you happy and healthy. If we all listened to our bodies in regards to what we eat the world would be a much better place.

    #104653
    Jason
    Participant

    I am very nearly a vegetarian, and by that I mean I am slowly reducing my meat. Currently I might still have one meat dish a week, though it’s getting less and less as I find really delicious vegetarian meals. I honestly didn’t know most of this other food was out there, but now I’m loving the taste. Stuff like quinoa, lentils, various beans etc can be so tasty.

    I’m doing it because I don’t want to support the animal food trade, but I’m also finding I am enjoying my food better and losing a small amount of weight.

    #114860

    You are a great beautiful person and not alone, YOU ARE AMAZING keep being you ok!,,? Happy that you dont judge and you do this because you care and for health and its all good, for me im vegetarian and vegan most times but i love cheese pizza, The key is not to criticize or pressurr yourself and keep being kind to everyone and to not judge if others eat meat, you can grt them to eat less arleast forntheir health , every bit of kind action helps, you are doing the best you can and i am so proud of you, we support you whatever youndo, its your life do as you please and something like this can inspire or help others. Sometimes once a month i cave in and try aome bit of chicken i wont beat myself up or feel bad becayse i do 10000 percent of my best daily to helpmpeople help others and live a eco friendly kind life, i just dwont crticize myself. We all got our own journey and e very bit helps i wish u all the best in life and you matter way to go for doing what you want and keep being the change, if you see someone judge or think vegans are superior or veggetarians calmly be kind to them and say hey inwont judge you you’re not a bad person, kep being kind and sweet we are all human and have different choices, keep doing what you enjoy, CHEERS TO CHOICES, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS with much love, Love Leni ♡Livelovelifeleni Positivity&Motivation ♡

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