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Old 9th Jan 2012, 08:58 AM   #1
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Default Vegetarianism

So I have been working on becoming a vegetarian. I have completely cut out beef, pork, and seafood. Now comes the hard part... Chicken...

I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions?

Also, Do you think eating eggs is ok? I mean, they are unfertilized so they were never going to be a living thing. I'm not going to stop milk use...

so recipes, ideas, suggestions, thoughts?
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Old 9th Jan 2012, 09:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

I'm a vegetarian that would like to stop eating eggs, drinking milk, etc. But I think I'm currently too young to start doing that so I won't.

I want to know about recipes and stuff too, I need a better diet.
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Old 9th Jan 2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

There are a lot of good meat substitutes out there, one especially good one is Quorn (described in Wired here), some varieties are fairly bland, so I would recommend a good marinated sauce for those. But the secret to vegetarianism isn't in finding meat replacements, it's altering your diet so that meat is no longer the centerpiece of your meals, instead, fruits, vegetables, and grains are.

One of the easiest dishes to prepare as a vegetarian is stir fries. A stir fry consists of vegetables chopped to your preferred size (though you can also purchase mixed bags of pre-chopped vegetables, though they often have water chestnuts, which I don't like) fried in a small amount of oil, then mixed with rice. You can add meat substitutes, but it's not necessary. If you use brown rice, it's more filling and better for you. They also refrigerate very well; I often will make a stir fry on Sunday, and eat a bit of it for lunch for the rest of the week.

As for eggs, it depends on why you're becoming a vegetarian. If you're doing it for distaste at the idea of eating dead flesh, eggs are probably fine. If you're doing it for health reasons, occasionally eating eggs is probably a good idea. If you're doing it for environmental reasons, cheese is far more damaging to the environment than eggs.

However, if you're doing it because you consider the conditions of factory farms to be deeply unethical (which is my reason), eggs are pretty much impossible to justify. The cage-free label only requires the theoretical possibility of the chickens leaving, they are often still horribly crowded and packed. Male chicks are literally thrown into meat grinders while still alive. Female chickens are repeatedly debeaked (because beaks regrow) without anesthetic... because the crowded conditions of almost all commercial chicken farms are so stressful that they resort to cannibalism otherwise. Unless you know the farm you're buying from, you cannot trust it to behave in an ethical manner.
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Old 9th Jan 2012, 02:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

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Originally Posted by Mogget View Post
Male chicks are literally thrown into meat grinders while still alive. Female chickens are repeatedly debeaked (because beaks regrow) without anesthetic... because the crowded conditions of almost all commercial chicken farms are so stressful that they resort to cannibalism otherwise. Unless you know the farm you're buying from, you cannot trust it to behave in an ethical manner.
I had read about this, it's heartbreaking. I'm so proud I became a vegetarian but I still feel like a hypocrite or something because I still eat eggs and dairy.
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Old 9th Jan 2012, 05:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

My grandparents get eggs from a guy at their church who has his own chickens, that wander free and are treated well
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Old 9th Jan 2012, 05:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

Morning Star has the best fake chicken nuggets, and Bocca has the best fake chicken patties. Those are all I can think of right now, but I know there are more chicken substitutes. I think morning Star also makes fake chicken enchiladas. Anyways, welcome to the world of vegetarianism! It's a great choice!
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Old 9th Jan 2012, 06:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

If you are going for health, skip the over-processed meat-wannabes, and eat REAL food. You know: Vegetables! The meat-substitutes are great for when you are really craving meat and you need that 'fix,' but try to get most of your calories from things that actually look like plants.

My first day off each week, I cook a bunch of veggies, and I add some sort of sauce. Pasta sauce (in all its wonderful varieties), Indian curry sauce, or even Manwhich sauce, or whatever else you like.

Typically I have a pot boiling the stuff that needs to be boiled, and I saute the mushrooms with anything I would prefer to have sauteed.

Boil veggies:
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Carrots

Saute pan:
Mushrooms (white, portabello, or fancy varieties if they are on sale)
Yellow Squash
Zucchini
Peppers
Onion (red, yellow, white)

If I'm doing Indian curry, I add cashews to the boiling pot. I rotate through my veggies and sauces so that I don't get bored. I also add a can or two of beans (pinto, black, red, kidney, whatever) if I want something cheap and protienalicious.

I make a huge pot of all this veggieliciousness, and I split it into containers. This is my lunch eat day at work! And sometimes dinner, if I feel like it.

For quick non-cook meals, milk and cereal is my standby. Also oatmeal. I keep some veggie patties on hand for when I want something quick and warm but not pots and pans flying everywhere.

When I first went veggie, I worried about eating out. But it isn't really difficult, once you know what to look for. Indian and Mexican places have the most choices. Seafood places will typically have some sort of pasta dish, and ask for broccoli instead of shrimp/whatever. Sports bars have the ever-ready quesadilla, with broccoli instead of chicken. Pasta is basically the best fall-back, for eating out. Carbs and cheese, oh yeah!

Ethically, milk/eggs are pretty much as bad as meat. But, honestly, I don't want to have that conversation.

Also, PLEASE don't be that person who "is vegetarian but eats fish." Just.... Don't be that person!

Important: Don't overwhelm yourself at first. (Or ever, really.) If you're doing good for a few days, but give in and eat something you later regret, don't just say "To hell with it." Just keep on, and work through things. The vegan police will NOT bust through your windows and take away your vegan powers- That is just a myth perpetuated by PETA. I think they only apply to actual vegans, anyway, but I'm not certain.

Kind of a side note, but something that occurred to me: Will your family be accepting of your being veggie? I worry that your mom may see it just as you being difficult/uncooperative. I actually get this from my mom, 5 years into being veggie.

Let me know if you have any specific questions.

ETA: I also eat a TON of apples. I have one every morning with my coffee, and that is my go-to snack when I am trying to stay away from junk food. I didn't used to eat apples, but I hadn't tried many varieties-- I highly recommend going to the store and buying one of each variety, and trying them all. I found that although I can't stand most of them, I LOVE fiji apples, and galas are pretty ok. I would knock someone over and take fiji apples from them, though.
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Last edited by FleetFish; 9th Jan 2012 at 06:24 PM..
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Old 9th Jan 2012, 06:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogget View Post
However, if you're doing it because you consider the conditions of factory farms to be deeply unethical (which is my reason), eggs are pretty much impossible to justify. The cage-free label only requires the theoretical possibility of the chickens leaving, they are often still horribly crowded and packed. Male chicks are literally thrown into meat grinders while still alive. Female chickens are repeatedly debeaked (because beaks regrow) without anesthetic... because the crowded conditions of almost all commercial chicken farms are so stressful that they resort to cannibalism otherwise. Unless you know the farm you're buying from, you cannot trust it to behave in an ethical manner.
oh dear god that's disgusting.... >.> Jesus I wish egg-substitutes were more common in baked goods. [that said I rarely eat any of that *as it is* /isn't vegan, rarely touches any animal products tho]

as for food. Heh, I can't say my diet is varied.
But fruit is actually quite amazing and can be blended in various yummy combinations - not just talking about smoothies but yes those too.
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Old 9th Jan 2012, 07:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

Find ways to get enough amino acids, iron, and minerals that are associated w/ meat. This is not an option if you want to do it healthily, it is a necessity.
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Old 10th Jan 2012, 01:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

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Also, PLEASE don't be that person who "is vegetarian but eats fish." Just.... Don't be that person!
How can somebody call themselves a vegetarian when vegetarians don't eat meat, and they eat fish which is a meat?
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Old 10th Jan 2012, 02:29 AM   #11
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

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Originally Posted by FleetFish View Post
Boil veggies:
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Carrots
*slap, slap* Boil brocolli, cauliflower and carrots!? Shame on you .
Those should only ever be steamed, not only because they taste/feel nicer (in my opinion) but boiling them means half of the nutrients will seep into the water and get thrown away.

Potatoes can also be steamed but I've only done it once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charni
How can somebody call themselves a vegetarian when vegetarians don't eat meat, and they eat fish which is a meat?
I think one of the main incentives for a pescetarian diet is the welfare of animals. They object to factory-farming, which rules out livestock like beef, chicken, pork, but fish is ok because they can swim in their natural environments. Little do they know a fair amount of the fish in shops is intensively farmed in tanks or pools.

Also someone I knew was pescetarian; his justification was that fish couldn't feel pain so it was ok to kill them. This of course is absolute rubbish, but I suppose people will believe what they will.
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Old 10th Jan 2012, 03:55 AM   #12
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

Fish have nerves, nerves feel pain (among other things), fish feel pain. Am I missing a link here? Or do they just not get it?
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Old 10th Jan 2012, 04:16 AM   #13
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

Some people adopt a pescetarian diet for health reasons.
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Old 10th Jan 2012, 05:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

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Some people adopt a pescetarian diet for health reasons.
Sure. That's all peaches and roses (and tuna). But don't call yourself a vegetarian, because you aren't!

Maybe I'm sensitive because fish are my favorite animal, and so I hate it when people hold them as being "less than" other creatures. Don't say, "Oh the poor little fuzzy animals" and then eat the fish because your give a damn doesn't have any follow-through.

I have a cousin who does this. Proudly calls herself vegetarian, but eats fish.

But, let's not derail this thread into a debate, as the OP is just really looking for support/suggestions.
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 05:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

*hugs a chicken* I couldn't give up eggs...I love my omelettes too much!
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 05:16 PM   #16
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

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Quote:
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Some people adopt a pescetarian diet for health reasons.
I have a cousin who does this. Proudly calls herself vegetarian, but eats fish.
Lol I have a cousin who does this too. I guess it depends on how you define vegetarianism.
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 06:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

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Originally Posted by Ianthe View Post
Some people adopt a pescetarian diet for health reasons.
Many Fish are also the most sustainable types of meat. Wild-caught sustain-ably farmed fish and easily farmed fish like Tilapia are the best meats if you're trying to be environmentally friendly.

Because I feel like it's relevant: Seafood Watch Program | A Consumer's Guide to Sustainable Seafood | Monterey Bay Aquarium
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 11:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRNY View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by FleetFish View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ianthe View Post
Some people adopt a pescetarian diet for health reasons.
I have a cousin who does this. Proudly calls herself vegetarian, but eats fish.
Lol I have a cousin who does this too. I guess it depends on how you define vegetarianism.
... But not really, because a vegetarian is "a person who doesn't eat animal flesh" any way you slice it. It does not mean "a person who eat primarily vegetables but occasionally eats animal flesh". x_x;

There's nothing wrong with being a pescetarian, but it's not vegetarianism.

Anyhow...

To the OP! Nutritional Yeast will be your best friend. It has protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, selenium and tastes great. It's great to use to replace cheese. Here, it's like... $7 for a whole pound, and a whole pound lasts me a month easily. Compare that to cheese. It's ridiculous to me now, to waste so much money on cheese when you could get something far more nutritious for cheaper. :]
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 12:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

Depending on where you buy your eggs, they can be just as bad as meat and milk. Most commercially produced eggs are done under appalling conditions and the chickens are fed drugs and antibiotics along with foods they don't naturally eat. And yolks are laden with cholesterol and other bad stuff. If you get to watch the film "Food Inc.", do it! It will change how you look at food forever!
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 01:06 PM   #20
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Default Re: Vegetarianism

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Depending on where you buy your eggs, they can be just as bad as meat and milk. Most commercially produced eggs are done under appalling conditions and the chickens are fed drugs and antibiotics along with foods they don't naturally eat. And yolks are laden with cholesterol and other bad stuff. If you get to watch the film "Food Inc.", do it! It will change how you look at food forever!
I agree with the first part... and it is important what the chickens eat, because what they eat DOES go into the yolk. Hence why farmers would feed certain plants to hens. Makes the yolks more yellow. And the conditions can very, very bad.

However, cholesterol isn't exactly bad. I wish people would realize this. We need some amount in our diet. Same with fat, sodium, carbs, sugar, etc. It's about the amount and the source.
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