Connect with vegetarian and vegan friends from all over the world.
First of all, hello everyone. I am new to this site and have found it on the most part to be very informative.
I have, however, also found an alarming amount of hostility and confrontation towards other members who do not share certain moral or ethical beliefs. I am a vegetarian, not a vegan. I take my vegetarian diet very seriously. I am comfortable with my personal ethical, moral and dietary choices.
That being said, I do have the upmost respect for those that have come to a personal decision that a vegan lifestyle is right for them.
Has anyone else found that vegetarians are often viewed as the half hearted, less disciplined counter parts to our vegan friends?
Ha ha, sucker!! ;-)
I told you I was just tormenting you Lee. I may be driven but I do still retain my quirky humour.
The brands we have here do have the odd 'unsweetened' variety but they take some looking for and again, to the relatively un-initiated to wholesome foods they may think the standard one is healthful.
I make mine with a tbspn raw almond butter and water. Add a splodge of date syrup or one whole medjool date (minus the stone!) if I want it sweet. Sometimes a drop of vanilla extract.
Just eaten some 'orrible lentil and millet soup. Millet is the pits! But I don't care for waste and it needing eating :-) Pleasure to have met you also, and to those of you I have yet to meet :-)
Catherine, we also have lots of disease in our family! I completely understand not wanting to continue the line of cancer/diabetes, etc. I see the suffering of my relatives, and I won't have that for me. Never.
I'm new to this site and this post caught my eye. I read most of the pages on here and it's so nice to see all the differencing opinions! I feel like I've learned much already! That being said, I think vegetarians do get a lot of negative feedback. I'm 23 and I've been a vegetarian since I was 12. I continue to do so for the health benefits. All my family and friends are omnivores and they think I'm crazy for being a vegetarian. I've came across many vegans who bashed the notion of vegetarianism. Meat-eaters do this as well. That's not to say everyone is like that, of course. Most people are usually curious and I don't mind talking to them! :)
Truely, I take being a vegetarian seriously. I avoid many processed foods that involve meat-derivatives like resin, which was mentioned earlier. I avoid milk because because the idea of drinking it kinda grosses me out. I have noticed that when I've talked to other vegetarians, many arn't aware of the many guises of meat in processed foods.
Louise I'm vegetarian (pescatarian), and haven't really experienced any negativity towards that until I joined this site! Most people who ask me about my choice are more curious than anything, and I'm lucky that some of my friends are also vegetarian. My mum worries, but more so because she's concerned I won't get enough iron or protein (which I do).
I think it comes down to why you're doing what you're doing, and how happy you are with your choice. Being vegetarian for moral reasons is one step ahead of the rest of the population, and is a step in the right direction. If you never go any further than that, you're still playing an active role in making the world a better place morally and ethically. And who's to say you won't one day become vegan? Change can only happen slowly.
Most of the western world at this point is already lacking in education regarding health and well-being. The obesity epidemic is proof of that. At least now with more focus being placed on health, people will (hopefully) come to better understand what their bodies need. This in turn also applies to vegetarianism and veganism. People are becoming more educated which is opening up a whole knew world, that many may never have considered.
All I can say in regards to those who take a holier than thou attitude towards your choice is to ignore them. They're hardly perfect. I'd rather be considered 'half-hearted and less disciplined' than judgmental. Be happy with your choice, and boo to anyone else who tries to lord it over you.
Hi and welcome to veggie land :) Great question, and very observational of you. What you will find is that some Vegan/Vegetarians are convicted to change for moral/ethical reasons, while others (like myself) are convicted to change for health and wellness purposes. Both reasons lead to the same results of saving animals, and lives. I have a vegan diet but do not practice the vegan lifestyle. This is where some people may not draw a distinction, while others do.
I have mentioned on here a few times in different posts that I believe that many people are only getting half the story by adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet. Like you, my main motivation is health, though I am also very concerned for the welfare of animals. The problem I have is that if you are on a vegan/vegetarian diet, there are a myriad of things you can still eat that are still bad for you. The amount of processed "junk" in the stores is overwhelming from sodas, orange juice (oh yeah), cereals, and so much more that is processed with chemicals and tons of sugar and salt. Unless this is also addressed, one runs the risk of kidding themselves that they are eating healthy. In the research I have done for over the past year, I have found that the way to eat healthy is by adopting a primarily plant based diet which consists of fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, whole grains and seeds. The more "raw" food we eat, the more phytonutrients we get which are essential for repairing damaged DNA. I also do a lot of cooking as well with stir fries, burritos, etc. This is the key, in my view, to protecting against diabetes, cancer, and heart disease as well as creating a dynamic immune system. It does not mean that on an occasion having a treat is out of the question, but they way I look at it is I need to be cognizant of what I am putting into my body and each time ask the question is this going to be a good for me or bad for me. This is where I have come after half a century of doing the wrong thing, and this is what works for me. I just don't want people to be surprised when they are only fighting half the battle against disease,if that makes sense.
Makes total sense. Like my G-ma always told me, "you are what you eat :)"
I've observed a strange thing since joining this site.
I was already "on the path" to being Vegan (vegetarian for 2 years then had given up eggs 6 months ago) but read a few posts by a vegan(s) who was saying all this and that, getting all high and mighty and putting everyone down who didn't follow his/her ideals! And I see it all the time on here and it's very off-putting but I'm confident that I probably will become vegan regardless of what they say.
The other thing I noticed was that meat eaters negative reactions to vegetarians tend to push them even faster to a vegan diet!
So in conclusion of this highly unscientific observation I will say we have found this site to be ineffective of converting people to vegans lol
But in all seriousness I hope some members here will take note of this page and decide to share information instead of berating our fellow non-animal eaters.
Your post made me laugh. This site is called Vegetarian Friend, why would anyone be trying to convert you to veganism?! ;-) I sometimes think folk assume Vegans are seriously out to convert to their way. Sometimes we are all emphatic. Before I was vegetarian I had two employers (who were) push their views up my a** and down my throat and I took it. But when I turned to the Vegan side they weren't having any of it!! Shoe on other foot me thinks ;-)
It's all good and up to you as an individual. And yeah, some here hold strong views (me included I guess but they are personal to me and even if I voice them I don't expect others to take notice, act upon them or take offence) but there are strong arguments for vegetarianism just as there are for veganism. There could be a lot to be said for a diet that does include dairy and eggs, it's just up to the individual how they interpret the data and what they want from that lifestyle personally, what is their personal motivation.
I think Vegetarian is a great place to be, I think Vegan is a great place to be and (I'll get hated for this) meat eating is a great place to be . . . IF it feels honest, true and just to the person concerned.
Well done for sticking to your guns regardless, everything at the right time for where you are etc ;-)
:) Seems like you opened a box of Pandora...
In the Western world, anyone who does not kill animals to eat them is within the 3% (more or less) of the population that makes a more or less conscious choice about life and food habits. In India 50% is still vegetarian. They are not necessarily healthier than the 50 % non-vegs. I am vegetarian (no eggs) and tend towards veganism for health reasons, not moral ones. If you want to be vegan, go for it, but if it makes you look down on vegetarians, you might as well eat meat. The world will become a better place only if all of us accept all others as they are. Inspiring people by your example works.
I have never felt half-caste because of eating cheese and really needed it for some time to break the addiction slowly and become more creative with non-diary. If Vegan becomes a new religion with its own dogma's we might as well stick to the old religions that killed and tortured people because they could heal people or see a truth that society or the powers to be could not accept yet.
Having said this I do think that stating "I am vegetarian" implies not eating meat or fish every day of your life from now on. It s a bit like stating "I am pregnant"... You can't be 70% pregnant, its rather black and white. If you occasionally eat meat or fish for whatever reason you can't truly call yourself vegetarian, but might use words like " I don't eat much meat" or "I am a part-time vegetarian", which in itself sounds silly.
May I refer you to "The China Study" by T.Colin Campbell. There is a lot more going on than most pople are awar. It has been proven, that from a health stand point dairy is more harmful than meat based on percent of fat per calorie. This is directly related to heart disease and some cancers. Now, before you start spitting at me, I don't begrudge you or anyone else if they want to eat dairy, eggs, etc. now and again from a health perspective. You may have issues with those who believe that like eating meat, the exploitation of animals for milk and cheese is also cruel. I'll leave that argument for someone else. So, that being aside, if you eat cheese occasionally and you have every right to, it will not hurt you. I speak on this blog more as lifestyle choices than occasional indulgencies. If you read any of my other posts, you will know that I promote a plant based diet because I believe it is equally important to avoid the "crap" that are promoted as processed, salt, sugar, and chemical, laden foods.
:) It's all about perspective it seems...
Going natural makes sense. Its not just the man-made ingredients but also the intentions of the producers or workers that enter the products and are consumed by us. Yes, using dairy is closely linked to using meat in an industrialized society.
Are you veg'an for physical health reasons or for spiritual health reasons?
It seems to make a difference though one does not exclude the other. So, to get the point in the open: I think that from a spiritual perspective or integral perspective (as defined by Ken Wilber et al) the starting point is "creating harmony" with all of life, including every aspect of the material world. The first point of reference is God and I the soul. How to define health? Maybe "being in harmony with the original design and all its current healthy expansions". Or more like "being in a constant state of peace, love, happiness and strength". Its getting tricky already. Thinking in terms of Yin and Yang or sustainable cyclic processes might give us a clue. Is this way of living / feeding sustainable into the 10th generation after us?
Key question seems to be: what practice is for the long term benefit of all involved and gives respect to individual differences ?
Having this discussion going on gives me as much "food" or energy as having a nice sandwich with French cheese. :)
So to avoid too long posts:
I know a large group of yogis in India who strive quite nicely using buffalo milk and home-made cheese. But they would rarely buy anything processed by people outside of the group, in order to avoid "energetic contamination" or "lowering the vibes"...and it does make sense to me.
I grew up country side Holland and remember to milk cows every now and then and having a chocolate milk made of this fresh milk. No problem there. The cow seemed happy with the warm hands and the milk smelled and tasted really good. By the time I got a job my friends already had farms and the chicken were treated horribly, the milk was full of anti-biotic, copper and God knows what to produce more milk, more meat and thus more profit. The farmers started to loose the color on their faces but business was striving. I killed a few chicken by hand because it was "what we do around here" but never felt really OK with it. Then professionally seeing slaughterhouses and working for pig-breeders did the trick to (finally) return to vegetarianism. The way animals are treated and "food" is created has changed dramatically over the last 50 years or so. It seems like most of us are completely lost in a materialistic perspective.
It all boils down to awareness. Thanks God more and more are waking up, on following this path, others another. No need to "fight opinions", since we are heading in the same direction. I really enjoy the rich variety of ideas on this forum...