Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby mister k » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:07 pm UTC

Its not too hard. Ignore the anti-vegetarian sentiments issuing from certain members of the thread and do what you feel is right.

A-Theres certainly no guarentee of weight loss, and you'll have to carefully construct your diet to do so
B-You will need to deal with people being inexplicably hostile to your life choice
C-You can do it healthily and well.

If you miss old meat meals, quorn is excellent, particularly quorn mince and quorn burgers (surprisingly tasty barbecued!). Otherwise, stir fries are usually delicious with or without meat. Eating out isn't too difficult, provided you have a little caution: most places will have a vegetarian option. Eating balanced meals are good, and eating lots of fruit if you don't already is useful because it aids iron absorption from the sources you are looking for it in. I have never found being a vegetarian particularly hard, and have not lapsed in the 4 years I've been one.
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby MadParrot » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:29 am UTC

Good luck on your vegetarianism endevours, whatever flavour. :)

Just wanted to say this thread finally promted me to go look up rspca-approved meat production. Yay! Found a butcher not too far away that does approved pork, decided that the questionable 'organic' (a term that always makes me a bit suspicious) chook in the supermarket is probably legit in terms of welfare, and that my steak and lamb is ok already. Thanks, I feel less lazy now :)

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Waylah » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:47 am UTC

I've just gone almost-vegetarian, as of a hamburger on new-years eve. - I'm still prepared to eat invertebrate seafood without brains. Can't find anywhere else to get haeme iron. Previous to that, I was trying to be 'free-range only'. I've been off all pig products for a few years now.

If you want to go vegetarian just for health reasons, then going less-meat is probably better.
If you want to go mostly-vegetarian for animal-cruelty reasons, but you'd still like to get the benefits of meat, then maybe you could get some free-range meats. Chicken is very easy to get free-range where we live, and pig products are getting more and more available free-range. Kangaroo is an excellent delicious red meat that does not involve cruel farming practices and as a bonus, produces less carbon emissions than cattle, apparently.
Just don't eat anything you're not comfortable with eating.
If people want to get thingy at you, asking you "why" or making coments about whether or not you're being preachy, just remind them it's a diet, not a religion ;)
No one tells people off for being preachy if they go on and on about how delicious these strawberries they're eating are. Mmmmm, these are awesome, here have some!

All humans are omnivores, whether or not they eat meat, because omnivore, herbivore, and carnivore, are not the same types of words as vegetarian and vegan.
Omnivore means that biologically, the species is adapted to consume a diet that includes vegetable and animal products.
In addition, a vegetarian diet is an omnivorous one anyway, because it includes eggs and milk.

Good to keep in mind if anyone says 'But we're meant to be omnivores' just tell them that you are. :)

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Zohar » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:31 pm UTC

I think one of the most annoying things people say against vegetarianism is "But we're meant to be otherwise!"
So what? Who cares what we're meant to do or not, can't we make choices on our own? And who meant for us to be this way, anyway?
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Nath » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:56 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I think one of the most annoying things people say against vegetarianism is "But we're meant to be otherwise!"
So what? Who cares what we're meant to do or not, can't we make choices on our own? And who meant for us to be this way, anyway?

I think the logic behind this argument is that we've evolved optimized for a certain environment, so the closer we are to that lifestyle, the better we'll perform. It's not a very strong argument -- we didn't evolve with antibiotics or pants, and I find these things useful. But there's a nugget of truth to it.

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Axman » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:45 pm UTC

Sorry, Vegans: Brussels Sprouts Like to Live, Too
Spoiler:
I stopped eating pork about eight years ago, after a scientist happened to mention that the animal whose teeth most closely resemble our own is the pig. Unable to shake the image of a perky little pig flashing me a brilliant George Clooney smile, I decided it was easier to forgo the Christmas ham. A couple of years later, I gave up on all mammalian meat, period. I still eat fish and poultry, however and pour eggnog in my coffee. My dietary decisions are arbitrary and inconsistent, and when friends ask why I’m willing to try the duck but not the lamb, I don’t have a good answer. Food choices are often like that: difficult to articulate yet strongly held. And lately, debates over food choices have flared with particular vehemence.

In his new book, “Eating Animals,” the novelist Jonathan Safran Foer describes his gradual transformation from omnivorous, oblivious slacker who “waffled among any number of diets” to “committed vegetarian.” Last month, Gary Steiner, a philosopher at Bucknell University, argued on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times that people should strive to be “strict ethical vegans” like himself, avoiding all products derived from animals, including wool and silk. Killing animals for human food and finery is nothing less than “outright murder,” he said, Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “eternal Treblinka.”

But before we cede the entire moral penthouse to “committed vegetarians” and “strong ethical vegans,” we might consider that plants no more aspire to being stir-fried in a wok than a hog aspires to being peppercorn-studded in my Christmas clay pot. This is not meant as a trite argument or a chuckled aside. Plants are lively and seek to keep it that way. The more that scientists learn about the complexity of plants — their keen sensitivity to the environment, the speed with which they react to changes in the environment, and the extraordinary number of tricks that plants will rally to fight off attackers and solicit help from afar — the more impressed researchers become, and the less easily we can dismiss plants as so much fiberfill backdrop, passive sunlight collectors on which deer, antelope and vegans can conveniently graze. It’s time for a green revolution, a reseeding of our stubborn animal minds.

When plant biologists speak of their subjects, they use active verbs and vivid images. Plants “forage” for resources like light and soil nutrients and “anticipate” rough spots and opportunities. By analyzing the ratio of red light and far red light falling on their leaves, for example, they can sense the presence of other chlorophyllated competitors nearby and try to grow the other way. Their roots ride the underground “rhizosphere” and engage in cross-cultural and microbial trade.

“Plants are not static or silly,” said Monika Hilker of the Institute of Biology at the Free University of Berlin. “They respond to tactile cues, they recognize different wavelengths of light, they listen to chemical signals, they can even talk” through chemical signals. Touch, sight, hearing, speech. “These are sensory modalities and abilities we normally think of as only being in animals,” Dr. Hilker said.

Plants can’t run away from a threat but they can stand their ground. “They are very good at avoiding getting eaten,” said Linda Walling of the University of California, Riverside. “It’s an unusual situation where insects can overcome those defenses.” At the smallest nip to its leaves, specialized cells on the plant’s surface release chemicals to irritate the predator or sticky goo to entrap it. Genes in the plant’s DNA are activated to wage systemwide chemical warfare, the plant’s version of an immune response. We need terpenes, alkaloids, phenolics — let’s move.

“I’m amazed at how fast some of these things happen,” said Consuelo M. De Moraes of Pennsylvania State University. Dr. De Moraes and her colleagues did labeling experiments to clock a plant’s systemic response time and found that, in less than 20 minutes from the moment the caterpillar had begun feeding on its leaves, the plant had plucked carbon from the air and forged defensive compounds from scratch.

Just because we humans can’t hear them doesn’t mean plants don’t howl. Some of the compounds that plants generate in response to insect mastication — their feedback, you might say — are volatile chemicals that serve as cries for help. Such airborne alarm calls have been shown to attract both large predatory insects like dragon flies, which delight in caterpillar meat, and tiny parasitic insects, which can infect a caterpillar and destroy it from within.

Enemies of the plant’s enemies are not the only ones to tune into the emergency broadcast. “Some of these cues, some of these volatiles that are released when a focal plant is damaged,” said Richard Karban of the University of California, Davis, “cause other plants of the same species, or even of another species, to likewise become more resistant to herbivores.”

Yes, it’s best to nip trouble in the bud.

Dr. Hilker and her colleagues, as well as other research teams, have found that certain plants can sense when insect eggs have been deposited on their leaves and will act immediately to rid themselves of the incubating menace. They may sprout carpets of tumorlike neoplasms to knock the eggs off, or secrete ovicides to kill them, or sound the S O S. Reporting in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Hilker and her coworkers determined that when a female cabbage butterfly lays her eggs on a brussels sprout plant and attaches her treasures to the leaves with tiny dabs of glue, the vigilant vegetable detects the presence of a simple additive in the glue, benzyl cyanide. Cued by the additive, the plant swiftly alters the chemistry of its leaf surface to beckon female parasitic wasps. Spying the anchored bounty, the female wasps in turn inject their eggs inside, the gestating wasps feed on the gestating butterflies, and the plant’s problem is solved.

Here’s the lurid Edgar Allan Poetry of it: that benzyl cyanide tip-off had been donated to the female butterfly by the male during mating. “It’s an anti-aphrodisiac pheromone, so that the female wouldn’t mate anymore,” Dr. Hilker said. “The male is trying to ensure his paternity, but he ends up endangering his own offspring.”

Plants eavesdrop on one another benignly and malignly. As they described in Science and other journals, Dr. De Moraes and her colleagues have discovered that seedlings of the dodder plant, a parasitic weed related to morning glory, can detect volatile chemicals released by potential host plants like the tomato. The young dodder then grows inexorably toward the host, until it can encircle the victim’s stem and begin sucking the life phloem right out of it. The parasite can even distinguish between the scents of healthier and weaker tomato plants and then head for the hale one.

“Even if you have quite a bit of knowledge about plants,” Dr. De Moraes said, “it’s still surprising to see how sophisticated they can be.”

It’s a small daily tragedy that we animals must kill to stay alive. Plants are the ethical autotrophs here, the ones that wrest their meals from the sun. Don’t expect them to boast: they’re too busy fighting to survive.

Also, I don't think anyone meant to say brainless invertebrates, because most of us prefer our slime molds to stay in the garden.

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby dubsola » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:19 pm UTC

I detect an air of smugness about your involvement in this thread that is unwarranted - for every vegan / vegetarian proselytizer there is surely a loud and proud meat eater. If I'm wrong about your motives then I apologise.

Anyway, I suspect that most vegetarians or vegans will respond to that article with the point that plants, whilst exhibiting any number of defence mechanisms, do not possess anywhere near the same degree of sentience than animals do. You don't see people campaigning for the end to 'Robot Wars' now do you?

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I'm /always/ smug...

Postby Axman » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:40 pm UTC

Nope, I just think it's funny, well-written, and on-topic. It also puts into question the abstract moral relativism that shows up around meat aversion, which I think is a good thing to talk about. Like, it's not OK to eat mammals, but it is OK oceanic invertebrates? If the reason is biological burden, then I'd have to agree it makes sense. If the reason is sentience, then the argument doesn't hold water. Because some life strikes us as alien and incomprehensible, it's morally sound to kill it, but not life that we're more sympathetic towards?

Then there's the degree to which a person should avoid meat. Vegetarians still exploit the land. They should go vegan, no, raw foodist, no, breatharian...

What happened of the OP, anyway?

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:47 pm UTC

KoL cemented the term as "Oxygenarian". You get a cool hat if you can pull it off.

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby hermaj » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:53 pm UTC

Not always hat, but you do get a tattoo! Also:

Axman wrote:but it is OK oceanic invertebrates? ... then the argument doesn't hold water.


Haaaa. :P

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby voidPtr » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:24 am UTC

I really don't want to knock someone's choice to become a vegetarian, and it's a decision I respect. There are many solid moral and environmental reasons to become a vegetarian.

There's certainly nothing intrinsically wrong with being a vegetarian.

..And yet...[cue the backhand part of the backhanded statement]...the rise in individual vegetarianism is just another layer of complexity and symptom of a very broken, anti-social, disfunctional food culture.

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:59 am UTC

Uh... why is it a symptom of a very broken anti-social dysfunctional food culture? I don't get the "very broken" and "dysfunctional" parts but how is vegetarianism anti-social? That seems just plain wrong. Of all of my friends, I'm the only one suggesting (and implementing) that we have joint meals and I'm vegetarian. How's that anti-social? And please explain your other comments. What's broken and dysfunctional about today's food culture?
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby poxic » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:15 am UTC

Having spent a fair amount of time in a vegetarian/vegan community online, I did find that a minority of people were attracted to the diet because of self-esteem or other issues. They tended to be young women and girls with unhealthy body images or an unusual need to exercise control over themselves. (Orthorexia isn't in the DSM-IV, but some doctors will diagnose it if the diet is causing damage to the patient.)

Taking an extreme position in veganism -- not eating products with traces of additives that can't be verified as 100% vegan, for example -- might be a commitment to an ideal, or it might indicate a lack of life balance. It depends on the person.

That said, the majority of veg*ns (the term we used to indicate vegan/vegetarian) that I got to know through the community were well-rounded, healthy people with a real concern for animal welfare. Like religion or guns, vegetarianism can be used for good or evil. Intelligently and compassionately applied, it's often better for the environment, for one. Used as a substitute for self-flagellation or to be able to tout one's own righteousness, well, there would be more issues going on there.
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:39 am UTC

poxic wrote: Like religion or guns, vegetarianism can be used for good or evil.


So what you're saying is I'm a sort of super hero, huh?

Yes, that's the part of your post that I chose to quote.
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby poxic » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:52 am UTC

Yes, that's exactly what I was saying. :wink:

/say hi to MacLean for me
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Axman » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:00 am UTC

Vegetarianism is anti-social because it is often abnormal as well as exclusionary in Western society.

Hey look, I copy-edited this one!

"Intrinsically wrong" is vague but I can think of two reasons why being omnivorous is more biologically sound than vegetarianism. Our immune systems are dependent on ruminant antibodies and the greatest predictor of the success of any species is to intertwine itself with people and form cross-dependencies. While I don't disagree with the statement that the way we operate agribusiness in the West isn't ecologically sound or even very respectful towards life, changing how we interact with our environment is greater than refusing to interact with it at all.
Last edited by Axman on Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:06 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:06 am UTC

It's abnormal, but that doesn't mean it's anti-social... LGBTism is abnormal, being a redhead is abnormal, being left handed is abnormal, I don't think any of those are anti-social. You could even argue (poorly) that since the US president is a democrat, most residents of the US voted democrat, so republicans are abnormal.

As for exclusionary, that only depends on the person, and it only arises in occasions related to food. I always prepare my own vegetarian course when I'm going somewhere, or make sure there's an alternative. Most restaurants, in Israel anyway, have vegetarian dishes. When me and my friends try to meet and eat something, we have much more trouble with our friend who doesn't eat tomatoes, onions, bellpeppers or mushrooms than with me. I'm vegetarian and I have no trouble at all with people eating meat around me, I don't understand how it excludes me from anything.
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Axman » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:11 am UTC

It is the combination of abnormal and exclusive that makes it anti-social. Unlike handedness, there is a message associated with not eating meat, and it's that meat-eating's wrong. And yes, most who abstain from it aren't vocal, but those who are force a judgment on others, and it's guilt by association.

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:29 am UTC

Yes, because you're constantly feeling guilty for not giving money to that homeless guy, or donating to Haiti, or helping children in Africa... If you have friends that make you feel guilty for eating meat then there's something wrong between you - either they suck, or you're too sensitive, or something else. I make sure my friends know I don't give a shit whether or not they eat meat. I wouldn't be happier if the whole world was vegetarian and I'm not trying to make anyone change their mind. So maybe you feel it's anti-social in your own group, but that's what happens in your own group. I can't testify for everyone else but there are at least two examples (myself and a vegan friend I have) that are not anti-social at all and it doesn't hinder any of our social interactions, including the many ones that revolve around food. And if there are two people it's true for, I doubt we're the only ones in the world.

But what do I care? Eat your meat - more veggies for me!
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Axman » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:53 am UTC

Heh, the shit I feel guilty about wouldn't cover the back of my hand...

So I've given this more thought and I've realized that I actually hate vegetarianism. Hear me out. Vegetarianism is a social movement, one that burdens people who do eat meat. It's bullshit activism. What I have absolutely no problems with is not eating meat. The desire to prevent, or at least, not cause the suffering of any life is humane and very noble, and I support it wholly.

It's that by issuing it as a cause that it insults people who aren't a part of that cause, and also asserts a whole mess of justifications to cloud the rationality of that cause, and that's without even getting into the extremists.

If I want to cause less suffering, I'll buy free-range meat, rather than stop eating it altogether and pointing fingers at those who do. Even though most people who don't eat meat aren't judgmental, there are those who are, and they call themselves vegetarian, too.

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:18 am UTC

That's like saying you hate Christianity, because some Christians are annoying and full of blame, even though most aren't. Vegetarianism is not a social movement, it's a diet. People choose it for a great range of reasons, some from ideological concerns, and some are obnoxious about it. How is a vegetarian who keeps saying you're a murderer different than an omnivore who keeps saying I'm unnatural and wrong? I don't hate people who eat meat because of it. If you hate vegetarianism as a whole, I think your anger is misplaced.

I count myself as part of "vegetarianism" because I'm vegetarian, that's it. I don't think you hate me (I hope not), I think you hate the people who make "meat is murder" stickers. I hate them too, but I don't hate myself because of that, or vegetarianism in general. And I don't hate them because I think meat isn't murder, I hate them because they're extremists, and I don't like extremists in almost any form ("almost" because I can't be sure and I don't want to seem extreme).
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:30 am UTC

poxic wrote:veg*ns

This term, I've never heard/seen before, but I quite like.

Axman wrote:So I've given this more thought and I've realized that I actually hate vegetarianism. Hear me out. Vegetarianism is a social movement, one that burdens people who do eat meat. It's bullshit activism.

What of people who just want to be veg*n, and ask humbly for an option without meat on a restaurant menu? What of those who will eat meat if they're a guest and a host serves it, out of civility? I mean, it's a personal choice more often than it's a movement, and it's a sound personal choice. Cattle-farming and the like is ridiculously taxing on the environment. Red meat is bad for the circulatory system. There are good reasons for someone to recommend you switch to veg*nism, or something similar (vegetables and fish/game meat from renewable fishing/hunting). If you consider that bullshit activism, I'd like to know what you consider legitimate activism.
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It would be more apt to compare vegetarianism to Judaism...

Postby Axman » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:00 am UTC

There are truths to what you say, and I do have problems with a lot of the way Christianity is espoused by its notable and vocal evangelicals. Which is why most Christians specify their specific denomination, so that they differentiate themselves from other Christians who have different ideas. Christianity may have its roots in I am God worship me first, then treat others like you want yourself to be treated, but that was a long time ago and even Paul had his motives. And within denominations, there exist division, American Catholic, Vatican II Catholic, Jew for Jesus Catholic, Doctrinal Catholic...

And there's no freakin' way it's just a diet. It's a subculture with activists political, ethical, and plain wierdo. Even you say you're a vegetarian but not a dick vegetarian without meat-eating friends. To me that's analogous to a denomination, just one without a catchy name. Or rather, it sounds like you're not a vegetarian at all, you just don't eat meat.

Movements go through changes. Like feminism, vegetarianism had different waves and periods of influence. Like before they called it vegetarianism (not coined by the Vegetarian Society but made popular by) there were... triangle man... Pythagoreans, who, by the way, didn't eat beans because Pythagoras believed that the amount of air was finite and that farting would speed the heat-death of the universe. I think feminism needs a fourth wave, France should work on a Sixth Republic, and vegetarianism's due for a re-branding.

I mean, it's a personal choice more often than it's a movement, and it's a sound personal choice. Cattle-farming and the like is ridiculously taxing on the environment. Red meat is bad for the circulatory system. There are good reasons for someone to recommend you switch to veg*nism, or something similar (vegetables and fish/game meat from renewable fishing/hunting). If you consider that bullshit activism, I'd like to know what you consider legitimate activism.

1. it's not personal once "meat is murder" arguments, even lesser caliber arguments of the same nature, hit the table, because then it's a judgment
2. current agribusiness is ridiculous, but ranching isn't by itself, in fact, it is good for both us and the animals ranched
3. everything's bad for the circulatory system in great enough quantity, and eating meat is a fantastic alternative to malnutrition
4. hunting and fishing are far worse for the environment than keeping animals, it's that we do so little of it we don't see the effects en masse
5. I think most activism is bullshit, but in this case, common sense is left behind in favor of food hysteria
6. that nowhere listed above is "not killing and eating animals is good" goes to show that it is a movement greater than humanitarian ambition, followed by justifications not directly tied to humanitarianism

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:59 am UTC

In conclusion, this whole debate is semantic. You argue that vegetarianism means not only practicing it but also rubbing it in people's faces and so on. I agree with you that that exists, but I don't call those people vegetarians, I call them vegetarian assholes, or mostly just assholes. I doubt many people agree with your definition and I think by using it you get into a lot of senseless debates. For example, I don't disagree with you, just with the names you use. To take an extreme example, suppose I would say "I hate flower-growers", and then I'd explain that my idea of "flower-growers", for some unknown reason, is actually murderers. I doubt you'd say you don't like murderers, but you'd disagree with my definition of "flower growers". And in my opinion you have (justified) negative feelings towards extremists, also in the specific form of vegetarians. This whole debate would have been over with a lot earlier if instead of saying "I hate vegetarianism" you would have said "I hate vegetarians extremists" or something similar. It's your choice to say what you want, I just think you're using the wrong words. At least, it made me misunderstand you.
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Re: It would be more apt to compare vegetarianism to Judaism...

Postby dubsola » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:36 pm UTC

Everything Zohar said. Axman, you are grinding an ax about vegetarian extremists in a fucking food forum thread about someone thinking about going vegetarian. Stop trolling.

voidPtr wrote:..And yet...[cue the backhand part of the backhanded statement]...the rise in individual vegetarianism is just another layer of complexity and symptom of a very broken, anti-social, disfunctional food culture.

Zohar, It's that a lot of people have realised that they could be healthier when it comes to food. Often a news article will go on about fast food, high salt, high fat, superfoods, and so on, simplifying a fairly complex and new-ish science, and people who care will read these things and wonder if they're doing the right thing by their bodies. Also, obesity and heart disease are fairly major chronic illnesses these days.

Personally, I also think the fact that most people don't really know where food comes from is pretty bad. Like how you can buy a chicken in Tesco's (a cheap supermarket in the UK) for two pounds - but it's awful. The chickens are treated horribly and the meat is rubbish. I think we as a society can do better. Same with cows. I'd be a lot happier if instead of eating rubbish, intensively reared meat 14-20 times a week, people ate that hippie organic free range stuff a few times a week (and less of the red meat as compared to the white meat) - it tastes a lot better, the animals are happier, the environment is happier, and you are healthier (assuming you replace the meat with a balanced diet).

There you go, Axman. Everything you should have been saying instead of going off on vegetarians like they are all unreasonable lunatics. :D

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Delalyra » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:46 pm UTC

The tricky thing about healthy food access, at least in the US, is that even access to supermarkets (instead of just fast-food places and gas stations) is more or less restricted based on class (and/or race, the two demographics often overlap in the US), so consequently, a lot of poor minorities don't even have access to the crappy mass-produced meat and veg. I agree completely that more people should be eating organic more often (or local and in-season, even better), but it's more or less impossible when you can't even buy the mass-produced stuff. That needs to be dealt with, 'cause it's totally bogus, but then again, the food infrastructure in the US is not terribly sustainable, so maybe we should tackle that problem first. This should probably be in a new topic. :p

In regards to Axman's query: I ate ovo-lacto vegetarian for about a year and change, then decided to start eating meat again because it was summer, and my family goes on vacation a few times during the summer, and we eat out a lot, and the absolute dearth of healthy, tasty vegetarian options was not something I felt like dealing with. Still, I think the experience was really good for me, as I introduced myself to a lot of healthy foods that I probably would not have tried otherwise (beans, kale, quinoa, loads of new veggies, brown rice, and lentils, to name a few), and learned how to cook more and learned a lot about nutrition. Even now that I'm eating meat again, I eat much, much healthier than I used to.

Also, I agree with dubsola: quit trolling and start an anti-vegetarian thread or something.
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Re: It would be more apt to compare vegetarianism to Judaism...

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:22 pm UTC

Axman wrote:And there's no freakin' way it's just a diet.

Not for everyone, certainly.

But I guess you've already proven that we can't expect you to ever understand the incredibly simple facts that not every vegetarian is preachy, that not every vegetarian believes meat is murder, and that even the ones who do often don't bother telling douchefuck meat eaters like yourself about it because they know exactly how you'll react.

(Btw, I had tofu tenders last night instead of chicken. I'm going to retroactively treat that as a response to your assholishness in this thread. I'm pretty sure your "debate" tactics here have also strengthened other people's vegetarianism, so good job if you're secretly fighting to reduce meat consumption!)
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby sje46 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:27 pm UTC

Axman wrote:It is the combination of abnormal and exclusive that makes it anti-social. Unlike handedness, there is a message associated with not eating meat, and it's that meat-eating's wrong. And yes, most who abstain from it aren't vocal, but those who are force a judgment on others, and it's guilt by association.

Anti-social means someone who doesn't respect rights. It doesn't mean abnormal and exclusive, and has never meant that. It means doing whatever you want, whether good or bad, regardless of whether it violates rights (which usually means doing bad). Projecting rights on other entities is the complete opposite of this. In fact, ethical vegetarians have more right to the claim that omnivores are antisocial, and they make a pretty good point. We eat as much meat as we do not because we need to, but because we like it, and we just disregard the feelings of the animals.

My girlfriend is a vegan, and, not only that, but an animals-rights activist as well. I don't even know what "force a judgment" really means, but I know that whatever she's doing isn't wrong. Using your freedom of speech to try to change the moral climate is never wrong. Is throwing blood on people violating rights? Sure. Eating a vegan burger? No.
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby dubsola » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:38 pm UTC

Delalyra wrote:Still, I think the experience was really good for me, as I introduced myself to a lot of healthy foods that I probably would not have tried otherwise (beans, kale, quinoa, loads of new veggies, brown rice, and lentils, to name a few), and learned how to cook more and learned a lot about nutrition. Even now that I'm eating meat again, I eat much, much healthier than I used to.

Indeed. This is the ideal outcome of any conscious change in diet. Good one!

The tricky thing about healthy food access, at least in the US, is that even access to supermarkets (instead of just fast-food places and gas stations) is more or less restricted based on class (and/or race, the two demographics often overlap in the US), so consequently, a lot of poor minorities don't even have access to the crappy mass-produced meat and veg. I agree completely that more people should be eating organic more often (or local and in-season, even better), but it's more or less impossible when you can't even buy the mass-produced stuff. That needs to be dealt with, 'cause it's totally bogus, but then again, the food infrastructure in the US is not terribly sustainable, so maybe we should tackle that problem first. This should probably be in a new topic. :p

Yeah, that's pretty pants. I feel bad that people don't have the means to buy healthy food (or the time to cook it).

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:13 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:Eating a vegan burger? No.

Yes, but Axman thinks anyone vegan is "guilty by association". Which is why I hate him so much for the Oklahoma City bombing. That was committed by an American, and Axman is an American, and so he's guilty by association.

(See? It's just as stupid when I do it!)
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:18 pm UTC

I tried vegetarian for a while, given that I married a staunch vegetarian, and as mentioned before, it opened me up to WORLDS of fun, non-meat-based foods, and significantly broadened my diet. That said, I consume about 1/3 of a cow, 1/3 of a pig, and several chickens per year, as well as (quick math) 50+ lbs of fish per year, as well as incidental meats (restaurants, dinner at the parents, occasional breakfast bacon, etc). Except for the fish, these are all animals that I can go see, and pick out, with a 20 minute drive.

I've heard people say that "no-one should be allowed to eat meat until they help kill and butcher one." Well, I did. My son helped. My vegetarian wife did, too. Glad I've met all the requirements!

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:22 pm UTC

Regarding MJ's comments, I will say that I find some people's aversion to specific animals a bit funny. To me at least, all animals are roughly the same on "OK to eat" (I'm referring to people saying eating dogs is disgusting, for example). I also don't get why people outrage against fur and not against leather.
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Decker » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:26 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I also don't get why people outrage against fur and not against leather.

Probably because Fur is more visibly part of an animal. It's easier to associate it with being an ex-animal. Leather, dosn't look that much like a former cow.

Anyway. I never could get over the texture of tofu. There's just something about it that seems too off to me. The few times I do eat vegitarian, I usually go for roasted and seasoned veggies. Tomatos in the oven for a little while are wonderful, especially served with some pasta (It's like Spagetti, except better!). Yellow squash is another that I really like.
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Delalyra » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:35 pm UTC

I read a comic-thingy that pointed out that dogs, at least in western cultures, are anthropomorphized, so (some) people feel weirder about eating them. I am not a dog person and would probably try it, just to see :p

Also, re fur/leather, I always heard it justified as: well, cows you're at least eating, using the whole animal is a good thing, but with fur, what happens to the meat? Not that that's a terribly great justification, but.
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Decker » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:46 pm UTC

Delalyra wrote:Also, re fur/leather, I always heard it justified as: well, cows you're at least eating, using the whole animal is a good thing, but with fur, what happens to the meat? Not that that's a terribly great justification, but.

Yeah...I doubt that they just take the furs and throw the rest out. They would at least be used for SOMETHING. Animal feed or something like that. Why throw something away when someone will buy it?
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Delalyra » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:08 pm UTC

Yeah, you're probably right about that.
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby CueBall » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:12 pm UTC

Decker wrote:
Delalyra wrote:Also, re fur/leather, I always heard it justified as: well, cows you're at least eating, using the whole animal is a good thing, but with fur, what happens to the meat? Not that that's a terribly great justification, but.

Yeah...I doubt that they just take the furs and throw the rest out. They would at least be used for SOMETHING. Animal feed or something like that. Why throw something away when someone will buy it?


Personally, although I am vegetarian, I don't mind leather. My reasoning is thus: I lose nothing by not using fur, or by not eating meat, but some specialised things it is hard to get if you don't want leather and you can't pay through the nose.
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:29 pm UTC

Decker wrote:
Zohar wrote:I also don't get why people outrage against fur and not against leather.

Probably because Fur is more visibly part of an animal. It's easier to associate it with being an ex-animal. Leather, dosn't look that much like a former cow.

I suspect it's more a matter of cows not being even remotely endangered, while that's not true of all fur animals. Of course that alone does mean that objections to, say, rabbit fur are on par with leather.

But there's also what CueBall points out: Most furs are worn as a way to show off that the person is wearing fur, and serves little if any functional purpose beside that. Leather, on the other hand, is incredibly useful in its own right.
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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby Nath » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:35 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I suspect it's more a matter of cows not being even remotely endangered, while that's not true of all fur animals.

Then it's strange that many arguments against fur are to do with animal cruelty, rather than biodiversity. Skinning an animal and wearing its outsides is just as cruel to the individual animal whether or not it's a member of an endangered species.

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Re: Thinking about going vegetarian...advice? thoughts?

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:41 pm UTC

True, but then there still is an argument to be made that a given amount of cruelty can be justified if the benefit is high enough. In which case the fact that we get a lot more from cows (and a lot more of that from each individual cow) than from fur animals is still relevant, and can still be used to justify an objection to fur but not leather.

Of course, there's also the fact that obviously some people do have stupid views or justify otherwise reasonable beliefs with stupid reasoning. My point is that there are also quite reasonable arguments for many of these beliefs.
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