vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

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vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by mockingbird on Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:25 pm

I'm not sure who is or isn't on this site, but I'm pretty sure there are some.
This post is not to alienate any other dear Mutties who eat meat. I was eating me 4 days ago, for crying out loud!
I just don't understand what has happened and maybe it will help writing it out...

I've posted recently that I'm not a vegetarian. No one in my family is and I come from a long line of omnivores, some of them leaning more to the carnivore side even. My sweet Joshua is most definitely a meat-and-potatoes guy (once he discovered meat and potaotes! He was raised on a Japanese diet but at a friend's house, a whole new world was opened up to him when he was a boy and he loves meat of any kind.) I always had a kind of Native American sort of view about the whole thing, regarding the life-ending of the animal to further my own life and treating that animal with respect.

So, the other day, Tuesday to be exact, I was at the grocery store and was going through the produce department (I absolutely LOVE produce! When I'm sad, I often just go look at the veggies and fruits. How can I be sad with beautiful peaches and tomatoes and the adorably cute eggplant around?) Then I went over to the meat department and picked out some fish and some chicken. I usually get organic chicken because of the health reasons and because I figure they use more humane slaughtering methods. Well, I was going along to get cereal, when suddenly, I really started thinking about it. There is no way on earth I would go up to a chicken on a farm or a fish in the sea and kill it. I could never kill an animal my own self, how could I eat this animal so neatly covered in plastic? It is still an animal. In the natural world, how I explain the reason for the existance of creatures like mosquitoes and flies is that they are food for something else. However, this chicken and this fish suddenly didn't seem like food for me, but simply dead animals. I started having trouble breathing and tears sprang to my eyes. I had to go down another aisle because I was afraid someone might think I was ill. I kind of was, though, and it's as close to a panic attack as I think I've ever come.

I'm not going to make a big proclomation to my family right now, although I may share it with my mother, I don't know. I live far away from my parents and brothers and it's not worth making a huge deal about it until I would go for a visit. I'm still not sure if it would be ok to say so even then, I'm still wrapping my head around it myself. I'm not thinking about being a strict vegan, I love eggs (organic, free range) and organic milk. But in my own, quiet way, I think it may be time to give up meat and see how I do. I haven't had meat in 3 days now and I'm doing ok. I'm researching what to eat and how to get the nurtients, like iron, in. The only real experience we've had with a vegetarian was not a very good one. One of the soldiers he worked with when he was Active Duty had a vegetarian wife. She was kind of odd. That may be neither here nor there, but since she was our only first-hand experience with a vegetarian, it just really sticks in my head. Maybe she was just strange because she just was and had nothing to do with being vegetarian. I tried to be her friend, but eventually they moved and she didn't even say goodbye to me and that was that. She did make a veggie lasagna one time, though, and it was really good. She used those veggie-meat crumbles.

I've seen lots of veggie foods in the grocery stores (the meat-substitutes and stuff) but never really paid it much attention. I guess I will now. I still don't understand why now and obviously I knew all along where meat comes from, but here it is and every time I think of going to the store to buy meat, tears spring up again. Joshua may have to go buy his own chicken and steaks! I don't know! I did go back to the store last night and picked up some soyless meat substitute and will give it a go.

I'm a little bit scared about a somewhat radical lifestyle change. I really have no one to talk to about it, not knowing any vegetarians around here too much. I have one friend who is a vegetarian in another state and that's about it. There's a wonderful organic shop in Savannah that will probably be helpful to me, but I thought I'd share this with you and see what you think. I need some support and to my family and husband, they might act like I've joined some cult! Meat is such a culturally important thing here. Barbeques and fish fries and all that. I don't know why it hit me, at this age and in this particular way. I put the chicken and fish back and don't know what to do now.

Any encouragement or help would be greatly appreciated. It's not like I can just live on soy, soy, soy either as my mother has had breast cancer and I've been told to limit my soy eating because it contains low-grade estrogen. I can eat some, but will have to look to other sources as well and it's kind of scary, but not as scary as it was to buy that meat the other day. Joshua (my husband) will still eat meat. He actually could kill something to eat and I have no doubt in my mind he could. I haven't talked to him about this as he is away for a few days and this is a face-to-face talk.

I just feel kind of out here on my own right now.

Neutral



Last edited by mockingbird on Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by fiffur on Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:30 pm

I like the Boca chick'n patties for sandwiches and the ground bits for pasta sauce. You can try those, and their veggie lasagna isn't half bad either.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by mockingbird on Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:41 pm

Thank you so much, fiffur. I may try it, but it seems to me that Boca has soy? I'll have to check.
I can eat some tofu, but not a whole lot of soy due to the estrogen levels. It may be a low-grade, but eat enough and it won't be anymore.
I picked up some Quorn (made from an English fungi!) and will give it a try.

I guess I really should be focusing on the veggies of being vegetarian! It's just that meat is such a big deal here, as I've said. I feel I need to have some substitute for it! ha!

Has anyone else heard about or have had such a sudden change like this? Not that I was a huge meat-eater before, but I love BBQ and fried (or grilled) chicken and shrimp and all that. Now, I just want to cry to think about eating it.

Maybe I'm having some kind of mid-life crisis?

Well, this really may not come as a surprise to my family, come to think of it. When I was little, I went fishing with my family in Arkansas (we were visiting my grandparents.) I caught my first fish and was so proud of it. When we were ready to go, the car got stuck in the mud and because I was little, I stayed in the car while everyone else unstuck the car. As I waited, I looked down at my fish and watched it dying. When everyone else got the car unstuck, they returned to me to find me crying. When asked about it I explained it was the fish! My big brother took the fish and let it go back in the pond. I have no idea if it made it or not, but that was my first and last time to go fishing. I was about 4 or 5 at the time and I remember it clear as a bell.

This same brother used to baaa when I would cut into my lamb chops when I was a child. "Poor little lamb. Just the other day he was playing in the field with his mama and now he's on your plate."
He would get in trouble for that.

Maybe it actually won't come as a surprise at all. It does surprise me it came along so late, though.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by fiffur on Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:52 pm

Boca does have soy in it. Some other brands don't though, one is all veggie and quite good as far as fake chicken patties go but the name escapes me at the moment. I also like the Silk Almond Milk (chocolate of course though the unflavored is good too-tastes faintly of almonds).

I only went fishing once too, and had to release my fish. I just couldn't think of eating it after looking into it's eyes. When I was 4 my grandfather went fishing and brought them home alive and put them in the tub with water. We kids named them. When we had dinner at their house the next night we went straight to the bathroom when we got there to look for the fish--they were gone. We didn't eat a thing at dinner, and neither did our mom.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by jeanebellini on Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:53 pm

i think you were wish to come in here....you might want to check out some internet vegetarian things but be forewarned that you might find a lot of radicals out there and some disturbing pictures. (i'd stay away from PETA....i mistakenly signed up for them to send me some veggie recipes and got this horrible packet full of slaughtered animals along with them. sorry PETA, i grew up on a farm and i know how animals at killed i don't need to see it again.

as for the sudden change...well, everyone changes on different ways. its like how diets work different for everyone. you just find your own time and your own way.

look into other sources of protein other than soy based things.Beans, quino (I don't i spelled it right..its a very tiny thing that looks like barley or something)Dr Oz is always showing different forms of protein on his show. He doesn't preach vegetarianism but he shows how you can eat less meat and live a healthier life.

i went veg for several years back in college...it was the type of veg where you eat milk,eggs and fish though. if you can do that you might give it a try....things like scallops and oysters don't have faces so you might not mind eating them. and tuna in a packet or can.
But that's up to you.

There's a book i've been told is VERY good not only for recipes but also for help on how to live a vegetarian life.BUT its out of print (BUT you might find it at the library!) Linda McCartney wrote it (yeah, THAT Linda).

And try coconut milk...no soy and it tastes SO good;) stay away from rice milk unless you like your milk sort of watery. (I made the mistake of just grabbing a carton one day and wound up coming home with rice milk..its not the same).
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by jeanebellini on Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:56 pm

okay...i did some research for ya...
Linda's book is on Amazon and its not too expensive (I expected it to be around $50!) here's the link:P
http://www.amazon.com/Lindas-Kitchen-Inspiring-Recipes-Meatless/dp/0821223933

and here's a website of her recipes to try out;)
http://www.lindamccartneyfoods.co.uk/recipes.php

hope that helps!
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by Sue Short on Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:46 pm



Mockingbird this is a tough subject. I still eat meat but only one or two days a week.
There are a lot of good veggie recipes out there, the thing is that you have to be willing to try new
things and different type of herbs and spices. Indian, Thai have a lot veggie recipes. Stir fry is great with or
with out seafood. Try things like hummus or tabbouli. Pilafs are great too even couscous.
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Post by fiffur on Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:04 pm

I think Jeane meant Quinoa. It's a very tiny grain and cooks up very fast. I mix it with barley, two kinds of rice, wheat berries, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. Makes a good combination all by itself (I add a bit of sugar at the end before all the water is absorbed). Between the quinoa and the sunflower seeds you get some protein.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by jeanebellini on Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:37 pm

oh gawd i forgot about hummus! i love that stuff and there are times when i buy a tub and eat it in two days cuz its like my body needs something that is in it! you can get a wide variety of flavors too!
let us know what kind of things you like and what sort of things you've tried!
also...be sure you take a good multi vitamin....just to make up for anything you might be missing out on. they even have vegetarian vitamins!
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Post by Suzzzz on Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:45 pm

Darling, you've had an epiphany. That's huge. Embrace it as a great blessing!

Still, I know it's difficult to live with such a sudden, big change. But life is long. Recognise that making a big changeover is a process that will take time to complete. You don't have to figure out all the eventual ramifications to your life all at once! One step at a time, darling.

I do think your first step, as soon as you can, is to involve Joshua. He's your partner for life; he should know what's going on with you. If he's the man I think he is, he'll get over his surprise and respect and support you, just as you recognise, accept and respect that he hasn't had the same experience and doesn't feel the same way. Enlist his help in making ya'll's meals food-friendly for both of you. You love and support each other through thick and thin; you can work this out. One of the attorneys at my office has a vegetarian wife, and they make it work beautifully, so I know it can be done.

Anyway, enough of the pep talk. When I read your posts last night I went right to my expert for advice. My most excellent niece (26) has been a vegetarian for 10+ years and I asked her for the basics re: cookbooks and websites. Here's her reply to my email (and keep in mind, she loves good food!) :

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman, is a great resource. Everything is as simple as possible while still being excellent. He also gives lots of advice on substitutions and recipe flexibity. I also have a 5 Ingredient Vegetarian cookbook which has some great recipies that are simpler than simple. This one is more limited than Bittman but would probably help your friend hit the ground eating vegetables :-) I highly recommend both.

For general advice, I have learned that making sure meals include protein and fats keeps me feeling full and satisfied (I sound like a slim-fast commercial!). These two food groups are always there if you eat meat but if you don't, you sometimes end up eating meals low in one or both. That tends to leave me hungry, even if I eat a lot of fibre.

I don't really use a lot of websites unless I'm looking for something specific.
Hope this helps your friend.


I hope this helps my friend, too. My only other thought for you and Joshua at dinnertime is that you can make your main meal the veggie entree, and he can have a bit on the side as veggies along with his chicken.

Good luck, love.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by Sue Short on Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:33 am



Suzzz, I just checked back in with this topic and you have hit it out of the park.
While I have cut back and I mean way back on my meat intake, due to my job I have
to taste. I can deal with that. Right now what I am having a huge and I do mean huge problem
with is animal testing. Due to my income level all the personal care products I buy are from companies
that animal test.
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Post by jeanebellini on Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:51 pm

there are basic companies out there who don't test on animals..it just tastes a lot of reading the fine print and researching. i know there's Whole Foods around you,Sue...and if you're farmers markets are like the ones i go to in NY they have stuff that is made right there on the farm (goat milk soap...honey lotions etc).
Trade Joes has stuff...some of their brand though..i'll try to remember to look when i'm there and write down the names of stuff. the people upstairs for a long time wouldn't use any soaps etc that were animal tested and i know she did a lot of reasearching on it. Now even the hair dye she uses isn't tested on animals. Me? i think my soap, shampoo/conditioner are cruelty free..but don't know about toothpaste etc.

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Post by Suzzzz on Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:30 pm

Animal testing is a big concern of mine, too, Sue, and I've tried for a while now to be very aware. For a long time cruelty-free products have been very expensive, but the mainstream has started to catch on and they are more and more available, even in grocery stores. I agree with Jeane that, if you can get to a Trader Joe's, you can find reasonably priced products that don't test. Worth a try.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by Sue Short on Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:43 pm



There isn't a Trader Joe's in Texas, but I will start checking out some of the store brands at
Kroger's. They have a laundry detergent that is eco friendly and according to the label isn't animal
tested. I know Kiss my Face isn't animal tested.
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Post by fiffur on Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:08 pm

If in doubt you can check the products you're using on LeapingBunny.com's website. They list all the cruelty-free ones there.

Gardenburger--that's the brand of the fake chick'n patties (that you bake not pan fry) that's not made with soy.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by Sue Short on Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:18 pm



I checked out some of the sites on Leaping Bunny. Some of the prices for shampoo are
over the moon. The prices on soaps aren't too bad, still I'm going to keep checking locally.
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Post by jeanebellini on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:28 pm

check out this site for soaps and things that are not tested on animals...this is for the little bottle of stuff i got from Target the last time i was there (hmm...2-3yrs ago?) its a little bottle but you have to dilute it to use it.
http://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/OLLA02/LavenderLiquidSoap.htm
you can see the little not tested on animal logo about 3/4 down the page.

and here is the link to the home page...i had to laugh when i saw the sort of steam punk scientist dude (i've spent a lot of the past two days on the net looking at steam punk stuff)
http://www.drbronner.com/index.html

supposedly you can even use the liquid soap to brush your teeth! (though i think you might want to stick with peppermint and not the lavendar)supposed to be better than toothpaste if you have 'softer' (more sensitive) teeth.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by mockingbird on Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:43 am

Thank you, all, for your thoughts and suggestions. I appreciate all replies and I know all you of put your caring and hearts into each response. Thank you! The resources offered in the form of recipes and books will all be checked into. Thank you!

Joshua came home tonight and I was able to talk to him about it. He was kind and caring and was extremely supportive. In fact, he had brought back a toy stuffed chicken from the Big Chicken KFC in Marietta, Georgia (it's actually a world famous architectural icon!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Chicken He was concerned that it would offend me! I hugged him and told him I loved the chicken and I love him, too. I guess the whole time I was talking about it he kept thinking about that toy chicken from KFC and worrying that I would be upset about it. While I would not eat the KFC chicken, I know he brought this home to me with love and it's a really cute soft plushie. It's strange, though, because on the day he bought it, I had a particularly upsetting incident involving chicken at the grocery store. I went through the meat department at Food Lion, just to see if my reaction would be the same or similar. My senses around the meat department seems to be heightened and I was unsettled being there. I pressed on, determined to see what I could handle before it was too much. I was doing ok until I saw some packages of chicken feet wrapped up there. That didn't sit too well and that ended up being the "too much" and I took off from the meat department and may not go back. So, I was telling him this story and he kept thinking about the toy chicken in his car. Poor guy! He also said that he would go shopping with me, if I felt I couldn't handle it the meat department. What a sweetie!

As far as the products not tested on animals, I can find many things not tested on animals, or things by companies that show they're trying. We don't have a lot of money so I can't afford the high-end organic stuff stuff too much. For face washes and moisterizers, I use Palmer's products. I find it at Wal-Mart. They do not support or practice animal testing. Tresume for shampoo and conditioner. Revlon does not test on animals and they are a lot more affordable than organic makeup or Mary Kay (who does not animal-test anymore, along with Avon.) Wet 'n Wild does not test on animals, either, and that line is very affordable. I LOVED Aveeno products, but I called them from the store one time to ask if they tested on animals and they confirmed that yes, they did. GRRRRR! So, that was that for Aveeno for me. Sad I have implemented non-animal tested products in our home before becoming Veggie, but since getting the ratties, we are even more keenly about the testing as they are basically lab rats. I don't like any animal testing, but I do understand that right now, that is the best way for many life-saving medications. However, I don't need my lipstick teted on animals, my own personal choice.

I use vinegar and lemon and baking soda for cleaning counters in the kitchen and in the bathrooms and it works really well. Salt is an excellent non-scratchy scrub as well. I do invest in OxyBright (not OxyClean) for bleaching agent as I can't handle the fumes of bleach anyway. I use Green Works detergent for clothes. It's produced by Clorox, which does animal test other products, but I do support their Green Works line and want to show that I do appreciate their effort to have a line of products that doesn't test. Maybe one day, none of their products will be tested on animals. Joshua loves Irish Spring and that is not on the list of non-animal test soap, but he does use Barbarsol shaving cream which does not test on animals. I use the Pure Silk ladies shave cream from Barbarsol, again, no animal testing. I do my best to support companies that don't test and I'd say about 85%-90% of our hygeine/household items aren't tested on animals.

Again, thank you so much for all of your thoughts on this subject. Yes, I agree it was an epiphany and it feels right for me.
Hugs to you all, dear Mutties!
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by fiffur on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:10 pm

I was wrong about Gardenburger, they're the ones with the good veggie burgers. It's Morningstar Farms that has the good veggie chick'n patties with no soy.

I'd love to see that lil stuffed plushie chicken. Sounds cute.
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Post by jeanebellini on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:51 pm

oh yeah wet and wild has some pretty cool stuff;) you just need to put on like 6 layers of the nail polish for a good deep color..but i even like their eye stuff;)
i had to go back and read what grocery store you were talking about.....never been to a food lion but when i lived in tx one of the grocery stores i went to sold those items (my mom used to talk about eating them during the depress but that was a completely different time and place!). i'd say stay away from the meat dept at least for a few months then see what you can handle.

I still say anyone should try the Bronner stuff....just get a little bottle at Target or wherever and give it a try. It sounds crazy, but i have the lavendar and started using it to brush my teeth last night and my teeth ...which had been hurting a bit...are doing fine (and nearly pain free!). and it doesn't taste like my mouth's been washed out with soap! (and yes...i know what that really tastes like Suspect )
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by Suzzzz on Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:35 pm

In a way, Joshua bringing you that fluffy chicken is perfect timing. A very sweet gesture (!) and perhaps even a perfect symbol, presented at just the right time. You can nest that little fellow in a nice spot, pet it occasionally, and promise him you'll never gnaw on his legs again, no matter how delicious. I need a little guy like that around here. I am 95% vegetarian, but KFC is one of my greatest temptations! (Proud to say I haven't succumbed in many years.)

We humans are omnivores and we like eating meat occasionally. (Why duck the truth, so to speak?) But we're not carnivores, like cats, who depend on it for their wellbeing. We can, with a little care, choose to avoid meat and still function perfectly well. Primates, for the most part, eat leaves, roots, nuts & fruit, and throughout evolution hominids and humans ate mostly the same. Your body is perfectly geared for this, Mockingbird, and you can make it work.

As for avoiding animal tested products, believe me, I know how hard that goal is. I've been working at it for years and still fall short in many areas. You've given me a lot of info I didn't have. One thing, Aveeno. I have NEVER found anything else my face will tolerate. I know they test, but I still use it. An ongoing internal conflict. It might be time for all of us to get online and challenge the makers of good products that truly need no testing on animals.

Edit: Ha! I just sent an email to Johnson & Johnson (Aveeno's owner) asking them about animal testing & Aveeno. Nothing confrontational (which they would simply dismiss), just concern and question. If enough people showed consternation, maybe they would re-think.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by Sue Short on Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:47 pm



Suzzz, I had a nice chuckle when I read your post. I can't stand KFC, having said that mine is
Burger King, though I haven't eaten the one near me in a long time. It isn't very clean.

You're right about our diet though and we eat entirely too much meat and processed food. I've seen
several studies that equate the problems with obesity with the rise of not only fast food but use of processed
food. The other thing is the studies have often equated with the rise of obesity in children not only with fast food,
etc but with the lack of recess at schools and playtime outside.

It is an on going conflict. I'm going to change out what I can afford to change out and keep on
looking. You have to be careful, I found out that Burt's Bees is owned by a company that does not meet
Leaping Bunny criteria but Burt's Bees does. Go figure.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by BobCat on Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:23 am

As for the nail color, I use Zoya, which is vegan and does no animal testing. I like Aveeno as well - maybe I should shoot them an email to poke them about it too... It couldn't hurt.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by jeanebellini on Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:20 pm

i think that zoya doesn't have fermeldahyde in it...or some other chemicals,does it? i know i've seen it in your FB stuff and went to check it out cuz they have some pretty cool colors and show it on actual fingernails!
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

Post by Sue Short on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:00 am



I thought I would bring this topic back up. I bought a body lotion at Whole Foods
Friday, it has a nice mint scent to it and is not overpowering. Since it's from Whole Foods it
hasn't been animal tested. It's not so tacky that I can't use it on my face. I've seen some
really nice soaps there but they are soft milled and won't last very long.
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Re: vegetarians? Please help, I need some encouragement...

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