Being Vegetarian or Vegan

December 1st, 2009 by NashVeggie Leave a reply »

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Some decide to try a vegetarian diet only to give up in a short time because they miss a favorite food or maybe their family pressured them to come back to a meat diet.  Some people decide to try vegetarian on day a week and never go beyond.  I have heard of people who are vegan but decide to revert to their old ways during the holidays when family dinners consist of turkey or ham and hurting grandma’s feelings would cause irreparable damage to the family quilt.  Then there are those who have gone vegetarian and transitioned to a vegan  lifestyle or went vegan cold-turkey (no pun) and have stuck with it over the years.

People choose vegan or vegetarian for a variety of reasons.  Health, animal welfare are two of the most popular.  I often ask people their reasons for going vegan or vegetarian and many just forget why and say they just decided to try it and stuck with it.

So, I’m curious.  What was your reason for going vegan or vegetarian?  Did you want to improve your health?  Doing it for the animals or another reason?  Let me know!

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23 comments

  1. I became vegan literally overnight. My wife said she wanted to do it, and I told her that I’d do it with her.

    It took almost no time to acclimate to the new diet, and within a matter of days I was convinced that I was going to stick with the diet for good as after doing some research and deeper thinking/feeling, it became a very important ethical issue to me with regards to animal rights (as distinct from animal welfare).

    I feel that humans have no inherent right to say that they are superior to non-human animals. Any acceptance of the consumption of animals or their products is tantamount to declaring that humans are superior. In that, I not only eat a vegan diet but I also practice the vegan philosophy in general.

  2. Susan says:

    Of all of the things people undertake, being vegan (or vegetarian for that matter) is one that I just don’t get. Why not eat something that is supplied to you? Why are vegans so elitist and judgmental of those who eat meat? Why should I feel guilty if I want to eat a cheeseburger?
    You make no sense.

  3. Susan says:

    Just a couple of points to add:

    1. Humans developed fire in prehistoric times in order to cook meat.
    2. No food source gives the nourishment to the human body that meat does.
    3. Even the Bible clearly states that man should eat meat.

  4. Susan, go read your bible. Gen 1:29 would be a good place to start. You are also misinformed about nutrition, and need to realize that you can use fire to cook LOTS of things, not just meat.

    My latest blog is about whether we are designed to be omnivores… feel free to take a peek 🙂

  5. M says:

    I was vegetarian for a few years and my friend became vegan during that. So after a year of hearing her talk about it I decided to give it a try and I’m really happy with my decision a year and 3 months later.

    Susan, I have not found that most vegans are elitist. Your statement “You make no sense” is the most elitist thing I’ve heard. It’s a personal decision for everyone, so go ahead and eat your meat.

  6. Brad says:

    And if you look at evolution and our dietary tract, it is not for meat consumption. Stomach makeup, long digestive system, teeth, etc… not for chewing lil animals Ms. Susan

  7. Jessica says:

    As a child, I intuitively didn’t like meat. I remember asking an aunt who collected pig figurines why she’d eat them if she thought they were so cute. I find a lot of veggies share that sentiment of “knowing better” even when they didn’t have a choice, eating what their parents served.

  8. Alicia says:

    In the book of Genenis the bible does allow us to eat meat. You are correct about that. But I am also quite sure given the culture of the day that “factory style” farming would have been considered quite grotesque. Cramming animals into small spaces where they cannot move. Cutting off the beaks of chickens, keeping cows constantly pregnant to lactate is cruel. Taking away baby boy cows to lock them up from day one where they cannot move for the sake of making veal out of them is cruel. The list goes on. This is not the type of animal farming even thought of in the day and I am quite sure it was never the intention.

    I am a vegan who actually does believes in eating meat if the animal was raised properly. Meaning they have the freedom to roam and live their lives as naturally as possible before humane slaughter. And by humane slaughter I mean death as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

    I am so used to not eating meat or animal by-product that I will most likely never eat it again and that is certainly my choice. But I encourage you to educate yourself on the practices of factory farming and look for other options when buying meat.

    Also, God, being the great creator has given humans food scources outside of animals to nourish our bodies. Let us not forget if you are going to mention the bible that the original diet for humans was in fact vegetarian if not vegan. God has created everything we need in a non meat source. If you know any vegetarians or vegans who are mal-nourished in any way, shape or form I highly suggest that they research articles and recipies for this type of lifestyle as it is obvious that they are not taking good care of themselves. A vegan lifestlye is extremely healthy and if done right gives you all the nutrients you need.

    To answer your question 🙂 My path to veganism is a long and complicated one. But to make it short I am against factory farming and the use of by- products from animals factory farmed. This is my protest. I am actually quite happy with my choice (though sometimes it is a challenge when going out to eat). I feel much better in my own skin. I don’t get sick as often and I don’t get a groggy nasty feeling like I used to after eating certain dairy foods.
    I enjoy making/creating new foods and recipes. The lifestyle has broadened my culinary horizons so to speak which is wonderful seeing as I have made my career in the food industry. I enjoy trying new foods and coming up with new ideas. I have no regrets.

  9. Urbancritter says:

    Susan, people choose a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle for many reasons that are often deeply personal and that make eminent sense to them and those who share their values.

    My (right wing, Republican) Dad became vegan in order to (successfully) reverse his heart disease. He remains so because of the health benefits.

    I made the shift for ethical reasons – because I care about the environment and will not support the inhumane treatment of animals perpetuated by the factory farming industries (treatment, it is widely acknowledged, that would be illegal if it weren’t for big-ag sponsored exclusion of livestock from animal cruelty laws).

    Actually many food sources provide the nourishment to the human body that meat does, without the harmful effects. For example, Quinoa (a grain, FYI) contains a whole protein (all 22 amino acids) just as meat does.

    There is much research that supports the position that the current levels of animal protein intake in the US today far exceed anything healthful, and in fact are contributing to the increases in heart disease, obesity, diabetes and stroke.

    When the Bible was written, there was no such thing as factory farming and people ate meat infrequently (not at the artery-clogging rates they do now), so it was probably an acceptable alternative for those times.

    And Fire? Actually it was probably *discovered* accidentally (rather than developed) and first used for warmth, cooking likely came later.

    Nobody can *make* you feel guilty for your food choices, your emotional responses are entirely under your control. That said, if you do feel guilty for that cheeseburger, perhaps some introspection is called for.

    If you’re interested, here is an article that might be informative for you – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/15/AR2009111502210.html

    Or if you’d like to research further, I can recommend a book called “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell – http://thechinastudy.com/about.html

    I hope this helps you better understand why we believe our choices make sense.

  10. Susan,

    It’s not about being elitist or judgmental. I do not judge you for eating meat, but I do have a question in response to that thought.

    Why are you judging that an animal’s life is worth less than your own? You make this judgment every time you eat or consume any animal product.

    Also, to your list of points –

    1. Food in general was much more scare in prehistoric times, so there may have been a point when no other food was available than meat. That is entirely not the case today. Also, the fire can cook vegan meals as well as keep you warm in cold weather.

    2. That is entirely not true. In fact, you can easily obtain a complete protein in many legumes or a combination of vegetables. Meat also brings cholesterol (diets without animal products are cholesterol free), artificial hormones, and many other things from the animal’s body.

    3. Could you please provide the location in the bible where it states that man should eat meat? By the way, the bible also encourages genocide, infanticide, and the killing of women (1 Samuel 15:3, 1 Samuel 15:18) as well as a number of other disgusting things.

  11. R2Lfree says:

    There seems to be a fundamental difference in those that post here vs. Susan. Susan called you out on being elitist and with every post someone makes in defense of veganism you make yourself sound more and more elitist. You vegans can’t pull your head out of your @ss long enough to realize that. There’s nothing worse than attending a dinner where a vegan will be because it only ends up ruining the entire thing due to their special needs. Then after someone bends over backwards to accommodate them they want to blabber about how high and might their diet is as opposed to the meat on my plate.

    Also In A Gadda Da Vegan, you should read Genesis 1:26-29 where man is given dominion over animals.

  12. Susan says:

    Jordan,
    I do feel my life is worth far more than an animal’s life. I have a quesiton for you. IF you were driving on the road and a dog was in the road and a person and you could not avoid hitting one of them which would you choose?

  13. Doesn’t the Bible say I can sell my daughters, too? (By the way, what’s a good price and should I use craigslist or eBay?)

  14. Eat More Meat! says:

    I can twist the words of the Bible to fit any need I want as well. It doesn’t mean I am right and it sure doesn’t mean you are. What I do know is the production of animals in this country for food provides income for millions of families and puts food on the table for millions more. It is a big business, is a backbone of our economy and without it millions would go hungry.

    Eat a steak – Support America!

  15. natala says:

    About a year ago I was losing the battle of Type 2 diabetes – I was 30, and facing partial amputation. I had severe nerve damage in my feet and legs. Things were not looking so great. I started to seek out some medical advice and found out that the way T2 diabetes is being treated has changed drastically over the past few years – turns out animal products are one of the most dangerous things you can eat as a T2 diabetic. Skeptical, and having tried everything short of surgery – I tried going off of all animal products. It should be noted I was working out 2-3 hours per day, on a very ‘healthy’ diet – and nothing was changing.
    In one month I was off of over 100 units of insulin – now I’m on no meds and I have lost over 100 pounds. I was the biggest skeptic. However, the science is all there – all new research points to eliminating animal products for preventing a ton of diseases (especially T2 diabetes). The China Study was a great help – it is the most comprehensive study on nutrition ever done.
    I now do not know how I missed so much overwhelming and obvious evidence – it has completely changed and saved my life. No food addiction or lifestyle is worth the complications of diabetes. I meet so many people every day who have revered their diabetes, I’d also encourage anyone who is a skeptic to really research – the science end of things. Check out the documentary “Simply Raw” or read “china study” or any of the number of new books on treating diabetes. The ADA has now been in talks to change the way they approach diabetes as well – things are changing, for the better. I would tell anyone to not take anyones word for it – it is your body, and you should take ownership of it – know exactly what you are putting in it, and read and research as much as you can, and then make an educated decision.

  16. By the rule of law, I am compelled to choose not to hit the human. That is no choice of my own.

    Might I ask why you believe that your life is worth more than a non-human animal’s?

  17. Urbancritter says:

    Wow, Natala – GREAT JOB kicking your T2 diabetes! That’s fantastic! Glad you’re healthy now 🙂

  18. Steve G. says:

    There’s room for all of God’s creatures on my plate – right next to the mashed potatoes!

    P.E.T.A. – People Eating Tasty Animals

  19. Sally Mae says:

    Hi y’all. I’m what ya northners call a redneck vegan. I had no choice cuz my toilet plunger broke tryin to plung that bigass shit i used to make when i ate meat. Since it’s 85 miles to the nearest Walmart and I be hard up on cash, i just stopped eating meat. problem solved, no more stopping up th etoilet.

    Oh, and now I shit twyce a day too! Amazing grace. The rest ofmy kin only shit onece a week if they’r elucky.

    bye bye

    **Sarah Palin for Prez**

  20. Urbancritter says:

    Unfortunately, “Eat More Meat!”, the meat industry isn’t doing this country a whole lot of good in actual fact. It’s propped up with government funding and is an industry where employees are routinely abused and exploited. It’s a bit of an embarrasment to the nation, when it all comes down to it.

    Human Rights watch has targeted US slaugherhouses and meatpacking/processing plants for the “systematic human rights violations embedded in meat and poultry industry employment” – I”m quoting this Human Rights watch report: http://bit.ly/3YBCzF

    It states that in these industries “Employers put workers at predictable risk of serious physical injury even though the means to avoid such injury are known and feasible” and notes that “In sum, the United States is failing to meet its obligations under international human rights standards to protect the human rights of meat and poultry industry workers.”

    In addition, the pork and meat industries have been receiving Federal bailout dollars for a lot longer than the financial industry – they’re just better at embedding these handouts in obscure bills that don’t get the coverage they should. Ref http://bit.ly/92qB5w and http://bit.ly/4l4is

    So go ahead and eat your meat. After all, it’s your tax dollars keeping those industries afloat. But know the real cost, and make no mistake: the meat industry is not the backbone of this country’s economy you think it is; nor does it do anything to make this country great.

  21. Kat says:

    It’s a wonder how a post requesting a response of how people became vegan/vegetarian received comments from anti-vegan individuals!

    I became vegan after meeting the man who would later become my husband. I had never heard about veganism, and he had been vegan for about 7 years. I began asking him a lot of questions about why he became vegan, and after a while, it was the only kind of life that made sense. Knowing the facts of meat production and the effects of eating meat on the body is enough.

  22. Caro says:

    my question is why are all these meat eaters reading a vegan/veggie blog? jeeze, people just relax.

    anyhow back to the question….when I was 20 i stopped eating turkey that Thanksgiving and all other animals because I realized i didnt want or need to. Its been 30 years …I have always believed what Alice Walker wrote:
    “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.”

  23. Kinzie says:

    I went veg 3 years ago primarily b/c of the horrible abuse the takes place on factory farms. However, it took me 3 years (and a personal pledge with Rory Freedman of Skinny Bitch) to transition to vegan and give up the cheese. I have been vegan for almost 2 months and haven’t looked back since. I don’t miss it since there are so many great alternatives. I am even hosting a “Dr. Cows” wine & cheeze party next week with my girlfriends 🙂

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