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Transitioning Vegetarians: When is it ok to NOT eat farm-raised??

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  • Transitioning Vegetarians: When is it ok to NOT eat farm-raised??

    Here it is: I've been vegetarian for 35 years (squeamishness + factory farm horrors= instant veggie at 16 years old). I've seen the amazing changes in my newly paleo hubby, and have been feeling that I need more protein at my advanced age ;^P, so I am working to transition back to meat. Or, at least, chicken.

    I despise factory farms, and envision that by going back to meat eventually, it will all be from local farms. We have them here, which is nice. But, what about the in-between stages? Like, I'm on travel, and need to eat, but the only options are wheat/soy-based options, or: chicken. But of course that chicken will have come from a CAFO :^( That's half the reason I became veggie in the first place, is to avoid the hideous treatment of animals.

    Or, people say "try Chick-Fila, it's awesome" as a way to introduce myself back to chicken., But again that's CAFO, so how do I ethically reconcile that? Swap ethics for my feeling that I need to animal products again?

    Can you tell I'm conflicted?? What to do? Sorry for the rambling, but I am really going through a big change here.....
    Last edited by ForensicArtist; 06-03-2012, 06:11 PM.
    Ask a Forensic Artist

    "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." ~Ronald Reagan

  • #2
    Are all plant based foods ethically produced?

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    • #3
      I don't think this is something "we" can help with.

      Everything that lives, lives at the expense of something else. Plant, animal, human - it doesn't matter. You're going to have to find your own lines.

      FWIW, there came a day I realized that most animals in the wild died whilst being eaten alive, and that non-human animals routinely torture each other for their own amusement. Against the "red in tooth and claw" backdrop of nature as she really is, I'm not sure CAFO (which i personally avoid 80/20) is all that bad on the hierarchy of horrors.

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      • #4
        It is just fine to go back to being a vegetarian while traveling if you do not want to support inhumane farming practices. As much as possible, plan ahead and bring your own acceptable protein sources. Check ahead to see if you can find local places that may be acceptable, or eat at a local Whole Foods where you can find pre-made proteins, or order fish and seafood when at restaurants.

        I don't eat out frequently. If I do, I try to find a place with decent choices. If I can't, I do eat inhumanely raised meat if there is nothing else I can find. It is rare, so I accept it for what it is.
        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

        http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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        • #5
          I was a vegetarian for 5 years, and my DH was for 10 years. So, I cooked a *lot* a veggie meals. I always felt like I was doing the healthiest thing, but honestly - I weighed 229# as a veggie, and I am a 5'8 female. (I am now around 190).

          I agree that factory farmed is an abomination, and try to eat grassfed and local small-farm raised meat when I can, but yes, I make exceptions. I try to repair this karma (if you will) by educating others about grass-fed and humanely raised meat. I don't think an all-or-nothing attitude is the best thing to have, though. I imagine you are here because you have health issues, or weight issues, or something you think primal eating will help you with. I feel your struggle, because I still feel like I am doing something "wrong" when I fry up a pan of bacon -- but I am starting to see some positive changes and ideologically this way of eating makes sense to me.

          Good luck - it is nice to see someone thinking about things!

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          • #6
            At home you are comfortable you can buy ethically raised animals. Don't worry too much about the future, see how you feel and how that shifts your views. In the meantime, some options for traveling:
            wild caught fish, if such restaurants are in your budget
            bring your own canned fish and salad dressing and order a salad
            carry hard boiled eggs and raw milk cheese from home for short trips
            New Zealand lamb is always grass fed, if you would consider that
            __________________________
            age 56, type 2 diabetes, swimmer
            low carb since 2006 thanks to Jenny, primal since Jan. 2012

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            • #7
              Traveling is what coolers are made for. And cheese.
              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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              • #8
                Thanks everyone. I'm here because I want to be healthy, and not live a lie. Just started reading "The Vegetarian Myth" in addition to MDA and other forums. I'm a 50 yr old female, 5'4", 132 lbs, and can do 20 "guy" pushups in a row I figure I'm in pretty decent shape, I would like to lose a couple pounds, but don't consider myself overweight. I just want to make the most of the years I have left on this earth, and think I've been fooling myself with vegetarianism, that's it's more "ethical" or humane. All things must die for others to live, I'm just wrapping my head around that, and looking for guidance. Thanks
                Ask a Forensic Artist

                "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." ~Ronald Reagan

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ForensicArtist View Post
                  Thanks everyone. I'm here because I want to be healthy, and not live a lie. Just started reading "The Vegetarian Myth" in addition to MDA and other forums. I'm a 50 yr old female, 5'4", 132 lbs, and can do 20 "guy" pushups in a row I figure I'm in pretty decent shape, I would like to lose a couple pounds, but don't consider myself overweight. I just want to make the most of the years I have left on this earth, and think I've been fooling myself with vegetarianism, that's it's more "ethical" or humane. All things must die for others to live, I'm just wrapping my head around that, and looking for guidance. Thanks
                  While I agree with this, I still think there is great value is trying not to support inhumane meat operations. Yes, animals must die for us to live. But that does NOT mean that should have to live a life of stress and suffering.
                  Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                  http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jammies View Post
                    While I agree with this, I still think there is great value is trying not to support inhumane meat operations. Yes, animals must die for us to live. But that does NOT mean that should have to live a life of stress and suffering.

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                    • #11
                      This really depends.

                      When we travel, we do a lot of research about the best restaurants and the like where we are going. We try to find resturants that source from the sorts of places that we normally buy -- sustainably farmed, organic, etc.

                      There is factory farming in NZ -- chickens and pigs in particular. Pretty much everything else is not "factory farmed." And slaughter/butcher practices tend to be smaller-scale, clean, and with skilled labor as opposed to large-scale corporate slaughter houses with unskilled labor. So, it is easy to find what you are looking for in terms of both free range and 'humanely slaughtered' (which is a matter of personal definitions I have found).

                      And so, likewise, it is easy to find good restaurants and the like in our area with the sources that we prefer. And yes, you do pay more for the food.

                      It was similar in the US, and when we travelled in EUrope.

                      That being said, if you are talking about random dining out or being on the road, you're just out of luck and do the best you can. Eat whatever you feel comfortable with, and don't worry about it. Unless it's truly the way that you live.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jammies View Post
                        While I agree with this, I still think there is great value is trying not to support inhumane meat operations. Yes, animals must die for us to live. But that does NOT mean that should have to live a life of stress and suffering.
                        I agree. What I meant by not living a lie, is presuming that vegetarianism meant not killing, and now I know it does anyway. If I can go back to eating meat (still struggling with it) it'll will have to have come from our local farm. I was curious where everyone's "line" was, you know? I keep coming back to the same answer for me: local farm raised only. Period. Thanks for all the replies (and patience!)
                        Ask a Forensic Artist

                        "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." ~Ronald Reagan

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                        • #13
                          I would not eat Chick Fila.... the food at those chains is often soaked in chemicals, so you get a tummy ache from chemicals and eat non-humane.

                          Fish is a good alternative and pretty easy to find, or just eat vegetarian on the road.

                          http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                          Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                          • #14
                            Most cattle are actually pastured. It is only at the end of their lives that they are put into CAFOs to fatten them up. It is much cheaper to use our public lands for grazing than to grow the forage needed for them. Cattle graze all over the West on all that National Forest and BLM Land as well as on private land. I would opt for beef as a compromise if I had to eat out while traveling. But seriously these days I pack a cooler full of goodies. I think it bums out my boyfriend because he looks forward to all the restaurants, especially the fast food, but if I have a cooler full of fresh stuff I can eat, I think it saves a lot of money and makes me feel better. Then when we stop for fast food, I make an attempt to steer him to the non-chain restaurants. There's nothing better than some little mom and pop place that serves breakfast. Once we ate at a Greek place. That was pretty good. Not saying either of these places serve more ethical meats, but at least they don't drive the whole process that produces unethical meats and you can get stuff that tastes better and have a more interesting experience.
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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