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Thread: Calling ex-vegetarians... page

  1. #1
    jendoe's Avatar
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    Calling ex-vegetarians...

    Hi there,

    I've been a vegetarian (up until recently) for about 20 years - since I was a teenager. Since finding MDA, I've started eating seafood (and eggs! I used to be completely grossed out by eggs and avoided them!)... but I'm still feeling very nervous about diving whole heartedly into the rest of the meaty world.

    If you don't mind sharing your story, I'd love to ask some questions...

    1. Was there anything that was particularly convincing for you, in deciding to give up vegetarianism? Any books/articles/facts that were the final, compelling straw for you?

    2. What was the first meat you ate? And, did you have trouble digesting it? I'm a little scared that red meat, in particular, is going to make me violently ill after so long!

    3. Even with just seafood - I find myself a little overwhelmed trying to figure out what's the healthiest choice, the most humane choice, the most environmental choice, how to select (freshness) items, what to eat (lots of variety), how to store, how to prepare, etc. It's a whole new world and I feel like an alien, since I didn't grow up with this stuff. Any books/cookbooks/etc that were particularly helpful? I've ordered "Nourishing Traditions" - anything else worth looking at?

    4. On a slightly stranger note - how did you feel about your identity when you stopped being a vegetarian? I feel like, it's been such a strong part of who I am (not much else has stayed so constant for 20 years!)...

    Much thanks!

  2. #2
    blank_faceplate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jendoe View Post
    Hi there,

    1. Was there anything that was particularly convincing for you, in deciding to give up vegetarianism? Any books/articles/facts that were the final, compelling straw for you?
    It was destroying my stomach.

    2. What was the first meat you ate? And, did you have trouble digesting it? I'm a little scared that red meat, in particular, is going to make me violently ill after so long!
    It was chicken. No issue digesting it. Eating meat might make you squeamish, but unless you've damaged your digestive tract it won't be indigestible. If you're worried about this, you can get some digestive enzymes. Even the Dalai Lama eats meat.

    3. Even with just seafood - I find myself a little overwhelmed trying to figure out what's the healthiest choice, the most humane choice, the most environmental choice, how to select (freshness) items, what to eat (lots of variety), how to store, how to prepare, etc. It's a whole new world and I feel like an alien, since I didn't grow up with this stuff. Any books/cookbooks/etc that were particularly helpful? I've ordered "Nourishing Traditions" - anything else worth looking at?
    Seafood makes me puke, so I can't comment there. Unless you've been preparing extremely alien foods, you'll just be adding meat to most of them. Sanitation is a PITA.

    4. On a slightly stranger note - how did you feel about your identity when you stopped being a vegetarian? I feel like, it's been such a strong part of who I am (not much else has stayed so constant for 20 years!)...
    I don't tend to define myself by my habits, but I wasn't a vegetarian for 20 years, either. There will probably be a change, mostly with how other people view and interact with you, especially if you're going to dive into primal/paleo eating following being a veggie. From one extreme to the other will probably have some people concerned and others rolling their eyes.

  3. #3
    LX's Avatar
    LX
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    Was never a vegetarian but for #3 it's pretty easy to tell fresh seafood from bad. Ask the guy behind the counter to let you smell the fish. If it smells fishy then don't get it, it's going bad. If it smells clean or like seawater, then it's good and fresh. The higher up on the food chain a fish is (like salmon and tuna) the higher amount of bad stuff can be stored in their flesh.

    Store the meat in the bottom drawer of your fridge so if something leaks, it's not leaking all over your veggies. Meat can be frozen once, but not refrozen once it's thawed (the ice crystals cause tissue damage that messes up the texture of the meat)

    Regarding the environmental aspect, the EDF has a list of fish that are good to eat and bad to eat.
    http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=1521

    Hope this helps

  4. #4
    Annika's Avatar
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    I was a vegetarian for years, then started eating occasional chicken and seafood during my first pregnancy when I felt I needed more protein, and continued that for many more years. I avoided meat for three reasons: environmental, health, and animal welfare. Then I read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, and realized that none of those three reasons applied at all to small-scale, grass-fed or pastured animals. There is very little negative environmental impact, the animals live happy lives, and the meat is good for you. I started eating red meat and never looked back - this year we bought a 1/4 cow! We started with ground beef and sausage.

    I haven't read Lierre Keith's book, The Vegetarian Myth, but I have heard a couple of podcasts of interviews with her, and based on that I would recommend her book.
    My blog: Pretty Good Paleo
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    1. Was there anything that was particularly convincing for you, in deciding to give up vegetarianism? Any books/articles/facts that were the final, compelling straw for you?

    first, let me say i was a vegan for two and a half years. the reason i went vegan was because i disagree with the factory farming industry in america - it was a moral thing, and i don't think we should treat anything we owe our lives to (animals, earth in general) that way. that said, i had an epiphany about meat which was basically this - why not just give business to the people who farm the way i agree with?

    2. What was the first meat you ate? And, did you have trouble digesting it? I'm a little scared that red meat, in particular, is going to make me violently ill after so long!

    i had no problems digesting meat again, and i think it may have been steak.

    3. Even with just seafood - I find myself a little overwhelmed trying to figure out what's the healthiest choice, the most humane choice, the most environmental choice, how to select (freshness) items, what to eat (lots of variety), how to store, how to prepare, etc. It's a whole new world and I feel like an alien, since I didn't grow up with this stuff. Any books/cookbooks/etc that were particularly helpful? I've ordered "Nourishing Traditions" - anything else worth looking at?

    everything i know i learned from alton brown (or food network in general, when they still played actual cooking shows...). buy a season or two of good eats.

    4. On a slightly stranger note - how did you feel about your identity when you stopped being a vegetarian? I feel like, it's been such a strong part of who I am (not much else has stayed so constant for 20 years!)...

    i feel a little weird, especially having been the catalyst for one friends' veganism and having another vegan friend. it's just not something i'm comfortable doing in front of them yet, or even talking about. it'd be like bringing a beer to sit in on an aa meeting...

    but since i have justified my choice, morally, to myself and sorted out my identity before making any decisions either way, i feel great about my choices.

  7. #7
    Asturian's Avatar
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    I was a vegetarian for about 4 years back in the early 90's as I began developing an environmental conscience (hanging around with Earth First people at the university). After a while I realized that my efforts in trying to promote an environmental awareness on others really was having little to no effect. It was at that time that I realized that it was large international corporate capitalism that was and remains at the root of our social inequalities, degenerative health, and environmental tragedies. (Don't get me wrong, I don't think all capitalism is bad, just the large corporate type that has gradually taken control of most national governments).

    Anyway, my first non-vegetarian meal (a juicy 1/2 lb burger) must have taken my gut flora by surprise because a few hours later, my poop had the most foul odor I have ever experienced. The adjustment wasn't too bad except I wish I had been more informed about true primal nutrition at the time so I could have eliminated the unhealthy corporate garbage that fills the isles of the grocer and served at 99% of the eating establishments. PB would have to wait another dozen years or so.

    We grow old, live, and learn -- that is life.
    “It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creeds into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.”
    —Robert A. Heinlein

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the links and information. I guess I just feel so on-the-fence, I'm having a hard time actually feeling like it's the best thing for me... I do feel better with the fish and am seeing why protein is important (to make neurotransmitters, in particular!)... but am getting really bored of seafood every day...

    I WISH I had those strong cravings that others seem to get! Or that instant feeling of "oh wow, this is so great!" - but I don't It would make it so much easier...

  9. #9
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    I tried to be a vegetarian so hard... years on, but they were hard, hard years for me. I was sick all the time, tired all the time, and I literally CRAVED meat almost every day. My first meat was bacon, and I've loved bacon ever since. It's wonderful.

  10. #10
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    I was a junk food veggie for about 2 years. I found it an easy transition because 1. I wasn't eating very clean as a vegetarian and 2. I stopped eating meat mostly for environment/animal welfare issues and I feel that being strict PB with meat intake deals with both of those issues.

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