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Thread: Breaking vegetarianism - worth it? page 3

  1. #21
    iniQuity's Avatar
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    A while back I read a pretty compelling argument of how vegetarianism came to be in (certain) Indian cultures or sects. Apparently the religious aspect was actually more a cultural fall-out than actual doctrine, but the religion is so vast that I'm not about to claim I have any real knowledge of it. I can't find it right now but it was such a good read.

  2. #22
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    i have read many similar articles, iniquity, but i think that there's a difference between academia and practice, kwim?

  3. #23
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    So the answers/opinions are all over the place.
    I'm interested to know how the health of the older generation of your extended family is on average.
    Are you sick? In need of a change to heal?
    Just curious is reasonable too, as that makes the world go around.

  4. #24
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    Wanted to share links to some old threads on the topic. I've not read through all of them so not sure if they are full of awesome info or not, but may be helpful to the OP.

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread12528.html
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread28870.html
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread23469.html
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread7556.html
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread3702.html
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread10032.html

    Here is my advice/take on this issue from an older post. (Just wanted to add it in case its helpful!)
    You will get used to it, probably fast. Meat (unlike all those soy fake meat things) is DELICIOUS, and the adjustment, for me, was pretty easy. Once I really believed that I was *meant* to eat meat, that eating meat was the healthiest thing for me, it was really really easy. (I was totally vegetarian for 12 years, vegan for about 6 months of that time.) I started w/ poultry, then added in steak, then fish, then ground beef, sausage, porkchops, etc.--the rest is history! I didn't feel any weird physical changes, but I also did take it slow, adding in one new kind of meat every week or so...There is definitely a transition time (at least there was for me) from going from a high carb, low fat diet to a higher fat, lower carb diet though.

    Cooking meat is where the learning really comes in (even for folks who were already meat eaters--so few people actually cook at home!) I became veg. when I was 16, had never helped my mom in the kitchen (we ate lots of processed fast food--not tons of cooking), so had literally never handled raw meat b/4 I was 27-28. It *is* a weird experience. But you get used to it. In the beginning, I found that almost any meat tastes yummy if you season w/ a little salt and pepper (other spices optional) and pan sear, then bake in the oven. That was the easiest way to make chicken, steak, burgers, etc. for me at first. After a while I started learning the myriad of ways to prepare meat, and I'm still learning (and loving every minute and bite of it!) Now that it's warmer out (at least where I am) grilling is a delicious and easy option too that can work w/ most meats. That's probably where I would start.

    Cutting gluten, soy, corn and dairy along w/ all processed foods, and now grains, has made me feel AMAZING. Adding meat back into my diet was possibly the number one thing (along w/ dropping the processed foods) I've done that has vitally impacted my health for the better. What is fascinating to me, is that NOW, while eating meat, I feel sooooo much more connected to my food, where it comes from, etc., than I ever felt as a vegetarian eating my soydogs and veggie burgers. When I'm getting a whole chicken ready to roast (really easy too, I just rub w/ olive oil, salt and pepper, add some other spices if I want and stuff w/ some cut up onion, maybe other veggies and roast in the oven--mmmm!), and I'm holding it in my hands, I just feel this huge sense of gratitude towards it, and this feeling like I'm doing what women have always done. After I cook it and we eat it as a family, and I get the bones ready to make broth with (bone broth is GREAT for digestive issues and very easy to make), I just feel like I'm connected to my anscestors, the Earth, and animals in a much a deeper sense than I ever was when I was veg. It could just be my experience, or the way in which I was veg (huge monsanto supporter, ate lots of organic processed foods, vs. eating lots of local, whole foods now). But I just feel so much better about what I'm eating, how I'm eating, and more than anything, how I feel now that I eat lots of sustainably raised local meats...

    Good luck to you during the transition--from one 'post vegetarian' (Sandor Katz' term) to another! You will NOT regret this!!!!
    HTH! Again, good luck doing what works best *for you*!
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  5. #25
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    Of course it is worth it. Read the vegetarian myth. There are very few actual vegetarians outside the Jains and fruitarians(and nature rids itself of them quickly), anyway- plenty of insects get crushed up with grains. Unless you don't eat anything besides vegtables you careful inspect for insects, they are finding a way into your system.

  6. #26
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    i think that a lot of the responses are really focused on a health (in a physical sense) focus, rather than the total wellbeing of the individual.

    i am not arguing that this person necessarily "should" or "shouldn't" remain vegetarian, but that unlike many of us in the west -- who come to and often leave vegetarianism for health reasons -- it is an entirely different situation to go against generations of family and religious/social practices, and likely loosing every social connection you have and that you value because of it.

    a friend of mine is an orthodox jewish woman, and of course keeps strictly kosher. she might question "should I eat bacon!?" and everyone might say "sure, it's healthy for you!" or "read the vegetarian myth!" but this isn't taking into consideration the community situation in which this woman finds herself, and what eating bacon really means for her.

    A friend of mine is Indian, raised in the US. his family is *very* traditional. They are vegetarian, as they have been for years. They never adopted the SAD, and he has never eaten meat. As a westerner, he is very health conscious, and he knows the science behind why eating meat is healthy. He even agrees with the paleo argument or perspective.

    but he lives traditionally. he lives with his parents, as well as his brother, his brother's wife, and his nieces and nephews. He has a wife -- via an arranged marriage in india, where he went to attend the wedding. He met the girl once, when they arrived, and the first time they were alone together was AFTER the wedding. She comes from a good family, and a long line of vegetarians as well. They have one child. This whole family lives together, in a traditional way. The grandparents care for the children. the younger generation's work outside of the home (the men) and inside the home (the women, cooking and housekeeping). The grandparents also manage most of the religious ceremonies for the family, and also volunteer at the temple.

    While he would love to be leaner, or whatever, the reality is that IF he were to take up eating meat, it would be a very *extreme* move for him *against* his family.

    We are not just talking about a bunch of white folks who dabble in vegetarianism for any number of reasons and for any number of years, and can pop right out of it because -- culturally -- vegetarianism is fringe. We are talking about people whose whole lives, for generations, INCLUDE vegetarianism as a cultural and spiritual practice.

    So, if this young man -- as i suspect -- is in this sort of situation, and might expect to have an arranged or semi-arranged marriage with a family in india -- and his dietary (and thereby spiritual and cultural status) will have an impact in that process. Likewise, if he is greatly involved in the indian community that is predominately vegetarian, then eating meat may really cause conflict with them as well.

    It simply may not be worth it -- not matter how much I like and believe in paleo diets and stuff. I'm no evangelist about it. I dont' believe in leaving everything you know, love, and value about your family just to be paleo.

    i feel the same way about vegetarianism, btw, but not about switching from junk to real food.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by agartha2 View Post
    Also, if I did consider eating meat, my family and our ancestors come from a part of india in which we have not eaten meat for atleast 10 generations minimum. No one in my extended family has ever had any, so I dont know how my stomach will react after generations of us have not had it.
    ?
    Do some Googling and you'llsee that India has a huge heart disease problem in spite of the vegitarianism.

    My son has a very good friend who's dad is vegan for religious resons (I think he's Buddist), and at 51 has already had a heart attack. He may not have made it if he wouldn't have literallly collapsed in his wifes arms. And my so said he was a "healthy" vegan, i.e. no junkfood. His friends is veg too, but she's a total junkfood veg.
    Last edited by Dave RN; 09-05-2011 at 06:13 PM. Reason: add info

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    i think that a lot of the responses are really focused on a health (in a physical sense) focus, rather than the total wellbeing of the individual.

    i am not arguing that this person necessarily "should" or "shouldn't" remain vegetarian, but that unlike many of us in the west -- who come to and often leave vegetarianism for health reasons -- it is an entirely different situation to go against generations of family and religious/social practices, and likely loosing every social connection you have and that you value because of it.

    a friend of mine is an orthodox jewish woman, and of course keeps strictly kosher. she might question "should I eat bacon!?" and everyone might say "sure, it's healthy for you!" or "read the vegetarian myth!" but this isn't taking into consideration the community situation in which this woman finds herself, and what eating bacon really means for her.

    A friend of mine is Indian, raised in the US. his family is *very* traditional. They are vegetarian, as they have been for years. They never adopted the SAD, and he has never eaten meat. As a westerner, he is very health conscious, and he knows the science behind why eating meat is healthy. He even agrees with the paleo argument or perspective.

    but he lives traditionally. he lives with his parents, as well as his brother, his brother's wife, and his nieces and nephews. He has a wife -- via an arranged marriage in india, where he went to attend the wedding. He met the girl once, when they arrived, and the first time they were alone together was AFTER the wedding. She comes from a good family, and a long line of vegetarians as well. They have one child. This whole family lives together, in a traditional way. The grandparents care for the children. the younger generation's work outside of the home (the men) and inside the home (the women, cooking and housekeeping). The grandparents also manage most of the religious ceremonies for the family, and also volunteer at the temple.

    While he would love to be leaner, or whatever, the reality is that IF he were to take up eating meat, it would be a very *extreme* move for him *against* his family.

    We are not just talking about a bunch of white folks who dabble in vegetarianism for any number of reasons and for any number of years, and can pop right out of it because -- culturally -- vegetarianism is fringe. We are talking about people whose whole lives, for generations, INCLUDE vegetarianism as a cultural and spiritual practice.

    So, if this young man -- as i suspect -- is in this sort of situation, and might expect to have an arranged or semi-arranged marriage with a family in india -- and his dietary (and thereby spiritual and cultural status) will have an impact in that process. Likewise, if he is greatly involved in the indian community that is predominately vegetarian, then eating meat may really cause conflict with them as well.

    It simply may not be worth it -- not matter how much I like and believe in paleo diets and stuff. I'm no evangelist about it. I dont' believe in leaving everything you know, love, and value about your family just to be paleo.

    i feel the same way about vegetarianism, btw, but not about switching from junk to real food.
    Great points.

  9. #29
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    As the others have said, you can do fine as a vegetarian. In terms of ethics, I strongly encourage you to read The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith.

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  10. #30
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    How did I miss this thread initially?

    zoebird, you make great points.

    OP, I come from a similar (though not quite as strict) background. All I can say is, if you're living in a Western country, at some point you're going to have to make decisions for yourself. If your health is suffering, cut out the grains. If it's still suffering, eat meat.

    My mother is a lifelong vegetarian and she is not willing to eat meat/fish/fowl, but even she recognizes that her vegetarianism has contributed to her litany of health problems (osteoarthritis, early osteoporosis, general frailness - she recently had to be taken to the emergency room just because she tripped, and now memory problems).

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