Newbie vegetarian - usual parental reaction - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-17-2005, 07:37 AM
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Upon hearing that I had decided to be a vegetarian (lacto-ovo, for the time being), my mom got *mildly* irritated that I wouldn't be eating her food that had meat in it. I briefly explained that I get the same nutrients from other foods and that I'd be eating better as a vegetarian than many do as omnis. One of my older brothers, Paul, is big on white pasta ("whole wheat pasta tastes like sand" um or not...), white bread, pizza, some fast food, etc. I pointed out that I already have MUCH better eating habits than he and that she need not worry, etc. etc.



Point of the story... the meat -beef- that we use isn't from stores. Pretty much since my parents were married in 1976 they've raised their own beefer and slaughtered it. Sooo, any beef we have in our freezer is grass-fed, homegrown, certified organic, I guess - we don't use any hormones or anything of the sort.



Sooo I guess I'm just wondering how you all feel about eating meat when you know where it's from. It's sad to me, in a way, cause here this steer was in our barnyard (we're not a great big farm, by any means... at the moment we have 1 cow, 4 horses (with a baby due in just a few weeks!!), 5 dogs and 8 cats) just a few months ago, and now he's in the freezer. I mean, eating our own beef is arguably much better than eating what comes out of the stores, but beef is still unhealthy in many ways, correct? Idk, respond away please, opinions, reassurance... all that good stuff.





ETA- Just to clear things up - I'm not planning on eating our meat, I guess this was just a hypothetical type situation, of would or wouldn't you eat the meat, how do you feel about it, etc. etc.
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#2 Old 03-17-2005, 08:40 AM
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I knew a family that raised rabbits for food. The kids would go out and cuddle with them and stuff but they weren't allowed to name them because their Dad didn't want them to fall in love with them. He didn't want to go through the "OMG WE'RE EATING FUZZY!!!" conversation over the dinner table.



What a sad, sick world.
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#3 Old 03-17-2005, 09:39 AM
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well, i think that if a person is going to eat meat, then this is the sort of meat that they should eat. it's the healthiest available, and the most humane (perhaps aside from wild game--that may be 'first' but it's questionable based on environmental contamination concerns).



if you want to eat meat, then that is your own choice. i do not think that there's anything 'inherently' wrong with it, and it is a healthy food source for humans, considering that our biology is that of an omnivore.



for me, the issue really comes down to a moral, ethical issue, based on one's perspective of animals and appropriate animal use/interaction. from there, you determine appropriate behavoir in regards to animals. That may be 'consciencious omnivorism' (like your family, or the one that Humm mentioned, or like my husband who only consumes local, organic, biodynamic); that may be vegetarianism in it's various incarnations; that may be veganism. It really is up to you and what you think and feel about things.
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#4 Old 03-17-2005, 10:40 AM
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It's up to you. Obviously you wouldn't be a vegetarian or anything close to it.



People are vegetarians for different reasons. For me it's for animal rights. so I am trying very hard to not freak out in this post and cry about the poor cows. For some, it's about health and the enviroment. Regardless of the path to veg*nism you choose, I think there is no reason to eat meat when you can get all your nutrients on a healthy vegetarian diet.



I could never ever see a steer in my barn and then see him on the dinner table. My heart would absolutely break. I don't even want to think about it. Actually no, I'm thinking about it now and crying. It's just so sick to me. I'd almost rather eat supermarket meat than do that.
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#5 Old 03-17-2005, 10:41 AM
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My husband and I have this debate quite a bit. My main reason for veganism is because of the way the animals are treated. Even if they are from a source such as your own, I still wouldn't eat it just because I don't have to to survive. I do, however, agree that this would be the best source of meat if you want to eat it. To each his or her own. I know that there are a lot of people who portray vegans to be snobs and the like. I say, do what's best for you and your heart.
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#6 Old 03-17-2005, 11:06 AM
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Cows are like big dogs. Ask your parents if they would eat a big dog.



Just keep them informed of all the stuff you know about being veggie, just to reassure them that you know what you're doing and you'll be healthy. They're probably just worried because they don't know a lot about vegetarianism. Education is they key.
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#7 Old 03-17-2005, 11:08 AM
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Old McDonald's farm meat is a step up from factory farm meat, but it's still dead animals.



I guess you need to decide for yourself if you can live with yourself, seeing those animals and knowing you are going to eat them. I know I couldn't.
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#8 Old 03-17-2005, 11:34 AM
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just out of curiousity- where does your family get the cows they keep? o they actually breed them themselves? because i think that woul be the only reliable way to ensure that the cow is hormone-free. unless you got them from a small local breeder or something. just curious.

"I remember the days when we talked for hours/And we were young, we thought we had superpowers/We weren't our problems, our age or our paychecks/And we weren't taking anybody's $h*t."
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#9 Old 03-17-2005, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatless View Post

Old McDonald's farm meat is a step up from factory farm meat, but it's still dead animals.



I guess you need to decide for yourself if you can live with yourself, seeing those animals and knowing you are going to eat them. I know I couldn't.



I couldn't either.



It's just not natural; when I see a live cow or pig, I don't feel like eating it, unlike when a cat sees a bird or mouse. It's just not built in.



If we hadn't learned to use weapons and fire, we'd never have started eating meat. We're just not built for it. Now, of course it was beneficial to our species because it freed time from gathering food so we could develop human knowledge, but at this point in time we just don't need to eat our fellow mammals anymore -- however hormone-free and well treated they are.
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#10 Old 03-17-2005, 01:02 PM
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Ok. *I* think it is normal for us to be "in the food chain" like this so to speak. As a student of paleontology with a huge side interest in anthropology, meat eating is very much a part of the human way. Ok, now there are a few reasons for being a veghead. Cruelty. This is why I'M a vegan. Now if this is your only issue, then "humane" meat should be acceptable to you. Also, my veganism is two-fold - the above reason and: if *I* couldn't slaughter it myself, then I feel that I have NO right to eat it. Ok, I cannot slaughter a cow. No way, no how. Do you or could you slaughter your family's meat? Your answer to this will reflect your morality, and THAT will reflect your choice. I have and can fish, and hunt fowl. I've killed those, cleaned those, cooked them and eaten them. I have milked my own cow and gathered raised eggs. But I could never kill anything else, and so that would have to be where I drew my line if ever necessary. Health? I don't think meat on the whole is unhealthy. It has been in our diet for too long, and we owe our large brains to it. However I think this modern day diet of meat, meat, meat on meat, is SUPER unhealthy for our more vegetarian-based long intestine. How much meat do you consume? Maybe the line for you to draw personally is to not eat any factory farmed stuff. On the other hand, is it easy for you to swallow that beef if you think of that steer at the same time? This sort of decision is something that has to come from deep self reflection right alongside all of the internet research. If ultimately you decide that your family raised meat meshes with your beliefs here and now, well remember that isn't the only way to make a difference. Everything from cosmetics to clothing has an impact. YOU have to figure this out. I of course hope that you would be veg, however don't beat yourself up either, you will be out of the house someday, and hence another opprotunity for a new level of growth, and perhaps you'll feel more solid about it then - because if you aren't solid, then you're gonna fall more easily. Take it in steps.
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#11 Old 03-17-2005, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rdydtrfrg View Post

Ok. *I* think it is normal for us to be "in the food chain" like this so to speak. As a student of paleontology with a huge side interest in anthropology, meat eating is very much a part of the human way.



Yes, it has been "a part of the human way" ever since we "discovered" fire and tools and such, but that's a very small part of humanity's history. For millions of years we've been vegetarian, eating meat is artificial to us. Most of us would be extremely sick if we ate raw meat from an animals that we killed in the wild, in the heat of the sun with dirt and insects everywhere after a few hours.



Our intestines are way too long, our teeth are all wrong (even vegetarian gorillas have bigger canines than us) and we don't have claws or the ability to actually run after and catch most animals.



Eating meat - from a biological point of view - is as unatural to us as it is for a cow to eat animal protein feedstock. The cow can do it, and so can we. But all I'm saying is that it's now how natural evolution made us.
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#12 Old 03-17-2005, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by vegbunny83 View Post

just out of curiousity- where does your family get the cows they keep? o they actually breed them themselves? because i think that woul be the only reliable way to ensure that the cow is hormone-free. unless you got them from a small local breeder or something. just curious.



We've never bred ourselves, but rather from a dairy farmer ½ hour from us, whom my dad has known for years. I live in a small town with a handful of dairy farms, yet we're one of the very few who have natural beef - most buy the grossness from the stores. When I was younger we had our own single milk cow too, who my dad milked every morning & night, and that was our milk.
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#13 Old 03-17-2005, 05:34 PM
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I think it's up to you--what will your conscience allow? What creeps me out is the HUGE difference in quality in meat that you get from the store and meat that is raised locally. My aunt and uncle have raised cattle and pigs for food and I ate some of that back when I was an omni. It tastes so much better; it just seems better overall. It freaks me out when I think about why that store bought meat is poorer quality and what did that do to me and to everyone that eats it?
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#14 Old 03-17-2005, 08:34 PM
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What creeps me out is the HUGE difference in quality in meat that you get from the store and meat that is raised locally... (home-grown) tastes so much better; it just seems better overall. It freaks me out when I think about why that store bought meat is poorer quality and what did that do to me and to everyone that eats it?



That's exactly why I especially don't plan on ever eating store bought meat again. Home-grown beef tastes so much better, because it's natural... you're so right, about what must have been done to it in factories for it to get such an icky taste. And even though it's home-grown, I don't want to eat it. The whole idea of slaughtering an animal that was just in our barnyard affected me more as a child than it does now - I've gotten pretty used to it in my 18 ½ years of life. I remember being a little girl, dreading the day that the butcher came over, because I knew that the snow wouldn't be white near the barn for the rest of the winter, and you had to look at it, every day... Sighhh it's so sad, that so many rely on the flesh of animals. Ugh, I'm SO ready to be a serious vegetarian, seriously.
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