Meat cravings?!? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-20-2007, 10:19 AM
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I'm still fairly new here and have been reading and reading. I don't know any other vegetarians so I'm loving the "community" aspect.



What really makes me wonder is that I read posts where people are craving meat and I was curious if this was common. The only person I know, who I used to live with and he went veggie after watching me cook and eat better than he did, isn't anymore. I guess this is partly why. It just never occured to me that this happened. It seems reasonable but going vegatarian for me was... so easy. I can't seem to give up coffee to save my life though-lol.



Is there an addictive quality to meat? Is it psychological? Is it social standards? Is it just difficult changing habits? I wonder what others' experiences with first switching to vegatarianism/ veganism are...



Just to add: In no way am I trying to sound ignorant, or condescending Just curious!
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#2 Old 02-20-2007, 10:31 AM
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Most people here report that, after going vegetarian, the mere idea of eating meat is gut-wrenchingly disgusting. I remember one poster went so far to compare animal flesh to feces. However, this is not universal. Some of us still find meat appetizing, as we did when we were growing up eating it.



I don't know if you would call this a "craving" though. For example, when my omni friends have meat leftovers that are going to be thrown out, if it is something suitable as food for my cat, I have no trouble refraining from eating it myself as I bring it home for my cat.



In my experience, sometimes when people drop meat and fish from their diet, they replace it with more of whatever else they were eating- or with some other foods that are nutritious, but do not nutritionally replace meat. If I tried to live on salad and vegetable stir-fries, for example, the rumbling from my hungry stomach would make the walls shake. Meat isn't really unique, nutritionally-speaking; you just have to know what it provides, and find other foods that will do the job just as well, or maybe even better.



Your post didn't come across to me as ignorant or condescending at all, by the way, and I hope my reply doesn't either. Welcome aboard!

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#3 Old 02-20-2007, 10:53 AM
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I eat pretty much the same thing every day (my university doesn't offer a lot of variety) and sometimes I just get bad cravings for the homecooked meals my mom made when I was omni and lived at home. If it was in front of me I'd never eat it, but that doesn't stop me from longing for a food that I used to like after six weeks of baked potatoes and steamed broccolli. Sometimes I crave pepperoni pizzas or fried chicken for the same reason. Again I would never really eat them, but if I could find veg versions of the meals I'm craving, I'd wolf them down in a second.
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#4 Old 02-20-2007, 01:14 PM
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I craved meat for a while and now occasionally I'll think "I want a 'real' burger..." when I'm ordering my meal but there's no way I could ever eat it.

I almost got honey chicken at a Chinese restaurant the other day but I know even if I ordered it I wouldn't be able to put it in my mouth.

Whenever I start to crave meat I just remember what it is- animal flesh. Sick.
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#5 Old 02-20-2007, 01:18 PM
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I don't crave meat. Which surprises me immensely. I do very occasionally look at the omni food I cook for my husband and child and think, hmmm that looks pretty good. But that is as far as it goes.
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#6 Old 02-20-2007, 03:11 PM
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I dont really crave it. I think it smells good sometimes but I wouldnt actually want to eat it. I didnt really miss it that much even when I first went vegetarian. Sometimes I crave certain foods but never usually meat. I definately think meat could be addictive, just like most things can.
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#7 Old 02-20-2007, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
going vegatarian for me was... so easy. I can't seem to give up coffee to save my life though-lol.



Story of my life! Haha



No really though, I never was a big meat eater and I have been veg for so long (9 years) that sometimes I kind of forget meat is food for some people. I guess maybe that's kind of strange. But usually if meat is in front of me the thought doesn't really cross my mind that I would eat it. Then again, I don't eat much fake meat products either, so maybe the two are correlated.
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#8 Old 02-20-2007, 03:38 PM
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When people ask me if I miss meat I usually tell them that I sometimes miss the spices/flavors used in some meats and not acually the meat itself. Some of these flavors I just can't recreate with veg*n foods. But I agree with nori_roll in that meat doesn't ever register as food anymore.
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#9 Old 02-20-2007, 04:26 PM
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When I first went vegetarian, I thought I was going to really crave the meat I was leaving behind, yet with the meat-free alternatives on offer I never had this problem and still don't. There's perhaps been the odd time when I've remembered a specific meat that tasted nice, but I don't crave it.
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#10 Old 02-20-2007, 04:30 PM
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I don't crave meat, but some things still look good to me...or perhaps it's just the memory of having liked it at one time.
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#11 Old 02-20-2007, 04:36 PM
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I crave meat and I have been a vegetarian for 4 yrs....My bf was eating chicken strips and gravy lastnight and I wanted one reeeealy bad. But I just ignored it and ate my salad. I also want burgers a lot, and veggie burgers are good but don't taste anything like the real thing.I took like 3 months to stop eating it, because I would get cravings and cheat. I really didnt even eat much meat as an omni. It got a lot easier, although I still occasionally have cravings. The only veggie food I have found that tastes like the real thing is MSF corn dogs.
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#12 Old 02-20-2007, 04:52 PM
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I crave meat. For days I've been craving a hot dog. But other times it's different -- fried chicken, steak, a juicy hamburger. I've given in to the cravings before however more and more when I actually get in front of the meat I don't really want it.
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#13 Old 02-20-2007, 04:58 PM
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Wow! Thank you all for telling me your stories! One of the things I always tell people when they ask what I eat is that I can have anything that they do I just have to make it myself without meat. They stare blankly, and I continue to explain that there's a pretty decent substitute for everything and that it's healthier and "happier" than the real thing...



Though in all honesty I hardly ever eat that stuff either.



My fiance is an omni and it never bothers me or causes cravings that he eats what he does. (it's sad and kinda gross but I love him) I can understand it now that I've heard your explainations Thanx!
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#14 Old 02-20-2007, 06:13 PM
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I don't crave meat. There are many times though when I see a hot wing or crab legs and really want the taste of it. I always resist because knowledge beats my taste buds.
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#15 Old 02-20-2007, 06:24 PM
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I have never had meat cravings, it truly disgusts me, and I used to eat a lot of meat when I was Omni.



My friend on the other hand... well she's tried to go vegetarian a number of times, and it never seems to work out for her. She blames the cravings.
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#16 Old 02-20-2007, 06:26 PM
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I guess my comment on this isn't really valid as I have only been veg for a whole 3 days!

[sarcasm] OMG!!11 [/sarcasm]



... ... anyway 3 days (as short as it sounds) is probably the longest time I have ever gone without meat in my life, and so far I have had no desire for meat at all, I don't miss it in the least. I'm even starting to find the idea of eating animal flesh fairly repulsive. I hope it stays that way
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#17 Old 02-20-2007, 07:14 PM
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My dad, who is not a vegetarian, says it takes several months to get meat out of your system - just like giving up cigarettes, caffeine, drugs and sugar. As long as one of these is still in your system, you'll have cravings.



After several months, you'll know its out of your system completely when you don't have those internal urges to have it. I have read in medical books that meat is an addcition because it causes our bodies to release some chemical in our brains that make us feel better after eating it (especially after a steak). Although I havent researched this, all the men I know say how great they feel after eating a steak (mentally and physically they act like they have a slight high).



If you or your friends are having meat cravings, I suggest asking your grocery store to order GardenBurger Ribs. Keep these around when you have cravings. Although I never was a big meat eater to begin with, I think these faux ribs taste better than even real ribs (which were pretty good to begin with - but I hated eating animals). They also satisfy any and all cravings for eating meat while you are getting used to your new diet.
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#18 Old 02-20-2007, 08:31 PM
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It took a while for my cravings to go away (I cheated a few times, I admit), but once they were gone, they were GONE. It's been almost an entire year since I've eaten any meat. I think that once you know you're dedicated, you just adapt to your diet and not even think about it. I used to go out to a restaurant and say "Ooo... that meal sounds good" and I'd want it, even though it had meat in it. Now, when I go out, I look for vegetarian items without even thinking about it. The desire to eat meat has completely gone away. If you stick to it, it will go away.



You should try some meat substitutes. That helped me a lot.
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#19 Old 02-20-2007, 08:36 PM
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If you're not sure what kind of meat replacements to buy, here are some of my favorites:



Morningstar Farm - Grillers (burger), Griller crumbles (in place of ground beef), Sausage patties, chik patties, buffalo chik, and corn dogs.



Boca - Original burger & Lasagna



Also, when buying things like refried beans and baked beans, buy the vegetarian option. Bush's veg baked beans are better than the meat version!
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#20 Old 02-21-2007, 03:11 AM
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Something just occurred to me....it's not the 'meat' that is necessarly appealing to me, but what it goes with. For instance, I was at a party and everyone was eating meat/fish. The fish looked so good but it was because of the 'sauce' on it...some kind of lemon/butter/breadcrumb sauce. It's what made the dish look so good. The same with the veal parmesan. The cheese and sauce is what I really want, not the meat. So most of the time I can find something to make that is similar which satisfies my craving. Tofu parmesan is outrageously delicious, in case you haven't tried it. I'm currently working on something with the lemon/butter/breadcrumb topping. I just want to dunk a piece of bread in it....
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#21 Old 02-21-2007, 07:43 AM
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Karen, I actually think you nailed it on the head. I didn't even think about that. I miss fish because of the delicious Jamacian Lime seasoning that I would put on top of it. *lightbulb turns on* I should do what you do. Thanks again for the amazing idea!!
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#22 Old 02-21-2007, 06:48 PM
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no, I do not crave meat and have not ever since that fateful night May 3, 2006 when I watched all the video's I possibly could and saw the horrific things done to the animals. To have seen the cruelty on video tape, literally killed any craving for any meat, dairy, meat by-products, etc. Nor is there even an inkling of any desire to consume animal products again.

Molly W
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#23 Old 02-21-2007, 07:45 PM
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I've been veg for 2 months and have only craved meat once. I ate seitan "chicken" nuggets and blech! The craving was gone. I have cooked with it twice since and I KNOW I don't like it but if there's a craving I also know it will get rid of it!! But yes, I too crave things but it's the surrounding stuff that I crave more than the meat itself, but being soy intolerant I can't substitute with fakes a lot so I usually just make something veg that's super yummy and the craving usually goes after eating something so good anyway
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#24 Old 02-21-2007, 09:04 PM
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I rarely crave meat. In the instance I do, I find veggie meat satisfies the craving very well. Veggie meat is actually "better" than real meat, IMO. It is far more soft, tender, and "meatlike" than animal meat.
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#25 Old 02-22-2007, 09:16 AM
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Karen is totally right. Usually when I want something on the menu that's not vegetarian, I mentally file it away and make it later. I was craving a big pasta dish with something "meaty and grilled" so I used tons of grilled veggies and that's what I made last night... a huge batch. I wanted some for later but my onmi honey ate all the rest of it- lol. He thought it was awesome. I miss certain flavors sometimes, smokey, salty, grilled stuff usually. Grilled green and red peppers are my favorite thing in the whole world... and mushrooms too, yum!



but I never crave meat... never have and it's been 6 years...maybe 7?
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#26 Old 02-22-2007, 06:09 PM
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Welcome to the boards!

I work on a Deli counter in a supermarket, and sometimes I think a certain bit of ham or whatever looks tempting, but I know if I ate it I would feel a) sick and b) guilty afterwards! I do get meat cravings sometimes, but a lot of the time I just think it looks disgusting. Chopping up hot chickens isn't a nice job, the insides look revolting, and when I'm bagging them up to give to customers (in bags which are like body bags to me!) I always think 'How can you eat that?!'



So in answer, I get cravings sometimes....but only really when I'm hungry and surrounded by food! I think it varies for everyone...but give me a veggie burger over a meat burger any day!

"Be the change you wish to see in the world" ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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#27 Old 02-24-2007, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karenlovessnow View Post

Something just occurred to me....it's not the 'meat' that is necessarly appealing to me, but what it goes with. For instance, I was at a party and everyone was eating meat/fish. The fish looked so good but it was because of the 'sauce' on it...some kind of lemon/butter/breadcrumb sauce. It's what made the dish look so good.....



(Tom makes a note to himself to invent "Garbanzo Beans Au Vin "...)



Seriously, I was always curious about this. I'm not a fussy eater- never have been- neither do I have any issues about carbohydrates, fat, food allergies, etc- so dropping meat and fish from my diet left a lot of other things I enjoyed eating. But legumes have got to be the most boring food in the world! As I remember, meat and fish tasted good with minimal preparation, but I have to use seasonings liberally and judiciously to make beans, lentils, etc palatable. I can get them down otherwise, but don't enjoy them. It's like eating paper pulp.



I never had "Coq Au Vin" (chicken in red wine sauce) before going veg, so I won't know how authentic it will taste made with chickeny-tasting garbanzo beans.



Welcome aboard, KameSama!

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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