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#1 Old 03-20-2008, 01:11 PM
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Just out of curiosity, are there other Eastern Orthodox Christians anywhere on the forum? I'm vegan year-round, but we've just started Great Lent, which means that my EOC peeps get to join me in abstaining from animal products (as well as wine and oil). I've forgotten what it was like to make that transition so it's hard for me to identify with the troubles some of them have, the ones who are really trying - I remember issues with having more fiber than I was accustomed to. Here I'm grateful to be vegan already, because we eat a vegan diet for the fasts about 51% of the year, and that's a lot of transitioning back and forth. I wonder if there are any tips I could offer my buddies who are making the transition now, and who will want to transition back to omnivorousness at the end of April at Pascha. And will want to transition back to veganitude once more for the Apostle's fast...and back...and again for the dormition...and back... That has got to be taxing on one's digestive system, no?
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#2 Old 03-20-2008, 08:40 PM
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OMG!!!



I'm Greek Orthodox Christian. However, I don't eat vegan during fasts, just vegetarian all year round. (Even when I was omni I always abstained from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays). I've never heard of people going all-out vegan. Usually around here we just pick a food/habit, like chocolate/gossip, to stop doing. But perhaps it's just because I'm a teen and we're not expected to go vegan?
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#3 Old 03-21-2008, 07:14 AM
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I'm not Orthodox - yet. But I can see that transitioning to a vegetarian diet that doesn't include dairy or eggs now will be really helpful after our conversion.



travelerawd, if you follow and adhere to the fast then by default you'll end up eating a vegan diet. Unlike the Catholic Church (according our our Greek Orthodox priest) the strict fast requires abstaining from meat (and animal products), fish, dairy, eggs, wine and oil. Which is the same information I got from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website. Though with the guidance of a priest one can adjust the severity of the fast to fit their specific situation, but generally speaking the strict fast of Lent is definitely a time when already being a vegetarian familiar with vegan cooking is a great benefit.

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#4 Old 03-21-2008, 09:55 AM
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MrsKey, I'm also a catechumen. Will you be baptized at Pascha?

I keep getting teased by my friends and my spiritual father - they say that for Lent, since I'm vegan, I'll have to give up eating vegetables (or eat meat!). ;-)

Frankly, I'm finding this business of eating less to be quite enough of a challenge. I'm a six-meal-a-day vegan. But I am grateful not to experience some of the digestive issues I hear other folks talking about...
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#5 Old 03-21-2008, 10:36 AM
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For the omnis who want to transition this way, I would guess that you could tell them to start out emphasizing rice, pasta and squash using only very conservative amounts of beans (including soy products) and green vegetables. As time goes on, they can gradually add more and more of the high fiber items to their diet.



I find Orthodox beliefs interesting, especially after reading a book directed to Protestants (like myself), but that's a different thread.
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#6 Old 03-21-2008, 10:51 AM
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I wonder if there are any tips I could offer my buddies who are making the transition now, and who will want to transition back to omnivorousness at the end of April at Pascha. And will want to transition back to veganitude once more for the Apostle's fast...and back...and again for the dormition...and back... That has got to be taxing on one's digestive system, no?



My advice is that they watch Meet Your Meat on Youtube and then visit the Christian Vegetarian Association website.



My tongue is kinda in my cheek but kinda not. That really is the advice I would give someone and I have given that advice to Christians that I know. You have to be nice about it but it's part of my Christian witness for a more peaceful world that reflects that teaching of the Garden of Eden story.



I'm Catholic. Labels can be restrictive. I'm an open spirituality Catholic. I love the teachings of the mystics from many religious/spiritual traditions.
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#7 Old 03-21-2008, 12:53 PM
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Forgive me for jumping in, I'm a liturgically-minded Protestant who has always taken Lent very seriously and over the years I've used the Lenten season to phase towards vegetarianism.



The irony is that when I was in grad school I had a roommate who wasn't a Christian at all but was very vegetarian while I was a die-hard carnivore. Over time, we've grown towards each other's beliefs--she became a Christian and I cut out red meat. Then she and her family just converted to Greek Orthodoxy and I just became a vegetarian.



When I called to tell her that this Lent would be the one where I finally went vegetarian "for good", she sighed happily and asked if this was what I felt like when she became a Christian.



The only problem this year is that because the calendars are so far off, we couldn't pick out something to do for Lent together so I told her just to start with the Western Lent and keep right on going through Orthodox Easter. Needless to say, she didn't take me up on it!
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#8 Old 03-21-2008, 02:21 PM
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I was raised in the Greek Orthodox tradition/faith, however I am no longer practicing.



And I never liked Greek food anyways.

"you know, nowhere in the bible does it say that jesus was not a raptor"


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#9 Old 03-22-2008, 09:23 AM
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And I never liked Greek food anyways.



ντροπή σου!



Quote:
travelerawd, if you follow and adhere to the fast then by default you'll end up eating a vegan diet. Unlike the Catholic Church (according our our Greek Orthodox priest) the strict fast requires abstaining from meat (and animal products), fish, dairy, eggs, wine and oil. Which is the same information I got from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website. Though with the guidance of a priest one can adjust the severity of the fast to fit their specific situation, but generally speaking the strict fast of Lent is definitely a time when already being a vegetarian familiar with vegan cooking is a great benefit.



Oh, it's not that I don't believe you or anything, it's that neither my parents nor my priest have ever mentioned that to me, and to my knowledge it doesn't seem to be practiced commonly at my church. Weird! Then again, my parents aren't even the most strict fasters (Mom was born Greek Orthodox, Dad converted from Protestant).
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#10 Old 03-22-2008, 01:40 PM
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The best advice you can give those new to fasting (vegan, not just vegetarian) is to watch out for the dairy products when the fast ends!



If your'e not careful, you'll not want to venture far from home for a few days after starting on dairy again!
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#11 Old 03-22-2008, 02:14 PM
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I was raised Romanian Orthodox, but I'm also no longer practicing.



No one that I know of at our church followed the correct fasting rules. I remember they used to serve the kids cheese pizza on Good Friday (which annoyed the heck out of me, because I figured the priest at least should be pushing for us to fast correctly). We were just told to give up "something we liked" for Lent, and a lot of the adults fasted from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays. We were a pretty lax congregation, lol.
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#12 Old 03-24-2008, 08:01 AM
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MrsKey, I'm also a catechumen. Will you be baptized at Pascha?

I keep getting teased by my friends and my spiritual father - they say that for Lent, since I'm vegan, I'll have to give up eating vegetables (or eat meat!). ;-)

Frankly, I'm finding this business of eating less to be quite enough of a challenge. I'm a six-meal-a-day vegan. But I am grateful not to experience some of the digestive issues I hear other folks talking about...



We're just getting started - so we won't be Chrismated at Pascha (sadly).



Cutting back on the amount of food eaten can definitely be challenging in and of itself. I received similar teasing in our Catholic parish about how Lent wasn't enough of a "sacrifice" for me since I already abstained from meat. Though as an Eastern Rite Catholic we had similar fasting rules to the Orthodox and giving up olive oil for Lent was a huge sacrifice.

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#13 Old 08-14-2011, 09:55 PM
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This is an old thread, but I thought it was worth bumping.

I'm an Eastern Orthodox Christian who is also a vegan. The two seem kind of rare in and of themselves in the United States, so to find someone else who is both puts a smile on my face.
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#14 Old 07-29-2012, 02:54 AM
 
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Glory to Jesus Christ! am an eastern Catholic male in northeast [pa.] looking for like minded engaged eastern christians for support & encouragement. trying to train my body & nous to be a temple of God.

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#15 Old 07-08-2013, 09:56 PM
 
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Hi.  I have been an Orthodox Christian for many over 14 years.  I have a question.  How do Vegan Orthodox Christians keep the fasts?  And what do you do when the Church forbids fasting (like on Saturdays, except for Holy Saturday)?  Please do not take this as an attack.  I am just curious.

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#16 Old 04-17-2014, 08:59 AM
 
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Hello,

I'm not vegan. I'm lacto & egg intolerant, eat tonnes of veggies and I eat a little meat.

I'm also half Greek, therefore automatically orthodox but in my family (we're an exception) we are all atheists.

We like traditions and try -as much as possible- to keep them. We do/did fast even before we almost turned 100% vegetarians (about 15 years ago).

It is very healthy but we kind of do that all year anyway.

 

My father is a vegetarian but eats meat on 5 specific days of the year (he's Greek): for Christmas, Easter, August 15th, and the couple of times

he's invited or on a trip. He says we must not turn anti-social by "never" eating meat. We already don't like coffee, alcohol, greasy fried stuff and we don"t smoke. The only thing we do (besides talking a lot or playing music) is liking dark chocolate. Useless to say we're all healthy.

 

In a few days it will be both Orthodox & Catholic Easter (this only happens once every 4 years) and I was googling in search of Vegan-Orthodox recipes.

    *   *   *   I now realize there are none.  *   *   *

 

Whether Greeks rarely turn vegan because ... ?

1) they've never had too much meat to be saturated in the 1st place?

2) Are they too occupied dealing with the horrible-economic-crisis & can't afford meat anyway? 2012-4 crisis

3) or whether the fact the majority of the population isn't religious (but does believe) and practices fasting  as a healthy tradition 3 times a year, therefore realizing the negative impact of meat on our health? and so, reduces its consumption?  back > 1)

 

I  can only guess. But, the positive aspect is that I've noticed an increase of vegetarians in Greece. And I think the Internet & the communication/influence

it provides are mainly responsible for that. I'm so happy when I see people, friends, turn either vegetarians or vegan.

 

I was looking for a way to replace eggs-painting which is a BEAUTIFUL orthodox tradition... I'll just buy plastic ones and paint them.

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#17 Old 04-17-2014, 11:53 AM
 
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Hi Sylva.  You said something I totally do not understand.  You said that you are Orthodox, but atheist.  How can that be?  Thanks, seraphim.

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#18 Old 04-18-2014, 07:42 AM
 
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Hello Seraphim  :)

 

This is going to be a long answer, but please, don't hesitate to interact.

 

Until the 1990's, in Greece, there was a law, obliging families to baptize their children before the age of 3. In other words, religion was an obligation

in order to obtain the nationality (or a passport, or the right to vote). Also the name (still) has to be Christian. This is why my 2nd name is a Christian one, unlike "Sylva'= forest in Latin. (the Pope almost didn't agree... )

 

The law would tolerate a 1% different religions, such as Hebraism. But for my Catholic mother to be permitted to marry my father, she could "keep" her religion but she had to agree to baptize all of her children as Orthodox. Signed on a contract!

 

Both my parents were raised by (slightly) religious families but lost their faith before meeting each other. For my Parisian young mother, to live in the country-like Athens of the 1970's, where calling home was EXTREMELY expensive and obtaining a home-phone line would take 5 years, where letters would take 3 weeks to reach their destination, where women still weren't wearing paints but skirts/dresses only, where plain butter (instead of olive oil) was a luxury, where most old women would be dressed in total black/dark ... my whitish-blond-Parisian mother could not relate to any of that. She still needed, as a mother, to pass on her heritage/ knowledge/culture to her children.

 

So, what is culture? ...

 

For my mother it was, a life style. In her case, a Parisian life style with French language, French traditions, French cakes (yummy!)  and French religion. She wanted us, to know the equivalent of every social event, in the French culture. She taught us about the importance of traditions, both cultural & within the family. She told us long stories of our French ancestors, and we learned to love all sort of traditions. We had 2 Christmas gifts-days, 2 Easters etc...

 

When I left Greece, to move to Italy for 7 years, I realized how both French & Greek I'll always be. I can say I'm half of this and half of that, but it's not the way it works. I am both 100%Greek and 100%French. Maintaining my cultural heritage is a key element to who I am and cannot be dissociated.

 

For the past 10 years I've been living in Paris (my mother & her family are all, long gone...) and I sometimes go to a Greek church, light a candle -as I once, promised my Greek grandma I would for her- (because family & promises are worth gold...) I found out that the 2nd & 3rd generations of GREEK ORTHODOX

DESCENDANTS (that don't always speak Greek...) go to church but rarely believe.

Some are atheists ( descendants of the exiled-communists of the 1970's during the dictatorship) others believe, more or less... but still go to church as a GREEK SOCIAL EVENT, to chat, reunite.

Because, unlike other European countries, Greece still remains a 1 nation/1religion /1 state unity.

 

You cannot dissociate the fact of being Greek & Orthodox. Is it a BIG paradox, I'll grant you that.

 

During the 20 years I spent in Greece, I notice people will say they "believe" because it is what is expected from them. To say other wise would be socially unacceptable. After all, in the country where Democracy & therefore POLITICS started, do you seriously expect anyone to challenge the system?

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#19 Old 04-18-2014, 08:14 AM
 
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Greek food has both many vegetables, fruits & beans that are perfect for both vegetarians and vegans

great Feta cheese but also plenty other cheese-types for vegetarians

AND it has a very good quality meat & fish.

So, what exactly don't you like?

 

You know what they say about food, don't you? One unconsciously associates it with his mother and her way of acting. (cool or stressing?)

Which can be typical in some Greek mothers... forcing their kids to eat... .

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#20 Old 04-18-2014, 09:56 AM
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Not all cuisines are preferred or liked by everyone. It doesn't always (and I would say rarely) have some psychological freudian-type reason. Sometimes it's simply because the spices, preparation or other part of the cuisine isn't what they like best or even like at all.

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#21 Old 04-18-2014, 01:34 PM
 
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Psychologists have argued that when there is an excessive dislike or behavior when dealing with food it very often reflects a mother issue.

The key lies in the "excess" of reaction.

Of course, you may like this or that food, or dislike this or that. But to dislike the whole of it, is excessive.

 

PS: Except oregano, parsley, and occasionally thyme, there are no spices in Greek food...

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#22 Old 04-18-2014, 01:43 PM
 
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I found some fake-plaster-kind-of eggs and I'm decorating them! It's better than plastic and we'll be able to "crash" them according to custom.

The fast will be over tomorrow at midnight.

I bought 2 beautiful golden candles, to hold at church tomorrow. Is anyone else preparing as well?

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#23 Old 04-22-2014, 05:12 PM
 
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I am an Orthodox, and there is one more "small" problem: we can't eat hot food. I do remember my first Great Lent: I was crazy hungry first two weeks, then it became easier. 

I am Russian, and we have a tradition of preparing a lot of home-canned vegetables and fruits, jams and etc. This is essential part of fast and it is very hard to cope without it, as even the traditional vegan recipes don't suit the occasion. Another useful thing is canned beans: they are heavy enough and help to cope with hunger. 

After the fast you are so unable to eat normal things, that you don't jump of cakes as many think - you finally add some milk and eggs (if you are vegan like me). After a while the transition is not so tough :)   


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#24 Old 06-05-2014, 07:33 AM
 
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Hello there! Found this thread through Google via "Orthodox vegetarian" search term - so happy to see there are other Orthodox practitioners who have also chosen this path.

My interest in a vegetarian diet stems from my own desire to reduce the suffering/death of the wonderful creatures who share this earth with us. Modern man is blessed to have a material well being that allows the cultivation of vegetarian protein/nutritional sources that meet his dietary requirements...We should take advantage of it! And frankly, I am happy to see that meat prices are rising - it would be unsustainable to for most of earth to eat the amount of meat we presently consume in the West. It doesn't have to be this way!
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