Questioning my decision to be vegetarian... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-09-2008, 06:29 PM
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I feel kind of silly for even starting this thread, since I'm sure most of us have dealt with this issue. I guess I'm just looking for a little reassurance.



I've been a vegetarian for a little over 3 years now. I made the decision primarily because of ethical reasons, and the switch was easy for me. I went from being a big meat eater who rarely ate any kind of veggies, to being very experimental and adventurous with my dishes. You couldn't even get me to look at a green pepper or mushroom a few years ago.



So much time has passed, however, that now it has become less and less about an ethical decision and more about just what I'm used to doing. And the ease and convenience of meat-based meals have once again become a temptation.



Also, my career is in the liquor business. And with wine/food pairings being of such an importance, I fear a lack of advancement due to my being unwilling to eat meat dishes.



Thank you for your time, everyone.
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#2 Old 04-09-2008, 06:41 PM
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I think your uncertainty is one that everyone can agree they've felt from time to time in some area of their life. I can see where someone would be in the same position you're in about their religious beliefs, or really any conscious choice they've made. If there's some way you can really explore if this is what you want, maybe you'll be "born again" (or whatever the term is?). Or maybe you'll decide this isn't something you want for yourself anymore. And don't let your job be too much of a factor in this initial exploration. If you decide you want to remain veg, then you'll find a way to make that work for you, either by standing up for your beliefs if you have to, or finding a job where your vegetarianism will be accepted more readily. You need to do what's going to make you the happiest and most comfortable. Maybe think about the things that inspired you to become vegetarian in the first place? See if they have the same effect on you now as they did then.
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#3 Old 04-09-2008, 07:03 PM
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Maybe it would be a good time to look at some of the things that made you become veg*n in the first place. You said ethical reasons, so maybe read an animal rights book that might re-dedicate you (Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz is really good for this) or reread one that inspired you when you started.

Failing that, maybe a dvd? I don't have any recommendations, but have seen other folks suggest Earthlings or Peaceable Kingdom.



I hope you can get through this time. As you'd expect, most of us will hope you stay veg!
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#4 Old 04-09-2008, 07:08 PM
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Explain how it has become less of an ethical decision? You being vegetarian was decided because of ethical reasons, and thus your continued state of being vegetarian is directly related to that decision. Whether or not that decision is in your consciousness should in no way have a bearing on your continuing to be vegetarian.



Furthermore, let us say you decide to eat meat again. By your terms for deciding whether or not you should continue to do something, once you "get used to it," and that is the only reason for your continuance of eating meat. You should end your actions and do something else. Otherwise, you would have to make sure you always hold in your consciousness the reasons for wanting to eat meat, ease and convenience from what I gather from your post.



My point here is this, your reasoning for questioning vegetarianism is reasoning I hope you don't carry elsewhere in your life. The only thing one needs to know is that they once had a reason for doing something, even if that reason has become covered up by habit. Of course, you can question whether or not the decision is a good one. But last time I checked animal cruelty is still and fact and humans do not need to eat animals. And in the past the ease and convenience of eating animals was outweighed by the ethical reasons. Has that sincerely changed? I would have to say no.
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#5 Old 04-09-2008, 07:34 PM
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As downright horrible as this is to suggest, it may reignite your feelings to watch what the animals go through. Feelings come and go, but the animals can't go anywhere.



When these terrible images fade from my mind, I feel the securities of everyday day seeping into me. And who honestly can watch that stuff for too long, and too often? We would have to be demented to watch in excess. Yes, but the images are real and so is their suffering.



Never forget that, or them.
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#6 Old 04-10-2008, 05:35 AM
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I would recommend watching Earthlings, an independent documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix and with an original score by Moby.



I watched it via google video when I thought I knew it all, that there was nothing more to open my eyes to. I was very wrong
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#7 Old 04-10-2008, 05:43 AM
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I couldnt watch all of earthlings. I got as far as the kosher slaughterhouse inverting the cows and i was done.
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#8 Old 04-10-2008, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajax13 View Post

. Yes, but the images are real and so is their suffering.



Never forget that, or them.







To the OP, I understand that sometimes it can be tempting to revert to a former way of life, especially when it seems that it would be so much more convenient to be "like everyone else".



But, especially if you did this because you felt it was wring to kill/eat animals, how do you suddenly become ok with that? How can you forget what you know to be true?



Please, I in no way mean to disrespect you, I guess I'm a little passionate about the issue. Plus, I'd hate to see you go against your beliefs for the sake of convenience.



Love and Light!
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#9 Old 04-10-2008, 02:44 PM
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There is the pracical side. You've been vegetarian for a not insubstantial time. Your body is probably used to that diet. Adding more than a little corpse back in is gonna raise havoc with your digestive system.



As far as being in the wine industry, I see tons of opportunity there. Folks who have a good sense of meat-wine pairings are probably not uncommon. But folks who have a good feel for vegetarian dish-wine pairings? I can't think of anyone off hand. YOU could be that person.



Convenience - I LOVE to cook. But realistically, I just don't have sufficient time. Vegetarian convenience foods are definately out there. Or else I'd starve to death

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#10 Old 04-10-2008, 02:49 PM
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just wanted to offer a
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#11 Old 04-10-2008, 04:20 PM
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Thank you for the replies, everyone. I doubt I ever would go back to being an omni, it's just been something that has been on my mind considerably lately. Even the social aspect of being a vegetarian is very draining. When I eat around people who do not yet know I'm a vegetarian, I dread the topic coming up because I'm sick to death of the same old comments and judgemental reactions.
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#12 Old 04-10-2008, 05:17 PM
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By the way, I just happened to notice that I registered on this board in '04, a few months after I went veg. So I've actually been one for four years now, not three like I previously said. Whoops! Time flies.
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#13 Old 04-11-2008, 08:23 PM
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I wanted to second the suggestion to become an expert in veg wine pairings, dessert and wine pairings and if you are L/O, cheese and wine pairings. As for all the different wines that go with meat, you can still make suggestions based on what you have read or heard other people say.



If you went veg 4 years ago, you probably still remember what meat tastes like, so you can also use your imagination.



I can say this because wine is a large part of my job, and I am pretty darn good at it, even though I don't eat meat

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#14 Old 04-12-2008, 11:49 AM
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About wine... I think the last issue of "Vegetarian Times" I read featured wine suggestions with at least some of their recipes, so it's a topic that people are interested in.

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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#15 Old 04-13-2008, 02:15 AM
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My girlfriend, who converted me to being a vegetarian, has been one herself for about 7 years. She often struggles with the "same conversation being rehashed over and over" when it comes time to dine with new people. You mentioning that struck a chord for me. It's very draining!



I try to say as little as possible. There seem to be some distinct lead in questions universally posed by the polite interested individual versus the combative beef-its-whats-for-dinner type.



Polite Person: You're a veg?

Me: Yea

Polite Person: That must be hard, I respect that!

Me: Thanks!



Followed by things like, so what do you like to eat? How long etc etc? This is compared to...



Protein Purist: You're a vegetarian?

Me: Yea

Protein Purist: Where do you get your protein? () You know that the vay-gun (Where do you buy this weaponry by the way?) diet isn't nutritionally complete right? How many different vitamins do you have to take? *Bites into mound of trans fat with veggie side dish eschewed in favor of a double side of fried potatoes*

Me: I do take a multi-vitamin, however I've never felt healthier in my life when I do or don't take it!

Protein Purist: Well, your whole body is going to go down hill the longer you stay with this fad *shifts 350 pound frame over as the cushions in the previous position have deflated* Protein deficiency is very serious you know!

Me: *dies*



Alright so that was very stereotypical and mean, but they're called generalizations for a reason! In an informal setting I either deflect the conversation or open up a little bit to argument, however in a formal setting I just try and stay polite and wait for the badgering to end or say something like, "Well, I feel really healthy! I appreciate your concern though."



May luck and peace be with you Samsara!
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#16 Old 04-13-2008, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samsara View Post




Also, my career is in the liquor business. And with wine/food pairings being of such an importance, I fear a lack of advancement due to my being unwilling to eat meat dishes.





These are hard economic times. A lot of people are not getting needed or deserved advancement or raises. It has nothing to do with what you eat.
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#17 Old 04-13-2008, 11:35 AM
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These are hard economic times. A lot of people are not getting needed or deserved advancement or raises. It has nothing to do with what you eat.





I'm not blaming it on my diet. I said it was a problem I could see facing in the future. You don't think at a food/wine pairing, where wine lists are a HUGE deal at restaurants, that a chef wouldn't get offended that someone refused to eat their meal? Especially one that was designed specifically to go with a certain wine.



If you think I was saying "Oh, I'm not getting promoted, it's probably because I'm a vegetarian," then you completely missed the point.
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#18 Old 04-13-2008, 01:05 PM
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Gosh... u all can be so awesome sometimes! I really enjoyed reading your replies to the OP, and to each other.



I'd like to respond as well. I am 5 days shy of my 5th month anniversary of vegetarianism, and I can tell you, it's now that I am having the meat cravings on and off this last month. I have thwarted them each time.



In the beginning, if I thought about eating meat... I'd say, the doctor said not eating meat will make me feel better because of my current health issues. A bit later in the game, after reading all the horrible ways that these animals live and die (things I think I already knew but didn't accept) and I denounced meat - especially fish and the bird meats such as poultry, turkey - I couldn't bring myself to the shame of not completing what I started.



Growing up on a farm, I did not equate those lazy animals out there in the fields with the meat on my table. But, now I do. And now I fight those urges to eat that, and for no one will I order a hamburger, no matter what. I know I can have a hamburger or steak if I want it, and no one will stop me. But, just like the other day, standing in line at Wendy's for a baked potatoe and garden salad, I looked at the hamburgers and seriously wanted one, then I remembered that there was some poor animal linked to that. I couldn't do it.



I felt embarrassed at my own thoughts and felt like I was letting someone down other than myself. That's when I realized that eating that beef hamburger WAS letting "someone" down. I know myself very well, and even if I would eat a steak or porkchop... once it was gone, (even if it didn't make me sick due to my illness) I'd feel so guilty I'd cry and sob for hours over that animal's life and I think now I may always feel that way, and I know if I do fall off the wagon, I'll sure learn a hard lesson.
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#19 Old 04-16-2008, 11:35 AM
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Hi! I want to suggest another resource for re-affirming your vegetarianism. It's www.meatlessmonday.org and offers some very supportive ideas. I'm volunteering with the project right now, and the site is kind of geared to new veggies/questioning folks (or our moms who can't find recipes for us!), so you might find it helpful. Also good for any of us who are trying to raise awareness among our friends/families but have a hard time not coming off too strong!
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#20 Old 04-16-2008, 03:02 PM
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Hi! I want to suggest another resource for re-affirming your vegetarianism. It's www.meatlessmonday.org and offers some very supportive ideas. I'm volunteering with the project right now, and the site is kind of geared to new veggies/questioning folks (or our moms who can't find recipes for us!), so you might find it helpful. Also good for any of us who are trying to raise awareness among our friends/families but have a hard time not coming off too strong!



That meatless monday website is cool, except for the fact that the front page advertises a dinner of grilled salmon... :/
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#21 Old 04-16-2008, 03:09 PM
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Hi! I want to suggest another resource for re-affirming your vegetarianism. It's www.meatlessmonday.org and offers some very supportive ideas.



Anaheim Fish Tacos

Antonio Banderas' Seafood Paella

Dale Earnhardt's Fish & Vegetable Rolls

Garlic Salmon

Garlic Shrimp with Yogurt Sauce

Greek Shrimp and Orzo with Artichokes

Grilled Basil Shrimp

Citrus Grilled Halibut

Honey-Ginger Salmon

Pan-Seared Tuna with Mandarin Orange Pico de Gallo

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Grilled Garlic & Herb Salmon

Salmon Burgers

Sauteed Striped Sea Bass with Asparagus and Walnuts

Sizzling Citrus Shrimp

Susan Sarandon's Risotto with Scallops & Asparagus

Tom Cruise's Linguine with Zesty Red Clam Sauce

Tuna and Spinach Salad



I guess it's easy to be a vegetarian when half the dinner recipes have meat in them
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#22 Old 04-17-2008, 07:31 AM
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I don't think that convenience is a good reason to go back to eating meat. I travel internationally for work and many times there aren't any veg-friendly menu items in the places I travel to, but I adapt. I bring food from home, go to the grocery store, and in some cases, go hungry.



Quote:
But, especially if you did this because you felt it was wring to kill/eat animals, how do you suddenly become ok with that? How can you forget what you know to be true?



I also wonder about this. I've seen several people go veg immediately after seeing the HSUS CA slaughterhouse video, but it was short lived. But you've been doing this for 3+ years, so why are you willing to stop?



Quote:
As far as being in the wine industry, I see tons of opportunity there. Folks who have a good sense of meat-wine pairings are probably not uncommon. But folks who have a good feel for vegetarian dish-wine pairings? I can't think of anyone off hand. YOU could be that person.



Exactly! I think that your job is a lame reason to sell out your ethical beliefs, but that's just me. Are you looking for an excuse?
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#23 Old 04-17-2008, 08:26 AM
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I think most people have covered the question of your ethical decision. However, let's address the work-related issue. What other ways can you learn about your craft? There may be some ideas here:

1. Use market research to inform your pairings

2. Use food science literature to create recommendations (isn't there something about the level of Ph, tannins and the raw ingredients used in wine that react with different iron levels of meat?)

3. Use good old fashion word of mouth to create your proposals



Also- I don't know what exactly your position is, but why not create a niche market for wine/liquor pairings for vegetarian restaurants, magazines etc.?



Think about it, there are (unfortunately) so many other people who eat meat, you can use those sources for your business decisions rather than having to eat it yourself. Afterall, you are just one person and one opinion when it comes to taste.



Hope this helps.
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