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#1 Old 10-21-2010, 01:50 PM
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I wonder if anyone else is the same as me?

I've been... mostly... mostly vegetarian for about 16 years now, and I'm so sick of obsessing about it, and I do obsess about it, if that makes any sense. I am disgusted by meat, and I fear that I'll get food poisoning if I eat it- I've been that way for a very long time. The killing of animals, too- the power struggle between the powerful (hunter or worker in the factory farm, or what have you) and the powerless (the animal) is also an issue.
I also think that vegetarians are beautiful because their level of commitment to not eating animals is so peaceful and just... well, beautiful. I also love vegetarian restaurants, and I tend to really enjoy vegetarian food, the loving preparation, the colors, the natural flavors, the sheer ingenuity that some beautiful veg*n came up with to substitute something plant based for something animal based is just...lovely. I love perusing vegetarian menus and the feeling I get... like... I can eat anything here! With that said, I have no problem with lacto-ovo vegetarianism, if that makes any sense at all. I just don't.
The reason I'm posting this is because, for all these years, I have this obsession, this true want to just commit myself one way or the other (and honestly, to vegetarianism). But then... THEN, I don't know what happens. I'm going along, enjoying myself, eating vegetarian, and enjoying life, enjoying flowers and the way the sunshine makes everything pulsate and glow, the way the flora is laid out so gorgeously at the Farmer's Market, the way the koi fish swim in their pond, the way my cat can peacefully be her perfect, beautiful "cat self" without fear (and I say this because I feel it's how rescued farm animals must feel after awhile). I'm going along, feeling so gosh-darned beautiful and righteous and humbled all at the same time by the glory of nature, and I feel it goes hand in hand with my body being filled by sunlight and chlorophyll and leaves, roots, shoots, and things that grow in the earth.
BUT THEN...THEN... something happens. Something strange and I can only hypothesize where it comes from, I just don't know for sure. I get caught up in life, in the stress of belonging, in being part of society, in not being an outcast (? i don't know...see?...i just don't know). Maybe something stresses me, maybe something triggers it... maybe it's just something in society that tells me I can't live truly vibrantly without meat. Maybe it's a getting- along-with-my- family-thing, maybe the fact that I want to be a gracious, dinner guest when the opportunity arrives. Maybe I get in a CARB-MODE and get in a veggie rut. OR, maybe it's something intrinsically mystical within me that looks at the tree, at the plants, at the Earth, and observes, 'see? Death is all part of it. All needs Life and Death. I need the life of plants, of growing things. But I also need the death.' I need some meat. And then, I eat it, in the form of something I think is a conscientious trade-off, like, say wild salmon . After eating it, I feel...quenched... like I had a huge thirst, and was quenched. But then, honestly, the next day, I want to "try to be Vegetarian again." Does this make any sense?
I'm sick of obsessing about it, I just want to be at peace with my choices- one or the other. I don't think I have an eating disorder- I love food, and I eat a lot, I'm very aware of how my eating makes me feel. But I do not, I cannot just eat, say, salmon, and have that disconnect. I can't just eat it and forget about it, telling myself, that's just what people, the MAJORITY, of the people do. I'm so sick of "starting over" over and over again.
I wrote this because I'm wondering if there are others like me out there in this community. I'm sure there are. Also, I'd like some more inspiration to truly make a commitment, a peaceful and strong commitment to vegetarianism.
Oh, also, I spend lots of my time obsessing about the ugliness and "unjustness" in this world. I look at people. I see sadness and anger and unhappiness and...UNCONSCIOUNESS... and it tears me up. Yes...yes...I feel veg*n-ism could be a panacea for it. I do. In it's own way, it could be a foundational start.
I have a small child now... and I want to make my commitment NOW, for my sake, for her sake... I want her to have peace with the way she is, with the way I am. I want to stop this roller coaster and just be at peace with the way I am. I want to just say, "I'm a vegetarian," and be solid in that decision. I do want that.
For the record, I'm a phenomenal cook, as I've had 16 years experience experimenting with veg cuisine. Also, my family accepts that I'm vegetarian (it's what is in their heads when the thought of me and food come up), and they all support it totally. They also know I've broken my commitment over and over and just accept that, too. However, I'd like, for my sake, my child's sake, and any future experience they have with veg*ns, for them to view it as a joyful COMMITMENT, full of bounty and joy. And without wavering.
Obviously, reading this "journal entry" makes it clear that I'd love to be a vegetarian at peace with her decision, and with a full commitment to not eat animal bodies. I know there is a lot going on here. I see it, too. And it's insightful to just see my words on the page. I remember reading something once where a vegetarian said that it's not that they disliked the taste of meat, and at times, they missed it even, but they still held a commitment to not eat creatures. I wish I could just have that commitment. I'm hoping that others have had these feelings and would appreciate any insights. I'd love the support and the inspiration that I'm sure many of you would be able to give me.
Thank You!
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#2 Old 10-21-2010, 02:09 PM
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Sometimes it takes practice to do the right thing.
Keep trying. Eventually it will stick. Promise.
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#3 Old 10-21-2010, 02:43 PM
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I understand completely. I have only been veg*n (shorthand for vegetarian and/or vegan) for 3 years but I still get cravings. I'm obsessed with cookery programmes so often I see meat and it still looks delicious to me. It smells delicious too. Sometimes I'm envious of omnis around me because they can eat whatever they want and I can't. I don't beat myself up for it, as far as I'm concerned it is no reflection on how much I love animals and how wrong I think meat-eating is. I ate meat for 18 years, I can't just erase the memories of how I enjoyed it. I'm fortunate enough that I've never given in to these cravings, and honestly I think it's all because of VB. I know many vegetarians in real life but we don't sit and talk about being vegetarian all day, like I can do on here. So maybe stick around... if you're feeling tempted, write a thread about it and let people give you strength.

It also sounds to me like you're setting yourself up for failure. You mentioned continually how it's an obsession of yours, something you think about all the time. You're subconciously telling yourself "it's only a matter of time before I eat meat again" and you can't stand up to that kind of pressure. It's like having a ticking timebomb strapped to your chest every day, only you can't see the numbers telling you when it will go off. So my advice is to take it one day at a time. Just think, if I can get through today then that's good. Don't think about "omg I can NEVER eat meat again!", just think "today, I will not eat meat, and I'll see what tomorrow brings". It takes the pressure off. And each day when you wake up and decide "I'm not going to eat meat today" you realise how good the decision makes you feel.

Good luck, I believe in you!
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#4 Old 10-21-2010, 02:55 PM
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Sweetie, don't give up. It was a good five years before I finally stayed true to my commitment. It was hard at first. I went through emotions similar to what you're experiencing, but the feeling of knowing that you're a part of something so wonderful and so right is far more satisfying than eating flesh will ever be. It's a huge change and may take some time, but don't ever stop . You're on the right track. I don't know if this will be of any help to you, but some say watching videos and reading up on the horrors of killing and eating animals for food helps to strengthen their resolve. What a beautiful gift to give your child; a life of peaceful eating. Keep trying. Don't give up.
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#5 Old 10-21-2010, 04:53 PM
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Thank You, all! I knew I'd get some support here. As far as being a ticking time bomb, setting myself up for failure, that hurt, but it's because it's true. I will take it one day at a time.

And Thank You for your sweetness. I have a lot to think about, and it helps that I can bring it here to this forum. I've been on here before, years ago, and I wasn't as honest in my threads as I want to be now. This has been therapeutic!
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#6 Old 10-21-2010, 05:37 PM
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Well, you were a vegetarian for 16 years. Next time you feel like a piece of salmon, say to yourself "I once went sixteen years (or 5 years, or 10 years or 2 years, or however long it is between your vegetarian stints and your omnivorous stints) without this, I can go a day or two more." Chances are, after the couple of days have passed, your craving will have gone.

Quote:
Don't think about "omg I can NEVER eat meat again!", just think "today, I will not eat meat, and I'll see what tomorrow brings". It takes the pressure off. And each day when you wake up and decide "I'm not going to eat meat today" you realise how good the decision makes you feel.

I disagree with this. That makes it into an ongoing, day to day struggle. Saying "I'm not going to eat meat today" is giving yourself the option saying the next day "I will eat meat". You make the decision again and again every day, making the struggle an ongoing thing and bringing obsessing to the fore. "I will never eat meat again" is a once only decision. There is no pressure, because once you have said that to yourself that is it. You never really have to think about it again. That's the huge advantage of going cold turkey over the slowly-slowly method or the yo-yo method; - you only ever do it once.

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#7 Old 10-21-2010, 05:57 PM
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Watch Earthlings, and read Eating Animals.

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#8 Old 10-21-2010, 08:46 PM
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i reckon you lack comittment to vegetarianism because maybe, deep down, you dont really want to be one and youd prefer to be the same as other people you know. i think your main motivation for being a veggie [being worried about meat giving you food poisoning] is not the best reason for being vegetarian and perhaps talking to a professional about that obsession, which sounds very much like an eating disorder, would be beneficial for getting to the bottom of why youre not coping that well in a meat free lifestyle.
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#9 Old 10-21-2010, 09:44 PM
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hi! ok, brace yourself, open your mind, and remember that i'm saying this from a place of kindness, as someone else who does this too.

honestly, i think this is as the bottom of it all: "I'm so sick of obsessing about it, and I do obsess about it, if that makes any sense" and "Oh, also, I spend lots of my time obsessing".

it doesn't really matter what you're obsessing over really, but its blatently clear from your post that you're definately overthinking the crap out of stuff (in this case vegetarianism and your place in it, and your perception of the world at large) and getting youself into a big complicated tangle that leads to conflict and indecision and justification and sadness and negativity and guilt and feelings of failure and inadequacy. if i was you i'd stop doing that. does it make you happy? i doubt it very much. it'll just make you neurotic, miserable, and give you an ulcer. i say this as a reformed overthinker myself.

if you want to commit to saying "i'm a vegetarian", if your desire to be one is sincere, just take a deep breath right now, and say it. and its done. decision made. end of. you'll feel a lot of releif for just breaking the cycle in one little way. now, hold on. i bet you're already thinking "but what about when i screw it up?!?!?!". firstly, you're predicting that you will, when you don't know the future, and secondly, how does thinking that make you feel? crappy. so tell yourself that what matters is that you're gonna give it your best, and that you'll deal with a bump in the road when it turns up, instead of playing it out before the problem even happens. cos you will. you'll get right back on the wagon, and sooner or later you'll stop falling off at all. practice makes perfect. so maybe you won't ever reach perfect. thats ok. you're good enough. if you're trying really hard, thats what matters. give yourself permission to be human and err. i'm not saying "go forth and err muchly on tuna", but stop knocking yourself.

if at some point later on you start dillydallying about wanting to eat fish, and get your head into the meaning of ingesting death and blah blah blah, wham, you'll get into a complex mental tangle, stuff a dead fish in your mouth, and wake up the next day feeling like crap. so don't go there. it hasn't worked in the past, has it? next time you find yourself veering fishward, just stop, clear your head, say "i'm a vegetarian, i don't eat meat- this isn't food, its a fish! i eat tofu!" and move right along mentally. shake it off as an old habit and carry on the veggie-ism. sounds very simple. is a very simple concept. it works.

the most important thing you need to know is that those thoughts that flow through your head, they're not something that just happens to you, something that you fall victim to, that you're helpless against. that internal dialogue is something you create and perpetuate. practice mindfulness- this evening, and tomorrow, try and be aware of your thoughts as they wander around, and if they go somewhere unhelpful then pause, say "oh! look at that!" backtrack, and take a detour. its something you have to practice, but it'll change your world.

thoughts travel in predictable patterns, down familiar routes. bumping them off the welltrodden path can be a challenge, but the path you're on isn't nice, so work at it. its very easy to think about how unjust the world is, cos you're so practiced at it, its like tying your shoelaces... how easy is it for you to think of the swathes of people who are becoming self aware, who are out there informing others, making changes, etc- in a positive way? not so easy. but a damned sight more constructive- maybe it'll motivate you to see the good, the kindness, the compassion in people- the glimpse of hope thats out there, and to encourage it to grow, to add to it.

so you want to be a gracious dinner guest. i do that all the time. i'm appreciative of being invited, i make sure to give my host advance notice of my special food needs, i offer as much help and information as they want or need, i'm polite, i tell them that whatever is delicious if it is, i thank them for the effort, i ask for a recipe, and i'm comfortable enough with myself to say something if a mixup happens, sort it out somehow without eating something i don't want to or feeling guilty, and we all still have a good time. and people are ok with it. like your family is. and if someone is narrowminded and can't deal with my choice, who cares?! thats their loss- i can either drink all their veg*n booze, and eat elsewhere later, or they can have a boring dinner without me while i spend time with nicer, more openminded peeps. yeah?

you really can do whatever you beleive you can do. the only thing stopping you right now is your own self-talk, and lack of faith in yourself. don't let it! you're doing great so far, all you gotta do next is start to clue in a little quicker when you begin to slide, and grab hold of your self-belief, a good cookerybook, and some support from VB.

i think it'd help you to have a look at the info in these worksheets (and no, i aint selling them, but i have had therapy using them, and it was GOOD stuff. very insightful. the crazy things we say to ourselves in our own heads- you wouldn't beleive it! )

http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/docs...20thinking.pdf

http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/docs...g%20Styles.pdf

... even better, you might wanna work through the whole chapter of depression, self esteem or perfectionism (whether you think you're depressed or a perfectionist or not- learning is always good stuff- hell, why not do all three?!).

http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/consumers.cfm
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#10 Old 10-22-2010, 01:17 AM
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Beautiful post, jenmod the super mod.

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#11 Old 10-22-2010, 09:17 AM
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A lot of people have mixed feeling about things, and it sounds like you do.

Obviously you see vegetarianism as an ideal. But you also see a lot of life and death in the natural world, enjoy eating flesh (of fish at least), and don't want to appear wierd to your friends and family.

I embrace the ideal of vegetarianism too because I value animal life (and my own!!!... although I don't know that eating small amounts of meat would necessarily kill me.) But as far as predation in the natural world goes, I don't look to mindless nature as a guide to how we should behave. Cannibalism and rape occur in nature too, remember. That's no justification to join in and make the world just a little bit meaner and nastier by being another predator, instead of an herbivore.

I'll confess that meat still smells good to me. I don't obsess over it though. It's nothing to feel guilty about since it can't be controlled and doesn't do any harm, and it's not strong enough to make me stop being vegetarian. You mention that you're a good cook, so I'm not sure why you would feel at all deprived by not eating meat or fish.

As for friends and family... I find that most people don't care one way or the other what people eat. In fact, they're quite accomodating, letting me know what might have something in it that I would not want to consume. For my part, if there won't be something for me to eat, I bring my own along. Meals with non-vegetarians or non-vegans generally aren't a hassle at all.

Don't worry- be veggie! (to paraphrase Bobby McFerrin)

Oh, and yeah- what Jen said.

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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#12 Old 10-22-2010, 04:08 PM
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When you talk about looking at life and thinking how death is a part of it all, that's true for all life, but would you consider other life forms worthy of eating? Why not? You know you have no need for flesh, that a plant based diet is healthier, and more compassionate-or do you?
I have similar issues with dairy. I've always held vegan as the ideal, I know I'm opposed to used animals as factories, and yet there's still a whole part of my brain that doesn't want to believe it. It wants to take over when I'm stressed, or tired and hungry, and beat up my rational brain and feed me cheese.
Do you just sometimes want to be like others, and just have it easy? Check up on farm sanctuaries, read John Robbins, watch the trailer for Fork Over Knife which should be playing soon. Get involved in whatever veg/AR groups are in your area.
Get your mind focused on the idea that you are meat too, so don't eat it. It's going to be really tough on your child if you don't get serious with yourself now. I know, I raised two omnivores that are teens now. My oldest son wishes he never touched meat or dairy, my younger one doesn't want to give it up.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#13 Old 10-22-2010, 05:16 PM
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I'm going to miss sushi the most........... But my sushi bar makes some AWESOME Vegitarian rolls!!!
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#14 Old 10-23-2010, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

Beautiful post, jenmod the super mod.

ta

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Originally Posted by Oliverstwist View Post

I'm going to miss sushi the most........... But my sushi bar makes some AWESOME Vegitarian rolls!!!


focusing on the awesome is a good strategy. you may also find that you're able to score some excellent faux fishy stuff, and rustle up your own vegesushi too- there is a fair bit of buddhist veg*n mock-meat about in many places- including available for purchase online (eg: if you're in north america, these peeps sell stuff: http://www.vegecyber.com/ ) in the UK you can easily get fake fishcakes and fingery things made by a few companies, i've seen a load of fake scallops, prawns, etc here in ontario at the Toronto Vegetarian Society Food Fair ( http://www.veg.ca/ ) which is sold by these guys: http://www.veggieparadise.com/ and i'm sure some other vegetarian sushi lover (or 600+ of them, more likely) has worked out strategies to get some good fishless sushi stuff together, and put it up online... plus you get the opportunity to explore a whole bunch of new culinary things you might not have bothered to try yet- like um.... mock duck in a can, beancurd skin, all kindsa new tofu and seaweedy recipes, etc!

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#15 Old 10-23-2010, 10:35 PM
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Thanks It's interesting reading some of the replies. And JM, thanks for all the time you took to answer, it was really helpful.

Interestingly enough, I brought all this up with my husband. It was a great talk that we had and I feel strong and wonderful. I am committing to vegetarianism, and I'm so happy!
Just to clear up, I'm not obsessed with seafood. The thought of the mock seafood is really gross to me. I've eaten veggie burgers and mock chicken for so long, but the idea of mock seafood is so so so gross to me.
Anyways, I feel I have some peace with the issue now, and I appreciate all the time you have spent responding. Thank You. (I will be exploring other parts of VB now, so if I don't respond further....)
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#16 Old 10-29-2010, 02:38 PM
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Oooh, I sooooo get you!
I am just like you, it seems. I have really, really great ideals and high standards, and want everything to be perfect. And then suddenly, I just slip. And I KNOW why. for me, it always, always comes when I am extra exhausted and have had a rough time. So, basically when I want comfortfood, and food that I know will satisfy me.
But, everyone here is right. I can do something about this. It`s up to me, and nobody else.

Good luck!!!
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#17 Old 11-01-2010, 04:58 PM
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I think someone needs some fake meat...

Enjoying the view over at http://forum.veggieviews.com/

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