New to vegetarianism, a few questions! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-11-2011, 09:11 AM
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So I'm new to this. I've been vegetarian for 27 days now and I'm doing good. I have found myself missing meat and craving it once in a while, but not so bad I can't resist it and its actually starting to disgust me just the slightest when I think of what they do to the animals. Its really sad. I'm totally an ethical vegetarian working my way to vegan. So far I only drink soymilk, I bought some Daiya cheese a few days ago, and its actually really good! I made pizza with it with veggie pepperoni's. It is the only vegan cheese I've tried though so if you know any others could you name them, and maybe places I could find them? I live in south Florida if that helps. The whole foods store really only had the veggie singles (other than the Daiya) they sell in regular supermarkets that I'm scared out of my wits to try hearing how gross they can be.

I don't eat eggs anymore, at all. It was a little hard to cut out when I first went vegetarian but now its pretty easy to just have a bowl of cereal with soymilk instead of scrambled eggs or something. My mom is mostly supportive, she actually took me to the whole food store the other day just to do shopping for me. She's even picked up veggie burgers for me a few times if she's in a supermarket and I'm not there. The reason I say mostly is because, even though she doesn't mind buying me things she has made it clear she doesn't think I'm making a difference to anything. She says what’s the point because the animals are still being mistreated. I explained to her I just feel better knowing I'm not supporting it but she just shook her head. She I can live with though. However my younger sister (13) loves to make jokes about it that really bother me. She likes to wave whatever meat food she's eating in my face and saying "mmmmh so good". She also told me I'm stupid and retarded for doing this and that chicken just tastes soooo much better now that I don't eat it. I try to ignore her but it does get to me. How do you guys deal with people like that?

My elder sister has also acted like I'm being silly. She doesn't tell me I'm stupid, only that its pointless because I'm not saving any animals. She also brought up the 'plants feel pain too' argument. I tried to tell her no they don't, because they don't have central nervous systems but she says its proven they do feel pain. I researched it myself and some say they do, some say they don't. What’s the real answer? Either way I'm going to eat them obviously, because I have to live, but I'd love to prove her wrong. Besides plants don't scream or look at you with pleading eyes when they're dying.

Lastly, as an ethical vegetarian trying to be as vegan as possible, I won't lie. I do love the taste of meat. I just know I won't be able to eat it without feeling guilty and sick to my stomach about how it got on my plate. I have made tofu myself once already and it was very flavorful, I made sure of that, but I absolutely HATED the texture. It was kind of chewy outside and crumbly inside and really, really gross. I couldn't even finish it, I had to throw it away. Did I do something wrong? Are there better meat alternatives? I'm sort of thinking I can just survive without them, like just make my meals minus the meat. I've been doing fine without them so far. Any really good, simple starter recipes would be greatly appreciated. I'm thinking of making Cajun beans and rice sometime this week.

Anyway the reason I said mostly vegan is because if I go out and the only thing is a vegetarian option instead of a vegan I'll usually eat it. Depending on if I can find out if the cheese has rennet or not. I'm thinking about cutting that out too though. But until I do I won't call myself vegan because I'm not and that would be wrong of me. Like pescetarians who call themselves vegetarian. *rolling eyes* so I guess I'm a vegetarian with vegan tendencies? lol. Anyway I'll stop typing now because I just noticed that this is ridiculously long (I hope I don't lose anyone because of it!), but any advice about this stuff would be really, really appreciated.
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#2 Old 09-11-2011, 10:49 AM
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You're doing great!
Every good change started with people just like you. Ask your family questions based on their own sensitivities like "why not eat our dog? They breed uncontrollable and millions get put to death without benefiting anyone. Why shouldn't I do drugs, it's epidemic you know. Why don't I steal what I want I want, it's done all the time?"
Your cravings are really more about memories. I also loved the taste of meat. I remember two months after going vegetarian I prepared a steal that was free range for my kids. I tasted a tiny piece, and wanted to puke. I can't comment on the 'taste' because bile immediatly came up my throat, and I wanted to puke as I spit it out. It was a dead animal, why would I eat a dead animal? I see dead animals on the road sometimes, I've never thought how good they would taste. I've been to funerals, they never made me hungry.
Anyway, it changes. You're diet is so much more than meatless, it's different! If you want to get into cooking, believe me, it will be sooo much more fun! Grocery bills can become much less when you discover how to make bean burgers much better than bought, and soups and stews and casseroles and burritos and stir frys and curries....
Best answer to the plants feel pain isn't to dispute that (although it is silly-it's not nerve related at all), but to say Wow, then it's really good I'm not eating animals, because they're fed sooo many plants! You're probably hurting way more plants than I ever will!
The cheese thing... hardest of all. I started by avoiding animal products but still ate cheese directly-pizza esp. Daiya, to me, is by far the best. It does make a great grilled cheese (same to me really) I usually put half of the bag in a resealable bag and freeze it. Again, your craving will be more memory related. Foods like olives, avocado, arthichoke hearts and mushrooms are good for subbing on subs and pizzas. If you have a quality pizza shop you can ask for no cheese-ask to sub it too, they usually won't unless you ask!
Your world will change. You can influence more people by simply being an example of why we don't need meat. The people I eat lunch with eat so much less meat, and follow my examples of veg dishes now. You do matter.
If we can't change ourselves, we'll never change the world.

Welcome, and come here often!

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#3 Old 09-11-2011, 11:07 AM
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Here's a great suggestion for making easy tofu-
Slice extra firm tofu in long way, and then into sticks-about 3/4 inch thick. Put panko bread crumbs-kikkoman and roland brand are vegan-OR- use cornflake crumbs. Season with salt, and pepper, and press tofu into the crumbs to coat each side. Get a pan (I use cast iron) coated with a good layer of veg oil and let it get hot. Sautee the tofu, carefully turning, so it gets browned on sides. Good to dip in hot sauce or bbq.
The tofu you describe sounds like it had been frozen-which some like, I don't. I usually press it, but for this recipe I like it as is.

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#4 Old 09-12-2011, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly6 View Post

Lastly, as an ethical vegetarian trying to be as vegan as possible, I won't lie. I do love the taste of meat. I just know I won't be able to eat it without feeling guilty and sick to my stomach about how it got on my plate. I have made tofu myself once already and it was very flavorful, I made sure of that, but I absolutely HATED the texture. It was kind of chewy outside and crumbly inside and really, really gross. I couldn't even finish it, I had to throw it away. Did I do something wrong? Are there better meat alternatives? I'm sort of thinking I can just survive without them, like just make my meals minus the meat. I've been doing fine without them so far. Any really good, simple starter recipes would be greatly appreciated. I'm thinking of making Cajun beans and rice sometime this week.

I'm with you on the tofu thing - awful texture. I'm not a giant fan of the taste either. Try seitan for meat alternative with some texture (you can buy it ready to go from asian groceries as "fake/mock duck").

As for recipes, what I usually do is think of a particular ingredient I want to eat, then google for ideas

If I was where I would be, then I'd be where I am not, here I am where I must be, where I would be I cannot.
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#5 Old 09-13-2011, 03:18 PM
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Thank you, you really made me feel wecome. I think I'll give tofu another try using your recipe
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#6 Old 09-13-2011, 03:19 PM
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And I'll try seitan too! Thank you
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#7 Old 09-15-2011, 03:33 PM
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Welcome! You are doing great! Check out the tons of free recipes on vegweb.com too for some great ideas! I do stirfrys alot and I love black bean burritos and I have several vegan cookbooks now and I am trying new things and finding new things that I really like that I've never tried before! My husband and kids make fun of me too and my so-called best friend is no support whatsoever, she says I have ruined going out to eat and I am just being stubborn and that she would starve before giving up meat. I told her eating a plant-based diet could completely reverse type II diabetes, but she would rather take her insulin shots. whatever. Anyway, you have to do what is best for you and just ignore everyone else. I know I've never felt better! I like the daiya cheese and sometimes I will get the tofutti sour cream, but most of the time I will just mash an avocado & use that instead of sour cream on my burritos. Oh- and HUMMUS, OMG, if you have not tried hummus, you MUST! It is awesome! I can not believe I had never had this delicious dip before! I am actually liking tofu even though I was scared to make it for awhile, it is kind of a pain to press, but I just bought a tofu press so we will see if this is better. I like it in my stir frys and make a "ricotta" with it for lasagna. I find myself cooking more now and I make me a vegan Belgian waffle or vegan pancakes every weekend! and I made this awesome carrot macadamia ginger cake out of one of my cookbooks that was the absolute best carrot cake ever! Love it!

Best of luck to you, you can do this! And check out those recipes!

Stacy
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#8 Old 09-15-2011, 04:41 PM
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Welcome!

First: "about not making a difference" when you stop eating meat... well, just check out my signature quote from S. J. Lec! I doubt that it's possible to measure the difference one person makes for animals when they stop going out of their way to eat them, etc... but think about how impressive a lot of drops of water are when they become a flood. Maybe we vegetarians are a lake rather than an ocean for the time being, but I do believe we make a difference, individually and together.

I've never been convinced that plants were sentient: no central nervous system (in fact, no nerves at all) and no sense organs. Some argue that plants mighht be able to sense things in a different way than animals do, but think about it: what good would consciousness or feelings do a plant if it can't move away from danger or fight back?

You're npt the only vegetarian who still finds meat tempting sometimes. As you learn about new foods, you'l have plenty of other good things to eat, and won't feel deprived. I like soyfoods, but am not the best cook with them.

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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#9 Old 09-15-2011, 04:48 PM
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I wouldn't say you are helping animals by being vegetarian or vegan. You just aren't choosing to harm them in the ways that other people do. The moral baseline, to me, wouldn't be the violence/abuse/exploitation; it would be the nonparticipation in the violence, i.e., not raping, being vegan, not shooting your neighbor.

Dr. Cow's cheese is good. Daiya gets great reviews.

Make sure to eat plenty of fresh produce as well, especially leafy green vegetables.

Sometimes the people who raise the biggest stink are those who have a guilty conscience and/or those who are bored. I do not engage. *shrug* Better things to do. Like read a good book or pet your companion animals.
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