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#1 Old 12-11-2007, 01:01 PM
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I'm a 28 year old woman and I literally JUST decided to be vegetarian. I'm an animal lover. My dog is my child and my favorite thing in the world and I cry when I even THINK about an animal suffering. However, I hadn't applied that principle to my eating habits. You hear things about certain chicken restaurants mistreating the poultry on the radio, etc but other than that, I'd never really been presented with any information. . .until today.



I always read my favorite entertainment site tmz.com and today they have a link up about the Olsen twins and their fur habits. I clicked and was taken to a peta2 website where they had a video about an investigation into farms and how animals are treated/killed. From there, somehow I got to meat.org and sat at my desk for 10-15 minutes crying at the images I was shown. I turned it off once b/c I couldn't watch anymore but then decided I needed to see it. . . . and I did. I had no idea this is how the animals are treated. I don't think most people do. But I DO know that I've taken the Peta pledge to be a vegetarian for 30 days but I fully intend on making it a permanent lifestyle change. What got me was the statistics. . .that a vegetarian saves 100 animals a year. That did it for me. I'm in.



I'm a huge egg fan as well as cheese so I'm taking baby steps but will hopefully be able to go vegan. The dairy animals weren't treated any better than the others.



My husband won't understand this. . especially since he's going to have to start cooking his OWN dinners if he wants meat of some sort. I have a feeling this is going to be hard, despite the images now burned into my brain.



Any suggestions on making a smooth transition?
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#2 Old 12-11-2007, 01:11 PM
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First of all Welcome to VeggieBoards!!!



You've made a wonderful descision There's tons of information here and you'll get lots of good support from this place.
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#3 Old 12-11-2007, 01:30 PM
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Welcome and congratulations on taking the first steps



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#4 Old 12-11-2007, 01:37 PM
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#5 Old 12-11-2007, 01:50 PM
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I already posted this in the Introduction section but I just realized this might be a more appropriate forum. Sorry for the duplication. . . just looking for any helpful tips



I'm a 28 year old woman and I literally JUST decided to be vegetarian. I'm an animal lover. My dog is my child and my favorite thing in the world and I cry when I even THINK about an animal suffering. However, I hadn't applied that principle to my eating habits. You hear things about certain chicken restaurants mistreating the poultry on the radio, etc but other than that, I'd never really been presented with any information. . .until today.



I always read my favorite entertainment site tmz.com and today they have a link up about the Olsen twins and their fur habits. I clicked and was taken to a peta2 website where they had a video about an investigation into farms and how animals are treated/killed. From there, somehow I got to meat.org and sat at my desk for 10-15 minutes crying at the images I was shown. I turned it off once b/c I couldn't watch anymore but then decided I needed to see it. . . . and I did. I had no idea this is how the animals are treated. I don't think most people do. But I DO know that I've taken the Peta pledge to be a vegetarian for 30 days but I fully intend on making it a permanent lifestyle change. What got me was the statistics. . .that a vegetarian saves 100 animals a year. That did it for me. I'm in.



I'm a huge egg fan as well as cheese so I'm taking baby steps but will hopefully be able to go vegan. The dairy animals weren't treated any better than the others.



My husband won't understand this. . especially since he's going to have to start cooking his OWN dinners if he wants meat of some sort. I have a feeling this is going to be hard, despite the images now burned into my brain.



Any suggestions on making a smooth transition?
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#6 Old 12-11-2007, 01:55 PM
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One thing I did with my boyfriend is to slowly start introducing vegetarian meals to him. First I made dishes that he liked with faux meats and once he got used to them (and learned that he actually enjoyed them) I began making other meals without the meat substitutes (I try not to rely on them too much). He now even voluntairily picks at the tofu I order at thai restaurants.



Another thing we do is I'll cook a meal and he'll bake some chicken or fish separely and add it to what I made.



I hope this helps... It was all about baby steps for me (as far as transitioning both myself and my boyfriend to my new dietary choices).
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#7 Old 12-11-2007, 01:56 PM
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Hi kitempleton , and welcome ....well you seem to handling the transition quite well your self .



Just one day time and don't expect others around you to turn veg .



Get into the recipe section and go for variety .Try a different ethnic recipe every week or so otherwise it will get boring . Who knows hubby might come on board for a veggie meal once or twice a week.



Understand the nutritional side to a veg diet



Any questions (there are no stupid ones ) just post
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#8 Old 12-11-2007, 02:02 PM
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Hi! I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for but let's see if I can be of some help



I'm sure you're feeling a little overwhelmed right now. That's totally normal. It's shocking to find out what's really going on and the realization is a huge life changing one. Keep doing your research and try and find information on nutrition. A lot of people that make the switch start slow and try and just cut out meat from their diet. (Just so you know, vegetarians don't eat meat which includes fish and chicken )



Try getting some books to read up on this. Your library will have a lot more than you think but all the other bookstores have loads of good stuff too. Becoming Vegetarian is a wonderful one that lots of people here will suggest. (haha Fromper- I beat you to it )



Check out some cookbooks! Do you like to cook? Try and see all the positives for this change. Like all the new foods you get to try. The best thing for me about going vegetarian 6 years ago was realizing I wasn't limiting myself at all. My diet is much more interesting now than it ever was as a meat-eater.



My Husband is a meat-eater too. (We tend to call them Omni's. So when you see that term just know it means Omnivore.) It hasn't caused us any problems but I was already an established vegetarian when we met. I still do all the cooking. At first, it was difficult because he wasn't too keen on eating all the "weird" stuff I ate. So I cooked whatever I felt like and he would grill what he wanted. We also went through a phase for awhile where I cooked meat for him. It showed him I loved him and accepted him for who he was but eventually he understood that it didn't fit my ethics and we gave that up. Now, if he has to have meat, he cooks it himself, or eats out. Pretty simple, huh? After a few years though he is very comfortable eating vegan and vegetarian meals at home.



Phew! That was long! lol You can totally do this. It's not too hard. Ask lots of questions but be excited cause you have made a wonderful descision for your health, the animals, and the environment!
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#9 Old 12-11-2007, 03:27 PM
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Welcome to VB. Good luck If you have any questions, ask!
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#10 Old 12-11-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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merged the duplicate threads (no worries kit; it happens all the time )

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#11 Old 12-11-2007, 04:54 PM
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hello and welcome!



My husband is also a meat-eater, and although he gets frustrated sometimes (particularly when it comes to ordering take out or going to a husband just might need some time...and eventually the 'cooking two separate meals' thing might become a bit tedious for him. My husband rarely eats meat at home now, and has come quite accustomed to eating a vegetarian diet, but still enjoys meat when we go to restaurants. I think he will just need some time to get used to it .

Nava Atlas makes some great cookbooks with simple recipes (nothing too exotic for newbie veggies and their meat-eating significant others, just veg twists on meals that usually have meat), it might be a good way to ease him into things.



I also have a vegetarian blog (see signature), where I discuss issues involved in omnivore-vegetarian relationships, as well as share recipes that my husband and I both love



best of luck to you!!!
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#12 Old 12-11-2007, 05:03 PM
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Welcome



The meat industry/government really tries to obscure how animals are made into food. Congratulations on no longer being one of those ridiculous and hypocritical "animal loving" meat eaters.



Here are some more sites you might be interested in. You probably already saw http://www.petatv.com which is a clearinghouse of some animal videos.

Vegan Outreach http://www.whyvegan.com

Farm Sanctuary http://www.factoryfarming.org

Compassion Over Killing on the "free-range" myth http://www.cok.net/lit/freerange.php

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

Every animal you eat
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#13 Old 12-11-2007, 05:38 PM
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Hi! First of all, welcome to VB and congrats for deciding to become vegetarian! As for making a smooth transition, all that I can suggest is that you take things one day at a time, and don't get frustrated when they don't go too smoothly. Oh and read a lot! =]

"May all that have life be delivered from suffering."
~ Buddha
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#14 Old 12-11-2007, 08:19 PM
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Hi Kitempleton,



I am a newbie too... Dec. 18 will be a 1-month anniversary for me (I'm 38). I don't know what advice I can give as a newbie...not much I guess, so I can share only my experience thus far. I thought you might like to hear some newbie experiences. I don't know if my posting will help you at all, but I just want you to know, you're not alone at all. I was terrified too. Terrified that I'd be hungry all the time... well, I've always been hungry all the time though...LOL... and afraid of what people would think and if they'd pick on me and try to discourage me or that I'd get bored. In the end, I don't care what anyone thinks... this is MY body. But, this is a great site, and there are great seasoned vegetarians and vegans here to lend you a hand.



It's a bit easier than I thought at first it would be and I am surprised and even proud of myself for coming this far. I am finding that, even though I've been tempted a couple of times, it was easy for me to say "no." I actually like foods I didn't think I would and am really enjoying veggies I didn't pay much attention to in the past.



I can't seem to get enough squash and zuccini...for whatever reason. Also, the fake meats (meat replacements) have helped me a lot since I am pressed for time often. There was a time when the thought of them made me ill, as my mind went back to 1998 and my first Gardenburger veggie pattie. Wow, have these meat replacements come a long way. I now lean toward the Boca vegan burger, and my heart thanks me!! LOL!



When it comes to fake sandwhich meats, I am very surprised. I don't always have to eat PB & J or lettuce tomato & sprout sandwhiches. Oh, my gosh... the Tofurkey sandwich slices are great and I love the Italian flavored deli meat on wheat bread with romaine lettuce, cheddar soy cheese and mustard. A bit tangy, but delicious, along with some chips... People see the "meat" product and cannot tell it's not lunchmeat. Which is a nice diversion from unwanted pressing talks and accusations.



I am also learning to make veggie meals that don't always require meat replacements such as cauliflower soup or a veggie pot pie, and one I can use faux chicken in such as "chicken & dumplings." And I got these veggie recipes from the internet at and from the recipe section here. Starting to put even my regular cookbooks to good use now, not to mention my two veggie cookbooks.



I have been introduced to a lot of new foods, some i didn't care for, such as flax, and others are tastey to me, such as couscous. Heck, I never even knew what couscous was until now. Also, as you might find in the food discussion thread, I recently found myself a soy milk brand I can actually tolerate!!! Yes. I use rice milk in my cereals and oatmeal, but didn't care for Silk and some other soy milk brands. However, I am now using soy cheese (yes, most has casein though) or sometimes vegan cheese and like them both. I still drink regular cow milk in my coffee, and not sure when I'll give that up. I don't care for non-dairy creamers, but looking for a tolerable brand so I can switch from milk and cream. But, I have cut cow-milk consumption down to a minimum, and I have consumed some real butter, but usually do not use it, I use other spreads. I do consume eggs. So I guess I am called a lacto-ovo vegetarian right now. My idea would to become an ovo-vegetarian, and maybe in the future, a vegan. But right now my next goal, after totally eliminating milk products, is ovo-veggie. (Although, my love of milk chocolate will beat me down for sure!) Veganism is something I am considering and if I decide to go that way, have to work at slowly. In the meantime, I am working on the discontinuation of buying products that are tested on animals. Anything I can do within my current means to stop cruelty, I will put in the effort.



I just keep telling myself... Yes, I can have a steak. Yes, I can. But, no I won't. I won't for the cows. I love cows. They're so sweet and lazy! It helps me to tell myself that I CAN have it, but don't want it - for the cows. So far, being vegetarian is easier than I thought it would be. It helps that I am not one to care much for what others think, I guess. And I actually feel good physically and emotionally. This is one thing that I CAN control in my life. The one thing my family, my boss, the government, or the local criminal, can't order me not to do, nor steal from me. I have this choice.



Luckily, I am also finding my family being more supportive this last few days than in the beginning. I think they realize this is the way it is and it's not changing and it's a part of who I am. Maybe it's just the Christmas spirit, I am not sure. But, my mom (she's my roommate) is now eating almost all veggie meals and actually offering to make some homemade dishes for me like the pot pie. Heck, yeah mom...have at it.



My family is gathering at my nephew's house on Xmas day and he's cooking. He's making veggies for me, and we're making and bringing baked glazed sweet potatoes, and my sister is making mostaccoli dishes, and making a special vegetarian one for me without meat. So, they're actually trying to be helpful, and that's nice.



I hope it goes well for you. I know it's hard with the holidays. I went veggie just days before Thanksgiving, but I held my ground. Just learn all you can and do your best. And don't beat yourself up over any little mishaps that may occur. I read "Being Vegetarian for Dummies." It's a good intro to vegetarian and veganism. It taught me a lot and I learned how to eat well right off the bat with this book.



Good luck my friend... and stand strong and remember... the fuzzies, furries, feathered, and floating and crusty ones thank you.
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#15 Old 12-11-2007, 11:30 PM
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I tried to make the switch a couple times over the years, but usually gave up around the 3 week mark. What made it stick this time was going into with the attitude that I wanted to learn to cook and bake really great things. If I could find recipes that were far better than their animal-based counterparts, then it wouldn't feel like I was sacrificing anything.



I started off with desserts. I found some really good recipes for a vegan chocolate shake, brownies, peanut butter cookies, and ice cream, then customized them to my own tastes. I can put up with any meal if there is a good dessert at the end. It may sound odd, but that made things very easy.



Then I concentrated on snacks. I wanted to make sure that I always had something ready to go in case I got hungry. Part of the reason I failed in the past was because I didn't have ready to eat veg snacks, and that made it more convenient to make bad decisions. Now, I've got a veg platter in the fridge that I can always pull out, and I've got at least 2 different types of hummus that I really LOVE.



And then I worked to develop a few really great meals. I just kept making them over and over again until I got the recipes just right. That helps because I don't feel bad when I try out new things and they don't go so well. I've always got those great meals I can fall back on.

Vegan Cookbooks Illustrated

http://vegan-cookbooks-illustrated.blogspot.com/

http://pinterest.com/VeganCookbooks/

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#16 Old 12-13-2007, 09:29 AM
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Thanks to you all for your great comments and suggestions. TigerLover, where do you find the deli fauxmeats? Those really do sound great and there not at my local grocery store.



I'm finding so far that the transition to vegetarianism isn't going to be that hard for me. I've been eating Morningstar products, veggie burgers, etc for over a year now b/c of dieting and lower amounts of calories. The only thing I'm really going to have to cut out is Chicken breast and an occasional steak and like I said, those images are seared into my brain and I don't forsee them EVER going away. On the way home Tuesday night, one of those images would pop into my head and I'd break down again in my car.



The only thing I forsee being hard in transitioning into veganism. I love egg substitutes so I'm not so much worried about that and I picked up some of the veggie cheese and I'm SO SURPRISED but they acutally taste better than the fat free stuff I'm used to. . . and much better variety/selection too. But, upon reading the labels on so many of my favorite veggie burgers, etc (and the Morningstar Corn Dogs - I LOVE those!), they ALL HAVE DAIRY in them. There's some form of cheese in my veggie burgers, eggs in my corn dogs, milk in my favorite salad dressings, and then there's butter.



So now my question is for those out there who are also trying to do their best in terms of veganism. I like soy milk, veggie cheese and substitute eggs. Those won't be problems, but what do you do about those products with dairy already in them? Dairy's everywhere it seems! What do you use as a substitute butter? I can't eat veggies without that. (I typically use the I can't believe it's not butter spray).



Salad dressings will be okay .. . .just switch from Ceasar to Balsamic Vinagrette. Also, what about shrimp? I read that shrimp, scallops and oysters are okay? Is that true?



Thanks again for your support everyone. I know with your help I'm good to go!
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#17 Old 12-13-2007, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitempleton View Post

Thanks to you all for your great comments and suggestions. TigerLover, where do you find the deli fauxmeats? Those really do sound great and there not at my local grocery store.



I'm finding so far that the transition to vegetarianism isn't going to be that hard for me. I've been eating Morningstar products, veggie burgers, etc for over a year now b/c of dieting and lower amounts of calories. The only thing I'm really going to have to cut out is Chicken breast and an occasional steak and like I said, those images are seared into my brain and I don't forsee them EVER going away. On the way home Tuesday night, one of those images would pop into my head and I'd break down again in my car.



The only thing I forsee being hard in transitioning into veganism. I love egg substitutes so I'm not so much worried about that and I picked up some of the veggie cheese and I'm SO SURPRISED but they acutally taste better than the fat free stuff I'm used to. . . and much better variety/selection too. But, upon reading the labels on so many of my favorite veggie burgers, etc (and the Morningstar Corn Dogs - I LOVE those!), they ALL HAVE DAIRY in them. There's some form of cheese in my veggie burgers, eggs in my corn dogs, milk in my favorite salad dressings, and then there's butter.



So now my question is for those out there who are also trying to do their best in terms of veganism. I like soy milk, veggie cheese and substitute eggs. Those won't be problems, but what do you do about those products with dairy already in them? Dairy's everywhere it seems! What do you use as a substitute butter? I can't eat veggies without that. (I typically use the I can't believe it's not butter spray).



Salad dressings will be okay .. . .just switch from Ceasar to Balsamic Vinagrette. Also, what about shrimp? I read that shrimp, scallops and oysters are okay? Is that true?



Thanks again for your support everyone. I know with your help I'm good to go!



You're going to do great! Just keep reading and getting informed on all thinsg vegetarian. Do your best and keep trying



Just wanted to address a few things lots of us had questions about in the beginning. First of all, shrimp, scallops, oysters, and all sealife are animals. Vegetarians don't eat animals and this includes all of these wonderful creatures. It's not that hard really. Pescatarians, on the other hand, do eat sea animals but are not vegetarian. Ceasar salad dressing has anchovies in it and is not vegetarian. Plenty of people start out as Pescatarians on their journey to vegetarian/ vegan. It's up you you, but sea creatures have life and have a will to live just like you and I do. Over fishing is real and is impacting our environment in horrible ways.



Just one more little note. Those egg substitutes you find in the grocery store are almost 100% eggs. EggBeaters= eggs. I didn't know that either. Weird isn't it?!



You'll do great just keep researching and asking questions! Congratulations again
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#18 Old 12-13-2007, 09:56 AM
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Also, what about coffee? I love my iced Hazelnut coffee's in the morning and I KNOW they put cream in there.
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#19 Old 12-13-2007, 10:15 AM
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Take it one step at a time Starbucks can do vegan versions of a few things you just have to go to their site and check it out, or ask a bunch of questions. Usually they know what you're talking about.



If you're still concerned there's always alternative creamer Like this:



http://www.silksoymilk.com/Products/SilkCreamer.aspx



I forgot to mention butter alternatives but there's plenty of those too. like Earth Blanace and some kinds of Smart Balance that are vegan and dairy free. HTH!
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#20 Old 12-13-2007, 10:46 AM
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My only advise is don't go around telling everyone about it. I would only tell the people closest to you who have to know. Most people don't want to hear about it. People will try to change your mind and bring you down, don't let them.



Congrats on the decision and good luck!
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#21 Old 12-13-2007, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitempleton View Post

TigerLover, where do you find the deli fauxmeats? Those really do sound great and there not at my local grocery store.



Hi Kitempleton...

The "deli" meats I'm referring to are actually pre-packaged deli cuts. They wouldn't be at the deli section of our grocery stores. I buy the Tofurkey products, they contain tofu. I love the "smoked turkey" Tofurkey lunch cuts. They come packaged similarly to maybe the Oscar Meyer lunchmeat cuts or the Healthy Choice, etc. Vacuum packed and boxed. I buy Tofurkey items at Whole Foods Market. And you should be able to find them at most healthfood grocers. I can't find them at my local regular foodstores.



I love these Tofurkey slices, because they look like lunchmeat slices and people don't ask questions about them, or wonder why there's no meat on my sandwich. Even when I was eating meat, I was known for sandwiches on wheat consisting of cheese, lettuce, and miracle whip! LOL! People would ask me, "Uhh, what do you have on that sandwhich?" Like it's their business. The Tofurkey products save me from that when I am not eating PB & J or salads, etc.
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#22 Old 12-14-2007, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kitempleton View Post

Also, what about shrimp? I read that shrimp, scallops and oysters are okay? Is that true?



Okay with whom? The shrimp? Us? Is it okay with you?



I'm honestly not trying to be sarcastic -- just saying these are the kind of lines you need to draw for yourself. It doesn't matter what we think about whether it's okay. If you do choose to eat these animals, though, please don't call yourself a vegetarian -- the right term is pescatarian.
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#23 Old 12-19-2007, 07:32 AM
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When I decided to switch to vegetarianism, I discussed the reasoning w/ my husband. I didn't expect him to make the same change I did and I think that was the key to a smooth transition. We agreed to have vegetarian dinners, but he is still free to have meat at breakfast and/or lunch. This is enough to satisfy him. Also, I have made it clear that any breakfast/lunch meals taken at home that I cook will not have meat in it. We have always split the cooking responsibility so this wasn't a huge deal. I think the biggest thing is not to push your decision on him when eating out or at home.
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#24 Old 12-19-2007, 10:06 PM
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Welcome!
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