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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(This'll take a bit; I have trouble with brevity.)

Ethics, poverty and curiosity are the reasons I'm going to take an experimental plunge into vegetarianism. The wholesale slaughter of animals that never see daylight or open air is an abomination. (If animals are raised in natural, healthy environments and slaughtered as humanely as possible I don't object.)

And poverty has kind of forced my hand. Meat is expensive, terribly expensive. For the same price as a 1 pound tenderloin I can get 4 pounds of beans, rice, lentils, chickpeas, and so on. The meat lasts a couple of meals, the beans and rice and lentils will last a week or two, maybe more if I ration.

And finally, I just like doing things. Random things. This seems like it'll be interesting.

I'm 27. Blood-work is perfectly normal. BMI is as middle as it could be. Pretty healthy as far as that goes. At least on paper. I have a possible seizure disorder, anxiety issues, and suffer fatigue. So I figure, what the hell? A week of nothing but fruits and vegetables and nuts can't hurt, can it? And maybe I'll feel better.

So, I understand that I'll need a wide variety of fruits and veggies. I can't afford organics. But what's a well rounded vegetarian diet? I'm not averse to any veggies. What nuts are good? And is a combination of lentils and rice a good substitute for the protein and iron found in meat?

I'm sure all that information is out there, but I prefer to hear it from the horse's mouth, from real people, not a neat and nice little average of average human beings. Many thanks.
 

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Try using a free online diet tracking service to track your meals for the rough nutritional content, so you know you're getting a balanced diet.

If you want to keep it cheap, buy your beans and grains and whatnot in bulk, and stick to seasonal vegetables.

A combination of nuts is best, as they all have different nutrients. Brazil nuts and walnuts are really good for you, as are almonds. I usually just eat them as a snack (unless I'm frying a few cashews with a stir fry).

Leafy greens are best for calcium - spinach and broccoli especially.

And lentils and rice are great, but there's more variety out there than just those two!

Look around the site, there are plenty of threads on what people eat in a day to give you meal ideas, as well as plenty of recipes and nutritional information.

That's all I can think of for now... but welcome, good luck, and I hope you like it here!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeryFairy View Post

Try using a free online diet tracking service to track your meals for the rough nutritional content, so you know you're getting a balanced diet.
As far as free online diet tracking services go, SparkPeople is awesome. I've been on there as a member for nearly two years now, and you can track pretty much everything -- including water intake and exercise. I definitely recommend it!
 

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I think the easiest way to ensure good nutrition is to use the Power Plate model from PCRM. All you do is divide your plate into four sections and put fruits in one section, veggies in another, legumes in the third section and grains in the last one. The legume and veggie sections are slightly bigger than the other two but it evens out. Try to get some variety by choosing different colored fruits, veggies, and legumes at each meal.

Take a multivitamin or a B12 vitamin each day and you should be good to go unless you have some special disease or condition. It's a good idea to include some fortified foods (to get vitamin D, iodine, calcium, and other nutrients). Most people eat fortified foods - In the US, cow's milk is usually fortified with vitamin D and table salt has iodine so it's not a "veg*n thing." Everyone does it. If you choose not to consume fortified foods (for example if you avoid all processed foods) then study up and make sure you plan your diet really well.

The USDA has adopted a version of the Power Plate called MyPlate but the USDA added cow's milk. Ignore that. If you can't ignore it replace the cow's milk with soy milk or another nondairy milk. For the protein group, the USDA says "Vegetarian options in the Protein Foods Group include beans and peas, processed soy products, and nuts and seeds." You don't need to combine legumes with grains for the protein group. Keep the grains separate.

These are just guidelines. At each meal you might sway one way or another. Sometimes I just eat fruit for breakfast or just grains, and then I'll eat just legumes and veggies for lunch, but over the entire day it evens out. And obviously, drink plenty of water and get exercise, too.

Also check these links out below. I put the ones I think will be most useful to you at the top. Take a look...

USDA Vegetarian Tip Sheet:
http://www.mypyramid.gov/downloads/T...anTipsheet.pdf

Mercy for Animals vegan food pyramid:
http://www.chooseveg.com/vegan-food-pyramid.asp

Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine vegan eating guide/ new food groups:
http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/vsk/food_groups.html

Ginny Messina (author and Registered Dietitian) food guide for vegans:
http://www.theveganrd.com/food-guide-for-vegans

COK "Vegetarian Diets: Doing it Right":
http://www.tryveg.com/cfi/toc/?v=08right

Vegan Outreach's website Vegan Health provides a wide array of nutritional information for vegans:
http://veganhealth.org/

Vegan Outreach's guide to cruelty-free eating:
http://www.veganoutreach.org/guide/free_guide.html

T. Colin Campbell Foundation website, Plant Based Nutrition:
http://tcolincampbell.org/plant-based-nutrition/
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmr4815 View Post

(If animals are raised in natural, healthy environments and slaughtered as humanely as possible I don't object.)
What if, hypothetically, someone proposed cooking and eating your dog after having lived a good life outdoors with plenty of air and sunshine?

Quote:
And poverty has kind of forced my hand. Meat is expensive, terribly expensive. For the same price as a 1 pound tenderloin I can get 4 pounds of beans, rice, lentils, chickpeas, and so on. The meat lasts a couple of meals, the beans and rice and lentils will last a week or two, maybe more if I ration.
Vegetarianism can either be cheaper or more expensive than meat eating depending on what you buy. I probably pay about the same as the average omni or a little more, but I haven't been to the doctor in over seven years because I don't get unwell or sluggish due to poor dietary habits. That's something to consider too. The meat industry externalizes many of their costs.

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And finally, I just like doing things. Random things. This seems like it'll be interesting.
It sounds like there's nothing random at all about your decision. It's not random if it's thought out and measured.

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I'm 27. Blood-work is perfectly normal. BMI is as middle as it could be. Pretty healthy as far as that goes. At least on paper. I have a possible seizure disorder, anxiety issues, and suffer fatigue. So I figure, what the hell? A week of nothing but fruits and vegetables and nuts can't hurt, can it? And maybe I'll feel better.
Sounds like starvation hell to me. Do you really think that's all vegetarians eat? Get educated.

Quote:
So, I understand that I'll need a wide variety of fruits and veggies. I can't afford organics. But what's a well rounded vegetarian diet? I'm not averse to any veggies. What nuts are good? And is a combination of lentils and rice a good substitute for the protein and iron found in meat?
Again, get to readin'.

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I'm sure all that information is out there, but I prefer to hear it from the horse's mouth, from real people, not a neat and nice little average of average human beings. Many thanks.
I'm a big fat messy vegan who is not at all average and that link is your best bet. Better than most other advice you'll read about getting started on a more plant based diet. If you live in the US you can order a hard copy for free. Tell them I sent you, if you please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To answer your first question Josh James, I would object on the grounds that it's my dog. Otherwise I have no objection. Color me cruel, perhaps.

Many thanks for the materials to which you linked; they both clarify and edify. I was specifically curious about what to eat when you go sans meat. A cursory glance of the subject had me rather overwhelmed by the copious recipes and alternatives and so on. A more concise list is very much handy.

I shall enjoy this endeavor, and if it proves beneficial I suspect I will maintain it.
 

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hey, everybody starts somewhere, for whatever the reason....I'm just going to jump in and back up what Josh was saying about your dog.....we use that as an example....why is it ok to slaughter perfectly good animals to please people's palates, when that same person wouldn't think of eating their dog, cat, horse or guinea pig? the reason is we have been conditioned by the meat industries to believe that "livestock" animals are worthless pieces of property, to be done away with at will, despite that they have intelligence and feelings not unlike our own. And, no matter how green a pasture a cow may have grazed in, or how much open air she breathed, there is NO humane slaughter. cows are hoisted up by their hind legs, and their throats sliced while alive, animals have bolts shot through their brains....check out Meet your Meat on youtube- actually, I think there is a link at the top of the vegetarian forum.

So back to your foods....do you like to cook or are you able to get around the kitchen alright? That will help immensly if you can cook. There's tons of free recipes online, like www.vegweb.com, www.vegetariantimes.com, right here in the recipe forum, etc
 

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I would also say look through our Rcipe section, and the Food Porn thread!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by Photojess View Post

...there is NO humane slaughter.
There can be no humane slaughter, I think, because ultimately we would not want to be killed as the animals are killed. And because no one wants to be killed whatsoever we naturally come to the conclusion that all slaughter is wrong. But how can I condemn in Man what is a wholly necessary part of the animal kingdom? The cow killed by the wolf suffers as much as, perhaps more than, the cow killed by the butcher -- but both suffer equally much insofar as they are killed. The significant distinction I find is that we have eliminated the necessity of eating animal flesh because we can find all the necessary proteins in legumes and grains -- and what's more, they have none of the risks associated with eating meat.

Now that necessity has forced my hand and that I have been re-acquainted with the horrors of factory-farm slaughter I find myself in a predicament. Yes, as long as the suffering is as minimal as possible, say no worse than being killed by the wolf, I do not feel that eating meat is abhorrent. Unnecessary but not abhorrent. I will abstain from meat because I am certain that the meat I buy comes from horrific slaughters. But what do I do about dairy and eggs? My resources are quite finite. I can not afford free-range or organic (is organic applicable to anything other than vegetables?) eggs and dairy. And as long those items are harvested through inhumane methods I must necessarily reject those products as well. Thus the predicament is that if I follow my principles to their natural conclusion then I must end up at a raw food diet because I can not afford any alternative.

And that's a path I am unprepared to tread and too ignorant to navigate.

But anyway, now to the more salubrious matters! Thank you for the links, they will prove most helpful in this new endeavor. And please, forgive my rambling! I am long winded.

And thank you Andrew for the welcome. I hope my views on meat stir up no hornets.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmr4815 View Post

So, I understand that I'll need a wide variety of fruits and veggies.
Why would you need a wider variety of fruits and vegetables on a veg*n diet than on an omnivore diet? It's not like meat has a lot of the same nutrients in it as fruits and vegetables or anything. People seem to think they can eat whatever they want on an omnivore diet and be just fine, but if they want to be veg*n they need to eat a lot more fruits and vegetables to make up for the meat, which makes no sense.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmr4815 View Post

But what do I do about dairy and eggs? My resources are quite finite. I can not afford free-range or organic (is organic applicable to anything other than vegetables?) eggs and dairy. And as long those items are harvested through inhumane methods I must necessarily reject those products as well. Thus the predicament is that if I follow my principles to their natural conclusion then I must end up at a raw food diet because I can not afford any alternative.
The egg and dairy industries are just as horrific, if not more so, than the meat industry.

Male chicks are discarded as trash, and are sometimes even thrown into shredders while they're still alive. Egg laying hens, called broiler hens by the industry, live their entire lives in tiny cages indoors and never get to stretch their wings or engage in natural chicken behavior. They are often de-beaked without anesthesia to prevent them from pecking at each other.

The dairy industry directly contributes to the veal industry, which, as you probably know, is widely regarded as one of the most cruel animal agriculture industries. The male calves are torn away from their mothers as soon as they are born and are kept in tiny crates where they can't move until they are ready for slaughter. Milk cows are repeatedly raped in order to remain pregnant and producing milk. They are hooked up to milk machines, which are a far cry from the farmer gently squeezing their udders to milk them. The machines leave them with open sores, which often don't heal. Many dairy cows develop mastitis, a painful and potentially fatal udder infection.

"Organic" and "free range" are feel-good labels. Organic only refers to what the animals are fed, and the methods I described above can still be used. The truth is that the USDA has no specific definition for free range. It can mean the chickens are not kept in cages, but are still cooped up inside and allowed access to a small opening to the outside for five minutes per day.

No need to be raw
I'm a vegan, and I don't eat organic or raw. And I am on a very limited food budget. I think someone already mentioned this, but it helps to buys grains and beans in bulk. Also, eating fruits and veggies that are in season is cheaper than eating them out of season.

Oh, and welcome to VB
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmr4815 View Post

There can be no humane slaughter, I think, because ultimately we would not want to be killed as the animals are killed. And because no one wants to be killed whatsoever we naturally come to the conclusion that all slaughter is wrong. But how can I condemn in Man what is a wholly necessary part of the animal kingdom?
You said it best yourself: "The significant distinction I find is that we have eliminated the necessity of eating animal flesh because we can find all the necessary proteins in legumes and grains."

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, because I just got a cat, and for the first time in over year I have to keep meat products in the house for her (I am doing a half canned/half raw food diet with her). My father thinks I'm nuts-he doesn't understand why I won't eat meat, but I will cut raw meat and bones up for my cat. The difference is that humans are omnivores, and cats are carnivores. I have the choice of eating animal products, and I choose not to. My cat doesn't have that choice; she needs meat in order to be healthy, full stop.

I condemn in humans the practice of eating meat because I expect better from us. We are intelligent beings, capable of rational thought. Let's use this capability to make better choices for ourselves and the world we live in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

Why would you need a wider variety of fruits and vegetables on a veg*n diet than on an omnivore diet?
I'm so habituated to my diet that I feel if I drop one food group I must replace it with something else. My diet is currently deficient in vegetables. Having dropped meat, at least experimentally, I feel like I must increase vegetable and fruit intake. It makes absolutely no sense, I know. I should eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible, regardless of meat intake. My thinking was flawed. Thank you for disabusing me of my erroneous notions!

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Originally Posted by sequoia View Post

The egg and dairy industries are just as horrific, if not more so, than the meat industry.
Yes, the cruelty is ubiquitous; and if I can not be satisfied that the animals were raised on a small farm, in the open air, with pastures to graze, space to roam, and milked or tended to by the deft hand of a compassionate farmer, if I can not be satisfied that that is the case then I must necessarily abstain from dairy and eggs as well. If I did not do so then I would betray my own principles and might as well go back to eating the flesh of tortured animals.

I'm just wrestling with my conscience. Am I willing or able to abstain from cruelty, as I must? Is being raised for milking or taking eggs as heinous as being slaughtered? Am I making excuses so that I won't have to give up eggs and cheese and sour cream and yogurt, some of my most delightful treats? And my mind is telling me that a vegan diet is anathema, stigmatized like homosexuality. I know that my family would certainly be curious, but they wouldn't condemn me in the slightest, they would support my decision one hundred percent.

If I am impelled by my principles then I must become a vegan. But this is so drastic a change as to be thoroughly daunting. I'd have to relearn how to cook, or rather learn to cook in new ways. I'd have to alter my lifestyle. This is quite a struggle.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmr4815 View Post

Now that necessity has forced my hand and that I have been re-acquainted with the horrors of factory-farm slaughter I find myself in a predicament. Yes, as long as the suffering is as minimal as possible, say no worse than being killed by the wolf, I do not feel that eating meat is abhorrent. Unnecessary but not abhorrent. I will abstain from meat because I am certain that the meat I buy comes from horrific slaughters. But what do I do about dairy and eggs? My resources are quite finite. I can not afford free-range or organic (is organic applicable to anything other than vegetables?) eggs and dairy. And as long those items are harvested through inhumane methods I must necessarily reject those products as well. Thus the predicament is that if I follow my principles to their natural conclusion then I must end up at a raw food diet because I can not afford any alternative.
I don't follow your logic here. Why a raw food diet? Veganism, perhaps, but I do not see any AR values of a raw food diet over plain old veganism. Health benefits, yes, but not AR ones. And a vegan diet is not necessarily more expensive than an omnivorous or vegetarian diet. You don't need expensive vegan substitutes to survive on a vegan diet; in fact, health-wise you'd probably be better off without because the substitutes tend to be processed snack items for easy eating - burgers, sausages, sweets and the like.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmr4815 View Post

If I am impelled by my principles then I must become a vegan. But this is so drastic a change as to be thoroughly daunting. I'd have to relearn how to cook, or rather learn to cook in new ways. I'd have to alter my lifestyle. This is quite a struggle.
It can be daunting, especially when you take the plunge from omnivore to vegan. Just take it one day at a time, and don't beat yourself up if you slip. It's a process. There are very few of us who went vegan overnight. I recommend the book "Becoming Vegan", it will tell you everything you need to know about vegan nutrition. And there are a ton of wonderful vegan cookbooks. You already believe that the meat, dairy, and egg industries are morally objectionable, so now all that's left is to put your ethics into practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Originally Posted by AeryFairy View Post

I don't follow your logic here. Why a raw food diet?
I went completely ignorant and forgot that vegans do eat cooked foods, which include more than fruits and vegetables.

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Originally Posted by sequoia View Post

It can be daunting, especially when you take the plunge from omnivore to vegan.
Freak out! I told myself, Self, why don't you just make the jump to vegan; you were already nine tenths vegetarian before you undertook this experiment. And Self said, Yes, I can do that. Hey, how about some cornbread today? And then realized that I couldn't have cornbread as I know it now. And then I extinguished half my staples.

I am given to the ascetic lifestyle of the monks and the Stoics, so to abstain from the finer things is agreeable enough. A greater consideration is that my Beloved gladly goes with me into vegetarianism but I don't think she would go so far as vegan. Then I would have to buy redundant foodstuffs. Who the hell knows? I'll figure something out.

Many thanks, as always.
 

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I agree with you. I don't think meat eating is inherently wrong.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmr4815 View Post

I am given to the ascetic lifestyle of the monks and the Stoics, so to abstain from the finer things is agreeable enough.
This almost seems like an aesthetic reason to stop eating animals, which doesn't seem very sustainable to me. For someone who's committed to veganism for ethical reasons, deprivation is not really an issue. I urge you to watch the move I posted...
 
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