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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just agreed to a 30 day pledge to try vegetarianism. I love eating chicken and fish, but after watching some of the videos on goveg.com it just broke my heart. I am not sure if I will be able to do it, but I at least want to try. I just had a couple of questions.

1. What,first of all, are the basic requirements of being a vegetarian? I know sort of the jist of it, but I just want to make sure I have it down completely.

2. What are good sources of protein? I am not a huge fan of soy and I just wanted to do this healthfully.

3. Can you still own things that are leather and be a vegetarian?

4. Also, is it alright to chew gum?

Well if you could answer these probably silly questions that would be very helpful. Thank you so very much!
 

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First off, well done for trying - I think you've come to the right place for help and support. I wish you all the best!

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Originally Posted by littleveggie View Post

1. What,first of all, are the basic requirements of being a vegetarian? I know sort of the jist of it, but I just want to make sure I have it down completely.
Well, there are a number of different types of vegetarianism - lacto-ovo veggies don't eat meat or fish, but do consume dairy and eggs, ovo-veggies consume eggs, but no meat, fish or dairy, lacto-veggie consume dairy, but no meat fish or eggs. Vegans use no animal products at all. Which of these are you aiming for?

Also, be aware that there are a number of hidden ingredients in things, like gelatine, that are slaughterhouse by-products, and therefore not suitable for any vegetarian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littleveggie View Post

2. What are good sources of protein? I am not a huge fan of soy and I just wanted to do this healthfully.
Lentils, various different types of beans (chickpeas, kidney beans etc), mushrooms, spelt products (often it gets made into pasta or breads - that is great!). There are a number of meat substitutes, which I'm not a fan of myself, but they might help you in the initial stages, things like veggie burgers, veggie mince (tvp or quorn - nb quorn is not vegan).

Quote:
Originally Posted by littleveggie View Post

3. Can you still own things that are leather and be a vegetarian?
This is a question upon which there is some debate. Personally, if you already own leather items, then I would keep them and use them until they wear out, then replace them with cruelty free alternatives. Or, if you can't bear to wear them, give them away to friends or a charity shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littleveggie View Post

4. Also, is it alright to chew gum?

Yes, you can, just check the labels - some gum contains gelatine. As far as I know, most Wrigley's stuff is ok. Most products are marked as suitable for veggies (at least in the UK), so you might feel safer sticking with these till you get used to reading labels.

Well if you could answer these probably silly questions that would be very helpful. Thank you so very much!
Hope that helps you! See you around the boards


pirate x
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleveggie View Post

I just agreed to a 30 day pledge to try vegetarianism. I love eating chicken and fish, but after watching some of the videos on goveg.com it just broke my heart. I am not sure if I will be able to do it, but I at least want to try. I just had a couple of questions.

1. What,first of all, are the basic requirements of being a vegetarian? I know sort of the jist of it, but I just want to make sure I have it down completely.

2. What are good sources of protein? I am not a huge fan of soy and I just wanted to do this healthfully.

3. Can you still own things that are leather and be a vegetarian?

4. Also, is it alright to chew gum?

Well if you could answer these probably silly questions that would be very helpful. Thank you so very much!
The basic requirements of vegetarianism are basically whatever you want them to be. Usually, though, people who call themselves vegetarian don't eat anything which requires an animal be killed to get it. You can add on from there as you wish. For example, vegetarians avoid beef, pork, poultry, fish, soup stock made from any of these, rennet, gelatin, etc. Some also avoid wearing leather, or cut eggs and dairy out of their diets. To make things more confusing, the different types of vegetarianism have different names - but, basically, you choose the rules that suit you the best and reflect how far you can/want to take your vegetarianism.

Good sources of protein - beans/legumes (including, but not limited to soy), seeds and nuts are the most concentrated sources of protein. You can also get protein from whole grains and fruits and veggies. (For example, a burrito with refried beans instead of meat in it still has a lot of protein from the beans.)

The leather issue is a tricky one. I prefer not to wear or have things that are leather if I can avoid it. If I can't avoid it, I at least try to limit it. I don't see the point in leather seats in my car, leather furniture in my house, a leather coat or leather desk accessories, but I do buy leather shoes if I can't find non-leather ones that fit. I have a love/hate relationship with handbags since the styles I like I often have difficulty finding in man-made materials. I do the best I can, and often buy "mostly man-made" bags (though I do sometimes feel bad about that). Some vegetarians use used leather goods in an effort to minimize killing animals. I still consider myself a vegetarian.

I don't have an answer on the gum question, since I don't chew it to begin with. I think, though, that some gums are vegetarian and others aren't.
 

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1. What,first of all, are the basic requirements of being a vegetarian? I know sort of the jist of it, but I just want to make sure I have it down completely.

A vegetarian is, basically, someone who does not eat meat (including fish). Many people eat fish and call themselves vegetarians but that finds little sympathy here.

Where you go from there is your decision. You can be a 'junk food vegetarian' and live off chips, chrisps, eggs, veggie processed food, etc. It's perfectly possibly to be a vegetarian and have a crap diet. Not recommended, though.

How 'far' you want to take it, is again mostly a personal decision. If you just avoid obviously non vegetarian foods (eg cows flesh, pig's flesh) you're a vegetarian, although many vegetarians - experienced vegetarians, if you like - tend to consider 'hidden ingredients' too, such as rennet, etc.

Vegetarianism is mainly about diet, but vegetarians tend to support animal rights causes. But it is possible to be vegetarian and be totally indifferent to animal rights (even to hate animals)

2. What are good sources of protein? I am not a huge fan of soy and I just wanted to do this healthfully.

'Protein' is regarded by many vegetarians as a smoking gun. #It's pretty much impossible to not get enough protein if you just eat a varied diet (different matter for veggie body builders, of course). Getting enough 'iron' is probably a greater concern for females. I've was a vegetarian for years (before vegan) and I didn't give protein a second thought. I took care of healthy, varied meals and the protein took care of itself..

3. Can you still own things that are leather and be a vegetarian?

Again, there's no hard and fast rules beyond the basics of avoiding certain foods. You can, because vegetarianism is about diet, but few seasoned vegetarians would favout this. It depends on why you are a vegetarian. If you are vegetarian because of health reasons, it's possible to, well, do all sorts of atrocious things - hunt big cats, throw dogs out of cars etc, and still be a vegetarian. But if you are vegetarian for the animals, it's hard to see why you would want to buy leather ever again. I think it's okay to wear leather you already own (but never at an animal rights march!) but buying leather after having become a vegetarian is clearly problematic.

Nonetheless, a leather belt now and then is perhaps permissible (although I avoid all leather - I'm a vegan)

Be aware though, that if you mention your vegetarianism (say at work, etc) leather WILL always be mentioned to suggest that you are a hypocrite. You wouldn't be a hypocrite, becuase vegetarianism is about diet, not general dress, etc - in contrast to veganism. But it's probably easier to lie and just claim that it isn't leather.

On the leather question, opinion is divided. So basicaly, inform yourself, read up on how leather is 'produced', make your own decision.

In summary, as long as you avoid animal flesh (inc. fishes), what you make of your vegetarianism is basically up to you. There's no 'you must do this, you must do that'.
 

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I've only been a vegetarian for about a month myself, and I've found that it's much easier than I expected. Others have already answered most of your questions, so I'll just add one or two things.

First, as to the definition of vegetarian, I like the dictionary.com definition:

Quote:
a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.
It's pretty clear on not eating any animal meat, not even fish, but leaves open the fact that there are different types of vegetarians when it comes to things like eggs and dairy.

There are a lot of types of fake meats, most of them soy based. I've found that those that try to imitate the taste of real meat just fail, and usually aren't worth bothering with. I prefer stuff like tofu or veggie patties that don't try to pretend to be something they aren't.

Also, as others have said, protein is pretty easy. The tougher dietary requirements in a vegetarian diet are zinc, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, if you avoid dairy, you'll have to find alternate sources of calcium and vitamin D. Personally, I drink lots of soy milk and take a multi-vitamin, so the omega-3 is the only one of those requirements not covered easily. For that, I eat walnuts and take flax seed oil as a supplement.

You might want to check out the book "Becoming Vegetarian". It's very good.

--Fromper

 

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Hey! Good for you for making an effort, everyone here is great for support! Let us know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey everyone. Gees Louis, I wasn't expecting such vivid responses. I really do appreciate it. I think I am going to just start out in the first stages of vegetarianism and see how it goes. If it goes well I may get more severe with how far I decide to take it. And I will most definetley check for gelatin in products before I buy them. Leather is going to be difficult to give up though. I am a big fashion person and they really are not too giving when it comes to clothing for vegetarians huh? Well I will try my best you guys and again thank you so very much.
 

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Congrats on your decision!

I'm a relatively new veggie and I don't eat tofu, seitan, or tempeh. Mostly because I haven't tried the last two but I still haven't eaten tofu in a way I like it. I eat a lot of beans and peas and also eat cheese (although I am trying to cut back).

The basic requirement of being a vegetarian is not eating meat. As for the leather thing I have leather shoes and purses that I haven't gotten rid of because they are still good and I don't have the money to replace them. However all my new purchases have been leather free.

You might want to do searches on vegetarian clothes and shoes, you'd probably be surprised. I'm on a budget so I get cute shoes at Payless they are leather free and I get compliments on them all the time. For more high end stuff you might want to try zappos.com and Vegetarian Times featured shoes by ahneemahl.com, but they don't have shoes for sale online yet.

Also, if you make a few intentional slip ups, I took the veg pledge challenge in August, and I've slipped up some but they have been fewer and far between.
 

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I just agreed to a 30 day pledge to try vegetarianism. I love eating chicken and fish, but after watching some of the videos on goveg.com it just broke my heart. I am not sure if I will be able to do it, but I at least want to try. I just had a couple of questions.

>>>First of all I want to sincerely congratulate you (part of me wants to hug you, but I don't know you
) It always boggles my mind that people can watch some of those videos and feel nothing. So congratulations on being able to EMPATHIZE!

1. What,first of all, are the basic requirements of being a vegetarian? I know sort of the jist of it, but I just want to make sure I have it down completely.

>>>From my experience, I want to tell you to take it easy. This isn't to say I condone, say, a person who has been vegan for 4 years but still drinks milk every day. What I mean is, after visiting GoVeg.com, I would assume you have a pretty good idea what a vegetarian is. I say, take it as slow as you need to. I spent ENDLESS hours on the web after going vegan, researching. Find out for yourself. I mean that in the way that once you look into it, you'll be surprised at what you find.

2. What are good sources of protein? I am not a huge fan of soy and I just wanted to do this healthfully.

>>>I became vegan a couple of months ago (was a vegetarian a few years before that) and thought that protein was the end all be all. Truth of the matter is, protein is the least of my worries. Granted, I've had my share of mushy, wet, flavorless tofu. But you've got to find good recipes, and good hints (which is why I come here, and also utilize veggie recipe sites on the internet for tips).

What I'm trying to say is, as a vegan, my problem, if any, is getting more veggies in my system, rather than protein. I get TOO much protein, as is the case of omnivores. If you'd like some recipes, lemme know, I can connect you to some tried and true recipes.

You have to completely remember that your palate has been trained to accept certain things, and be wary of others. That's ok! The things that are widely accepted and eaten as delicacy in Japan might not be things that Americans would ever consider (for example). Every body has something. For some it's eggs, for other's it's steak. For me it was cheese. My first week as a vegan I MOURNED the loss of cheese. But honestly? I don't think of it any more. I would just suggest thinking how you would help a smoker going through withdrawal. It's the SAME thing. It's tastes good, and it's easy.

I don't subscribe to the idea that vegans have "a lot of money or a lot of time on their hands" idea. The meals I cook are scrumdiddlyumptious, they're cheap, and they take usually no longer than 15 to 20 mins to cook.

Basically though, protein is the least of your problems, and in my opinion, isn't a problem at all.

3. Can you still own things that are leather and be a vegetarian?

>>>I asked this question in the vegan forum recently. I was wondering about the things I owned that were made out of leather, things I bought before I was vegan. There is the choice to donate it, which I think is great. But if you're hard for cash, like moi, I have planned on saying that I bought them before I was veggie (if anyone ever asks), and that's the truth.

4. Also, is it alright to chew gum? Hmm, I dunno about this one. I'm not a gum chewer and I don't know the ingredients off-hand, but I'm sure you could google it if not read the label of your pack of gum. My thing, though, is if you're figuring "well, I could never be a vegetarian because I can't give up gum!" I know there are some people that are gum worshipers
, if you are one of those, I would encourage you to go vegetarian, and continue to chew your gum, if that were the only way. Every. Little. Thing. You Do. Helps!

The animals, the environment, and we need you. Welcome.

 
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