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Thread: Going Vegetarian

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Charlotte, NC

    Going Vegetarian

    As we've talked about a lot, I am somewhat environmentally conscious. We have threads about composting, and a year or so ago the wife and I attended an educational session on worm composting (vermicomposting) and now we have two worm tubs in our downstairs bathroom, composting all the time! I recycle, and occasionally do a cleanup around my neighborhood, picking up trash. I use rechargeable batteries, reusable shopping bags, buy relatively little, conserve water, and we are a two-hybrid vehicle home. Not new cars either - I drive a 2005 that I bought new!

    Yet the biggest thing a person can do to reduce carbon emissions doesn't involve their driving habits at all. As the netflix special Cowspiracy points out, more than half of greenhouse gases come from our huge demand for meat. Cows and pigs put out huge amounts of methane, and during their life they need a lot of food, water, and space. Since American eat so much meat - waaaay more than any other country - we kind of lead the way here. If the rest of the world ate as much meat as us, you'd need about 7 Earths' worth of space to raise all the cattle.

    I also read Johnathan Safran-Foer's book, Eating Animals. He tries very hard to find humane slaughter facilities, sustainable meat producers, and any signs that consuming meat can be done without a huge negative impact. It turns out that yes, it is possible, but very difficult and costly. If we raised meat without farm subsidies, corn subsidies, Big Agribusiness and factory slaughter (including terrible animal torture), a single turkey would cost about $200.

    I mean, I can afford that fine, but the average household can't. So instead water is free, industrial farming/slaughter can run policy for congress however they want, and that burger costs you $12 instead of the $60 it really costs to produce. It's like an addiction.

    So the environmental impact is a big reason I am going vegetarian - but not the only one. I am pudgy, and I don't see many pudgy vegetarians. I have a family history of diabetes, have had a pretty terrible diet for most of my 34 years, and typically people in my family stroke out and die around 64-66. A meditteranean style diet could drastically improve my lifespan - eating healthy for the next 40 years means I could hit 80 as a healthy male instead of never seeing 70.

    Granted those aren't top notch years, but hey, it's better than being in the ground!

    So with all that in mind, the wife and I went vegetarian two weeks ago. We went kind of nuts shopping - got everything from corn nuts to tofu to get us through - but we ended up with a fridge full of green, fresh things, and an endless supply of fruits on the counter. I've made some of the most amazing fruit salads ever (pomegranate, raspberry, blackberry, kiwi, apple, pear, mandarin, orange, banana) and a huge buffet for 5 of us the other night (eggplant parm, coconut fried rice, sautéd mushrooms and broasted brussel sprouts). We also visited a locally-sourced high end veggie restaurant for one of those 9-course tasting menus - everything from blue oyster mushrooms to yellow and purple carrots. A great experience!

    I feel pretty good. Head seems clearer, sharper…I am a bit more productive and less in a fog. Weight is dropping, slowly - like 5 pounds so far, without any changes to activity (I did do a lot of biking and frisbee this weekend, but now I'm stuck traveling for work so it evens out). I look at meat - even Bacon, my bestest friend - and just…the desire is gone. It's like I've shut that part of my brain off somehow. I couldn't do that with most diets - I would pine for the things I can't have. This one is like a cement wall came down - I can feel something, distantly, on the other side of it, but it doesn't break through.

    I grew up as a picky eater, and over my life it was easy to settle into habits and dive for the same items on a menu - things with bacon, clubs, even chicken and bacon in my salads most of my life. I'm 34 and I haven't eaten so many of the fresh, interesting foods that the world has to offer. Even if we are only strictly vegetarian for a while (the wife is already pushing to compromise on meat twice a week and that's it), I want to take an opportunity to look at a menu differently, explore things I wouldn't have otherwise, and expand my mind and experiences.

    Anyone else out there gone veggie, even for a time? Any tips, advice, input you can give?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    CT, USA, Earth

    Re: Going Vegetarian

    Good luck. My tips and input is... you are clearly a better person than I. because F that lol.

    I will say being a type 1 diabetic, it would be VERY hard for me to go vegan anyway... but even still I have 0 interest.

    Sincerely tho, I DO wish you luck :-)
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Re: Going Vegetarian

    Forks Over Knives

    Watch it. It's about going even further into a plant strong diet. But the principles and educational value is great. It really puts some thing into perspective.
    "It's supposed to be hard! If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great."

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