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Just musing...  This past week, I've heard from four friends/relatives (my generation -- 50's/early 60's) who had decided to become vegetarians in the past year.  As well as several young adults my children's ages.  These are all people who deeply care about the health of the planet and protecting the environment (although not necessarily because of a deep love of traditionally-eaten animals, and not because of a specific faith tradition).  They are all people I really respect and who are inspirational to me in many ways.  My understanding is that in research they've done, they've come to believe that mass production of animals is very harmful to the planet.  Also, they are very much against cruelty toward animals raised in those conditions.  

Also, people within my church community (not just environmental hippies!  :))  -- not a lot, but picking up momentum -- are becoming vegetarians.  Our pastor became one several years ago after being convicted they we as humans have been given the great responsibility of being caretakers of our planet, including animals, and that animals were never meant to be eaten.  I think he points to a period in the Bible when God eventually stooped down to our level and gave humans the okay to eat animals, but not because it was His ideal plan.  So, he doesn't say it's absolutely wrong, just not ideal -- not the way things were intended to be.  He doesn't really preach on it, although he does encourage people to only eat animals who have been raised in humane conditions.

My dh and I were vegetarians when we were first married, but not due to any strongly-held convictions.  It was just something that felt right for us.  Once we had children, we began eating a little meat because it seemed like a good way to get protein for growing kids, but we only had it about 3 days/week.  (We continue that pattern now.)  We've become more and more careful about eating animals that have been humanely treated (as far as we can tell), although it's not always all or nothing.  (I love our State Fair's hot turkey sandwiches!)

I'm not sure where I stand on this.  I'm a lot more aware these days about how the traditionally accepted things I've always done aren't necessarily the best choice in the long run.  Just wondering what other people are thinking about this...  

 

 

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I eat vegetarian/pescatarian about 50% of the year due to religious practices.  

Otherwise, I'm full Keto and I eat low carb vegetarian during Lent & Advent.  

I have never been drawn to vegetariansm for moral reasons.   I care about the environment, I just disagree with vegetarians about what the  problem is.  I don't like mass-production though and try to get locally sourced meats whenever I can. 

Since I've done a deep dive into Keto and intermittent fasting for my health I suspect I'd disagree that vegetariansm is more healthy.  But, I think you can find studies that support both POVs.  - which is frustrating.   Find info about Dr. Jason Fung.  he talks a lot about intermittent fasting, insulin, and the rise of diseases in the 20th century.  

Having said all that, I also do not think there is a one size fits all when it comes to diets.  Every person's body reacts differently to different ways of eating.  Add in things like allergies and auto-immune diseases and it's really such a personal experience.  YMMV.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, PrincessMommy said:

I eat vegetarian/pescatarian about 50% of the year due to religious practices.  

Otherwise, I'm full Keto and I eat low carb vegetarian during Lent & Advent.  

I have never been drawn to vegetariansm for moral reasons.   I care about the environment, I just disagree with vegetarians about what the  problem is.  I don't like mass-production though and try to get locally sourced meats whenever I can. 

Since I've done a deep dive into Keto and intermittent fasting for my health I suspect I'd disagree that vegetariansm is more healthy.  But, I think you can find studies that support both POVs.  - which is frustrating.   Find info about Dr. Jason Fung.  he talks a lot about intermittent fasting, insulin, and the rise of diseases in the 20th century.  

Having said all that, I also do not think there is a one size fits all when it comes to diets.  Every person's body reacts differently to different ways of eating.  Add in things like allergies and auto-immune diseases and it's really such a personal experience.  YMMV.

 

 

I sure agree about being able to find studies that support both!  I have a child who is on the paleo diet and whose health has really improved with it!  And another child whose health seems to have improved by being on a vegetarian diet.  I really do love meat on occasion!  I guess I tend to think more about the moral aspect, but honestly don't know where I stand on that.  (Although of course I support humane treatment of all animals.)

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35 minutes ago, J-rap said:

Just musing...  This past week, I've heard from four friends/relatives (my generation -- 50's/early 60's) who had decided to become vegetarians in the past year.  As well as several young adults my children's ages.  These are all people who deeply care about the health of the planet and protecting the environment (although not necessarily because of a deep love of traditionally-eaten animals, and not because of a specific faith tradition).  They are all people I really respect and who are inspirational to me in many ways.  My understanding is that in research they've done, they've come to believe that mass production of animals is very harmful to the planet.  Also, they are very much against cruelty toward animals raised in those conditions.  

Also, people within my church community (not just environmental hippies!  :))  -- not a lot, but picking up momentum -- are becoming vegetarians.  Our pastor became one several years ago after being convicted they we as humans have been given the great responsibility of being caretakers of our planet, including animals, and that animals were never meant to be eaten.  I think he points to a period in the Bible when God eventually stooped down to our level and gave humans the okay to eat animals, but not because it was His ideal plan.  So, he doesn't say it's absolutely wrong, just not ideal -- not the way things were intended to be.  He doesn't really preach on it, although he does encourage people to only eat animals who have been raised in humane conditions.

My dh and I were vegetarians when we were first married, but not due to any strongly-held convictions.  It was just something that felt right for us.  Once we had children, we began eating a little meat because it seemed like a good way to get protein for growing kids, but we only had it about 3 days/week.  (We continue that pattern now.)  We've become more and more careful about eating animals that have been humanely treated (as far as we can tell), although it's not always all or nothing.  (I love our State Fair's hot turkey sandwiches!)

I'm not sure where I stand on this.  I'm a lot more aware these days about how the traditionally accepted things I've always done aren't necessarily the best choice in the long run.  Just wondering what other people are thinking about this...  

 

 

I am not vegetarian, although I think it's the ethical thing to do from an environmental perspective.  

I would love to know where in the Bible he's getting this interpretation.  It seems kind of out of character for how God behaves in the Bible in general, but maybe i'm wrong.  To be clear, I'm not saying that being vegetarian isn't Biblical.  I think that being vegetarian during our current environmental crisis is absolutely in keeping with being stewards of the Earth.  But in the Old Testament, God gives many many instructions related to eating meat, which to me implies that He is OK with it.  And while I know that God recognizes that people sin, and forgives people's sin, I can't think of another place where He goes into great detail on how to do things He doesn't approve of.  Having said that, I'm not very Biblically literate, so maybe I'm wrong. 

 

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I agree that different bodies do better on different diets, and I would never argue with any one person who says they are healthier on a non-vegetarian diet. However, I do think that overall research supports the idea that a vegetarian or pescatarian diet is healthiest on average. I think that for most people, it works best, but there are certainly exceptions.

Regarding humane treatment, I think there are a couple of considerations. One is factory farmed versus humanely raised. The other is vegetarian versus vegan. I am a lifelong vegetarian and big animal lover. I used to be pretty smug about reconciling those two, until a few years ago when I learned about the fate of male food animals in general and female animals after they quit producing. There is a lot of animal cruelty in dairy and egg production. Obviously not on the scale of meat production, but still there. So then I found myself having to weigh my food desires with my values, and I’m much less smug, lol. So is eating humanely raised meat occasionally really worse than eating a factory farmed vegetarian diet? Can’t answer that as definitely as I used to. I think humanely raised vegetarian is better than humanely raised meat eating, but if you really value animal welfare, and your body can thrive on it, vegan is the answer there. (Editing to add, no, I’m not vegan, hence the less smug, lol.)

I also agree that significantly reducing meat production and consumption would benefit our environment in many ways. If the people who really do need to eat some meat for their health were able to eat humanely raised animals, and everyone else ate significantly less or none at all, we would be much better off.

Edited by livetoread
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10 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I am not vegetarian, although I think it's the ethical thing to do from an environmental perspective.  

I would love to know where in the Bible he's getting this interpretation.  It seems kind of out of character for how God behaves in the Bible in general, but maybe i'm wrong.  To be clear, I'm not saying that being vegetarian isn't Biblical.  I think that being vegetarian during our current environmental crisis is absolutely in keeping with being stewards of the Earth.  But in the Old Testament, God gives many many instructions related to eating meat, which to me implies that He is OK with it.  And while I know that God recognizes that people sin, and forgives people's sin, I can't think of another place where He goes into great detail on how to do things He doesn't approve of.  Having said that, I'm not very Biblically literate, so maybe I'm wrong. 

 

I'll dig into that a bit and see what I can find out.

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I've been a vegetarian or mostly vegetarian for about 28 years. It's my preferred way of eating, although I'm not currently a stickler about it. DH and the boys are definitely meat eaters, and if I prepare a casserole or soup with meat in it for them then I'll often go ahead and eat some for convenience. But like yesterday when we had ham for Thanksgiving--I just skipped that and made a meal on the side dishes. I did have a chronic problem with moderate to severe anemia when I was younger, so at times needed to add some red meat consumption to help with that. Now that I'm post menopausal it's not an issue, and if I were only cooking for myself I'd very likely be 100 percent vegetarian. My choice for eating that way is three fold, with the first one being quite selfish: (1) I don't find that meat protein "earns" its calories for me--I don't find it satisfying or filling, (2) the animal welfare concern, and (3) the climate/environmental factor.

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26 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I would love to know where in the Bible he's getting this interpretation. 

End of Genesis 1: "Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.' And it was so."

After the flood, Genesis 9: "Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.'"

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Having lived in a place where people substituted food restrictions for religious moral laws, constantly being "holier-than-thou" wrt food preferences ("What? You let your kids eat soy? You terrible mother!!!") I always get a bit nervous when I think about vegetarianism/keto/paleo/veganism and food restrictions in general. I also saw how food restrictions divided people and killed relationships because it became impossible for people to eat together. 

That said, we've really upped our non-meat and non-animal protein intake this year, specifically pivoting towards beans. For me, a big driver was the COVID outbreaks in meat packing plants and the strong-arm tactics the companies and government were using to prevent protections for the workers. I'm OK with animals dying for my meat but I'm NOT OK with people dying for my meat. I also am concerned about the overuse of antibiotics in animals and the problems with factory farming.

Emily

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10 minutes ago, MercyA said:

End of Genesis 1: "Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.' And it was so."

After the flood, Genesis 9: "Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.'"

Thank you!

I can see how that would lead to the conclusion that there was a change, that at first God wanted people and directed people to be vegetarian, and later he allowed meat eating.  I guess the part I'm not understanding with is the interpretation that God didn't think the change was ideal.  That he was "stooping down to our level" so to speak.  I might think of it more as, things changed and God thought something else was ideal.  I could also understand an argument that what was ideal in Noah's time, when the planet was much less crowded, might not be ideal now, and that going back to vegetarianism makes sense. 

And I'm sorry if this comes across as challenging.  I'm not someone who interprets any of this literally, so I'm really just being nosy, rather than trying to change anyone's mind. 

 

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40 minutes ago, livetoread said:

I agree that different bodies do better on different diets, and I would never argue with any one person who says they are healthier on a non-vegetarian diet. However, I do think that overall research supports the idea that a vegetarian or pescatarian diet is healthiest on average. I think that for most people, it works best, but there are certainly exceptions.

Regarding humane treatment, I think there are a couple of considerations. One is factory farmed versus humanely raised. The other is vegetarian versus vegan. I am a lifelong vegetarian and big animal lover. I used to be pretty smug about reconciling those two, until a few years ago when I learned about the fate of male food animals in general and female animals after they quit producing. There is a lot of animal cruelty in dairy and egg production. Obviously not on the scale of meat production, but still there. So then I found myself having to weigh my food desires with my values, and I’m much less smug, lol. So is eating humanely raised meat occasionally really worse than eating a factory farmed vegetarian diet? Can’t answer that as definitely as I used to. I think humanely raised vegetarian is better than humanely raised meat eating, but if you really value animal welfare, and your body can thrive on it, vegan is the answer there. (Editing to add, no, I’m not vegan, hence the less smug, lol.)

I also agree that significantly reducing meat production and consumption would benefit our environment in many ways. If the people who really do need to eat some meat for their health were able to eat humanely raised animals, and everyone else ate significantly less or none at all, we would be much better off.

Actually, the cruelty in the dairy and egg industries is very much on the same scale as meat production. The vast majority of animals involved in meat, dairy, and egg production lead miserable lives that end in horrible deaths.😞

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I do have a problem with the factory farm conditions and their effects on the environment.  I also am my healthiest when I eat basically only non-starchy veggies and meat/fish.  I do my best to buy all our meat and eggs from small family farms where we know the people.  Not ideal but very little in our world is.

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When compared to grain feed animals, sure, being vegetarian is best.  But there are VAST stretches of the earth where the only edible thing people can grow is livestock.  So the idea doesn't scale even when your only concern is the environment.  Also there is now pretty widespread agreement that the prairies of the midwest (the fertile place where grain grows well) was built by migrating mammals like buffalo.  There are plenty of farmers who try to recreate intensive grazing practices to build their own soils up using native plants and rotating types of livestock today.  I don't think there is ANY science that says this isn't best for everyone.

And there are NO populations that are vegan.  The healthiest population is the 7th Day adventist areas of California, most of which are lacto-ovo vegetarians who focus on eating more vegetables and no sugar.  Is this ideal?  Sure.  Is it a luxury?  Yes.  Is it a moral imperative?  I think not, though it may be ideal.

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2 minutes ago, rebcoola said:

I do have a problem with the factory farm conditions and their effects on the environment.  I also am my healthiest when I eat basically only non-starchy veggies and meat/fish.  I do my best to buy all our meat and eggs from small family farms where we know the people.  

I don't get quite all of our meat and eggs from small family farms, but we are close, and the rest we get from places that seem to keep animal welfare in mind. We have a local grocery chain that tends to sell meat from small, local farms, for example, and that is where we get almost all of our meat that isn't directly from a farmer. Some of our dairy comes from there as well. 

I can't do a lot of beans, lentils, etc. as they are starchy. It really is almost entire meat, fish, and non-starchy veggies for me, and I have some food intolerances that limit even that.

I would probably rarely feel satisfied after eating without meat and eggs, and my food limitations make it a lot harder to get enough of other foods to replace meat.

10 minutes ago, EmilyGF said:

Having lived in a place where people substituted food restrictions for religious moral laws, constantly being "holier-than-thou" wrt food preferences ("What? You let your kids eat soy? You terrible mother!!!") I always get a bit nervous when I think about vegetarianism/keto/paleo/veganism and food restrictions in general. I also saw how food restrictions divided people and killed relationships because it became impossible for people to eat together. 

I agree with this, and I say this as someone that has legit restrictions (not exactly allergy, but I feel terrible in multiple ways; an allergist helps me with the food issues). I feel like for some people, it's part a substitution for religious belief, and it's partly a general trend that everything has to be Pinterest-perfect all the time, both of which can be a burden. I am also shocked by the number of times people think that if I am GF, then I must like xyz, or if I can't eat a, then I will automatically substitute b. Like quinoa--horrid stuff. And when I don't/can't make those specific substitutions, it bugs them, as if I ruined their perfect answer to my dietary dilemma.

My comments are about to go kind of sideways, but food, in general, seems to be increasingly loaded, and I would really like to make things less high stakes around food. Eating for some of us is already more complicated than we'd like it to be by far. Maybe the whole issue for me is redefining what good manners about food looks like in these changing and fraught food times.

If someone has an autoimmune issue, allergy, diabetes, or some other thing that makes a strict diet necessary, that is no big deal, but if it's a big get together, and someone needs to be highly catered to for meals over a preference, it just makes getting together with any kind of food very difficult. Being on the receiving end of accommodations around food, I try to be flexible when I can, and when I can't, I ask for accommodations that allow me to bring my own food (fridge space, using a microwave or stove to heat things up, etc.). I don't have much I can eat that is readily portable, so the few things that don't require someone to allow me to use their kitchen (usually briefly) get really old, really fast, particularly if I've been traveling recently, or my kids have a lot of outside the house activities that require us to pack lunches. Even just being able to use someone's microwave expands my options considerably! Furthermore, some of what would make eating more easy for those with limitations is just outright rejected (at least around here), and I don't understand why.

I have medical reasons for my restrictions, and I get a mix of annoyance and helpfulness as a response. Ironically, it seems like people who eat a certain way for ethical reasons don't provoke that same annoyance, and I don't know why. I don't want to be uncharitable, but it does get old to see one kind of restrictive eating accepted and another seen as a bother. (This could be local culture.) Or to have eating meat on an already limited diet seen as suspect (this last part is less IRL and more of a thing I see online).

I no longer enjoy cooking due to my food restrictions; while some people embrace the challenge, every time I've done that, I find out whatever new, fun thing I learned to cook and eat is now on the "can't eat it list." I am too tired of feeding myself to feel like learning how to cook veg and vegan, lol! I know a lot of my sides would automatically work, but they are not fancy, and most veg and vegan people I know want fancy foodie stuff. 

Compounding my concern--while I think it's fine that some people really embrace cooking as a hobby, I would really like to make it "okay" again to eat relatively plain food, sigh. I either get, "You really ought to do [xyz thing that would make me hate my food]" about everything I make, or else I get, "What is the secret of this wonderful thing you made?" when the reality is that, I stopped several ingredients short of making my food an overwhelming sensory experience vs. doing something foodie, lol! (I think some people truly don't realize their ADHD/sensory seeking issues are behind their food preferences--I know my DH is a sensory seeker with food, and my older son was before having his overall sensory issues addressed. Those of us who are more sensory avoidant seem to know our sensory issues around food.) I was considered a good cook until the foodie movement started. Now it's like on big competition, and I truly avoid feeding anyone that doesn't live in my home. The idea of having someone over for dinner sounds like an invitation to be criticized (and that's in the so-called, friendly midwest).

I know exactly two foodies who don't get offended if someone doesn't like their food, and both would be/are super gracious about sides brought by guests that are on the plain side. Two. The rest seem to feel a need to critique or keep poking about how not up to spec the food is. 

In a former life, I baked to relax, but cooking has never been relaxing--timing is everything, and then it's all gone so fast. Baked goods tend to linger a while for all that effort, and now I can't eat them.

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I’m a hypocrite. I have little interest in being vegetarian, but I strongly dislike factory farming. Yet I haven’t transitioned my budget over to small scale, humane, “good for the soil” farming. So I don’t get all preachy about it because, well, duh.

My daughters have both flirted with vegetarianism since they were quite little, but never lasted very long until one dd went pescatarian for over a year, maybe closer to two. That gave me a built-in incentive to have more (but not all) meatless meals. She recently went back to having small amounts of meat because she’s really struggled with maintaining good nutrition this whole time. It’s been a very difficult decision for her as someone who just basically finds meat gross.

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My husband is vegetarian but I am not.  So the kids and I have meat when he is out of town or they might get a hamburger if we go out to eat.  I was vegetarian for a while but being pregnant and nursing I starting craving meat sometimes.  A great book that is pretty convincing about eating a plant based died is How Not To Die or How Not to Diet by Dr. Michael Gregor.  He also has a podcast and a website nutritionfacts.org.  Everything he says is evidence based and he backs it all up with studies.  All profits from his book go to charity and he tells you to check his book out from the library.   Because rice and beans are a staple protein for us, when I do buy meat I budget for humanely raised/ grass fed /small farm etc.  

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Longtime vegan here who grew up on a farm and stopped eating animal products at an early age. 

For me, the most important reason is the peace and joy in knowing that a living, breathing, sentient creature, one who very much wanted to live, did not have to suffer and/or die for my meal. There's a real sense of mental well being that comes from that, in my experience.

The health benefits and positive environmental impact of eating a plant based diet are huge, too.

I second the above recommendation to read How Not to Die. It's a very informative and eye opening read.

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I have mixed feelings. 

I was vegetarian for 10 years, and vegan for 2 of them. So BTDT. For a long time I was convinced (by propaganda) that humans were meant to be vegetarian due to stuff about teeth, etc. 

But then I got pregnant and CRAVED red meat - I was anemic. 

And I also had the realization that humans left in the wild would do very poorly as vegetarians - there is not enough wild stuff to eat in most areas that isn't meat - roots and berries only go so far as far as calories to find vs to eat. So after thinking on it a lot I just don't agree anymore that we are naturally meant to be total vegetarians, from a health perspective. I also have insulin resistance issues and things like beans, grains, etc leave me feeling hungry. Like, I could eat an bottomless bowl of beans and rice and just keep going forever. Same with salad, etc. 

Environmentally, factory farming can be terrible, but thats a different issue from eating meat in general and large areas are not suitable for farming but are suitable for ranching. So thats more situational. 

But I  do feel that from a moral standpoint, modern farming is not good. At all. And ideally, we will develop lab grown protein products so we don't have to kill other creatures to sustain ourselves. THAT is the sticking point for me, and if I thought I could be vegetarian again (and keep the house gluten free due to son's celiac diagnosis) and maintain my health/weight/etc...that would be why I'd do it. 

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1 hour ago, MercyA said:

End of Genesis 1: "Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.' And it was so."

After the flood, Genesis 9: "Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.'"

There's also Isaiah 11:1-9:

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
   the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
   and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze,
   their young shall lie down together;
   and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
   and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
9 They will not hurt or destroy
   on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
   as the waters cover the sea.

My daughter wrote me a paper about the Biblical connections to vegetarianism when she was 11 or 12. 

I've been a vegetarian for ethical reasons since my early 20s when I suddenly realized that it made no sense to eat a cow or a pig if I was horrified by the idea of eating my pets. At first, it was kind of an impulsive thing that just felt right. But then I started reading and learning and became increasingly committed to the anti-cruelty, living peacefully, ethical aspect of vegetarianism as more a spiritual practice than a simple lifestyle choice.

For years, I flirted with the idea of going vegan, but I could never quite resist the call of the wild pizza or mac 'n cheese out of the blue box. Finally, when my daughter was an infant, the advice from many pediatricians was to hold off on introducing dairy as long as possible. When she got to the point at which she was reaching for food off my plate, I figured I either needed to follow through on the vegan thing and avoid being a hypocrite or let her go ahead and start eating like I did. 

I've been a vegan for 20+ years now and cannot imagine changing that. Animal-based products simply no longer seem like food to me. 

By the way: My husband was an omnivore when he moved in with me, but he doesn't cook. So he fell into eating veg most of the time except when we went out to a restaurant. That continued until he began to lose his taste for beef and naturally transitioned to eating only chicken. Then our then-three-year-old daughter asked him why he ate meat, and he promised not to do it again until he had a good answer for her. 

He's been a vegetarian for 20+ years now. 

Both of our kids have been vegan their whole lives and have found they are much happier dating/being romantically involved with partners who are also plant-based.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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I think that it is helpful not to let the good be swallowed up in being ‘not best’.  For instance, I read Laurel’s Kitchen a long time ago, and it espoused a radically low fat vegetarian diet.  This mostly depended on making whole grain bread from scratch, a 7-9 hour process, as the main staple of life.  I worked hard on that, and finally came up with a palatable loaf that was still low fat and that DH would eat.  But he would only eat it the day I made it or *maybe* a day later.  It went stale really fast, and was very dense, so that means we would throw half of it away.  That meant that for us to embrace that lifestyle, which I fully believed was the healthiest and most ethical possible thing, I would have to spend literally half of my waking hours making bread.  This was incompatible with my engineering career to say the least.  Plus it was clear to me that the toppings on the bread were not going to be non-meat and satisfy DH forever.  So I gave up on it, and I think I have only made that bread one other time since then.

So, what I probably should have done is had a vegetarian day or two weekly, and maybe made bread and frozen it to use in small quantities twice a month or something.  But it was all or nothing for me, because that’s how it was presented.
 

I am different now.  I fully appreciate the horrendous nature of factory farming, and I buy ethical meat and dairy when I can find them, even at greater expense.  That means, for me, a local beef source that is organic, grass finished, and humanely raised is the only brand of ground beef I buy, and if I can find their steaks I buy those, too.  I get only free range organic humane chicken eggs when I can’t buy eggs from a local source that raises them in their backyard.  I nosh vegetarianly for 1-2 dinners per week.
 

But I don’t have a good source of humanely raised chicken, and I still eat chicken.  It’s good for me.  I’m sorry about the lousy conditions, and I watch for something better.  I don’t tear DH up when he buys a bunch of eggs at Costco because he happens to be there, which saves him a trip across town to another store for the better ones.  I drink a lot of milk, and eat a lot of cheese, and I don’t know how to know that it is from cows that are treated well.  

I am OK with this, while hoping to improve on it someday.  I am not going to get myself wound around the axel on perfection. We are eating cleaner and more ethically than we did before, and that is going to have to be enough for now.  I can choose to feel good about those improvements or bad about not being perfect.  I choose the good while still striving for the best (but not frantically or horrendously guiltily.)

 

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I would like to add—I guess I have also chosen to prioritize my own health and DH’s health over that of some animals.  I think that that is a valid ethical choice, again recognizing that it would be ideal to have both and watching for ways to move in that direction.

Non-squash veggies are good for both of us and don’t hurt anything else, and we do eat a lot of those.  Ditto fruit for me, not so much for DH, but we do raise that and eat it from the store (organic preferred) as well as from our garden.

But DH’s parents both had diabetes, and he very much doesn’t want to get it; and that means that a low fat, high carb diet absolutely will not work for him like it would for me.  And I actually need red meat sometimes—I’m not sure why but I am convinced that it is true.  And I need milk to keep my stomach healthier—I have reflux and have far fewer episodes overnight when I drink milk right before I go to bed.  (I also use steeped ginger and other plant foods, but there is no substitute for milk for me.). I would rather have dairy and not have to take Prilosec all the time.  

So this is not just about convenience or taste for us.  It’s seriously an issue wrt our healths.

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

<snip>

My comments are about to go kind of sideways, but food, in general, seems to be increasingly loaded, and I would really like to make things less high stakes around food. Eating for some of us is already more complicated than we'd like it to be by far. Maybe the whole issue for me is redefining what good manners about food looks like in these changing and fraught food times.

<snip>

I agree with you.  I know some people who continually proselytize about their particular food lifestyle while criticizing others, and people who struggle with money to buy food, forget about buying all ethically-raised food, and still others with food allergies/intolerances that leave them feeling left out when activities involving meals are planned. 

In my experience, most people are doing the best they can given their budgets, the needs/preferences of the people they live with/cook for, and their own needs and preferences.

Of the 4 of us, one is a vegetarian, one (me) could be vegetarian, and 2 are meat-eaters who are willing to go meatless maybe 25-30% of the time.  I buy the food for the family (when the college kids are home) and while I would love to buy small-farm-raised meat, eggs, and dairy products, I simply can't.  $6+/pound for a whole chicken, $12/pound for chuck roast... I can't do it.  

We have always had friends/acquaintances with various food restrictions, either self-imposed or due to health or religion. (When I say "self-imposed" I don't mean that in a judgmental way; my daughter's vegetarianism is self-imposed; I respect it and don't try to get her to eat meat, but she does not say that she can't eat meat.) People could bring their own food, use my fridge, use my oven/stove/microwave. I would try to cook something for everyone, though some people couldn't eat anything cooked in my gluten-contaminated kitchen. 

Food should be something that brings people together, not divides them. Even if everyone isn't eating the same thing. 

 

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2 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I can see how that would lead to the conclusion that there was a change, that at first God wanted people and directed people to be vegetarian, and later he allowed meat eating.  I guess the part I'm not understanding with is the interpretation that God didn't think the change was ideal.  That he was "stooping down to our level" so to speak.  I might think of it more as, things changed and God thought something else was ideal.  I could also understand an argument that what was ideal in Noah's time, when the planet was much less crowded, might not be ideal now, and that going back to vegetarianism makes sense. 

And I'm sorry if this comes across as challenging.  I'm not someone who interprets any of this literally, so I'm really just being nosy, rather than trying to change anyone's mind. 

That's a good question! I believe prophecy indicates that both human and non-human animals will return to a vegetarian diet in the "new heavens and new earth," thus indicating that it is the peaceful ideal. Jenny quoted Isaiah 11 above and Isaiah 65 repeats the message:

"The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,”
    says the Lord.

No apology necessary! I love to talk about this stuff.

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Honestly, I think being a vegan, unless you collect your own eggs from your chickens/ know the names of the cows where you are getting your milk from and know they're being cared for super ethically/ hunt for your meat or again, know the animals are very well cared for, is the most ethical thing to do, both in terms of being a steward for creation and also in terms of environmental impacts/ lessening of disease vectors/ etc.  I think it's probably the right thing to do.  I think for some people it's healthier, although I think that's very dependent on individual health needs.  

But I do not practice this, because I really, really like meat.  I know it's hypocritical and probably wrong, but....that's where I am.  

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Here's the thing that I keep coming back to: animals don't want to die. They want to live. And they do experience fear and pain and distress and loss. I don't want to be the cause of that, although I am a hypocrite at the moment and still am.

Here's just a tiny example: I had to catch my canary the other day to trim her nails. She likes and trusts me, generally speaking. But canaries have an inborn fear of being caught. They are tiny birds, the kind that get preyed upon. I had to chase her around her cage a bit and she was squawking out alarm calls. When I finally caught her, she let out two cries, the most mournful, despairing sounds I've ever heard come out of a bird. It was clear she thought her life was over. It was terrible. 😞 

And of course it made me think of other birds being caught, and then actually being strung up for slaughter. Or cow or pigs, trying to escape the slaughterhouse--once in a while one does, and takes off for freedom, and, if they're lucky, they get taken in by a sanctuary instead of getting shot or run over or dragged back. 

I feel uncomfortable when I am not a vegetarian or vegan. Like I'm not living like my true self, even if that sounds corny. But I have endometriosis and heavy bleeding and I get spacy and anemic without some meat. Maybe I can cut it down and down and get there again at menopause. Excuses, I know...

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8 minutes ago, MercyA said:

Here's the thing that I keep coming back to: animals don't want to die. They want to live. And they do experience fear and pain and distress and loss. I don't want to be the cause of that, although I am a hypocrite at the moment and still am.

Here's just a tiny example: I had to catch my canary the other day to trim her nails. She likes and trusts me, generally speaking. But canaries have an inborn fear of being caught. They are tiny birds, the kind that get preyed upon. I had to chase her around her cage a bit and she was squawking out alarm calls. When I finally caught her, she let out two cries, the most mournful, despairing sounds I've ever heard come out of a bird. It was clear she thought her life was over. It was terrible. 😞 

And of course it made me think of other birds being caught, and then actually being strung up for slaughter. Or cow or pigs, trying to escape the slaughterhouse--once in a while one does, and takes off for freedom, and, if they're lucky, they get taken in by a sanctuary instead of getting shot or run over or dragged back. 

I feel uncomfortable when I am not a vegetarian or vegan. Like I'm not living like my true self, even if that sounds corny. But I have endometriosis and heavy bleeding and I get spacy and anemic without some meat. Maybe I can cut it down and down and get there again at menopause. Excuses, I know...

It helps me to realize that we are not currently living in the restored, whole Kingdom of God. I do believe in that time, many of our bodies will be able to be sustained on vegetarian/vegan diets. I'm like you, in that I NEED meat. I am not healthy or whole without meat. So I do the best I can. I raise animals, and produce as much as I can possibly produce here on the farm. And then I am at peace with the best that I can do. God knows that I'm trying to care for the earth as well as possible, and I am trying to stay healthy and functional. I won't beat myself up or feel guilty when I'm trying.

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18 minutes ago, MercyA said:

<snip>

I feel uncomfortable when I am not a vegetarian or vegan. Like I'm not living like my true self, even if that sounds corny. But I have endometriosis and heavy bleeding and I get spacy and anemic without some meat. Maybe I can cut it down and down and get there again at menopause. Excuses, I know...

That is not an excuse. There is a difference between a reason and an excuse. You have a good reason for eating meat. As we know from the Bible, eating meat in general is not a sin. (I know about meat offered to idols, being a stumbling block etc.)  Seems to me you are doing the best you can with what you have to deal with.  Don't apologize for eating what you need to be healthy.

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1 hour ago, marbel said:

Of the 4 of us, one is a vegetarian, one (me) could be vegetarian, and 2 are meat-eaters who are willing to go meatless maybe 25-30% of the time.  I buy the food for the family (when the college kids are home) and while I would love to buy small-farm-raised meat, eggs, and dairy products, I simply can't.  $6+/pound for a whole chicken, $12/pound for chuck roast... I can't do it.  

Food should be something that brings people together, not divides them. Even if everyone isn't eating the same thing. 

Re: the bolded, yes!

On the cost--we are fortunate that not all of our stuff costs that much because we can get a half a cow/pig, etc. at a time, and we have stores with ethically sourced meat that can run specials, etc. We also sometimes have access to wild game. 

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I'm reducetarian, eating meat about once a week, eggs (from local pasture-raised hens) once or twice a week, dairy occasionally. I have 💯% quit fish out of love of the ocean (a lot of that plastic is fishing gear, and I'm not okay with the overfishing), and decreased the rest because of greenhouse gas emissions. Especially when large-scale, systemic improvement is not happening at the rate it needs to, this is one of the few obvious responses for individuals. (Drawdown discusses the impacts of various options.)

Re: the Bible, I was also going to refer folks to the Sixth Day in Genesis, which depicts veganism as the intent for a non-blood-shedding world before Cain invents murder. I feel like that gets skipped over a lot in the Creation story. Just food for thought, so to speak.

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4 hours ago, MercyA said:

Here's the thing that I keep coming back to: animals don't want to die. They want to live. And they do experience fear and pain and distress and loss. I don't want to be the cause of that, although I am a hypocrite at the moment and still am.

Yeah, that's where I tend to come down. I don't want to cause pain and death, at least directly. I've been trying to be pescatarian and not vegetarian, because I'm (possibly heartlessly) less concerned about creatures that don't seem to have family relationships, but for me, that was the ethical consideration. 

Of course, DH points out that a lot of farming actually involves killing creatures and that when we grow grain, we kill a lot of mice along the way, but it still feels different to me. Hey, I don't have to be totally utilitarian at all times... 😉 

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40 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Of course, DH points out that a lot of farming actually involves killing creatures and that when we grow grain, we kill a lot of mice along the way, but it still feels different to me. Hey, I don't have to be totally utilitarian at all times... 😉 

You may be interested in the calculations found here, which include estimates of the number of animals killed during crop harvesting. 

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6 hours ago, PrincessMommy said:

I suspect it has to do with the fact that prior to Noah humans eat Vegetarian or vegan.   Look at Genesis 9 - early on???  I wonder if Jewish people interpret it the same way as some Christian do.  

I think in the Jewish tradition,  Genesis 9 is interpreted quite differently. The verse says not to eat from an animal that still has lifeblood in it. That (according to tradition) doesn't mean not to eat meat -- it means not to eat an animal which is literally still alive. 

The idea is that before the flood, human beings were really barbaric and were behaving like wild animals, to the point of cutting off pieces of living animals and eating them. After the flood, they were chastened enough to receive some governance and law; those are known as the laws of Noah. The laws of Moses (10 commandments) came later, after mankind had advanced further. 

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/62221/jewish/The-7-Noahide-Laws-Universal-Morality.htm

 

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-noahide-laws/

Edited by Little Green Leaves
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I was vegetarian for a while when I was younger, then started eating a little meat, but I have never been a big meat eater. I stopped eating pigs a long time ago after watching an undercover documentary on pig farming and slaughter. Then I gradually stopped eating any mammals, and just ate chicken and fish for a while, but when DS went off to college, I stopped eating those as well, and also cut way back on dairy and eggs. I eat vegan probably 4-5 days a week, and then the other days I might have a small amount of cheese (like parmesan in some pesto sauce), or butter on homemade bread, or a little yogurt with berries. I'm trying to transition to plant-based milk and yogurt, but I don't really like vegan cheese or butter substitutes, so I just eat the real thing and try to limit it to very small quantities. The only meat I ever truly miss is bacon, but any time I get tempted to buy it, I just look at my dog and imagine someone doing to him what is done to pigs, and I get over it.

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1 hour ago, Corraleno said:

any time I get tempted to buy it, I just look at my dog and imagine someone doing to him what is done to pigs, and I get over it.

Yes. Pigs are just as intelligent, just as social, and just as emotional as dogs. There is no *logical* reason we should not be just as horrified by their abuse as we would be by dog abuse. And pigs endure horrible, torturous treatment, in raising, in transport, and in slaughter. I know these things. I just need to do something about it.

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10 hours ago, MercyA said:

Yes. Pigs are just as intelligent, just as social, and just as emotional as dogs. There is no *logical* reason we should not be just as horrified by their abuse as we would be by dog abuse. And pigs endure horrible, torturous treatment, in raising, in transport, and in slaughter. I know these things. I just need to do something about it.

We have raised pigs and of all the animals we raised for meat they were the ones I was most pleased with. Bought the piglets from a CAFO and brought them home. Watching the pigs learn to root in hay and run and play was so fun. They have great lives and I feel good about eating that pork. One little piglet was Hilarious as he would toss hay in the air for the fun of it. They grow big and lazy and fat and the end is quick. Find a farmer who raises pasture raised pork. It’s a worthy investment. 

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I am not much of a meat-eater and I'm very pro humane treatment of every living thing.  I've gone stretches where my diet would be considered vegetarian, but I've never adopted the label.

I think we could make a lot of improvements in the meat industry without all going vegetarian.  I suppose it will never be enough for some people, but then nothing ever is.

As far as animals desiring to live ... my thought is that most farm animals would have never existed if it weren't for people wanting to eat animal products.  Maybe it's wrong to create these lives in the first place, or at least, wrong to do so in excess of what humans reasonably need for good health.  I guess we could get into a whole discussion about what lives are ethical to create in the first place.  And then there's the fact that every living organism is going to die one way or another.  Is it better to be sacrificed to the health of another organism, or to grow old, weak, toothless, and die a slow and painful "natural death"?  Would it be more ethical to leave it to carnivores in nature to do all the killing and eating?  I mean what are the real alternatives we are comparing?

I kind of like the old way of thanking the animal one is about to use to keep one's family alive.  I would like people to just be mindful of where their food is coming from ... not just the animals that died, but the humans who have worked various jobs to bring all food to our tables, the land that is being managed for better or worse, the economies that depend on sustainable food production, and so on.

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9 minutes ago, SKL said:

I am not much of a meat-eater and I'm very pro humane treatment of every living thing.  I've gone stretches where my diet would be considered vegetarian, but I've never adopted the label.

I think we could make a lot of improvements in the meat industry without all going vegetarian.  I suppose it will never be enough for some people, but then nothing ever is.

As far as animals desiring to live ... my thought is that most farm animals would have never existed if it weren't for people wanting to eat animal products.  Maybe it's wrong to create these lives in the first place, or at least, wrong to do so in excess of what humans reasonably need for good health.  I guess we could get into a whole discussion about what lives are ethical to create in the first place.  And then there's the fact that every living organism is going to die one way or another.  Is it better to be sacrificed to the health of another organism, or to grow old, weak, toothless, and die a slow and painful "natural death"?  Would it be more ethical to leave it to carnivores in nature to do all the killing and eating?  I mean what are the real alternatives we are comparing?

I kind of like the old way of thanking the animal one is about to use to keep one's family alive.  I would like people to just be mindful of where their food is coming from ... not just the animals that died, but the humans who have worked various jobs to bring all food to our tables, the land that is being managed for better or worse, the economies that depend on sustainable food production, and so on.

YES! This is very well said. 

One thing that I don;t think is given much notice is the fact that the meat and dairy industry are heavily subsidized by the government. (We use subsidies, so I know of what I speak!) Therefore, the average  American does not pay what it costs to produce the food items. I've often wondered what would happen if the subsidies went away, the pricing of food reflected the true cost. How would our markets reajdust to make things work?

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22 hours ago, EmilyGF said:

Having lived in a place where people substituted food restrictions for religious moral laws, constantly being "holier-than-thou" wrt food preferences ("What? You let your kids eat soy? You terrible mother!!!") I always get a bit nervous when I think about vegetarianism/keto/paleo/veganism and food restrictions in general. I also saw how food restrictions divided people and killed relationships because it became impossible for people to eat together. 

That said, we've really upped our non-meat and non-animal protein intake this year, specifically pivoting towards beans. For me, a big driver was the COVID outbreaks in meat packing plants and the strong-arm tactics the companies and government were using to prevent protections for the workers. I'm OK with animals dying for my meat but I'm NOT OK with people dying for my meat. I also am concerned about the overuse of antibiotics in animals and the problems with factory farming.

Emily

I'm just getting to all of these thoughtful posts now...  (I've had a family member that needed tending to since I posted.)  Thank you everyone!  I agree here with wanting to be very careful about a holier-than-thou attitude.  It's almost always more complex than that, isn't it?  And even though I might be in a privileged position to choose, other people might not be in that position.  (Our church pastor, too, is careful to point out that the decision he made is his alone, it's not a Biblical mandate.)    BUT, I do think, as you, it's good to be thinking about how this all plays out and what all is affected.

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22 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Thank you!

I can see how that would lead to the conclusion that there was a change, that at first God wanted people and directed people to be vegetarian, and later he allowed meat eating.  I guess the part I'm not understanding with is the interpretation that God didn't think the change was ideal.  That he was "stooping down to our level" so to speak.  I might think of it more as, things changed and God thought something else was ideal.  I could also understand an argument that what was ideal in Noah's time, when the planet was much less crowded, might not be ideal now, and that going back to vegetarianism makes sense. 

And I'm sorry if this comes across as challenging.  I'm not someone who interprets any of this literally, so I'm really just being nosy, rather than trying to change anyone's mind. 

 

Don't worry about coming across as challenging!  Respectfully asking questions is great!  These are things I'm trying to understand too.

I was digging into our church's website to re-read about our pastor's decision on this, and he quoted the same verses Mercy quoted, but with more explanation.  I'll just link to that site -- it's not long.  He also directs you to another, more in-depth explanation - "in the next post"  (which also not long).  His first post is more about his personal conviction (basically his own very personal convictions on non-violence.), and the second one that he links to is more about his Biblical understanding.

https://reknew.org/2008/02/why-im-a-vegetarian/

 

Edited by J-rap
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22 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

Well, as a rancher who lives where the land is ONLY fit for raising animals, we're meat eaters. With a 23 day growing season, raising beans in a greenhouse is just not doable. We've been commanded to tend the earth, and we're doing just that, humanely raising animals, for us, and other families. 

I certainly support that!

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21 hours ago, Katy said:

When compared to grain feed animals, sure, being vegetarian is best.  But there are VAST stretches of the earth where the only edible thing people can grow is livestock.  So the idea doesn't scale even when your only concern is the environment.  Also there is now pretty widespread agreement that the prairies of the midwest (the fertile place where grain grows well) was built by migrating mammals like buffalo.  There are plenty of farmers who try to recreate intensive grazing practices to build their own soils up using native plants and rotating types of livestock today.  I don't think there is ANY science that says this isn't best for everyone.

And there are NO populations that are vegan.  The healthiest population is the 7th Day adventist areas of California, most of which are lacto-ovo vegetarians who focus on eating more vegetables and no sugar.  Is this ideal?  Sure.  Is it a luxury?  Yes.  Is it a moral imperative?  I think not, though it may be ideal.

I agree.  Being able to choose our diet can be a very privileged position.

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21 hours ago, kbutton said:

I don't get quite all of our meat and eggs from small family farms, but we are close, and the rest we get from places that seem to keep animal welfare in mind. We have a local grocery chain that tends to sell meat from small, local farms, for example, and that is where we get almost all of our meat that isn't directly from a farmer. Some of our dairy comes from there as well. 

I can't do a lot of beans, lentils, etc. as they are starchy. It really is almost entire meat, fish, and non-starchy veggies for me, and I have some food intolerances that limit even that.

I would probably rarely feel satisfied after eating without meat and eggs, and my food limitations make it a lot harder to get enough of other foods to replace meat.

I agree with this, and I say this as someone that has legit restrictions (not exactly allergy, but I feel terrible in multiple ways; an allergist helps me with the food issues). I feel like for some people, it's part a substitution for religious belief, and it's partly a general trend that everything has to be Pinterest-perfect all the time, both of which can be a burden. I am also shocked by the number of times people think that if I am GF, then I must like xyz, or if I can't eat a, then I will automatically substitute b. Like quinoa--horrid stuff. And when I don't/can't make those specific substitutions, it bugs them, as if I ruined their perfect answer to my dietary dilemma.

My comments are about to go kind of sideways, but food, in general, seems to be increasingly loaded, and I would really like to make things less high stakes around food. Eating for some of us is already more complicated than we'd like it to be by far. Maybe the whole issue for me is redefining what good manners about food looks like in these changing and fraught food times.

If someone has an autoimmune issue, allergy, diabetes, or some other thing that makes a strict diet necessary, that is no big deal, but if it's a big get together, and someone needs to be highly catered to for meals over a preference, it just makes getting together with any kind of food very difficult. Being on the receiving end of accommodations around food, I try to be flexible when I can, and when I can't, I ask for accommodations that allow me to bring my own food (fridge space, using a microwave or stove to heat things up, etc.). I don't have much I can eat that is readily portable, so the few things that don't require someone to allow me to use their kitchen (usually briefly) get really old, really fast, particularly if I've been traveling recently, or my kids have a lot of outside the house activities that require us to pack lunches. Even just being able to use someone's microwave expands my options considerably! Furthermore, some of what would make eating more easy for those with limitations is just outright rejected (at least around here), and I don't understand why.

I have medical reasons for my restrictions, and I get a mix of annoyance and helpfulness as a response. Ironically, it seems like people who eat a certain way for ethical reasons don't provoke that same annoyance, and I don't know why. I don't want to be uncharitable, but it does get old to see one kind of restrictive eating accepted and another seen as a bother. (This could be local culture.) Or to have eating meat on an already limited diet seen as suspect (this last part is less IRL and more of a thing I see online).

I no longer enjoy cooking due to my food restrictions; while some people embrace the challenge, every time I've done that, I find out whatever new, fun thing I learned to cook and eat is now on the "can't eat it list." I am too tired of feeding myself to feel like learning how to cook veg and vegan, lol! I know a lot of my sides would automatically work, but they are not fancy, and most veg and vegan people I know want fancy foodie stuff. 

Compounding my concern--while I think it's fine that some people really embrace cooking as a hobby, I would really like to make it "okay" again to eat relatively plain food, sigh. I either get, "You really ought to do [xyz thing that would make me hate my food]" about everything I make, or else I get, "What is the secret of this wonderful thing you made?" when the reality is that, I stopped several ingredients short of making my food an overwhelming sensory experience vs. doing something foodie, lol! (I think some people truly don't realize their ADHD/sensory seeking issues are behind their food preferences--I know my DH is a sensory seeker with food, and my older son was before having his overall sensory issues addressed. Those of us who are more sensory avoidant seem to know our sensory issues around food.) I was considered a good cook until the foodie movement started. Now it's like on big competition, and I truly avoid feeding anyone that doesn't live in my home. The idea of having someone over for dinner sounds like an invitation to be criticized (and that's in the so-called, friendly midwest).

I know exactly two foodies who don't get offended if someone doesn't like their food, and both would be/are super gracious about sides brought by guests that are on the plain side. Two. The rest seem to feel a need to critique or keep poking about how not up to spec the food is. 

In a former life, I baked to relax, but cooking has never been relaxing--timing is everything, and then it's all gone so fast. Baked goods tend to linger a while for all that effort, and now I can't eat them.

A lot of good points there -- thank you.  Even though I've never been a big meat-eater my entire life, I've learned that in the past couple years, having a dinner of lots of veggies and a small portion of meat helps me feel really good!  I also do love legumes though, so that can take the place of meat for me.  My body is thankfully able to handle nearly anything in small amounts though, so I'm always able to graciously eat any food that a host serves me.  😁  (And generally enjoy it.)

Our family has a lot of sensory eaters though -- including some with dietary restrictions, allergies, intolerances...  It can be tricky.  

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21 hours ago, Carrie12345 said:

I’m a hypocrite. I have little interest in being vegetarian, but I strongly dislike factory farming. Yet I haven’t transitioned my budget over to small scale, humane, “good for the soil” farming. So I don’t get all preachy about it because, well, duh.

My daughters have both flirted with vegetarianism since they were quite little, but never lasted very long until one dd went pescatarian for over a year, maybe closer to two. That gave me a built-in incentive to have more (but not all) meatless meals. She recently went back to having small amounts of meat because she’s really struggled with maintaining good nutrition this whole time. It’s been a very difficult decision for her as someone who just basically finds meat gross.

I agree that budget is definitely part of the whole equation.

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If your body and your pocket book allow you to be vegetarian, then there is nothing wrong with it. But some people have had to go back on meat after their body (which initially did well being vegetarian) started to do poorly even with supplements. Our bodies changed to allow for the consumption of meat (way back in history) and some people seem to need it to be healthy just as some do so much better without it. 

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2 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

If your body and your pocket book allow you to be vegetarian, then there is nothing wrong with it. But some people have had to go back on meat after their body (which initially did well being vegetarian) started to do poorly even with supplements. Our bodies changed to allow for the consumption of meat (way back in history) and some people seem to need it to be healthy just as some do so much better without it. 

 

I have a friend who was vegan and had a lot of medical issues from that diet, so she stopped.  I felt bad for her because she had a lot of pressure from the vegan community she was in to stay on the diet when it clearly wasn't working for her.

I'm vegetarian and one of my sons follows a vegan diet.  The rest of my family has no interest in changing over.

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13 minutes ago, J-rap said:

A lot of good points there -- thank you.  Even though I've never been a big meat-eater my entire life, I've learned that in the past couple years, having a dinner of lots of veggies and a small portion of meat helps me feel really good!  I also do love legumes though, so that can take the place of meat for me.  My body is thankfully able to handle nearly anything in small amounts though, so I'm always able to graciously eat any food that a host serves me.  😁  (And generally enjoy it.)

Our family has a lot of sensory eaters though -- including some with dietary restrictions, allergies, intolerances...  It can be tricky.  

It is tricky! I am glad you are able to eat and enjoy most things!

My MIL is one of those people that needs sensory stimulation when she eats, and she is very intolerant of people who are not okay with food that has 20 ingredients and 12 textures all in one dish. She also attaches a moral value to not liking food, but I've actually seen her rant and rave about how bland spaghetti with sauce is, and why would ANYONE ever eat it!?! I am sinful enough to admit that I have wanted to serve her spaghetti with sauce for every single meal I've been in charge of since. I think that is part of what bugs me about the foodie movement--it comes across often like my MIL. Like "regular" food is never good enough. 

I have a lot of food baggage, lol! 

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18 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

If your body and your pocket book allow you to be vegetarian, then there is nothing wrong with it. But some people have had to go back on meat after their body (which initially did well being vegetarian) started to do poorly even with supplements. Our bodies changed to allow for the consumption of meat (way back in history) and some people seem to need it to be healthy just as some do so much better without it. 

I have to say, I think this is a very great point to be made. 

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I want to make clear that I don't think there's a right or wrong answer to this.  Even if there was once an ideal diet, the world and people have evolved, and I agree with Jean that some people's bodies really need it now to be healthy.  So then you could come to conclusion that we should at least eat meat from animals that are humanely raised and treated.  Yet even that gets difficult, because I know that at least for us -- when we had five hungry kids at home who all swam and were ravenous eaters, we wouldn't have been able to consistently afford the double-the-price, grass-fed, humanely-raised meats, even though I would have preferred it.  (We did a eat a lot of rice and beans though!)  It's interesting to think about though.

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