Vegetarian

Without much fuss, at the beginning of this week I made the switch to vegetarianism. This may shock some, who know me as a guy who can put away a big steak. At those restaurants where they have a “eat this giant thing and it’s free” contest, I’m your go-to guy to get that done. However, I’ve been eating less and less meat lately and wanting to get healthy, lose weight and keep a good quality of life for a long time. I’ve approaching 40 years, and I want to make sure that I’m vital and active for the next 100. I’ve also become more interested in sustainability, and wanting to eat more locally produced food. In part, this is to reduce the fuel consumption in getting food to me, but also to keep more of my food money inside my community. I happen to be fortunate enough to live in a place where within a 3 mile drive of my house are about a dozen roadside produce stands from local farmers, a few actually on their farms. If they are out of something you want (and it is ripe/ready), they run out and pick or chop some more for you while you wait.

In an odd way, this very simple post from Will Shetterly helped push me over the edge. It just hit me at the right time, and I decided to go for it. Last weekend we cooked up all the meat in the house and had “meaty gras”. Since Monday, I’ve eaten no meat. I’m not vegan, which means I’m still consuming dairy and I suppose eggs although I haven’t actually eaten any. I’m not a hard-ass fundamentalist on it, and in a pinch with nothing else to eat I’m not going to barf at the prospect of downing a hot dog. As a guy with impulse control problems, I need to set up systems that make it hard for me to do the wrong thing. It will be a challenge to eat enough broccoli and tomatoes to become a problem, although I’m sure I will try. Wish me luck.

11 Replies to “Vegetarian”

  1. This is too strange – I just passed you heading the other way after 20+ years
    of vegetarianism.

    My only advice to you is to remember that you’re doing this for yourself,
    you don’t need to adhere to anyone else’s dogma for: your reasons for
    becoming vegetarian; how you live as a vegetarian; and whether you
    cease being veggie at some point. Do what feels right for you and
    don’t let anyone foist their beliefs on you. There’s always a “better”
    vegetarian than you, or a dork who’ll just want to poke fun at you
    for not eating meat. Whatever.

    For myself, I became vegetarian way back when more as a reaction to agri-business
    and factory farming, than either a health kick or because I felt guilt
    at eating any meat.

    I recently realised that I was buying humanely raised, small-farmer
    meat from a local independant butcher for the rest of the family;
    and that did not violate the reasons I became veggie. I was
    doing it out of dogma, so I stopped.

    I still don’t see myself ever eating at McD because that end
    of the business still is against my beliefs, but I’ll eat meat
    on my terms, vote with my $, and stop claiming to be veggie.

  2. cool dave – welcome…

    i’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for over 25yrs, for a little bit of every reason you might hear from most veggies – except that ones vegans tend to give, some of them are way to militant for me…

    now, i am a large very active, grizzley adam’s looking guy so some people freakout when they find out that i don’t eat meat, but like andy implied above – that’s their problem…

    what you eat or don’t eat has everything to do w/ you – food is fuel after all…

    the only health related recommendation i’d make is do your homework, when you first start out it’s very easy to not get your protien intake correct and suffer from malnurishment…

    for me: all legumes, cottage cheese and eggwhites are great as a place to start…

    as for meal make up and quality – experiment, there are a ton of really good tasting veggie recipes…

    enjoy 🙂

  3. Dave,

    Congratulations on making a wise decision!

    I made the same decision for almost the same reasons last year. Since then, I’ve lost nearly 35 lbs. (which I needed to do). I find that as long as I make sure I’m getting the fresh fruits and vegetables I need, along with some protein, I’m very happy.

    My energy level is higher, etc. etc. It isn’t like meat (especially as most of us can get it easily) is so healthy that you really have to work at making up for it. On the other hand, I did it to be mindful of what I was eating. So I do think about it. I’ve also cut a lot of things that, strictly speaking I could eat, especially processed stuff.

    I hope you find it does as much good as I have.

    Teo

    P.S. — About emergency hotdog eating: I hear from long-time vegetarians that eating meat after too long without, can cause serious discomfort.

  4. If you remove meat you still might stay the same weight. Unfortunately, I enjoy things like pasta, white rice, butter and a little sugar. As a result I am still the 10-20 pounds overweight. I go for long walks frequently. I may have to take more drastic measures or simply accept my fat. Of course there are other reasons not to eat meat such as saving the planet. Ha that’s not going to happen since most people will *never* get onboard with that idea. It’s still noble cause. It’s better to do the right thing even if you are in the minority and always will be in my opinion.

    Some people say that if they don’t eat meat for a long time and then eat a hotdog they get really sick so you want to watch it with that idea. I think it has something to do with the bacteria in your stomach.

  5. Thanks for the wishes everyone.

    I’m a little surprised that people think I’ll get sucked into the vegetarian orthodoxy. Do I seem like the kind of guy that toes party lines? No one is forcing me to do this, so I get to make the rules. There is pretty much no chance of me getting not enough protein, as I still drink lattes and am eating cottage cheese and such. After one week down, it’s been not much of a big deal. On date night I had the black bean hamburger at Chili’s but other than that life is pretty similar. Still haven’t made it to the produce stands yet, but I will soon.

  6. Awesome! I’ve been about 90% veg for several years now, with a cumulative 5 or so years of complete vegetarianism thrown in there. It can be done.

    Right now, we’re planting in the back yard… tomatoes, cukes, squash, zucchini, jalapenos, habaneros, banana peppers, bell peppers, lettuce, and spinach. YUM! Something about that fresh stuff that is just SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo much better!

  7. Hey Dave,

    How’s it going with the greens, yellows and oranges? I’ve been a veggiehead now for ten years almost to the day. It was April 1996 that I went for it. I wonder if there’s a correlation to spring and eliminating meat? Hmm…

    I have found that my thinking processes are clearer, my emotions are more positive, and I don’t have strange carniverous, raging outbursts anymore.

    Actually, if you look into Ayurvedic lifestyles, it claims there are spiritual benefits to going V, (I no speak religion, but *spiritual*, my friend) so you are creating good karma for yourself which will yield fine results, either in this or the next lifetime!

    😉

Comments are closed.