I'm making the leap to become a vegetarian! I can no longer eat meat. My question is do I just jump into this, or is this something you do gradually? After making the decision to go vegetarian what's next? I've been reading and found nothing about the actual process for a beginner. I'll take any advice to assist me on this journey.
Posted by ahimsa32fa at 03/25/16 08:55:16Lissurs-
"Cold turkey" works for some folks, a gradual change works better for others.
Is intelligence a measure of an animal's rights?
If that were the case, chickens would have more rights than dogs, and high IQ folks would have more rights than infants, the uneducated, and brain damaged people.
Some people need to see the graphic videos. As Charlotte Perkins Gilman said many years ago, "Until we what we are, we cannot take the steps necessary to become what we should be."
Posted by anahidscv at 03/25/16 10:53:16Lissurs,
Intelligence has nothing to do whether they deserve to die for our needs. As Ahimsa explained, if you are comparing these living beings based on their intelligence, what about infants, and mentally disabled, do they deserve to die, or do they have less rights than you and I? I look at it in a different way. To me, if they are living beings, they can suffer, they have emotions, than they don't deserve to die. All lives matter, yours, mine and theirs. They are only different, because they look different. Do you eat your cat, dog, bird? If not, why not, they are not any different than chickens or cows? They just look different. Every animal begs for his/her own life, they have families, they have a purpose and are not a commodity or considered food for us. We have enough given to us that will nourish us throughout our lives. What grows on the ground, is there to feed us. Eating flesh is not for humans.
Posted by Robinwomb at 03/25/16 19:52:13Hi Lissurs,
I went vegan from omnivore overnight and never looked back. But I spent a month before I made the switch learning everything I could about plant based nutrition and how to meet my needs. I really like the book "Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet" By Brenda Davis, RD, and Vesanto Melina, RD. They go into great detail and use science and studies to back up their advice and observations. It helped me feel more confident about my situation. I also read a ton of books on all aspects of veganism...ethical, spiritual, environmental, health...I made a list of all the plant foods I was already eating and enjoying, and I built a menu and recipes off those. For example, I was already consuming oatmeal and fruit at breakfast, and lentils and bean/vegetable soups, and peanut butter and fresh fruits and salads, and almonds and dates etc. I visited sites like VegWeb, Post Punk Kitchen, Vegan Dad and more to learn plant based cooking and food prep. I researched substitutions in baking and cooking vegan style. I checked out vegan/vegetarian books from my local library and copied some recipes. A lot of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks have chapters devoted to listing common plant based staples to keep in your kitchen, like tomato paste, vinegars, coconut oil, applesauce, ground flaxseeds, sweet potatoes etc. Menu planning at first also helps, until you get the hang of things. I would plan meals for the next week and then know what to buy at the store for that week. I also kept it simple and stuck to familiar whole foods such as spaghetti with a tomato/vegetable/lentil sauce, or sweet potato, kale, and black beans simmered in vegetable broth and almond milk and curry powder. I stayed away from the faux plant based cheeses and "meats" for my first two years vegan because I wanted to move away from imitaing an animal based diet. I enjoy those items from time to time now, but I really learned a lot about plant based cooking and what to eat when I kept my food choices mostly whole and simple, and my grocery bill was much cheaper. I did buy plant milks but eventually invested in a high speed blender and sometimes make my own flaxseed milk, rice milk, or almond milk. I also researched local restaurants and grocery store items that were veg friendly, not only for myself but for social occasions. Happy Cow is great for that. :) Now, at the time I went vegan, I was working part time and preparing to start college (I am 43 years old and finished college in 2014, so I am not all that young lol; I went vegan when I was 38). I had perhaps more time than others to do my research and jump right in. It was also easy for me because I did it for very strong ethical reasons and I was self motivated. After a while it all becomes second nature. I would start with basics, learning about how to meet your nutritional needs as a vegetarian or vegan. Make a list of plant foods you enjoy and build from there. Embrace all that the plant kingdom has to offer! I am still a young vegan at five years vegan, and I am still discovering new recipes, techniques, and plant foods I didn't know about before. And vegan products have exploded just in the five years I have been vegan. I can actually find soy milk in gas stations now, and even single serve almond milks. Best wishes!