My journey into vegetarianism

Joined Jan 26, 2001
I thought this would be interesting. My husband has been a semi-vegetarian for a long time, only recently deciding he wants to cut fish out all together.

I have always been a meat-eater. I have also always had digestive problems. I remember going to the doctor when I was young and the doctor saying "There are elephants and zebras running around in there!" Back then, nobody ever considered eliminating items from my diet since I did not show classic signs of allergies.

I have kept a food journal for the past month, including how I feel that day physically and emotionally. As a baker and piano player, my hands and joints are important. I actually found a relation to dairy with arthritic-feeling joints. I don't know if it is psychological or physical, but when I cut dairy out my body feels stronger.

So this past week, for seven days now, I have been a vegetarian, leaning toward veganism but not completely. I wanted to put this on here to get feed back hopefully from other people who have gone through the journey and remember what it was like, maybe to get encouragement and suggestions.

For me, not eating meat isn't an animal-rights thing, at least it wasn't at first. However, when I read that most of our open land is used to grow grain for livestock when there are so many people starving, that effected me a lot. It was first a health issue, then a people issue, then I started reading about the animals. I thought dairy was fine, I mean, the cows have to be alive to produce milk, right? But then I read more about that. I don't want to get into it very much. I'm still very new, and am in no means a violent animal rights activist. I'm just trying to figure out how my eating habits fit in with my conscience.

I've also read More With Less and Diet for a Small Planet, which were both interesting resources.

So this past week I've experimented witha lot of new things. I discovered I love Tofutti, its like frozen custard in texture! Who knew. I've heard some people say buying vegetarian food is expensive, but only if you buy all pre-prepared stuff. Most of the time I prefer to make my own. I have found a brand with consistently high quality- Amy's- they have wonderful pizzas, including one with no cheese, organic crust and veggies that have been roasted. Pretty decent for a supermarket product. I have also learned that half of the "veggie burgers" out there have cheese in them. That surprised me.

Well, anyway, just wanted to share. I'll keep sharing if you want me to, as I learn more.



Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
There are many great vegetarian dishes. I consider it an overlooked cuisine of it's own. I am not a vegetarian however. Still, in the hot summer, vegetarian type dishes roll out of my kitchen more often than in the winter just because of the good produce and they "sit" better in my stomach during the hot days of summer.

If you find the ethics compelling, all the better for you. Personally, it's all products of life so I view them equal respect.

Joined May 6, 2001
You'll find that some of the dairy substitue cheeses have cassinate (a milk derived protien) in them as well-something to keep in mind. I too have noticed an improved allover healthiness when I cut out dairy. I read every label at the store and am often suprised at what the food items contain. I generaly don't purchase alot of prepared items but, of the ones I do , I have found the pickings somewhat slim.
Joined Aug 12, 2002

I'm new here but have been ovo-lacto-veg (eggs/dairy) since 1985. In a similar vein, I "grew into" hayfever when I was 14 (I'm 45 now.) Went to an allergist & had the shots in the back & went through treatment (shots every day/every week/every month) for many years with no relief.) As time went on, my allergies worsened. I got so that I could take actifed, sudafed AND alcohol and still walk & talk like other people. (Definitely NOT a Good Thing.) In 1985, I experienced the health food version of "finding God" in that I "discovered health foods" & went off all processed & preserved foods. Guess what? For the first time in 15 years, my allergies were actually dormant! I use that term because if I introduced processed/preserved foods, the allergies returned. Not once had a doctor suggested something so simple (relatively speaking) as changing my diet. It's been 17 years now & I no longer need to be so stringent on my diet to control my allergies. Although I know there's a place in this world for doctors (IE, if I'm in an accident or having a heart attack - GET ME A DOCTOR!) but I do believe many doctors are either afraid or threatened by "alternative medicine".

Anyway, as far as the animal rights portion goes, that's a part of the process. I initially did not "go veg" for the animals, but it's certainly a concern now. If you stay with this, you'll discover there's always another line that you have to define for yourself. IE, the issue of 'leather'. When someone professes a strong belief in God & attends church regularly, it seems others are eager to point out their flaws that would be considered normal in someone else. Vegetarianism/veganism attracts that kind of attention, as well. My advice to you is to just experiment, have fun & do what feels good & right for you. There are many vegetarian meals that are tasty, healthy & even elegant. And as you mentioned, they are usually MUCH cheaper than non-veg meals.

And I'm glad you're finding that it's helped you feel better!

BTW, I've been veg for 17 years & have been married to a non-veg for 19 years, so we have a "mixed marriage."
Joined Sep 11, 2002
I began not eating some types of meat about 9 years ago, when certain types started making me ill each time I ate them. Now, I am a vegetarian and I eat limited egg/dairy. I would like to cut out egg and dairy entirely, because I sometimes feel funny when I eat it, but I haven't completely succeeded as of yet. My doctor told me my body was probably unable to digest certain proteins or enzymes, and that was the cause for it. In any event, I feel much better over all than I used to, and the less eggs/dairy I eat, the better I feel. There are a lot of great things you can do with vegetarian dishes- but with packaged foods and menu items, you have to be careful. Don't assume a can of vegetable soup is vegetarian- many have a chicken or beef broth in them. I don't think being a vegetarian is necessarily any more expensive- but it can eb at times, depending on what you develop a preference for (I absolutely love portobello mushrooms, which are currently $6.99 a pound here...)
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