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Author Topic: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?  (Read 570 times)

ehbowen

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What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« on: October 30, 2018, 04:23:46 am »
...if in fact you are a vegetarian at all, which I'm not (omnivore with definite tendencies towards carnivore). But it would be interesting to know how strict the other members who do observe dietary restrictions are and what those restrictions are based on. I'm sure religious/moral/ethical concerns are a big factor for many here, but some dietary observations are based on food allergies, medical considerations, price and availability, or just plain personal preference. And among those who consider themselves vegetarians there is a range from strict vegans to those who will eat dairy and (unfertilized) egg products. I've even run across a pescetarian; he eats fish and shellfish but otherwise avoids products of birds and land animals. "Lapsed" and "occasional" are also valid answers here. So, let us know a little bit about what keeps your home fires burning!
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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 10:04:14 am »
...if in fact you are a vegetarian at all, which I'm not (omnivore with definite tendencies towards carnivore). But it would be interesting to know how strict the other members who do observe dietary restrictions are and what those restrictions are based on. I'm sure religious/moral/ethical concerns are a big factor for many here, but some dietary observations are based on food allergies, medical considerations, price and availability, or just plain personal preference. And among those who consider themselves vegetarians there is a range from strict vegans to those who will eat dairy and (unfertilized) egg products. I've even run across a pescetarian; he eats fish and shellfish but otherwise avoids products of birds and land animals. "Lapsed" and "occasional" are also valid answers here. So, let us know a little bit about what keeps your home fires burning!

I've tried becoming vegetarian several times, each time being a dismal failure. I use the lame excuse that I carry the "warrior gene" (which I do: SNP rs3027399 alleles G/C) and would probably be kṣatriyaḥ varna (social order, not "caste"), the military and administrative class. I eat pork, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, dairy. I do not eat lamb (no reason to eat cute baby animals), veal (baby beef), or beef (Hindu sensibilities). However, I have my own feelings about beef, being that beef in the US is not the same cow revered by Hindus. But I avoid it if at all possible, nevertheless.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

EnderDragonFire

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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 03:42:00 am »
So, let us know a little bit about what keeps your home fires burning!

Well, I'm primarily a vegetarian for religious reasons. Vaishnava Hinduism strongly encourages vegetarianism (as do several other Hindu branches), and Krishna in particular had pretty clear-cut views on killing animals.

However, I also personally don't think it's right to kill animals for food. I attempted to become vegetarian twice as a teen, when I was an atheist, so it's reasonable to assume I would be a vegetarian regardless of what my religion mandated. I certainly wouldn't be supporting the meat industry and the way it treats animals.

I might could accept an argument that some meat is acceptable, in some situations, if it weren't for my religious beliefs, but I could never condone the type of meat consumption common in the modern industrialized world.

I also do think there are valid environmental and health reasons to avoid meat, but those aren't my main motivators. Livestock might not be great for the environment, but considering how many other things are doing even greater damage to the biosphere, I find it to be somewhat minor concern. As for health, meat actually can be healthy in some circumstances; my main concern is actually contamination rather than nutrition. Back when I still consumed meat, I always wanted it to be extremely well done, because I was paranoid about intestinal parasites. Not eating meat makes those much easier to avoid, since it's their main transition vector.

...but, anyway, as I said, my main concerns are religious, moral, and ethical. Other concerns are secondary, and not the primary reason I choose to avoid meat.

As for what sort of vegetarian I am, I follow the principle of Ahimsa. Put simple, I don't consume any animal product that requires you to kill, injure, or violate the corpse of an animal to harvest. Milk and eggs are fine (as long as the eggs are unfertilized), as well as honey and traditionally harvested lac extract, because the animals excrete those ingredients naturally without being harmed. Substances that come out of animals on their own, without the animals dying in the process, are acceptable.

On the other hand, products that requite you to remove tissue from an animals dead body, or which require you to significantly injure or kill an animal to obtain, are not acceptable. Gelatin, collagen, blood, bone, meat, skin, fat, brains, organs, are all unacceptable, as well as things like musk or rennet, which require killing the animal to extract, are also not allowed. Unfortunately, some ingredients which could be harvested without killing or harming animals, are not harvested in such a manner in the modern world. I mentioned lac extract above, and it's one such example.

Lac bugs excrete shellac when they make their nests for their eggs, and it was traditionally harvested as a food additive without killing the bugs, but modern methods often don't bother to remove them, or even intentionally kill them so they can be used for making dyes. So, I'm rather cautious of eating foods with shellac in them, unless I do my homework about the specific product first.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2018, 04:04:05 am »
I use the lame excuse that I carry the "warrior gene" (which I do: SNP rs3027399 alleles G/C) and would probably be kṣatriyaḥ varna (social order, not "caste"), the military and administrative class.

My understanding is that (post-Vedic) Hindu scripture doesn't exempt the Kshatriya Varna from meat taboos. Rather, they historically ate meat despite taboos because their social status afforded the privilege of breaking the rules.

Basically, the people who ran society, organized the armies, and controlled most of the wealth ignored religious injunctions against meat eating because nobody could stop them. It's the same reason that many wealthy people in modern India, regardless of Varna, consume meat and even beef; they are above reproach due to their socioeconomic status.

Please note that I'm not criticizing your decision to eat meat as an individual. It's your right to do so if you please. Rather, I'm questioning the historical and theological basis for using one's being of the Kshatriya Varna to legitimize or justify eating meat within the context of Hinduism. My interpretation of the Mahabarata and the Srimad Bhagavatam, and most other interpretations I've read, don't link vegetarianism to Varna.

I've tried becoming vegetarian several times, each time being a dismal failure.

I am rather curious what caused you to fail, if you don't mind my asking? I see people mention failing at being vegetarian all the time on the internet, but as I personally don't find myself ever compelled to eat meat, and have succeeded at not doing so years, I'm curious why so many people can't make it work. What part of it do you find difficult?


"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 10:19:48 am »
My understanding is that (post-Vedic) Hindu scripture doesn't exempt the Kshatriya Varna from meat taboos. Rather, they historically ate meat despite taboos because their social status afforded the privilege of breaking the rules.

That's quite true, given there are always interpretations. For example, when Rama, Sita and Lakshmana lived in the forest, their nutrition was probably largely from hunting, with some gathering and foraging. They were probably the archetypal hunter-gatherers. Yet other interpretations are they ate whatever nuts, fruits, berries they found. Personally I'm not so sure about that.

Quote
Basically, the people who ran society, organized the armies, and controlled most of the wealth ignored religious injunctions against meat eating because nobody could stop them. It's the same reason that many wealthy people in modern India, regardless of Varna, consume meat and even beef; they are above reproach due to their socioeconomic status.

There's always an element of "do as I say, not as I do" with the rich and powerful. Even in Saudi Arabia, whose constitution is the Quran, the royal family is known for its partying and consumption of alcohol.

Quote
Please note that I'm not criticizing your decision to eat meat as an individual. It's your right to do so if you please. Rather, I'm questioning the historical and theological basis for using one's being of the Kshatriya Varna to legitimize or justify eating meat within the context of Hinduism. My interpretation of the Mahabarata and the Srimad Bhagavatam, and most other interpretations I've read, don't link vegetarianism to Varna.

I understand completely. That's why I said "I use the lame excuse...". ;D It was more tongue-in-cheek than anything genuine. I'm not a warrior, never was, never will be (except maybe under some 'Red Dawn' scenario). So yeah, it's largely a lame excuse.

Quote
I am rather curious what caused you to fail, if you don't mind my asking? I see people mention failing at being vegetarian all the time on the internet, but as I personally don't find myself ever compelled to eat meat, and have succeeded at not doing so years, I'm curious why so many people can't make it work. What part of it do you find difficult?

I don't mind at all. A large part of it is planning, or the failure thereof. I do have days that are almost completely vegetarian. I'm learning to cook Indian (Indians are sooo tasty! *facepalm* lol). Seriously, my Indian coworkers are amazed and impressed when I bring my lunch. They walk into the kitchen/break room, sniff and know what I'm eating. I joke and say I must have gotten it right, and get a "yes, yes you did". Anyway, there are plenty of dal (I have containers full of different kinds), paneer, rice, potato and vegetable dishes that are nutritious, filling and healthy. Though admittedly I use too much ghee. Note also that these dishes tend to be carb-heavy, a decided weakness and downfall for me... I'm a carboholic. I can eat a ton of rice, pasta and potatoes. I force myself to eat plants, and am very picky even then. But, I will happily chow down on vegs someone else has made. So I can do it.


śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

EnderDragonFire

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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 02:32:58 pm »
I don't mind at all. A large part of it is planning, or the failure thereof. I do have days that are almost completely vegetarian. I'm learning to cook Indian (Indians are sooo tasty! *facepalm* lol).

Note also that these dishes tend to be carb-heavy, a decided weakness and downfall for me... I'm a carboholic. I can eat a ton of rice, pasta and potatoes. I force myself to eat plants, and am very picky even then.

Yeah, planning is what defeated me when I tried to be veg as a teen. I just didn't think about what I would be eating, and then I would be faced with either eating meat, or not eating at all, and caved in to the meat. It wasn't a craving for meat, but rather simple hunger.

Once I got around to actually committing to the course, though, planning became less and less of a problem. The first year, I ate fish two times because it was offered to me and there was no other food, and I was hungry, but after that I never knowingly ate meat again.

I does help that I like vegetables and dairy, more than I ever liked meat. My family used to get gift baskets at Christmas time with sausage and cheese, and I always went for the cheese first. I also have a very supportive family, who are omnivores but who don't put pressure on me, and who actually go out of their way to help make sure I have something to eat when I stay with them.

At this point, I can actually skip a meal if there's nothing veg, and I've had to do so a few times. It's a matter of discipline, and vegetarianism is one of those things that gets easier the longer you do it. I haven't even considered the option of eating meat in a very long time. I manged to travel abroad, with a group of omnivores, in South America, without breaking over and eating meat (and there was, unfortunately, some peer pressure involved in that instance "you gotta immerse in the culture" type stuff).
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 09:24:30 pm »
I am rather curious what caused you to fail, if you don't mind my asking? I see people mention failing at being vegetarian all the time on the internet, but as I personally don't find myself ever compelled to eat meat, and have succeeded at not doing so years, I'm curious why so many people can't make it work. What part of it do you find difficult?

Though you're not asking me, I'll answer: the catastrophic health effects, particularly the complete failure of cognitive function and the severe depression.  Basically it punts me over into "I'd die but I'm too tired" with a side of catastrophic brain fog, and that is really kind of an obnoxious state to live in even without the fact that nothing bloody well gets done in that condition.

Different bodies work best on different fuels, really. Food is like religion that way.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
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we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2018, 09:43:12 am »

A part-time one. Food is important to us Orthodox, and we swing endlessly between fasting and feasting. Orthodox fasting is basically going vegan (it's more complicated than that, but that's the closest brief descriptor available), and covers, more or less strictly, about half the year - four lengthy periods totalling at least 102 days, plus Wednesdays and Fridays year-long (with a few exceptions) and a handful more occasional cases. A calendar is indispensable if one wants to keep all fasts strictly.

Since I live with my non-Orthodox family and I'm not in charge of the cooking, I eat whatever I'm given at family meals and go by the rules when I have only myself to feed. I'm naturally omnivorous, so the lengthier periods can be a struggle, but a day here and there are no big deal. I depend a lot on beans for protein, and I make a conscious effort to eat them with salad more often than with rice - carbs, especially rice, are my happy foods and I can overdo it very easily.

Another struggle is that I love raw veg, but cooked, not so much. I can practically live on raw salads over the summer, especially when it's as hot as the last couple of ones have been, but winter fasts, especially the Advent 40-day stretch, with all its pre-Christmas tempting treats, make me struggle a lot more.

Occasionally I get dairy cravings and I can subsist on rice with yogurt and/or four-cheese pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner for days on end. Don't judge. :P
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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2018, 05:40:58 pm »


I'm a lacto-ovo-vegetarian.  For in excess of two decades.  I've eaten meat twice in that time, then immediately returned to vegetarianism both times*.

I'm always pointing people in the direction of the Vegetarian Society website for definitions: 
https://www.vegsoc.org/definition

The reason I'm vegetarian is that I never enjoyed eating meat - I never really liked the taste of it (except for bacon and gammon) and as a child, as soon as I was old enough to realise I was eating an animal I'd always come over all queasy while eating meals with meat in them.  I used to try just not thinking about what I was eating, but that doesn't really work (it's like trying not to think of a purple giraffe, having decided/been told not to think of a purple giraffe, it's hard to think of anything else).

So as soon as I was old enough to move out of my folks' house and go off to university, I became a vegetarian and gave up the bacon & gammon in order to go the whole hog (pun, um, intended, I guess!)

As mentioned in other threads recently, though, I'm kinda not really a proper veggie much of the time, because I ought to avoid foods with animal byproducts such as gelatin, rennet and so forth - I'm just a trifle too lazy and weak willed to manage this entirely though.  Vegetarian cheese tends to crumble when you try to slice it and my husband won't eat it (and I've already got a fridge full of both meat & non-meat items, without trying to keep track of veggie & non-veggie cheeses as well); if someone's got sweeties with gelatin in I find it hard to resist, oh and most mince pies (a Christmas classic treat here in England) are made with suet, but I can't resist those either, as they're an old favourite of mine.  But I think those are my only failings, off the top of my head...

Also, I tend to try not to be too fussy if someone's using the same set of, for example, barbeque tongs to flip veggie burgers/sausages and meat ones - as long as I don't actually see it happen, know about it until afterwards, and my food isn't contaminated enough with meat grease for me to actually taste it!  If that makes sense.  In Subway sandwich shop they're always asking me if I want them to change their gloves in order to make my veggie delight sub, and I always say no don't bother, as I'd rather my food be the tiniest bit contaminated with some miniscule meat "stuff" than waste a set of plastic gloves earlier than necessary!

*The two times I ate meat were once after only a year or two of being veggie, I decided to try a burger for some reason but found it disgusting, and felt sick for the rest of the day.  And the other my Mum & I misread some packaging leading to me eating regular chicken kievs which we'd both thought were meat substitute of some sort until after I'd eaten them - Mum felt terrible about feeding me meat, but I actually didn't mind that much that time, because I'd felt okay while eating them, because I'd thought they weren't meat!

[Edit: added a more specific weblink]
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 05:50:29 pm by Pickle »

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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2018, 12:13:52 am »
Different bodies work best on different fuels, really. Food is like religion that way.

I'm one of those people who looks at food from a chemical point of view, and I see it as a means to an end (that end being, namely, surviving and getting through the day), rather than something special.

I don't see a difference between eating 10g of dairy protein, 10g of soy protein, or 10g of meat protein. It has the same effect, biologically speaking, and experientially speaking, I've never notices a qualitative difference.

As long as I get enough fat, protein, essential vitamins and minerals, and dietary fiber, I feel the same regardless of where I get those things from. Plants, animals, dairy, it doesn't matter to my body.

My own research has lead me to believe that that's generally the scientific consensus as well; the "complete protein" myth has been debunked for a while now, and there are good fats to be found in plants as well as animals, as well as good cholesterol in dairy and eggs. There is no essential nutrient that comes only from meat, nor are meat based diets inherently healthier.

HOWEVER, none of what I said above it to deny that you, personally, need meat for function. I have met many people who say the same thing you do; they feel weak and unable to function on a vegetarian diet.

I believe that is probably 100% true for you, but I would hazard to guess that the reason you feel that way is not biological, but rather psychological, emotional, and cultural in nature. Your body doesn't require meat to function, unless you have some fringe nutritional disorder; rather, it is you as a person who needs meat, because there's some aspect of eating it that you find necessary for your enjoyment of life.

If you think I am wrong, I would be curious to hear what biological factor you think is causing you to require meat. OTOH, if you find yourself agreeing with me, I would be curios to hear what it is that you think makes you need to eat meat to be happy and healthy? Were you raised eating it as a comfort food? Do you just find it pleasant to eat?

Of course, if you don't want me to pry, I won't pry! I am merely curious because so many people seem to have trouble with a vegetarian diet, and yet I personally find it to be much easier than other lifestyle changes that I have made or attempted to make in my life.

"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2018, 06:59:25 am »
If you think I am wrong, I would be curious to hear what biological factor you think is causing you to require meat. OTOH, if you find yourself agreeing with me, I would be curios to hear what it is that you think makes you need to eat meat to be happy and healthy? Were you raised eating it as a comfort food? Do you just find it pleasant to eat?

So, I have more than half a dozen chronic medical issues, and I actually do fairly regular bloodwork on things, as well as a degree of obsessive tracking about symptoms and effects (as I've tested things) that amuses my doctor a great deal. I do need a bit more protein than many people, and while I don't eat low-carb, I do try to keep it significantly lower than the average American diet. (Which means I can't rely on things like pasta, rice, or potatoes for bulk.)

If I make soy protein a noticeable portion of my diet, my brain stops working well, I have greater temperature regulation issues, and other hypothyroid side effects. (Soy is a thyroid inhibitor; the side effects I have are not true for everyone, but are moderately common. I don't fuss too much about soy oil and soy sauce in prepared foods because proportionately it's usually pretty small, but I also avoid edamame - alas - and make sure not to make cruciferous veggies a significant chunk of my diet for days at a time, because they also have a chemical that is a thyroid inhibitor.)

I have blood sugar issues: beans in moderate amounts are okay for me (i.e. a meal every three days or so where that's the main protein source) but if I start relying on it, my blood sugar gets less predictable in ways that a) make me feel lousy and b) have some longer term concerns. Neither of those is fun.

If I have an IUD and eat red meat a bit more than usual the week of my menstrual cycle, I stop having ongoing anemia issues. (The IUD alone doesn't quite do it. ) I otherwise do red meat once a week or so, and turkey, chicken, fish, or eggs the rest of the time.

A more recent discovery was learning that for me, taking a fish oil pill daily and making sure I eat fish 2-3 times a week does in fact significantly improve my cholesterol numbers (amusingly enough, I was having the appointment to talk about that a year or so ago when they announced a large study saying that for most people it doesn't make that much difference. Then I got the bloodwork back, and clearly it works for me, so.)

I can't rely on nuts for meals at work: my work is a nut-free campus (due to significant allergies in the students we serve.) So that's five meals a week in which I need something else. (Actually 10, since I eat breakfast at work. Breakfast is usually cottage cheese or yogurt)

And I do in fact like dairy and eggs, but I've had periodic conversations with my doctor and nutritionist about whether it's worth trying to cut down the dairy because of systemic inflammation responses (I really like dairy, so I have not been up for this). But if I did it would remove dairy as a functional protein source. (And it means that I can't sub in dairy for meat as an option in the current diet because I'm already relying on it more than is probably ideal.)

Leaving me, if I were vegetarian, with eggs. And I like eggs, but not to the degree I'd get enough protein day in day out. (And as noted, it wouldn't help the anemia issues, or the reasons I eat fish.)

And finally, there's a logistics one. Those multiple chronic conditions play badly with each other when it comes to fatigue, as well as periodic nausea and aversion to food (especially if I am eating the same foods for several days), and there are days when food prep or eating is nearly impossible. One of the easiest ways for me to reset some of that is to order delivery, and I get something I can eat that night, and something I can take to work the next day for lunch. I plan to get delivery one day a week (tonight, in fact).

I do actually live somewhere again where there's a wide range of vegetarian options, but a lot of those options include nuts (so can't take them to work) or rely on soy protein (tofu, etc.) which I can't use as a primary source if I want to, y'know, think.

So. I will keep on doing the things I'm doing, which involves a range of protein sources, in a mix. With the blessing of both my doctor and nutritionist, and calibration from actual bloodwork from what's going on in my biochemistry, as well as attentive self-observation. 
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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2018, 08:02:26 pm »
I don't see a difference between eating 10g of dairy protein, 10g of soy protein, or 10g of meat protein. It has the same effect, biologically speaking, and experientially speaking, I've never notices a qualitative difference.

As Jenett noted, there is a lot of difference in micro-nutrients between these foods. (Iron is a major one.) There's also the difference in fat content to consider - most plant protein sources are very lean, plus there's the different kinds of fats to consider (saturated, unsaturated, omega-3 etc.)

In my case, I also favor meat over legumes because of its density. Plant proteins come with a lot of fiber (according to the Canada food guide, a serving of legumes is 3/4 cup while a serving of meat is 1/2 cup). I'm a small person with, apparently, a fairly small stomach. If I were to eat only vegetable protein, I might not be able to ingest the volume of food I would need to stay healthy.

I'll also add the observation that the Inuit live quite well on a diet of 99% meat, so vegetables aren't any more necessary to the human diet than meat is. We are an incredibly varied and adaptable species. And I don't think any one of us can assume that our own physiology is typical of everyone. 

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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2018, 08:55:41 pm »
So. I will keep on doing the things I'm doing, which involves a range of protein sources, in a mix. With the blessing of both my doctor and nutritionist, and calibration from actual bloodwork from what's going on in my biochemistry, as well as attentive self-observation.

I suppose it makes sense. A doctor's job is to help you stay healthy, after all, and there's nothing unhealthy about eating meat. I do understand chronic illness, and the problems that it can cause, and I can see how living on an already restrictive diet makes being vegetarian even harder.

Eating nothing but eggs for your protein all the time would indeed be unpleasant. I've seen people attempt it with some success, but I know that I would have a hard time with it, for sure.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2018, 09:16:08 pm »
As Jenett noted, there is a lot of difference in micro-nutrients between these foods. (Iron is a major one.) There's also the difference in fat content to consider - most plant protein sources are very lean, plus there's the different kinds of fats to consider (saturated, unsaturated, omega-3 etc.)

Well, I'm a bit of a fat-aholic, so I probably get way more than most vegetarians. I keep butter, olive oil, and coconut oil in the house at all times, and I eat a lot of avocados. I do agree that veggie fat options are quite limited, though, and that is even more true if you are vegan or can't eat dairy or eggs for some reason, or if you have sensitivities to certain types of food (Legumes, for example).

I'll also add the observation that the Inuit live quite well on a diet of 99% meat, so vegetables aren't any more necessary to the human diet than meat is. We are an incredibly varied and adaptable species. And I don't think any one of us can assume that our own physiology is typical of everyone.

I would caution against anyone who isn't Inuit from trying to follow an all-meat diet, for several reasons:

1)Th Inuit consume most of the meat they eat raw, frozen, or fermented. This preserves carbohydrates that would otherwise be destroyed by cooking. If you are eating cooked meat, and no vegetables, your body will go into Ketosis due to the lack of carbohydrates.

So, if you really want to eat a diet like the Inuit, you need raw meat, or freshly frozen or fermented meat, and supermarket meat is not safe to eat raw, ever, under any circumstances, nor safe to ferment.

As a result of how unsafe commercial meat is, such a diet would necessitate a large amount of hunting to get meat, which isn't practical for most people because it takes a lot time, it requires a large volume available game animals, requires you to be physically fit and to know how to use a bow or firearm, and requires you to live in an area where hunting is legal year-round.

2) The Inuit have biological adaptations that make their diet easier, such as larger than average livers. In
contrast, most people of non-Inuit descent are adapted for eating both meat and plants, and would not be able to process large quantities of meat as well as they would a mixed diet.

I don't subscribe to the theory of race, but different human populations do have slight biological adaptations to their climate and lifestyle, and the Inuit are no exception; trying to live the way they live without those adaptations would be possible but not ideal.

3) Even with their cultural and biological adaptations, the Inuit diet has still been shown to have far higher rates of stroke and coronary artery disease than the standard American diet. It is not, even for the Inuit, an ideal diet, and leads to health complications due to eating so much red meat (mostly from sea mammals).

From a health point of view, not eating any vegetables is simply not as good as eating a mixed diet. There are real risks and complications involved, as a result of excess iron, excess cholesterol, and low amounts of fiber.

Insufficient dietary fiber can actually cause the development of diverticulitis, an unpleasant condition that causes constipation and other digestive complications, so it's best to incorporate fiber into your diet.

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Re: What Kind of a Vegetarian Are You?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2018, 10:13:36 pm »

I would caution against anyone who isn't Inuit from trying to follow an all-meat diet, for several reasons:


I brought up the Inuit mostly as a contrast to vegetarian diets. There are other groups around the world that traditionally live mostly on animal foods. I, personally, am not suited to either an all-meat or no-meat diet.

Of course the Inuit have unusual adaptations to a mostly-meat diet. The point I was trying to make is: Why do you believe your biology:

I've never notices a qualitative difference.
As long as I get enough fat, protein, essential vitamins and minerals, and dietary fiber, I feel the same regardless of where I get those things from. Plants, animals, dairy, it doesn't matter to my body.

isn't also unusual?

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