the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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seekeroftruth
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by seekeroftruth » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:44 am

I congratulate you Tex on wanting to becoming vegetarian. I made the change almost 2 yrs ago and am a lacto-veg/lacto-ovo veg now, slowly removing any egg from my diet. I still eat cheese and any dairy within most food I buy, but whenever I cook my own food, I use soy milk and vegan butter. My change was very abrupt, I went to class one day wanting to buy a turkey sub when I got out, watched the documentary 'Meet Your Meat', and left class to get a veggie sub and have not been back. I did not really notice any cravings or weakness afterward, but I know it became easier to eat some food after a few weeks. I used to not like many veggies before I became vegetarian, but I came to like a lot of veggies after. I do not do much cooking right now, and I probably do not have a very balanced diet, but I manage what I can and plan to learn how to cook more foods so I can have everything I need.

To jump over to Alan for a second, I saw a very interesting documentary called 'Fowl Play', that looks at the lives of chickens and the eggs they produce. The interesting thing from this documentary was that cage-less chickens do not have a better life than caged birds, they are just crammed into a barn, filled with chickens. I would suggest using free-range eggs, I do not know much about them, but I assume they would be what you are talking about, chickens allowed to run outside.
"Better it is to live one day seeing the supreme Dhamma than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the supreme Dhamma" ~ Dhp 115

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Potato
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by Potato » Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:35 pm

The study on which the Weston A. Price Foundation bases it claims that soy is bad for you was badly flawed. If soy was really as bad as the Price lunatics claim, breast cancer and man-boobs would be endemic across Asia.

Also, bear in mind that neither Sally Fallon nor Mary Enig, currently the loudest proponents of Price's nonsense, have ever published a peer-reviewed article.

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Tex
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by Tex » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:01 am

Okay, so it's been 10 days.

I haven't really noticed any physical difference. I was a little tired last week, not totally exhausted or anything, just felt like going to bed an hour earlier than normal a couple of times. I don't even know if the diet change had anything to do with that or if I was just tired from a busy week at work.

I only really "craved" meat once, in a sports bar/restaurant with a friend. The smell of buffalo wings was overwhelming. For our non-Americans, no, we don't have winged buffaloes, although that would be pretty cool -- Buffalo is a city famous for a sauce most often used on chicken wings. But I found out that you can order a basket of fries and a little bowl of buffalo sauce to dip the fries into. After that I realized it was the sauce I was craving, not the chicken.

So maybe meat cravings come later? Maybe I just wasn't eating enough meat to get them?

Anyway, I'm just relaying this in case anyone else is contemplating a similar change. I was somewhat daunted by such a seemingly-huge lifestyle change, but honestly, it's been a piece of cake (so far). Other than when I'm at the grocery store or putting together a meal, it's hardly even crossed my mind.
"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

notself
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by notself » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:27 am

Tex wrote:Yep, after contemplating it for quite some time, I finally decided I'm not going to eat meat anymore. Even if I'm not directly responsible for the animal being killed, I'm just no longer okay with eating anything that was once a sentient being. Never would have imagined this a couple years ago! But here I am.

So I've made the decision and have done some research online, but I still have some questions, and I know we have quite a few vegetarians here, so I'd appreciate any guidance...

1) What about iron? Supplements? Do they get the iron that they put in the pills from animals?

2) I think I've found a variety of rices, pastas, beans, whole grains, nuts, etc to keep my protein level fairly close to where it is now (I'm a big guy and I work out regularly, so I need around 80-100 grams a day), but do any of you use protein supplements, shakes, etc? I'm just leery of any "protein supplements" since the FDA tends to ban things after they've been on the market. Any recommendations here?

3) Dairy? If I continue to eat dairy, this solves the protein dilemma easily. But would it be hypocritical for me to stop eating meat because I don't want animals killed for my consumption while still continuing to consume dairy from animals that often are treated very poorly in a dairy farm? Thoughts here?

4) Are there any potential health changes or concerns that I need to be aware of in making this switch rather abruptly? This wasn't intended to be a New Year's resolution, that's just how it worked out -- I made the decision a couple weeks ago and this is when the meat in the freezer ran out (can't afford to throw out food that's already been paid for). So I've been a regular meat-eater all my life up through yesterday -- is stopping meat consumption so abruptly anything to be concerned about?

Thanks in advance for any input or guidance.
Log everything you eat into this free online journal. http://www.fitday.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; It will give you a report on all of the nutrients you are eating, including iron and protien. Keep the journal until you are comfortable that you are eating correctly. Iron and protein were not a problem when I tried to become a vegetarian. I did succeed in cutting way back on meat, fish and poultry, but I am still not 100%. I did find it unnecessary to take a multivitamin after logging all my food. I did start taking more calcium and increased my Vitamin D. Best wishes on becoming a vegetarian.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

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tiltbillings
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:34 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
alan wrote: General health tips: Fish oil is good, Krill oil is far superior.
They are not vegetarian. If it is for the omega-3 benefits, those same benefits can be gained from eating flax seeds or walnuts.
Flax oil, easily gotten, is an excellent choice for the Omegas and it does not involve killing creatures.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Paññāsikhara
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by Paññāsikhara » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:43 am

Tex wrote:Okay, so it's been 10 days.

I haven't really noticed any physical difference. I was a little tired last week, not totally exhausted or anything, just felt like going to bed an hour earlier than normal a couple of times. I don't even know if the diet change had anything to do with that or if I was just tired from a busy week at work.

I only really "craved" meat once, in a sports bar/restaurant with a friend. The smell of buffalo wings was overwhelming. For our non-Americans, no, we don't have winged buffaloes, although that would be pretty cool -- Buffalo is a city famous for a sauce most often used on chicken wings. But I found out that you can order a basket of fries and a little bowl of buffalo sauce to dip the fries into. After that I realized it was the sauce I was craving, not the chicken.

So maybe meat cravings come later? Maybe I just wasn't eating enough meat to get them?

Anyway, I'm just relaying this in case anyone else is contemplating a similar change. I was somewhat daunted by such a seemingly-huge lifestyle change, but honestly, it's been a piece of cake (so far). Other than when I'm at the grocery store or putting together a meal, it's hardly even crossed my mind.
<< Shocking images of what sort of aerial jettisoned gifts flying winged buffalo may drop on unsuspecting pedestrians below >>

Sounds good so far! Hope all continues without any problems. :)
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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Ben
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by Ben » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:02 am

Well done Tex.
My own transition is a little bumpier - it comes with living wih a household of meat-eating barbarians. I had a near mutiny the other night when I served up tempeh burgers. Definitely not my finest culinary effort and didn't taste as good as I remember from my macrobiotic days.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Clueless Git
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by Clueless Git » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:27 am

Tex wrote:Yep, after contemplating it for quite some time, I finally decided I'm not going to eat meat anymore.
Congrats Tex :)

The 'trick' is simply to make sure your diet includes a good rotation from the different veggie food groups and from within each food group be sure to rotate through all the different colours.

No animal can synthesise stuff like iron and B12. Any iron, b12 etc that the cold dead flesh of animals contains comes soley from the vegetable matter which they eat.

You may get some 'detox' symptons as your body adjusts to a far cleaner diet than it has been used to btw.

Reductor
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by Reductor » Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:16 pm

Ben wrote:Well done Tex.
My own transition is a little bumpier - it comes with living wih a household of meat-eating barbarians. I had a near mutiny the other night when I served up tempeh burgers. Definitely not my finest culinary effort and didn't taste as good as I remember from my macrobiotic days.
kind regards

Ben

:console:

My wife has a 'fetish' for liver and various organ meats :? Often I would find such stuff hidden in my food. Hence I have decided to do all my own cooking.

Luckily the kids don't seem struck on meat. But a stubborn wife is going to be trouble enough. :shrug:
I told her to keep such things far from my plate, but that she could dine out on it to her hearts content.

notself
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by notself » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:43 pm

Clueless Git wrote:
Tex wrote:Yep, after contemplating it for quite some time, I finally decided I'm not going to eat meat anymore.
Congrats Tex :)

The 'trick' is simply to make sure your diet includes a good rotation from the different veggie food groups and from within each food group be sure to rotate through all the different colours.

No animal can synthesise stuff like iron and B12. Any iron, b12 etc that the cold dead flesh of animals contains comes soley from the vegetable matter which they eat.

You may get some 'detox' symptons as your body adjusts to a far cleaner diet than it has been used to btw.
Iron can be found in many vegetables. B12 only comes from animal products. Butter, milk and eggs all contain B12
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by BubbaBuddhist » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:36 am

Image
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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Tex
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by Tex » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:50 am

Bubbabuddhist wrote:Image
:woohoo:
"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

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appicchato
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by appicchato » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:14 am

notself wrote:B12 only comes from animal products. Butter, milk and eggs all contain B12
My bottle of 'One A Day' says I get 300% of our MDR of vitamin B12 in every pill...which animal does that come from?...

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DNS
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by DNS » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:18 am

notself wrote: B12 only comes from animal products. Butter, milk and eggs all contain B12
The adult human only needs 2.4 micrograms of B12 per day and it is stored in the body. (1,000 micrograms equals one gram) Thus, a vegan could take supplements or simply eat one egg or cheese meal per month or so and get all the B12 they need.

There are some vegan sources (in limited amounts) that have B12 too, including tempeh, miso, sea vegetables, and nutritional yeast.

For lacto-ovo (dairy and eggs) vegetarians it is not an issue and they consume more than enough of B12 and other nutrients, with a balanced, healthy diet (limited amounts of junk food).

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Monkey Mind
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Post by Monkey Mind » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:22 am

Bubbabuddhist wrote:Image
My own experience: any veggie product that is supposed to simulate meat, like tofurkey, is just YUCKY. I prefer veggie food that acts like veggie food. I love garden burgers, but they never really claimed to be a meat substitute.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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