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.
Yah! Congratulations! You have made an important decision, and if you stick with it, I am sure that it will lead to many great results - physically, emotionally and spiritually.
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...
Okay. I also did a fair bit of research on the subject before making the change.
1) What about iron? Supplements? Do they get the iron that they put in the pills from animals?
I have almost never taken supplements, and haven't had any problems. When I was born, I was very anemic - which is iron deficiency - and the doctors made all sorts of warnings and stuff to my mother about me. However, although I've always had low blood pressure, too, I've had less problems as a vegetarian than I did when eating meat. Still, if you are showing signs of lack of iron, then maybe take some supplements, this example is just me, and everyone is different.
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?
I have always tried to eat healthily. Years ago, before I ordained, I used to eat a lot of Indian style vegetarian food, like what you'll find at Food for Life - the Hare Krishna restaurants. Nowadays, I eat mainly Chinese style vege. Both have long traditions of vegetarianism, so are very balanced.
From what I know, we don't actually need as much protein as many people would like us to believe (to sell us all that meat). I never taken protein supplements, shakes, or anything like that. Try without first, and only look into this if there is an actual problem. If it's not broken, don't fix it.
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?
Sure. Eating Indian style vege has a lot of dairy, but Chinese style has almost none. This is more an ethical question, and depends where you yourself wish to draw the line. My recommendation would be to first keep eating dairy, and just reduce the actual meat and fish. If you can do this okay for maybe a year or so, with no health or other issues, then maybe you can go vegan. Don't try too much at once. You are already doing really well.
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?
Unless you've been eating huge amounts of meat before making this change, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Maybe the first couple of weeks or months may be a change for your stomach and digestive system. Meat stays in the intestines for a long time (mainly just kind of rotting away), so once this is cleared out, you may have stronger feelings of hunger. But this will soon go away. And once it goes away, you'll just kind of feel physically cleaner on the inside. It takes a bit of time for the body to expunge all those meaty toxins out of the whole system. This is a bit like detox, going cold turkey. But it is just a process, giving up an addiction. Once you come out the other side, then it is a different story. Soon, even the thought of eating meat will seem kind of repulsive. (It's like smoking, giving up may be hard, but once one has quit, the smell is totally gross!)
Thanks in advance for any input or guidance.
All the best! Try to avoid nay-sayers, and (so-called) friends who wish to make light of your decision.
On behalf of small and large animals everywhere, thank you for deciding not to eat us anymore!!