Help me become more vegetarian without losing muscle
March 10, 2014 1:37 PM Subscribe
I am thinking of scaling back my factory farm meat intake and eating only the happy cows who are given hugs and sunshine every day. Complicating factor is I like a LOT of protein to support my lifting, and I'd never be able to afford as much $7+/lbs meat as I need to support that intake. I would like to hear the experiences of weight-lifting semi-omnivores on how they made this work for them. Bonus question: if I'm cutting out factory farmed meat, should I cut out eggs, fish, and whey protein too, or are the conditions that produce those a little less horrible?
posted by schroedinger to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
This is an incredibly huge step as ever since coming back to meat in my early 20s I have been a voracious meat eater. But having done more reading about factory farms and viewing of videos I am tremendously uncomfortable with continuing to support an industry that puts animals in those conditions (and with the waste they produce). I am less uncomfortable with the grass-fed type of meat where the animals are treated more humanely, or wild-caught meat from hunting, but I also don't have the funds to eat these regularly.
However, I still want to maintain a high animal protein intake (like, 150g+/day). I don't know how to do this except by upping my intake of whey protein, dairy products, and eggs (and fish, but still struggling with the commercial fisheries issue). But there's no point in doing that if those are all produced terribly, right? So are the conditions that get those items slightly less terrible than factory farms? People who scaled back meat intake for factory-farm issues, how did you sort through what you did and did not eat? Do you have tips for getting cheaper "ethical" meat?
ALSO--has anyone who's scaled back their meat intake done so while maintaining a very rigorous lifting schedule (at least 3x/week) with an eye towards competing in whichever lifting sport you're devoting yourself to? How did you make it work?
(Please do not argue in favor of plant or soy-based protein options. Those were my main protein choices when I was a young vegetarian and I found animal-based proteins to be a lot more effective.)