Considering vegetarianism - hints, tips and thoughts?
July 25, 2014 2:42 PM Subscribe
More and more, I've been thinking along the lines that eating meat doesn't fit at all with my ethics and value system - particularly non-violence. I'm thinking of quitting and becoming vegetarian - but to complicate matters, I really like meat (in moderation). Should I do it, and if so, what tips do people have? Snowflakes inside.
posted by winterhill to Food & Drink (44 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
The more time I spend out and about, close to nature, the more I watch animals and birds and other creatures living their lives, the more I realise how intelligent and loving and conscious they are of their surroundings and the less willing I am to eat them! For example, I was watching a bird, just a wood-pigeon, in my garden yesterday collecting twigs, flying up into the woods to make its nest. I'm starting to realise that birds and animals are just like us, really - trying their best to provide for their family. I believe they can feel emotions and they're a lot more perceptive and intelligent than they let on.
I can't even watch violent scenes on TV or films, I don't process suffering at all well and find even the thought of pain and torture and death an intense trigger for me, I feel physically sick even thinking about people or creatures hurting. I'm totally against any form of conflict or violence, and so I feel like the world's worst hypocrite for eating meat. By definition, eating meat feels like a violent act to me. I grew up in a rural community, so I am not naive to the grisly facts behind meat production.
At present, I don't eat supermarket or processed or 'anonymous' meat that could be from anywhere. I only buy it from a local shop, where I know exactly which local farms it's come from and know it's been treated well during its life. It costs more, and I eat less of it, but that's OK. The problem is, I really do enjoy well-cooked, properly prepared meat! I like the taste and the texture and the smell - but I feel guilty after eating it. I'm fine with milk and eggs and products that are from animals, as long as they aren't hurt or harmed in that process. I'm also struggling a bit with wearing leather shoes, for the same reason.
So, I've come pretty close to a decision to stop eating meat. I think it would be a good contributor to my own personal peace-of-mind. But if I just cut meat out of my current diet, I'd be left with a few staple dishes - veg pasta and veg curry are nice, but more variety would be needed. I already cook meals from scratch at home most of the time, so I'm not learning to cook, but it would be different ingredients and different techniques to what I do now.
Should I do this - do I have a good enough reason, or am I just being pernickety? And if I do go through with it, what alternatives to meat do I have, bearing in mind I'm in a fairly traditional part of England and have access to just normal shops, not specialist ones locally. Is tofu, for instance, a good alternative to chicken (and where do you get it, because I've never seen it for sale!)? Are there other things I should be looking at, particularly to preserve my current balanced diet and avoid a lack of proteins or other things? What 'gotchas' should I be watching out for? I'd really love to hear your stories and tips and things. :)