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Becoming a Vegetarian April 9, 2008 — tessimal | Edit


I became a vegetarian in the summer of 2007. I have many great reasons for making the life switch. This blog delves into some of these factors such as environmental, phsycological, physical, emotional, and ethical, reasons to become a vegetarian.

I reconnected with my old boyfriend and he has been my major influence on becoming a vegetarian. His whole ethical view on being a vegetarian was quite pursuading to me.

I believe it is much easier to become a vegetarian if you live with people that are vegans or are willing to eat vegetarian meals.

For me one of the best reasons I became a vegetarian was that when I became one, I lost a lot of extra weight that I had put on when I had my daughter.

When I was at my full term pregnancy weight, I weighed 213 lbs. After my daughter was born I weighed 183lbs. I struggled to lose weight for 6 years with little to no success. I had been slim all of my life.

My mother always said that after she had me and my brother her metabolism changed and giving birth to us resulted in her weight gain. She claims that she never could lose weight and get down to her wedding gown size.

I did not want to head down the same path my mother followed. My life looked like I would if I continued to implement her eating behaviors. Her motto, “You only live once,” implying you should eat to your hearts content.

I wish I had choosen to become a vegetarian earlier in life, ”But its better late than never!” The transition for me was not to difficult. Sometimes it was a little emotionally iritating when I could smell meat cooking. I would remember how juicy the gravy was over baked stuffed chicken, comfort food I use to prepare for my family once a week. To deflect that urge to devour greasy meat. I would think back to the time my ex made me a steak that he marinated in vinegar it was gristly and so grotesquely sour. I fill my mind with the memory of that taste and how I detested the nasty flavor of that meat. I would envision that experience or other dead meat experiences and it would get me over the greasy meat craving that would occur when meat was cooking.

Giving up meat is easier than giving up chocolate. Well sure, would you rather have a piece of chocolate cake baked from scratch, or a cold rubbery chicken leg thats been drying out in the refridgerator. When you are a vegetarian you can still eat chocolate, remember it has antioxidants, yum!

Terminology and varieties of vegetarianism

There are a variety of different practices of vegetarianism. The following table summarizes the most common types of vegetarian diet in Western countries:

Foods in the main vegetarian diets Diet Name Meat, Poultry, Fish Eggs Dairy Honey Lacto-ovo vegetarianism No Yes Yes Yes Lacto vegetarianism No No Yes Yes Ovo vegetarianism No Yes No Yes Veganism No No No No[6][7][8]


[edit] Other dietary practices commonly associated with vegetarianism Fruitarianism is a diet of only fruit, nuts, seeds, and other plant matter that can be gathered without harming the plant. Su vegetarianism originating in Hinduism, excludes all animal products as well as the fetid vegetables: onion, garlic, scallions, leeks, or shallots. Macrobiotic diet is a diet of mostly whole grains and beans. Not all macrobiotics are vegetarians as some consume fish. Natural hygiene, in its classic form, recommends a diet principally of raw vegan foods.[citation needed] Raw veganism is a diet of fresh and uncooked fruit, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Dietary veganism: whereas vegans don’t use animal products of any kind, dietary vegans restrict their veganism to their diet[9] Freeganism argues that all commodities produced under capitalism, not only those from animal sources, contribute to exploitation and avoid buying anything, including food. While many freegans are vegans or vegetarians, others will eat animal products that would otherwise go to waste under the justification that doing this does not encourage further animal exploitation. It should be noted that most vegetarians also are aware of avoiding products that may use animal ingredients not included in their labels or which use animal products in their manufacturing i.e. cheeses that use animal rennet, gelatin (from animal skin, bones, and connective tissue), some sugars that are whitened with bone char (e.g. cane sugar, but not beet sugar) and alcohol clarified with gelatin or crushed shellfish and sturgeon.


[edit] Semi-vegetarian diets Semi-vegetarian diets are diets that primarily consist of vegetarian foods, but make exceptions for some non-vegetarian foods. These diets may be followed by those who choose to reduce the amount of animal flesh consumed, or sometimes as a way of transitioning to a vegetarian diet. These terms are neologisms based on the word “vegetarian”. They may be regarded with contention by strict vegetarians, as they conflate terms for vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets.

Semi-vegetarianism — A diet in which the only animal flesh consumed is seafood and/or poultry, in limited amounts. Pescetarianism — A diet in which the only animals consumed are fish or other seafood. Pollotarianism — A diet in which the only animals consumed are fowl and poultry. Flexitarianism — A diet that consists primarily of vegetarian food, but that allows occasional exceptions.

[edit] Etymology The first Vegetarian Society founded in 1847 claims to have “created the word vegetarian from the Latin ‘vegetus’ meaning ‘lively’ (which is how these early vegetarians claimed their diet made them feel) …“[10] However, the Oxford English Dictionary and other standard dictionaries state that the word was formed from the term “vegetable” and the suffix “-arian”.[11]

The Oxford English Dictionary also gives evidence that the word was already in use before the foundation of the Vegetarian Society:

1839 - “If I had had to be my own cook, I should inevitably become a vegetarian.” (F. A. Kemble, Jrnl. Residence on Georgian Plantation (1863) 251) 1842 - “To tell a healthy vegetarian that his diet is very uncongenial with the wants of his nature.” (Healthian, Apr. 34) But it also notes that “The general use of the word appears to have been largely due to the formation of the Vegetarian Society at Ramsgate in 1847.“


[edit] History Main article: History of Vegetarianism The earliest records of vegetarianism as a concept and practice amongst a significant number of people concern ancient India[12] and the ancient Greek civilization in Southern Italy and in Greece in the 6th century BCE.[13] In both instances the diet was closely connected with the idea of nonviolence towards animals (called ahimsa in India) and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers.[14] Following the Christianization of the Roman Empire in late antiquity, vegetarianism practically disappeared from Europe.[15] Several orders of monks in medieval Europe restricted or banned the consumption of meat for ascetic reasons, but none of them eschewed fish.[16] Vegetarianism was to reemerge somewhat in Europe during the Renaissance.[17] It became a more widespread practice in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In 1847 the first Vegetarian Society was founded in England;[18] Germany, the Netherlands and other countries followed. The International Vegetarian Union, a union of the national societies, was founded in 1908. In the Western world, the popularity of vegetarianism grew during the 20th century as a result of nutritional, ethical, and more recently, environmental and economic concerns. Today, Indian vegetarians, primarily lacto vegetarians, are estimated to make up more than 70% of the world’s vegetarians. They make up 20–42% of the population in India, while less than 30% are regular meat-eaters.[19][20][21] Surveys in the U.S. have found that roughly 1–2.8% of adults eat no meat, poultry, or fish.[22][23][24][25]


[edit] Health issues Vegetarianism is considered a healthy, viable diet. The American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada have found a properly-planned vegetarian diet to satisfy the nutritional needs for all stages of life, and large-scale studies have shown vegetarianism to increase longevity, improve health, and significantly lower risks of cancer and other fatal diseases.[26] Necessary nutrients, proteins, and amino acids for the body’s sustenance can be found in green leafy vegetables, grains, nuts, and fortified juices or soymilk.[27]

Vegetarian diets can aid in keeping body weight under control[28] and substantially reduce risks of heart disease.[29][30] Non-lean red meat, in particular, has been found to be a direct cause of cancers of the lung, esophagus, liver, and colon, among others.[5] Large-scale studies have shown that “in comparison with regular meat eaters, mortality from ischemic heart disease was 20% lower in occasional meat eaters, 34% lower in people who ate fish but not meat, 34% lower in lactoovovegetarians, and 26% lower in vegans. There were no significant differences between vegetarians and nonvegetarians in mortality from cerebrovascular disease, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, or all other causes combined.” [4] This info is from Wilikepedia.

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