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25 July 2005 @ 10:49 am
Vegetarianism  
I have been thinking a lot about vegetarianism lately, and am interested to know what your thoughts etc are.

Just for the record, I eat meat so answering that you also eat meat in this poll WILL NOT affect my opinion of you or anything like that. This isn't to create tensions or fighting of any sort, I'm just curious about the choices people make when it comes to being (or not being) a vegetarian/vegan/other and what has influenced those decisions.

There ARE NO WRONG ANSWERS. I'm not judging you and I'm not saying that any of the choices are better than the other, because people ARE free to make up their own minds.
Please keep that in mind before you lecture me about eating meat. I'm willing to learn and be exposed to new information and find things that challenge my way of thinking, but I am NOT willing to be preached at (and yes, there is a difference).
And if you want to look down on me for eating meat or for not being "compassionate", then you can take me off your friends list now (I would hope that the people I have on my friends list are more openminded, however, and more accepting of people's different choices).

(Sorry to sound defensive. I figured I'd just address any possible problems before they arose... I know that this can sometimes be a touchy subject at times.)


Poll #538849 Vegetarianism

Are you...

vegetarian
13(25.0%)
vegetarian who eats white meat (fish, chicken)
9(17.3%)
vegan
3(5.8%)
preferring a vegetarian diet but will eat meat if I have to
8(15.4%)
a meat eater
15(28.8%)
other (state in comments?)
4(7.7%)

What has influenced your choice of diet? - ie: animal compassion, concern for environment/resouces, religion/spirital beliefs, the way you were brought up ETC

Can you recommend some good, informative websites on this topic that you like?



I thought I had other questions to ask too, but I can't think of them, so um, I guess if there is anything else you'd like to say, comments are good ;)

(PS: It was the strangest thing, I was thinking of this all the way to work this morning in my car, and I always keep zines on the passenger seat to read at stoplights - yeah, I know that's dodgy - ANYWAY, I had just put some new ones there this morning from my box of unread zines, and I picked up 1 I hadn't looked through and the page I turned to was RIGHT in the middle of her section about vegetarianism. It was such a strange coincidence, especially as it was just a regular perzine with topics all over the place. Anyway, I thought that was kinda neat, if not a little freaky. /end random thought)

 
 
 
 
 
d-elicate: House on the hillhandsdown on July 25th, 2005 01:53 am (UTC)
I think the reason this is such a hard subject to tackle has a lot to do with differing definitions of what each term means, and conflict arises when these definitions differ, and sometimes clash. Looking at wikipedia's definition, I can see I already disagree with the "Vegetarianism is a dietary practice characterised by the exclusion of all body parts of any animal and products derived from animal carcasses (such as lard, tallow, gelatin, and cochineal), from one's diet." (I haven't got down to all the sub labels there but it looks interesting, however I'll just confuse myself for now-) My general perception was that was more a lean towards veganism, as you can buy vegetarian meals, i.e. Starbucks vegetarian sandwich, which still contains cheese made with animal renat. And for most the vegetarians I have known or lived with, this has not been an issue.

I find it easier just to say "I don't eat meat" or "I don't eat gelatin etc. Or drink milk." etc, etc & people say "So you're vegan?" but, I do however eat organic NZ cheese. And am not too militant about chocolate eating!

It's a personal choice, and those that do it to jump on the bandwagon, and I've seen it over & over in the hardcore scene, fall off first. It's like anything, you really have to believe in what you're doing for it to last, if it's an ethical decision. I'm not sure if I can claim mine was ethical, since I've not eaten red meat since I was 6, but then again, kids can sometimes have the best ethics. I ate chicken occasionally up until about six years ago, but I find it highly doubt I will ever so much as look at another piece of meat again. However, I did not call myself vegetarian until the point where I stopped eating meat completley. I am really interested in hearing why the discinction between white meat and red meat, and still using the term vegetarian. Not in a hostile sense, just because I don't understand it.

Anyway I'm always hear if you want to talk!
d-elicate: House on the hillhandsdown on July 25th, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
Actually I remember an interesting conversation we had in ethics about why people believe that they can, should and will eat animals. Generally people will argue that that is way things were meant to be and the way we have evolved etc. And sure, I can see why people have that idea, however it is widely believed between archaeologists that the earliest hunter/gatherers were not hunters at all, or not in the way people believed they were. 'Man' went hundreds of years eating rodents and the like, until they were advanced enough to use spears to capture larger animals, or so studies have found. This to me indicates that naturally, man is no match for animal. Another thing to consider is human teeth. They are flat and rather blunt when you think about it. And it just goes on, we just weren't designed to eat, hunt, stalk whatever, animals for our food. I know there are the counter-arguments for this, and I respect everyone's choices, because I am a firm believe in do unto others as you would have them do to you, however I personally believe that humans eat animals because they can, not because they need to.
    scarlet's walkkisstheviolets on July 25th, 2005 02:17 am (UTC)
*nods* yes, I thought the wikipedia's definition was a bit more exclusive than I thought general vegetarianisn was (ie, I took vegetarianism to be more about not eating meat but still eating some animal products, like cheese). But I don't know a LOT about it, it's just something I've become more interested in learning more about. Jumping on the bandwagon? Maybe, although it's more of an interest/curiosity thing at the moment. I've never been surrounded by a lot of vegetarian friends - the majority of mine have always eaten meat, and that includes my family too - so I've never really thought much about it or the principles behind it. Until now, I suppose.
d-elicatehandsdown on July 25th, 2005 02:25 am (UTC)
Haha! I didn't mean YOU jumping the bandwagon, I guess it's just something you have to see a lot as in the case of hardcore to really get how people do literally just 'go vegan' for say, six months. Get the tattoos and the pins and the tshirts etc the day they dont eat eggs for breakfast ;)
    scarlet's walkkisstheviolets on July 25th, 2005 04:10 am (UTC)
hehe, oops, it wasn't meant to sound like a criticism of what you were saying (bandwagon) or anything, I can definitely see how it can be seen as that ^^ You are right when you say it is something that the person has to believe in (or have Actual reasons for doing so, like a lot of people have mentioned health reasons which i think is perfectly valid) what they're doing, as opposed to just doing it to "look the part". I think that goes for anything really though, there are a lot of posers out there but in the end, it's the ones who actually care about things rather than the appearance it gives them, who'll still be doing it in the end.

Gah, this did NOT make sense lol.

Anyway, I know you understand me ^^
d-elicatehandsdown on July 25th, 2005 04:16 am (UTC)
I do! I understand. It does go for anything too. I don't think I have any one reason for why I did. They're sort of all over the place. I'm glad Top Deck have a vegetarian option on their tour!
d-elicatehandsdown on July 25th, 2005 02:27 am (UTC)
Shit, look at my spelling all through my comments.
onemoreyear on July 25th, 2005 02:14 am (UTC)
i'm not sure how to answer that... i dislike meat, not because it's unhealthy or because it comes from animals, but because i just don't like the textrue. the only meat i'll eat is poultry (chicken & turkey) and occasionally bacon or pepperoni. i don't eat hamburgers or hot dogs or steak, because i just don't like it. i answered "other" and i don't really have any websites to offer you, although i'm sure there are a ton out there!
    scarlet's walkkisstheviolets on July 25th, 2005 02:19 am (UTC)
That's completely fine sweetie! Thankyou for answering... I have figured there are plenty of non meat-eaters out there who don't eat meat simply because they don't like it, not for any other reason. And there is nothing wrong with that at all :)

I probably should have put there as an option in my poll, actually ^^
Crystalcrystalina on July 25th, 2005 02:48 am (UTC)
I *was* vegetarian (ovo-lacto) for six months. I want to go back, but I've been bad about it. At home, I try to buy free-range, organic meat to cook with, but I still eat meat out and about. I believe that eating meat is okay, in moderation. We were created to eat it. However, I think that the meat industry is horrendous, and I shouldn't support it.
ex_lambkin76 on July 25th, 2005 02:48 am (UTC)
My own story. I try not to label myself as a 'vegetarian' these days. I find that it's easier just to say "I don't eat meat" if people ask.

I stopped eating red meat, poultry, fish, and other animal things (e.g. gelatine, rennet) in 2001. Um after about a year or two, I started to not be so 'fussy' with it, and started eating ordinary cheese and lollies.. in small quanities, albeit, but did nonetheless. Late last year I ate prawns and calamari for the first time and still eat them occasionally, and earlier this year I started eating a bit more white fish. I would eat more seafood if I liked it, but I don't enjoy the taste of most fish or seafoodey things. I eat eggs that my sister's hens lay, but I don't consider this 'meat' because they're not fertilised. I have no intention of eating poultry or red meat in the future.
I decided to do this in 2001 out of compassion for the animales, but I've stuck to it mainly because I'm used to it and don't even think about it much any more, and also because it uses less resources. :)

Everybody's different! It's fascinating, though..
L.discountsatori on July 25th, 2005 02:50 am (UTC)
I became vegetarian at 17 mostly for animal rights reasons, though admittedly there were also some personal image reasons going on there, too -- i.e. I wanted to be a certain type of person -- creative, free-spirited, sorta wacky, and compassionate -- and I felt like I couldn't achieve that image for myself unless I was vegetarian. I'm a really stubborn person, and when I quit eating meat, I really, really just quit eating meat -- no exceptions. And I was a meat FIEND up until that point! I LOVED my steak and hamburgers. But I cut it all off -- red meat, white meat, fish, as well as meat broths and such. It was hard at first, especially when I went to college and I just wasn't healthy about how I ate. I lost a lot of weight, and I already had been skinny before that, so, yeah, I looked gaunt. But looking like that spurred me to educate myself more about what I needed to eat, and about cooking. I was about 19 when I started cooking a lot, making sure I got all my food groups and vitamins, etc. I started reading a lot about animal rights around that time too, and I started learning about the environmental effects of meat eating (rainforest destruction for cattle grazing land, the unsanitary disposal of chicken waste, etc.).

Only in the past 2 years did I really get into the health benefits of vegetarianism. I had been eating a lot of stuff with chemicals and preservatives until about 2003, and then I ditched all that and started eating all-natural foods and a lot of fresh, raw vegetables and fruits. I learned how to cook tofu really well, too. Recently, I quit drinking cow's milk, and I have cheese and egg products only a few times a week, tops. I don't know if I will ever be fully vegan, but I notice a huge difference in the way I feel when I have all-vegan days. I work out a lot, and I have so much more energy when I don't eat dairy stuff.

But my vegetarianism has definitely gone through some evolution. It's a process, and most people start slow, and then sort of evaluate and see how much farther they want to go from there. It's not difficult, really, but it requires a good bit of effort and research.

Best of luck with whatever choice you make!
iwasacaesarean on July 25th, 2005 03:24 am (UTC)
i eat boneless skinless chicken breast, prawns, scallops, lobster and fish if i like it. the reason i don't eat other meats is simply because i do not like them. the smell of ground beef and bacon cooking literally makes me sick to my stomach. it's actually too bad because my eating habits now affect my (live-in) boyfriend. i tried a hot dog a couple years ago because i love the smell, but it turns out the taste still does not agree with my taste buds.
Ray Duffyindriya on July 25th, 2005 03:33 am (UTC)
I try to keep my all-round ethics about minimising my impact on others/the world, and minimising suffering as much as possible - whether for human animals or non-human animals - and I feel that veganism is a simple way to help me do that (although I am aware of how complicated veganism can appear from the outside!) I'm lucky I had a boyfriend who went veg with me, and that I had a couple of vegan/vegetarian friends. A few more people I know have recently gone vegetarian and/or vegan... it seems to be catching - it's getting easier and more common, particularly in cities, and people tend to know what vegetarian means these days, however there's still the odd problem with people/restaurants who seem to think fish is a vegetable! Vegetarians-who-eat-white-meat (ie. omnivores) can be the bane of our (vegetarians-who-eat-vegetables) existence - it's no wonder we all get stroppy with each other sometimes... which is why I take the all-or-nothing approach of veganism, so there's no confusion (and dairy increases my hayfever/skin probs). Plus, my health and energy levels seem to be better now... although I seem to eat as much chocolate as ever! (especially this stuff)
linda: weird lightfragilehearted on July 25th, 2005 03:52 am (UTC)
okay, i didn't want to get cut off by the poll limits...anyway...my reason is kinda strange. my parents are very "meat & potatoes"...classic southern cooking for the most part--lots of fried foods, lots of carbs, lots of veggies cooked very unhealthily...hell, i actually had to ASK my mom if she would bake fish instead of frying it.

anyway. my father used to force me to eat beef & pork, & i wasn't a huge fan of either. i kinda liked some beef stuff, but i HATE pork. my sister & i weren't allowed to leave the table unless we'd finished our food...hell, i would sneak pieces of pork chop into my pocket to flush down the toilet later...

so eventually, i just stopped eating beef & pork. i remember the last time i voluntarily ate beef was the day i had to get lots of blood tests. (my father was convinced that my mom was letting us eat too much junk food, so he made my sister & i get lots of tests. we had tacos at school that day, & i was scared that if i didn't eat anything that the tests would come back messed up...i know that seems kinda silly but i was only 15 or so. & i love my mom, so i didn't want my results to make her look bad. so i ate tacos.)

anyway. so that's why. half that i don't care for beef & pork anyway, & half that i just plain want to be stubborn, since i was forced to eat this food for so long. i really don't have anything against killing/eating animals, which is why i still eat birds & sea creatures.

yeah, i know that's kinda weird. but well. my upbringing wasn't exactly normal.
Denisedecemberjuliet on July 25th, 2005 04:04 am (UTC)
I became a vegetarian at 14, and was a strict one up until about the end of college, then I started eating chicken again, more for having a variety of stuff to eat at restaurants than anything else. I still think like a vegetarian, and still shop like one, but I eat chicken a few times a month. I just never really liked the taste of meat, so giving it up was no problem.
shiftybobshiftybob on July 25th, 2005 06:57 am (UTC)
---
I just read a book that I found to be slightly relevant to this topic. Perhaps you'd care to read it... I just attempted to discuss my views into that little box, and I'd almost got done with a novel or two before I realised the character limit had truncated me by about a hundred words.

I'm a very ethically interested carnivore, just as I am a philisophically interested atheist, but I could hardly be bothered to retype my hypocritical views. We should hang out some time, and maybe I'll bother to speak them instead.

There are also other reasons.
A. I haven't seen you for a bazillion years, and miss your presence.
B. I wrote a 24 hour zine that I don't have the guts to allow anyone to read... and I was maybe hoping you'd read it, and tell me it's: A. Crap, or B. Worth doing.
and C. (of also B?) We both seem lonely and depressed, and it's only logical that the logic algebra adds up.

Boy, I'm really not making sense today.
    scarlet's walkkisstheviolets on July 25th, 2005 07:19 am (UTC)
Re: ---
I miss you, we should definitely hang out SOON. I'm sorry I'm so terribly antisocial lately, I need to stop doing that.

I never even started my 24 hour zine, oh the shame!

xx
shiftybobshiftybob on July 25th, 2005 07:23 am (UTC)
Re: ---
There's still time!
I've written two of them... The first destroyed. Trying really hard not to hate the second.

I went to a zine swap event a couple of weeks ago. I forgot to tell you about it, and I feel tremendously guilty. I've written three comics that I've been photocopying, and I'm sure I owe you a copy.
    scarlet's walkkisstheviolets on July 25th, 2005 07:28 am (UTC)
Re: ---
Oh wow, that's awesome. I think I still need to give you a copy of my last one too, winterspark 3, parts of which are so horribly bad I'm embarassed to still be letting people reading it, but oh well. You read my online journal and it doesn't get much worse than that, really ;)

Don't destroy anymore of your zines until I've read them, 'kay?

xx
elizabethlizzi_barth on July 25th, 2005 08:24 am (UTC)
I've been vegetarian since I was 8, so almost 10 years now. Purely for animal rights reasons. It wasn't something I really planned out (um, being 8 =P) ... I just knew I loved animals and I couldn't stand the thought of them being killed.
I guess I'm a lot more "aware" of it now... I'm very careful in making sure I'm getting enough protein and whatnot. I noticed I felt a lot healthier when I first gave up meat, but as I got older I was tired a lot of the time and I just didn't feel well, so I've since been very conscious of what I eat.

I've never been one of those people who tries to force their views on other people... if anything, I've had more people critical of me for NOT eating meat... it's annoying but eh. But yeah... I just figure that people can believe what they want and live how they'd like to and it's none of my business.

So yeah. That wasn't a very exciting story. or very helpful. but oh well =P
snowflakesugar on July 25th, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
I have a friend who is a vegetarian, as in he doesn't eat meat (he does eat eggs and milk and such). When I questioned him about his reasons, he simply told me "I just hate meat. The taste of it, the texture, I really don't need meat, really."
I suppose it's easier for those types of people to start a vegetarian diet, opposed to those who like meat (my case). We really have to struggle not to eat it, haha.
Eyes Wide Openambivelence on July 26th, 2005 08:29 am (UTC)
Hi Jade, it's Marije, I'm using this (friends') account mainly for reading people's entries and communities and Id love to stay up to date on your zines and life.. please add me back? :)
    scarlet's walkkisstheviolets on July 26th, 2005 09:41 am (UTC)
added you straight back! How the hell ARE you???
Eyes Wide Openambivelence on July 26th, 2005 03:21 pm (UTC)
I'm doing good, how are you? :)