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vegetarian chowhounds

Hello all, I'm just wondering about the nature of my fellow chowhounds' vegetarianism. Is it because of the taste, religious reasons, health reasons, ethical reasons? What do you consider a vegetarian to be? I've been a vegetarian my whole life because I've always hated the taste of meat. Both my parents are carnivores and would feed me meat and fish when I was very young but I always hated it. Why did you go veg?

ps. what's your all time favorite veggie food?!

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  1. I'm not a vegetarian, and will probably never be, BUT I respect most people's preferences and don't feel that we should have meat every day (to Mr. Flash's dismay).
    Here are my personal vegetarian delights-
    the dim sum veggie delights
    salads
    bean curd Chinese dishes with vegetables
    Edamame
    Nearly all vegetables
    Most fruits

    I guess I feel like I need ot wear the hair shirt for the nonunderstanding carnivorew/omnivores among us, but as long as you don[t give warning signs of being one of those Food Issue People, I can live in your dimension.

    All time favorite veggie food- Spanakopita

    2 Replies
    1. re: EWSflash

      Spanakopita is one of my favorite foods -- and I am a meat-eater!

      1. re: Tripeler

        That's funny- my good friend's husband eats NO veggies...but his exception is spanakopita. :)

    2. Hi! Well, I'm vegan, and I'd have to say it's for a variety of reasons. I feel better physically when I don't eat meat or animal products. However, I think the main reason I choose not to eat meat and such is ethical reasons, I'm just not okay with how we treat the animals we eat. I respect everyone's food choices, and I know there are lots of 'hounds that go out of their way to source humanely raised and slaughtered animals.

      My favorite veggie food is probably tomato pie (the Italian kind) and tofu cheese cake!

      1. I was a vegetarian for 11 years because I didn't like the taste of meat. It started when I got horribly sick after eating ground beef tacos at age 10. I didn't eat any meat or fish for nearly 11 years after that. I started eating meat again in part because being a vegetarian in Louisiana is really tough, but also because I realized if it was cooked correctly, meat could be great. My mom cooked pork chops until eating them was like chomping on a leather belt...that probably contributed to my belief that meat tasted terrible.

        But now, I am a "part-time" vegetarian for ethical reasons. I won't eat meat unless I know that it was not raised at a CAFO, which means I almost never eat meat outside of my home. I had an experience studying the environmental impact of hog operations in North Carolina, which brought me up close and personal with how most meat is produced in America, and it wasn't pretty. Not only are the animals inhumanely treated, but so are the workers, the environment, and the surrounding communities. It's really disturbing, in my opinion. Luckily, I live in an area where farmers still raise their own animals, and it's not difficult to get my hands on 1/4 cow or 1/2 pig that have been raised in normal conditions.

        2 Replies
        1. re: RosemaryHoney

          I love that -- "normal conditions". Ain't it the truth? Until a generation or two ago most animals were raised on small farms or smallish operations in, as you say, normal conditions.

          I'm a part-time veggo for the same reasons, RH, and am also very lucky to live in a place where I can buy meat from an old-fashioned butcher who gets his meat from small, local family farms.

          1. re: RosemaryHoney

            I love 'part time vegetarian'. I also consider myself a partimer.

          2. i rarely eat meat and am borderline pescatarian. I have no problem with meat per se. It's how it is produced. I do think the less meat, the better...but, i dont necessarily think no meat is better than any meat at all. Most meat products are mass produced. This mass production, for me, causes health and ethical concerns. Hence, whenever i do eat meat, it's only when i know for sure that it was properly 'handled.' I do like the taste of meat...i've eaten it all my life and, on most occasions, have not been sick. But, because of principle, and some reasonable health concerns given the handling of various meat products, i've decided to taper my meat intake to a very low level.

            1. I am mostly a vegetarian - but there are two layers to it. I was raised in India in a mostly vegetarian (ovo-lacto) household. My mother would sometimes cook chicken at home, oh maybe twice a year, to keep my brother from eating improperly cooked stuff outside. Our vegetarianism was traditional rather than religious. Then I came to the states where meat was ubiquitous. I had a hamburger and did not like it, so I swore off beef - I was squeamish about eating meat from large animals anyway. Don't ask me why - just a gut reaction. I ate plenty of chicken, most times it was dry and overcooked and I did not like it. When I tried cooking it at home, I overcooked it and did not like it, but sometimes the vegetarian choices were very poor or non-existent. I did like bacon and still do like it a little bit for flavor, but I don't think I can eat a BLT anymore. My husband is a vegetarian for ethical reasons. I slowly became aware of the ills of factory farming and now I can't bring myself to eat much outside either unless it is specifically humanely raised. I really like shrimp and maybe once in 6 months I will have a few shrimp when dining outside - when the preparation sounds like it warrants breaking a rule. I didn't eat fish much anyway and now I don't eat at all for sustainability reasons except for the aforementioned shrimp. My kitchen is firmly ovo-lacto vegetarian. I buy local free-range, grass fed eggs and organic milk, butter and cheese. I wish I could banish dairy altogether from my kitchen, but we all love cheese and butter too much.