I'm probably going veggie, maybe, but don't hold me to it.

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Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 17240
edited December 2019 in Off Topic
I was just investigating halal slaughter as I was contemplating a beef curry tonight and I quickly came to the conclusion that I don't want to be responsible for the deaths of any more innocent animals.  The look on the face of a cow about to be killed was heartbreaking.

I think as a nation of animal lovers, but also mostly carnivores, we have largely made a conscious effort to avoid thinking of the reality of meat production and slaughter.  I reckon if people were to be reminded of how the meat they were about to pick off the shelf actually got there, many would think twice.

I'm not sure how I'm going to cope as a lifelong carnivore that absolutely adores chicken and bacon, but I am going to give it my best shot.

Are there any vegetarians here who have any tips or recipes for the newly converted ?
There is a significant possibility that whatever I've posted above is absolute bollocks.
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 1860
    Check out Bosh! and also Thug Kitchen (needlessly sweary but good).

    And remember being imperfectly veggie is better than not being veggie at all.
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  • robgilmorobgilmo Frets: 2447
    I have been thinking about this for a while now, I reckon I will get crimbo out of the way then go for it. Good on you man.
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  • NikcNikc Frets: 344
    Its easier now than its ever been there are many options. If you fall of the wagon pick yourself up dust off and give it another go - good luck - also watch game changers on netflix ;)
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  • Emp_Fab said:
    I was just investigating halal slaughter as I was contemplating a beef curry tonight and I quickly came to the conclusion that I don't want to be responsible for the deaths of any more innocent animals.  The look on the face of a cow about to be killed was heartbreaking.

    I think as a nation of animal lovers, but also mostly carnivores, we have largely made a conscious effort to avoid thinking of the reality of meat production and slaughter.  I reckon if people were to be reminded of how the meat they were about to pick off the shelf actually got there, many would think twice.

    I'm not sure how I'm going to cope as a lifelong carnivore that absolutely adores chicken and bacon, but I am going to give it my best shot.

    Are there any vegetarians here who have any tips or recipes for the newly converted ?
    Firstly, bold move and well done. I have been fully vegan for a few years now and I have never felt better. You will get over meat very very quickly, I promise.

    Secondly, I note that you specified 'halal slaughter' - whilst I appreciate that the majority of this country has just elected a brazen Islamophobe back into the prime minister's office, I can assure you that, whilst I personally believe and maintain as evidenced by my vegan lifestyle that all animal slaughter is barbaric and completely unnecessary, non-halal slaughter is often crueler and more horrific than halal methods.
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  • Don't try to categorise yourself as being 'veggie' 'vegan' or anything else & don't let other people try to tell you what to do & what you should eat, do or how to behave.
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  • Being veggie/ having a more plant based diet is easier than ever these days. Not so many options in supermarkets or restaurants 38 years ago when I started ( variously vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian over time - the labels aren’t particularly important but they do what labels are quite good at doing which is giving you an idea of what’s inside). 
    I don’t know any tips, marrying someone who’s a decent cook helped me a lot. 
    Sleep. That’s where I’m a Viking. 
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 24624
    Emp_Fab said:
    I was just investigating halal slaughter as I was contemplating a beef curry tonight and I quickly came to the conclusion that I don't want to be responsible for the deaths of any more innocent animals.  The look on the face of a cow about to be killed was heartbreaking.

    I think as a nation of animal lovers, but also mostly carnivores, we have largely made a conscious effort to avoid thinking of the reality of meat production and slaughter.  I reckon if people were to be reminded of how the meat they were about to pick off the shelf actually got there, many would think twice.

    I'm not sure how I'm going to cope as a lifelong carnivore that absolutely adores chicken and bacon, but I am going to give it my best shot.

    Are there any vegetarians here who have any tips or recipes for the newly converted ?
    Start with flexitarian and see if it works for you.

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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 776
    I struggle with mushrooms 
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  • ftumchftumch Frets: 468
    I 100% support anyone trying this, good on you. I'm an animal lover but was also a hardcore meat eater up until about 3 years ago. My friend is a vegan and is a heavy poster of animal rights media, that's what made me decide to give it a go after many more years of saying I should do it.
    I started by giving up beef pork duck etc. And just eat chicken and fish and replaced most meals with veg options. I'm not vegan yet but  whilst pretty much every meal I used to eat included meat of some sort, I now eat 90% veggie, fish maybe once or twice a week and a cheeky chicken kebab prob every two weeks. It's not ideal I know but I've made a huge effort and every time I dont eat meat I'm making a difference so i try not to beat myself up too much when I do. 
    Just do your best is all, it gets easier. I find I dont miss meat at all now in fact mostly I dont WANT to eat it rather than feeling like I'm depriving myself.
    Some things to try if you feel you want the meat experience

    Impossible burgers (I've grown to love linda mcartney mozzarella quarter pounders for a burger fix but these are more er..meaty)
    Quorn southern fried chicken strips
    Tesco quorn mince for all your chillies, bolognese etc. Its better than quorn mince (dont cook it long it goes horrid, add it last thing just to heat it through)
    BOSH books are great! Theres a sticky shiitake mushroom recipe which is as good as anything I've ever cooked! I'll pm you it.

    Good luck ;) 
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  • slackerslacker Frets: 1097
    I still eat meat sometimes but eat vegetarian and vegan at least 50% of the time. Now this is really an IMHO situation and nothing actually wrong with it but I cannot see the point of meat substitutes. Just eat veg. Thug kitchen is xxxxing great. Having said that home made black bean burgers are great. Bake the beans to dry them before blending. 


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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 2353
    I’ve been 99% veggie for about a year - don’t beat yourself up if you’re in a situation where there is only meat or fish available.      
    Try so. I the Linda McCartney and Quorn products as a way to ease yourself into it.    The LM burgers are very good and the quorn southern fried nuggets and burgers an sausage rolls etc are all fine.      Quorn mince is ok if you adapt the cookin as it’s drier and needs more spices or flavouring.   

    Just check out some alternatives hen shopping and go for it.  
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  • I turned vegetarian in 1982. My daughter has never eaten meat and, when she was small and we went to the supermarket, she always used to ask "Daddy, can we go to see the dead animals" and I'd have to take her down the butcher's aisle. She couldn't believe that people would put lumps of dead animal in shops next to food. Now I have William Burroughs "Naked Lunch" syndrome. That's when you really see whats on the end of your fork. 

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  • For those who have gone vegetarian, what do you think the health benefits have been ? Have you felt better ?
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  • GrunfeldGrunfeld Frets: 3098
    Emp_Fab said:
    Are there any vegetarians here who have any tips or recipes for the newly converted ?
    (1). Stop eating crap.
    (2). Make sure it hasn’t got animal in it.

    Seriously, this is it.
    That’s all there is to it.
    Other than don’t broadcast it. Enjoy it.


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  • For those who have gone vegetarian, what do you think the health benefits have been ? Have you felt better ?
    Having not eaten meat all my adult life I can’t really say, I suspect I’d be a greedy, lazy bastard regardless of my diet. I do, however, come from a family of people with high blood pressure but I’ve never that so I suspect not eating meat may have helped. Although I also don’t smoke and only drink in moderation.*
    But it’s very easy to eat a crap vegetarian diet ( and I  often do) - too much dairy, too many carbs, salty meat substitutes. 

    * real moderation, not the what you tell your doctor type moderation. 
    Sleep. That’s where I’m a Viking. 
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  • For those who have gone vegetarian, what do you think the health benefits have been ? Have you felt better ?
    I know that the Japanese are like 97% meat eaters and they have the longest life expectancy.

    I personally seriously doubt going vegetarian have any factual health benefits since eating chips 3 meals a day for a month constitutes as being a vegetarian but we all know doing that is not healthy.

    So I don’t equate going vegetarian as being healthy, even if you end up eating nothing but salads, that’s still isn’t healthy as you need fats in your diet, you need protein in your diet.

    its all a able balance.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 24624
    For those who have gone vegetarian, what do you think the health benefits have been ? Have you felt better ?
    I know that the Japanese are like 97% meat eaters and they have the longest life expectancy.

    I personally seriously doubt going vegetarian have any factual health benefits since eating chips 3 meals a day for a month constitutes as being a vegetarian but we all know doing that is not healthy.

    So I don’t equate going vegetarian as being healthy, even if you end up eating nothing but salads, that’s still isn’t healthy as you need fats in your diet, you need protein in your diet.

    its all a able balance.
    They don't eat as much meat as we do in the west though.
    Like anything it is all about dosage.
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  • octatonic said:
    For those who have gone vegetarian, what do you think the health benefits have been ? Have you felt better ?
    I know that the Japanese are like 97% meat eaters and they have the longest life expectancy.

    I personally seriously doubt going vegetarian have any factual health benefits since eating chips 3 meals a day for a month constitutes as being a vegetarian but we all know doing that is not healthy.

    So I don’t equate going vegetarian as being healthy, even if you end up eating nothing but salads, that’s still isn’t healthy as you need fats in your diet, you need protein in your diet.

    its all a able balance.
    They don't eat as much meat as we do in the west though.
    Like anything it is all about dosage.
    Like I said, it’s all about balance.


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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 16067
    edited December 2019
    Emp_Fab said:

    Are there any vegetarians here who have any tips or recipes for the newly converted ?
    I'm not veggie, but my wife is and thus I probably eat vegetarian about half the time - especially when I'm cooking, because I can't be arsed cooking two meals. I'm also slowly learning to cook properly, and therefore most of the new interesting recipes I look at are vegetarian.

    The conclusion I've come to, from the perspective of a meat eater looking for non-meat meals, is that mushrooms are your friends. Look for different varieties, and experiment with them; they take sauces really well, and in big chunks they add a good bit of texture to a meal too. Just be careful not to overcook them, otherwise they'll fall apart or go soggy, which defeats the point of using them to ease the transition.

    Not only that, but if you've got the time then making your own mushroom and/or veg stock is brilliant for adding a bit more body and (ironically) a meaty taste to gravies and sauces. If you've got a pressure cooker handy, it barely takes any time at all (probably an hour or so including prep time) and you can make a couple of litres of the stuff at a time.

    Also...start using fresh herbs. Even better, buy some potted ones to give you a headstart on growing your own. Makes a world of difference compared to the dried stuff, and when you're going from meat to veggie...you need to be adding all the flavour you can get your hands on. Seasoning's going to become hugely important for you, as well; that'll take a bit of getting used to, if our experience is anything to go by. Get yourself some low-sodium salt (given your history), and you might end up using a bit more than you'd expect. Also bear in mind that short of going for seaweed and the like, there aren't many ingredients available that will self-season a meal like bacon does (which is actually a huge part of the reason people love bacon - it makes everything better because it's salty, not necessarily because of its own taste).

    Finally...my wife finds most store-bought meals (and a lot of vegetarian meals in cheaper restaurants and pubs) really bland, so she usually has a couple of different varieties of hot sauces around to add a bit of pep to otherwise-boring food.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • Mate, been waiting for you to do this, looking at your posts you could see it coming.
    Good & brave move, especially as you find it difficult.
    It definitely is easier now than ever, fake meat has improved massively for one thing. Check out Vivera fake steaks, they make fake bacon as well. Vegan Butcher (yes really) non-chicken stuff which I think is now called "what the cluck"
    Also the variety of veg & mushrooms is huge & worth exploring- things like cauliflower rice & cauliflower steaks are great. I used to hate cauliflower until my other half made these.

    My other half is qualified as a nutritional therapist (who mainly worked with vegans & vegetarians) if you want to PM us she might be able to give you some pointers, especially on supplements.

    I'd echo what @Grunfeld says in points 1 & 2 & also not broadcasting it. I tend not to discuss it with people unless they genuinely want to have a proper conversation & not a slanging match, or an attempt to get a rise.

    All the best & may the road rise etc
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  • I would definitely say get into enjoying vegetables grains pulses etc in all there forms and tastes and avoid all the chemical labs stuff my daughter and her trendy vegan friends eat like Vegan Duck Vegan pulled pork Vegan Cheese all made in a chemistry lab more processed and synthetic and in my mind worse for you than the real stuff certainly not worth the money or calories.

    try and remember it’s a choice about what you want to eat no a religious crusade people should enjoy what they enjoy. 

    In my life I have enjoyed great vegetable and vegan dishes and  have also had great pleasure eating some exceptional meat. I never beat myself or others up enjoy what you enjoy. I am on a big health kick at the moment need to clean up my act and get back to  healthy choices so 8 weeks in I am enjoying veggie and vegan meals alcohol free.

    weight cholesterol and all that stuff is bouncing back to the good zone
    i am sure I will stay this way for a good while it’s never been difficult to give up meat and for 10 years I never bothered at all. 

    Just eat healthy and enjoy your food. 


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  • Peanuts are nice.
    TACOMA NARROWS BRIDGE DISASTER
    Kare wa amanojaku desu
    彼は天邪鬼です
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  • Been veggie for 35 years.  Kids and now grandkid also veggie from birth.  Its second nature so dont really think about it.  We do like cheese though and tend to get through quite a bit.  When I made the decision it was all pulses and beans.  Now its more straightforward to find substitutes in all supermarkets.  They vary through so shop around.   Some people dont like it but quorn is versatile and pick up flavour well.  Its a good chicken replacement.   There are various fake bacons and again they vary.  Nothing will every taste like pig.  In my case it was probably 15-20 years before I tried any fake bacon and the time gap meant that it was good enough to make a decent sarnie on a sunday morning.   Dont expect to find replacement that are identical.  They are different.  Give it some time and see how your taste buds change.   



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  • For those who have gone vegetarian, what do you think the health benefits have been ? Have you felt better ?
    Almost immediately, I had more energy, and meals were filling me up for longer with less cravings for snacks. Also from a discipline perspective, going vegan (and sticking to it) meant I was eating far less poor quality food and cooking more fresh, nutritious meals.
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  • RaymondLinRaymondLin Frets: 5087
    edited December 2019
    For those who have gone vegetarian, what do you think the health benefits have been ? Have you felt better ?
    Almost immediately, I had more energy, and meals were filling me up for longer with less cravings for snacks. Also from a discipline perspective, going vegan (and sticking to it) meant I was eating far less poor quality food and cooking more fresh, nutritious meals.
    I would wager on it is because you are actually looking at what you eat, thinking about what you eat and watching what you eat instead of "I am cutting out meat".  Because once you make that commitment, watching what you eat is now mandatory.  

    Since you have to start reading labels, you start cooking your own meals from FRESH ingredients, BETTER ingredients as opposed to any food from the processed aisle.

    You can easily, actually EASIER to have the same quality diet with meat.  Since you are not concerned about "does this break the rules?" 

    I too cook practically everything from scratch, I sort of have to as I have no microwave and my oven hasn't worked in over 10 years.  It forces me to eat fresh, I can't reheat anything, can't reheat pasta or anything like that, I don't get takeaways either.  I have grown to like it that way.

    The most processed meal I generally would eat would be some Covent Garden Soup.  I ignore the processed and frozen food aisle  in the supermarket totally.  Some days i would go completely vegetarian without knowing.  Cereal for breakfast, Egg Sandwich at lunch time and then  mushroom soup with some bread for dinner.  I would eat a banana around 11am and an orange about 3pm.


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  • ftumchftumch Frets: 468
    I've pretty much always cooked most things from scratch, I didnt give up (most) meat for health reasons though.
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  • Good on you Emp, hope you stick to it, meat is a cruel industry. Well done for choosing not to be a part of the problem.


    "OUR TOSSPOT"
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  • KilgoreKilgore Frets: 3183
    edited December 2019
    In an average week, 3 or 4 of my evening meals are vegetarian. Lunch is usually vegetarian. For a while I've thought about going the whole hog and giving up meat entirely.

     It doesn't take long to adjust to a non meat diet. When we met my missus was vegan. For the first couple of years we were together I was 100% vegan, it was just easier than cooking separate meals. 

    I'm competent in the kitchen but no more. Make sure you have a well stocked larder, plenty of herbs and spices etc, and it's fairly easy to knock up something tasty. 

    As others have said, If you have the occasional burger or whatever, don' t beat yourself up about it. 

    Good luck Emp. 
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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 2321
    If you can cook, being a veggie is a delight, and easy. 

    I’d you can’t, you’ll end up buying a lots of heavily processed crap from the supermarkets. I’m convinced that heavily processed foods are worse for you than eating meat. 

    Most of the vegan stuff in the supermarkets has a scary looking set of ingredients. Have you looked at the ingredients list on most packets of ‘wraps’?

    Finally, be careful with Quorn. It’s a mould from soil grown in labs on a chemical slurry. It’s harvested, bleached, then sold to you as a heathy protein source.  I tried it once (30 years ago, when they marketed it as mushroom protein (they were fined for that)), I had an allergic reaction to it.   A lot of people do. 

    Stick to fresh ingredients, you can’t go wrong. 
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  • Hot sauce is your friend. If you enjoy spicy food then it's easier going veggie. Veg curries are lovely. Veg chilli is good. I can also highly recommend 'Vivera' shawarma kebab. Tastes great in a wrap and is high in protein and also contains iron and B12 - a healthy kebab! Their burgers are also nice. And remember beans, peas, nuts, peanut butter, hummus, etc all contain protein. You don't need meat. Good luck dude!
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