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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Living in Harmony with Vegetarians

Living in Harmony with Vegetarians
By Alison Green
The Washington Post, 8/25/95

I concluded, after careful consideration, that eating meat was incompatible with my values, even though I loved meat and didn't care much for vegetables. I was sure my tastebuds would rebel, perhaps hold a beansprout or two hostage in my mouth until I paid a ransom of a burger or strip of bacon.

Happily, it didn't work out quite the way I expected; my biggest problem as a vegetarian has not been the food--which I've found to be delicious and every bit as satisfying as meat--but the bewildering attitudes of my family and friends. Other vegetarians have the same complaints: the weird looks, the silly questions, the hostile interrogations. It seems vegetarians--12 million of us in the U.S. and growing daily--are a sadly misunderstood minority indeed. Thus, I've devised ten simple edicts for meat-eaters in their dealings with vegetarians:

Rid yourself of the idea that vegetarians are spartans who subsist on raw carrots and bean sprouts. The question I hear more than anything else is "What do you eat?" This one baffles me; how would anyone with a reasonably varied diet answer that? I eat spaghetti, stir-fry, hummus, stew, raspberry sorbet, minestrone soup, salads, bean burritos, gingerbread, lentil chili, lasagna, tofu kabobs, waffles, veggie burgers, artichokes, tacos, bagels, saffron rice, lime mouselline, wild mushroom risotto--what do you eat?

Learn some biology. I'm still not sure what to do with otherwise intelligent people who think a chicken is not an animal. For the record, vegetarianism means no red meat, poultry, or fish--nobody with a face. I can't count the number of times waiters have suggested the seafood platter as a "vegetarian" entree.

Especially if someone is a vegetarian for ethical reasons, don't assume they won't object to "just a little" meat in their meal. Would you accept "just a bit" of your cat, or "just a little" of Uncle Jim in your soup?

Quit lobbying for the meat industry. Carnivores seem to think that vegetarians are like dieters and that we want to cheat a little now and then. My father is convinced that if he can convince me of how good his corned beef and cabbage tastes, I'll give in and eat it. Friends try to get me to try "just a bite" of whatever meat product they're eating, on the premise that it's so good, I couldn't possibly pass it up. I sometimes think meat-eaters took their lessons in peer pressure from the bad kids in the anti-drug movies we used to watch in high school. Listen up: no matter how "good" you insist it is, we're not going to eat it.

When a vegetarian gets sick, don't tell him or her it's because of malnourishment. From the comments I hear when I have the flu, you'd think meat-eaters never get sick. When I get sick, there's always someone waiting to tell me it's because of my diet. In actuality, just as there are healthy and unhealthy meat-eaters, there are healthy and unhealthy vegetarians. (And by the way, studies have shown that vegetarians have stronger immune systems than meat-eaters.)

When you're in a restaurant with a vegetarian, have patience--eating out can be a challenge for even seasoned vegetarians. Despite the acceptance into the mainstream of a veggie diet, most restaurant menus are still cluttered with animal products. Some restaurants seem to have nothing but meat on their menus; even the salads have eggs or chicken in them! Don't complain if our attempts at ascertaining the exact ingredients in the minestrone seem like paranoia; experience has taught us these tableside inquisitions are warranted. After years of quizzing waiters and waitresses, I've found that items described as vegetarian often contain chicken broth, lard, eggs, or other animal ingredients.

Don't make faces at our food. Before you scrunch up your face at my soy hot dog or tofu, think about what you're eating. Just because eating animals is widely accepted doesn't mean it's not gross.

Realize we've probably heard it before. One of the funniest things about being veg is the person who is positive that he has the argument that is going to change my mind. It's almost invariably one of these gems:
(a) "Animals eat other animals, so why shouldn't humans?" (Answer: Most animals who kill for food couldn't survive if they didn't do so. That's obviously not the case with humans. And since when have we looked to animals for our standards of behavior?)
(b) "Our ancestors ate meat." (Answer: Perhaps--but they also lived in caves, conversed in grunts, and had very limited choices of lifestyle. Supposedly, we've evolved since then.)

Despite popular opinion, you do not have the right to expect vegetarians to compromise personal beliefs for the sake of "politeness." People who would never dream of asking a recovered alcoholic to try their favorite vodka, or demand that someone who kept kosher have some bacon still think it perfectly reasonable to expect me to eat Aunt Sue's meatloaf because I adored it as a child and she would be ever so insulted if I didn't have some now.

Stop telling us humans "have to" eat meat; we're living proof they don't. People who otherwise respect my ability to take care of myself refuse to trust that I did not make the decision to become a vegetarian rashly. I've done plenty of research on vegetarianism--probably more than you've done on diet and nutrition--and I'm confident in the choice I've made. Are you aware of the studies showing meat-eaters are almost twice as likely to die from heart disease, 60% more likely to die from cancer, and 30% more likely to die from other diseases? I wouldn't be eating this way if extensive research hadn't convinced me that vegetarianism is healthier and more ethical than eating meat; a more appropriate question might be whether you can back up your diet.

Now go forth and exult in your smooth dealings with vegetarians. You might find things so harmonious that you'll want to try vegetarianism yourself.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


The initially business with the intention of you must sort out as commencement to munch as a vegetarian is to take it gradual. It can be a shock to your body if you energy cold failure and produce up everything meat in the initially stages of this transition. You will be inflicted with a better opportunity of not succeeding if you sort out it this way at the start.
Some public start made known by eliminating red meat initially, at that time capon, at that time fish. Others munch vegetarian food lone time a week, at that time two or three days and eventually each time. The valuable business is to bring about made known could you repeat that? Will suit you and stick with it.
Learn as much as you can in this area nourishment and could you repeat that? Your body needs to flourish and prosper. We’ve agreed you generally of could you repeat that? You need to know in the higher than chapters, but permanently be a apprentice as it comes to your body and could you repeat that? You deposit into it.
You’ll be inflicted with to exchange your lifestyle. If you’ve developed up intake meat, this can be trying, but you can gather to stay healthy by understanding could you repeat that? It is your body needs. Then you can get on to the de rigueur modifications to be guaranteed you’re taking trouble of physically and your nutritional needs.
Equally you make more in no doubt in this area vegetarian food, take the then step by making guaranteed you permanently approve of free-range eggs and vegetarian cheese. Befall precise in this area hidden non-veggie ingredients in foods. Educate physically by conception labels or making all your food physically. 
Try something extra. Take a fresh look around the shelves of your community supermarket and shape food supermarket and make to know as many uncommon vegetarian foods as doable, counting meat alternatives like mince and sausages made from soya or Quorn™, tofu, pulses, cous cous and all sorts of vegetables.
Don’t energy it lonely. Make guaranteed you tell one vegetarian acquaintances with the intention of you are vacant veggie and ask pro their support and advice. Join The Vegetarian Society to get on to guaranteed with the intention of you permanently be inflicted with access to our expert advisors, information-packed weekly magazine and discounts in all sorts of veggie-friendly seats. And, to dodge one embarrassment as acquaintances are cooking pro you, remember to consent to them know in advance with the intention of you are vegetarian.
Befall prepared to take a little banter or hurtful remarks. Don’t be deposit rancid by a morsel of banter or ill-informed scare stories. Vegetarians are now and again the brunt of jokes and prejudices - ordinarily from public who know very little in this area their own shape and dietary needs.
Buy a vegetarian cookery book (or borrow lone from your community library). Whether you need unadorned step by step directions or gastronome dishes to impress your acquaintances, here are factually hundreds of vegetarian cookbooks around. A little shortly in this tome, we’ll produce you approximately splendid veggie recipes, but investing in a cook tome is a splendid way to start.
You will aspire to energy through your cupboards and make divest of persons products with the intention of don’t fit with your extra vegetarian lifestyle. That includes whatever thing made with creature products or preservatives. Don’t toss with the intention of food away. Donate it to a church or community food pantry.
Then you’ll need to have a supply of up on vegetarian friendly foods. Here’s a skilled catalog to make ongoing with:
Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables
Vegetable oil
olive oil
Vegetable have a supply of cubes
Vegetarian gravy granules (check the label, many meat-flavored varieties are in fact vegetarian)
Yeast extract (e.G. Marmite)
White wine vinegar (or balsamic pro a treat)
Peanut butter
Canned beans and pulses
Canned tomatoes
Canned soup
Dried pasta
Quick-cook noodles 
Dried soya chunks
Ready made pasta / curry sauces
Dried herbs and spices
Seeds (try sesame, pumpkin, sunflower and many others)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


In many folklores and literatures, green has traditionally been used to symbolize nature and its embodied attributes, namely those of life, fertility, and rebirth. Green was symbolic of resurrection and immortality in Ancient Egypt; the god Osiris was depicted as green-skinned. Stories of the medieval period further portray it as representing love and the base, natural desires of man. Green is also known to have signified witchcraft, devilry and evil for its association with faeries and spirits of early English folklore. It also had an association with decay and toxicity. Actor Bela Lugosi wore green-hued makeup for the role of Dracula in the 1927-28 Broadway stage production. The color, when combined with gold, is seen as representing the fading away of youth. In the Celtic tradition, green was avoided in clothing for its superstitious association with misfortune and death. Green is thought to be an unlucky color in British and British-derived cultures, where green cars, wedding dresses, and theater costumes are all the objects of superstition. In high schools in the United States during the 1960s, it was widely believed that if someone wore green on Thursdays, it meant that they were homosexual.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


The word vegan, pronounced /ˈviːgən/, or /ˈvɛdʒən/, was originally derived from "vegetarian" in 1944 when Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson, frustrated that the term "vegetarianism" had come to include the eating of dairy products, founded the UK Vegan Society. They combined the first three and last two letters of vegetarian to form "vegan," which they saw as "the beginning and end of vegetarian.The British Vegan Society defines veganism in this way:
The word "veganism" denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Ovo vegetarians

Ovo vegetarians (or eggetarians) are vegetarians who eat eggs but not meat or dairy products. "Ovo" comes from the Latin word for egg. Pronunciation: /oe' voe/. A common health reason for choosing this diet is lactose intolerance.

This vegetarian diet excludes dairy products. Ethical reasons for doing this include constantly keeping a cow pregnant in order for her to lactate and the slaughter of unwanted male calves. Other concerns include the standard practice of separating the mother from her calf and denying the calf its natural source of milk. In contrast, however, hens are able to lay eggs for human consumption without being fertilized or reproducing. The common practice of keeping free range hens in the backyard illustrates this, and also demonstrates that hens can be treated as pets rather than egg-laying machines. This standpoint is in contrast to the ethical argument for lacto vegetarianism.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

lacto-ovo vegetarian

A lacto-ovo vegetarian is a vegetarian who does not eat beef, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish or animal flesh of any kind, but is willing to consume cheese, butter, yogurt and eggs. Lacto- means "milk" and ovo- means "egg".

In the Western world lacto-ovo vegetarians are the most common type of vegetarian. Generally speaking, when one uses the term vegetarian a lacto-ovo vegetarian is assumed. Lacto-ovo vegetarians are often well-catered to in restaurants and shops, especially in Europe and metropolitan cities in North America.

Some lacto-ovo vegetarians who are motivated by ethical reasons may avoid fertilized eggs as well as caviar, feeling that both involve the killing of beings or torture and exploitation of source animals. They avoid cheese that contains rennet and yogurts that contain gelatin as these two things involve killing.

In contrast, a vegetarian who consumes no animal products is called a vegan.

In the airline industry a lacto-ovo vegetarian meal is known by the acronym VLML.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes all animal flesh, including poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, and slaughter by-products. The reasons for choosing vegetarianism may be related to morality, religion, culture, ethics, aesthetics, environment, society, economy, politics, taste, or health.

There are several variants of the diet, some of which also exclude eggs and/or some products produced from animal labor such as dairy products and honey. Veganism, for example, excludes all animal products from diet. By some strict definitions, animal products are not used for attire either, whether or not the production of clothing or items has directly involved the actual death of an animal (dairy, eggs, honey, wool, silk, down feathers, etc.). A generic term for both vegetarianism and veganism, as well as for similar diets, is "Plant-based diets".

Properly planned vegetarian diets have been found 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 diseases.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

History of straight edge

William Tsitsos writes that straightedge has gone through three different eras since its creation in 1980.[2] Associated with punk-rock, the early years of the straightedge subculture are now called the Old School Era. However in the late nineteen eighties the straightedge subculture seemed to drift further and further away from the punk culture. The following era called Youth Crew, presented different types of elements that began to change the subculture. For example, vegetarianism became a major theme along with following the Krishna-consciousness faith (see ISKCON). Youth Crew also led to tension inside the subculture. After nearly a decade of the separation of straightedge-punk from the punk culture, the era called Straight Edge 2000 brought the cultures together without clash.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Minor Threat

Minor Threat, an American hardcore punk band from D.C.