Could You Go Without Eating Meat?
A Vegetarian Dinner
Becoming a Vegetarian
More and more people are choosing a vegetarian lifestyle, so what stops so many intelligent, well read individuals from taking the steps to be meat-free? Could you become vegetarian? This is a question that has been puzzling me for a long time. Why was it easier for me and my family than it is for you?
A friend recently told me that he can't give up meat because it tastes good. I can sympathize. My mother's meaty spaghetti sauces and roasts were delicious! I struggled with giving up bacon when I changed my diet. So, I understand. But, today, I would not go back to those foods for anything.
Best "Meatloaf" Ever
Children learn to love what we feed them.
Learn About the Meat Industry
Watching television ads for meat dishes, I have noticed that meat is being offered in spicier and spicier ways. I'm guessing this is done to disguise the horrible taste of factory farmed meat left unseasoned. You could put those heavy spices and barbeque sauces on a rock and make it taste good! Surely, you could put those spices and sauces on a wheat or soy faux meat patty and make it taste the same as a meat patty.
The funny thing about our taste buds is that they learn to prefer what we eat. This has been tested on school children. If a child is used to eating macaroni from a box, that child will prefer that taste to homemade, baked macaroni. If a child drinks canned juice every morning, that will be the choice over fresh squeezed juice. People don't prefer the taste of meat because it is a "better" taste; they choose it because it is what they have gotten used to eating.
Changing Our Food Preferences
If you grow up eating refried beans for breakfast, that's what you think is good food. If you grow up eating fish eye soup, you will love that. We all come to think that the things we have tasted and smelled since birth are good food. But, taste preferences can change. The poor boy who grew-up on a diet of beans and rice can develop a taste for filet mignon or sushi.
When Starbucks arrived with the offer of soy milk in coffee, I was elated. I had been using a milk substitute that wasn't soy in my coffee. Finally, I could get a cup of coffee on-the-go without dairy! However, the first three times I drank the coffee with soy, I wasn't crazy about the taste. By the fourth cup, I thought, "This tastes pretty good." Today, I much prefer the soy in my coffee. When a coffee preparer makes a mistake and uses milk or cream, I think, "This tastes bad. How could I have ever liked it?" My point is, our tastes change; we can change them.
Eat your veggies!
You Can Change
I used to love pumpkin pie which is full of eggs and cream. As a teenager, my daughter started making tofu pumpkin pie during the holidays. I wasn't crazy about it at first. By the third year's holiday season, I preferred my daughter's pumpkin pie. Since then, I have tasted the pie I used to love and don't like it at all anymore. I have also tasted pumpkin pie without tofu, eggs or cream (or sweetened condensed milk), and, again, I prefer that taste to the traditional pumpkin pie. (I'm weak and would cheat on this one, but I honestly prefer my pie the new ways.)
Will You Miss Meat?
So, when people eat animal foods and tell me, "You don't know what you are missing," or "How could you not like this?" I think, "I do know what I am missing, and I don't like the taste of what you are eating." Not anymore.
So, could you become vegetarian? The answer is "yes." Today, there are so many meat and cheese substitutes that anyone can chow down on the same textures they experience with meat. Season your faux meat the way you would your real meat. Additionally, eating meat over soy does not make you more virile or stronger. As a strict vegetarian (vegan), Carl Lewis won 6 gold medals in the Olympics. Cholesterol clogs arteries in all areas of your body--including the areas where you would like to show your virility. Cholesterol comes only from animals. Think about it.
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