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A Part of My Life Spent being Vegetarian

Updated on June 2, 2016

Yes I spent a few years as a vegetarian

Like a lot of things in the world I did this by choice. I was not raised as a vegetarian. Yes I knew that they were out there because my sisters had chosen to be a vegetarian at a young age. Many times I had thought about it but I just could not give up the burgers that dad made on the grill.

But there are times when you change your mind. Sometimes when you least expect it. For me that is when I chose to become a vegetarian. And it was not because the sisters pushed me into it. Although they had brought it up a few times.

It was by choice. A choice that I did not see coming my way. A small thing that I was not suspecting until it was right in front of me. It was my pet crab and dinner one evening at college.

Main Image

The red cray fish
The red cray fish

The night my life was changed

Or Vegetarian, how did this happen?

As I mentioned I did not see this one coming my way. This was in college. My roommate and I had a fish tank in our dorm room. He had all the fish and I just had a pet cray fish. Granted he lived in the bottom of the tank and would crawl around once in a while. But it was relaxing to watch the fish tank while studying.

One evening at the dining hall they were having Cajun night. As it was the closest to our dorm I headed over. As we were going through the line there was a whole pan of crawdads. Also known as cray fish. I did not eat anything that evening for supper. For some reason seeing my little lobster staring up at me was not appetizing.

At that point I stopped eating meat. I did not realize that I had stopped right away though. It was actually noticed by my friends. And that took a few weeks. But by that point it seamed natural. And easy to do. Yet there was a running gag. I'm vegetarian but I don't like green vegetables.

Moosewood on Amazon

I never picked up any of theses cook books from Mooswood. But there was a book store a couple of blocks away that I did get them from.

Today we still have all our Moosewood cook books and they're loaned out more ofter then any others in our collection.

The Moosewood Cookbook: Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Ithaca, New York
The Moosewood Cookbook: Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Ithaca, New York

This is the first of their cook books that I ever laid my hands on.

 

A brief history of being vegetarian - Or in this case a few stories to share

A Far Side Cartoon
A Far Side Cartoon


Yes there are many stories that can come from ones life. The hard part is just picking the right ones to use. Follow that one up by trying to remembering all the details.

Story #1 As with anything new you have to learn. The biggest thing in this case is to read the labels and their ingredients. There was more than one time, that if the wife was not there, I would have had to take the receipt back with me. Then exchanged what I had just purchased. Yes the way you eat can involve a learning experience. As a guy I was willing to ask questions. Taking the product to an associate and saying what is this in the list of ingredients? Just so you also know I will pull over and ask for directions when I am lost. If my dad can do it so can I.

Story #2 - The Soup. We had gone with some friends to see an Irish singer. All went well the first day. The second day we ordered the soup of the day. And it listed as a French onion soup. About halfway through both my wife and I look at each other with a quizzical look on our faces. I called over the waitress and asked what was in the soup. She went and checked in the kitchen. When she came back she told us it was a vegetable soup with a beef broth. In the good news we had stopped eating the soup at the half way mark. In the bad news both of us were sick for the rest of the day as the broth worked its way through our systems.

Story #3 - Wedding Day Yes the wife and I were both vegetarians when we tied the knot. There were only about three of us at the time that were. My sister was the other one. It was nice to have a special meal set up just for us on that day. OK so the rehearsal dinner was also a little bit for everyone. Meat on one side and veggies for the wife and myself on the other. Its also amazing that we found a grooms cake that was easy to have available. A chocolate cheesecake. Gee that was easy and easy to eat. Sorry to say it was also popular and there was none left over.

Story #4 And finally the image that's used above. I once had as a t-shirt with this image on it. It was fun explaining to people why I wore it. Just imagine wearing that to a prison ministry and sharing with so many men why you were a vegetarian. Bringing up the lobsters staring up always brought a laugh. And sometimes a simple laugh is a great way to reach out to others. This allows them to feel more comfortable as they are sharing with you.

Breakfast
Breakfast

Meat returns to my life

While my wife was pregnant with our daughter she craved meat. Believe it or not she was able to switch back with no issues. This meant she was having to prepare meals for three. And not the same thing for everyone. Baby was the easiest of the three. When it came to her and I though, that's when things got a bit harder. She would have to do meat for her and no meat for me.

I thought about switching back more than once. I was never sure how to approach changing back from being a vegetarian. There were several things to take into consideration. The big one being how will my body react to having meat in its system again. After all there was that beef broth incident shared above that I did not feel like repeating.

A former roommate and I - also one of the guys in our wedding party had gone on a men's retreat through our church. I had talked to him about this and he suggested getting prayer. So I dragged him over to the head pastor and another friend and they prayed for me that evening. I did not feel any different.

The next morning at breakfast but there was sausage, ham and bacon. I chowed down. And went back for seconds. My body did not react the way it had to the beef broth. I was not dizzy or nauseous. In fact I shared with everyone there about how prayer works. Pretty much they all knew that I was a vegetarian. This was a great testimony about what God can do through prayer and faith.

Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant
Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

I like this one because it has both vegetarian and meat recopies included in it.

The wife likes it because it has stories from around the world.

 

Just curious - This picture made me laugh and I just had to include it somewhere.

Grains
Grains

Have you ever been a vegetarian or vegan?

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Whatever your choice is for meals, please choose to leave a comment

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    • PaigSr profile image
      Author

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      @Donna Cook: Understood completely. When its ready here's my plate. ;-)

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 3 years ago

      Great lens! I try to do meatless meals like bean burritos. I was raised a meat and potatoes Midwesterner so the chuck roast is in the Crock-Pot right now.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      My choice is organic with lots of vegetables, various types of protein, including some meats, fruits and green smoothies every day.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We try to have plenty of vegetables for every meal.

    • PaigSr profile image
      Author

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      @Margaret Schindel: Thank you on all counts. I try to be straight forward and the dash ofhumor is the hard part not to share.

    • PaigSr profile image
      Author

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      @anonymous: Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I wanted to come back to leave my congratulations on your The GoodVeg Quest Honorable Mention!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      I have been both. But now I eat meat and try to eat 80% vegetarian as I thing it is healthier.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Congratulations on your well deserved purple star and honorable mention in the most recent GoodVeg quest! You are an engaging storyteller and I love your straightforward, honest style seasoned with humor. :D

    • PaigSr profile image
      Author

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      @WeeCatCreations1: Gee that sounds familiar.

    • WeeCatCreations1 profile image

      Susan Caplan McCarthy 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Although I used to eat a lot of vegetarian meals, when my husband and I moved in together, he insisted on meat at dinner and I got tired of making two meals.

    • somebudiesangel2 profile image

      Tami-Lynn 4 years ago from North Vancouver

      Thanks for sharing your story:) I want that T-shirt now lol:) Good luck with the contest:)

    • PaigSr profile image
      Author

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      @suepogson: Glad to know it. Half the fun sometimes if finding things like that.

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      The cartoon made me laugh out loud. Great lens.

    • PaigSr profile image
      Author

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      @SteveKaye: Thanks. I just wish I knew what happened to my t-shirt.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Great lens. I really like the cartoon of the vegetarians carrying the huge carrot. Funny.

    • profile image

      memoboard 4 years ago

      I love to eat. Try to eat healthy 80% of the time. 20% of the time I allow myself whatever comes along. Once satisfied I stop eating. I'm a big fan of leftovers and don't waste food. I'm the right size for my height. However, I have tried to be vegan at different times. The Gerson Diet that is anti=cancer has lots of advantages; but, my will power is not there.

    • PaigSr profile image
      Author

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      @ChocolateLily: Yes it is a choice that can be made. Just make sure when you choose that you are ready to go forward. This means that you know what you can and can't eat. Do some research first so you know what is coming your way. Lucky for me I had the sisters and parents to work off of. And no I did not push this on anyone. You are welcome for a bit of my past. And yes I am doing well. Contrary to what my mom says. "You need to eat more and gain some weight."

    • profile image

      ChocolateLily 4 years ago

      I've never had the urge to be a vegetarian, but I respect those who are. I had a friend in high school who was considering to be a vegan (she was a vegetarian), and she was talking to me about it because one of her friends was upset with her about it. I hope this was good advice: I told her that it was perfectly fine for her to choose to do so as long as she didn't force it upon others. I'm currently on a gluten-free diet for a month, and it's been tough being "without." I think it's going to be a positive experience, though. Thanks for sharing your experience! Hope you are still doing well!

    • PaigSr profile image
      Author

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      @anonymous: I remember in elementary school we would get a scoop of potatoes and some other veggie on the plate. I would always make a face with the veggies on the potatoes. Yes I played with my food. The meat always went first at school.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have always loved veggies and for as long as I can remember, but I am not a vegetarian. I do eat meat every now and again and don't mind it, it just isn't my favourite thing. If I have a big meal, I always eat the veggies first, or mixed with the potatoes and when I am almost full, have a few bites of the meat LOL

    • PaigSr profile image
      Author

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      @changrcoacher: Welcome and my down sides are cashews and Pop Tarts.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      I was a vegetarian for years for health reasion. Then I begain to eat meat again, but most of the time I do have meatless meals.

    • PaigSr profile image
      Author

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      @flinnie lm: That's the same path as my daughter. She too had done it for health reasons. And now she is a meat eater again.

    • profile image

      changrcoacher 4 years ago

      Always a health nut, I've tried just about everything. Right now, I'm on the "Wheat Belly" bandwagon. I pretty much listen to what my body wants, trusting it's wisdom, except when it comes to chocolate covered peanut clusters and martinis! Fun, informative lens..thanks.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      I don't really eat meat. I have done by mistake, and I will if not doing so will cause others hardship or embarrassment. It doesn't really agree with me though.

    • PaigSr profile image
      Author

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      @resabi: Its amazing how like the meals served families also have variety in them.

    • profile image

      resabi 4 years ago

      I like meat and don't plan to give it up. That said, there are many days when I only eat vegetables, because I really like veggies and I'm perfectly happy eating meatless meals. I rarely cook meat, actually, but I usually order it when I eat out. My daughter is vegetarian and has been since she was old enough to express her preference. She never liked meat -- never liked the taste. My husband is meat all the way.