The Journey to Vegetarianism/Veganism - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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The Journey to Vegetarianism/Veganism

I've been semi-vegetarian for a number of years. Cutting out crab and lobster, then pork. I did go full vegetarian some days while consuming meat on others. I don't particularly like dairy products either. I've always wanted to just go ahead and be a full-time vegetarian or even vegans some day. However, the way society is today, it's not convenient and I admit some of it is due to the fact that I'm lazy. It's way too easy, familiar and convenient to eat meat.

So after reading some animal cruelty news I was upset for several days even breaking down and crying several times on the first day. I needed to go and hug my furkids for comfort. Although I did eat meat at the time, I could not understand why people had to be needlessly cruel. If you are going to consume or use animal products, shouldn't you be thanking them for giving up their lives for YOU? Even if you don't thank them, shouldn't you at least kill them humanely with the least amount of suffering?

I've since stopped eating meat and have been scouring for information about meat alternatives. Through my browsing, it appears that a lot of the vegan sites are almost fanatic in their approach. They give a sense to the general public that they are on par with religious zealots and cults. Because of this, I find if you tell people you are vegan, they start distancing themselves from you or they tell you you're nuts. The use of scare tactics about factory farming actually do not deter people from eating meat. Perhaps because it's so disturbing, they chose to shut their eyes and ears and pretend it doesn't exist. They can't draw the parallel between what happens in the process and the dish of meat on their table.

Nevertheless because of this general perception and public mentality, I find it difficult to explain to others what led me down this path. Even my own father thinks I'm nuts. He thinks I got a very bad case of anthropomorphism. To him, animals are animals and they don't feel pain or suffer on the same level as humans do.

After reading that article, I went to my father for one of our philosophy chats. He felt I took it way too personally because I was so very sad and felt helpless that I couldn't do anything to help the poor animals. However, he did give me some guidance. Although I couldn't do anything about those animals, I could look closer and do something with my own life like join a local group or forum of animal minded people. The next day it hit me that I couldn't control what others thought or did, but I could control myself and that's why I decided to at least go full vegetarian.

Right now, I'm still trying to find my balance. I'm not sure how far I want to go. Stay vegetarian or go vegan? It would be even more difficult to go vegan because there are so many hidden animal ingredients in every day products. I think I might take it one step at a time. Just go vegetarian for a while to see how it meshes with my lifestyle. I find it difficult as I'm inbetween two cultures where one of them is very pro-meat/seafood. I'm not used to salads and if I have it several days in succesion, I feel nauseous.

Are any of you vegetarian/vegan and how do you integrate with society?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Alpaca View Post
So after reading some animal cruelty news I was upset for several days even breaking down and crying several times on the first day. I needed to go and hug my furkids for comfort. Although I did eat meat at the time, I could not understand why people had to be needlessly cruel. If you are going to consume or use animal products, shouldn't you be thanking them for giving up their lives for YOU? Even if you don't thank them, shouldn't you at least kill them humanely with the least amount of suffering?
If it is the cruelty aspect that upsets you, there are alternatives to feed lot animals and large inhumane companies that push out millions of pounds a meat. Go local. Talk to some local farmers and get your meat from someone who cares for their animals and ends their lives humanely. It's better for the economy, helps reduces your country's dependence on oil (especially if you're careful to get ALL your food locally) and grass fed natural meat is actually more nutritious than feedlot grain fed animals.

Instead of labeling yourself vegetarian or vegan...label yourself a locavore.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 09:35 PM
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Hugh posted this recently (I LOVE it!!):


Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

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Always in my heart, my lovely Cinderella, running free at the Bridge.
Always in my heart, my sweet Cali, running free at the Bridge.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-08-2011, 05:03 AM
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Yeah. Sums up the hypocrasy of most vegans.

You won't drink milk (the extraction of which is completely harmless to cows/sheep/goats/dogs or whatever), but you will insist on having glass in your windows and wallpaper on the walls? Not to mention using things with plastic and adhesives in them.

I think this is a great example of what we SHOULD be doing. Using the whole animal, not just the meat, but everything.

I may as well say I'm a vegan just because I don't use gut-core violin strings (I don't like them, they're too difficult to get in tune).
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-08-2011, 07:21 AM
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Alpaca's heart-felt post was directed towards people who are vegetarians and vegans - please note her last line. Instead, she gets derided. Not very nice, folks.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-08-2011, 07:27 AM
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I don't think anyone meant to hurt her feelings or make fun of her. Merely point out the Magnitude of what she was lOoking at to completely reach the gOal she said she wished to reach.

I just wanted to give her an alternate approach / different point of view that might solve her ethical dilemma.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-08-2011, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Greenport ferals View Post
Alpaca's heart-felt post was directed towards people who are vegetarians and vegans - please note her last line. Instead, she gets derided. Not very nice, folks.
No, it's pointing out that It's impossible to be a true vegan.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-08-2011, 11:26 AM
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I see you have some sort of...argument here, and I swear I don't wanna make it worse, but I REALLY wanted to ask you Alpaca, how do you plan to feed your cats if you're a vegan? Or even if you are vegan the cats get to eat meat even if it comes from...mistreated animals and all that you believe in?

I'm not making fun of you, I'm just making a question.

(thanks for the pic Marie and Huge )
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Of course I definitely expected all sorts of ambiguity and questions as soon as I started this thread. I'm fully aware, as Huge pointed out, that it's almost next to impossible to be a full vegan within the society we live in now. I wouldn't try and push my views on anyone else and I'm not saying everyone should be vegan. What I had issue with is the cruelty and abuse that occurs when we obtain the meat or other parts of the animal. At least if you're going to kill it, then kill it quickly and with the least amount of pain. The article that drove me to question myself was about the live skinning of animals for boots. This was done crudely in mass production in some field in China. After skinning, the animals while still alive where just tossed cruelly in a pile taking up to 3 hrs to die. This made me ill for several days and my hands still shake from typing it out in words.

Because I knew there was absolutely nothing I could do for them, I felt helpless and upset. After that discussion with my father, I came to the conclusion that although I couldn't go vegan without a lot of difficulty, I could certainly cut down on my meat consumption/animal product use.

I've definitely made the decision not to consume anything that is chunks of meat or eat an egg or drink a glass of milk. Anything that is whole per se. What I'm struggling with is when it's part of foods like bread where it's made of milk/eggs or a dish that's cooked with meat but has vegetables. What I've been doing the past while is eating primarily vegetarian dishes. However, when I'm with family sometimes I end up eating dishes that have meat in it, but just picking the meat out.

Refraining from consuming meat, eggs and milk in whole (without going extreme and refusing even trace amounts) fulfills my own view without causing people to think vegetarians/vegans are 'inconvenient'. I don't know why there's a bad rap going on, but the fact remains that we are a minority and the butt of many jokes. I don't want to antagonize people towards vegetarianism/veganism like what PETA is doing. I want people to start questioning what is going on with the way we treat animals, not to think we are extremists.

I agree that it would seem like it's going against my beliefs if I feed my cats a meat diet. However, I believe they are true carnivores and I cannot force them to follow my ideals without compromising their health and well-being. Therefore, I'm not going to convert my cats to a vegan diet. I believe vegetarianism/veganism is a very personal choice and shouldn't be forced upon anyone.

What I already have I won't throw out, but I wouldn't be buying any new products that were leather, wool or down.

There's still a lot of fine tuning and exceptions that pop up. I was in a social situation recently where a vegan meal wasn't an viable option so I ended up having some fish. I suppose in the long run, it is better that I strive to reduce my animal consumption instead of fully eliminate it.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 01:07 PM
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Just don't let Hugh know that you drink bottled water

The last time people tried to elimate free roaming cats it resulted in The Black Plague.
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