On Being Vegetarian + A Giveaway!

December 5, 2013

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I’d like to think I’m not a preachy vegetarian. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a very meat-centric family that would have half a cow in their freezer at all times (from the farmer down the street) and a family who found my eating habits to be bizarre. Or maybe it’s because I can’t help but roll my eyes at every new food trend that comes onto the market and the media’s excuses for why you should try it out. Or maybe it’s because I met a lot of pushy people who wanted to tell me why ‘meat is the answer’ and I realize how annoying it can be to have another diet pushed on you. And perhaps more because I hate explaining my dietary reasoning to everyone. ‘Is it because of health? It it for animal rights? It is environmental excuses? religion?’

To be honest, it’s because of a lot of things but mostly because of the animals and my health. I used to hate getting those ‘Oh, so do you work for PETA or something?’ looks when explaining I didn’t approve of commercial farming or that I couldn’t stomach the texture of fatty meat in my mouth. I used to usually just say it was for my health (which, in part, is true) and explain that I lost a lot of weight and gained so much energy when I transitioned to vegetarianism. Although, I was also 12 and going through puberty so who knows which helped out more? Being a vegetarian for 12 years, I sort of forgot why I did it until a few months back. Being vegetarian has become such second nature that I never ever even think to glance at a meat item on the menu or compromise on a chicken based broth at a restaurant.

I didn’t realize my animal morals were so strong until my boyfriend went hunting with his father a few months back. It being his first time and his excuse was to get out into the woods / meditate so I didn’t really think much of them actually killing anything. Oh but they did. They came home with big grins on their faces and a giant dead deer in their trunk. I remember seeing the look of smog on their faces when they broke the news and I had to hold back crying. For a few days, I couldn’t put my finger on why I was so upset – people have been hunting for thousands of years and it’s very natural. I finally realized that my opinions on killing & eating animals were more passionate than I had previous thought. I was so angry at how selfish the whole situation was; he’s been eating a sustainable and delicious vegetarian diet the 3 years we’ve been together and it bummed me out that he could so selfishly take a life for a ‘morning of fun’. It’s one thing when you need it to survive but it’s another thing when we can so easily live off of plants and nuts. It all just seems so selfish when removed from the ‘meat and potato’ American stigma we are used to.

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What sprung putting my vegetarian thoughts down on paper was receiving a copy of The Vegetarian Cookbook For Beginners which is divided into a informative section as the first part and recipes as the second. I was amazed at how much I learned about the different religious, moral, and health reasons that provokes people to go veg. I was also fascinated to learn about all the health benefits, the history of vegetarianism, and some of the many challenges that come along with switching to a new lifestyle.

I know that not all of you come to VV because you are vegetarian. Perhaps some are here for the creative recipes and clean aesthetic? Or some are just interested in what it is like to be a vegetarian? Or some of you prefer to eat a few vegetarian meals a week? Or some just really enjoy my sweets posts that have nothing to do with any dietary restrictions. Whatever your reason is for being here and reading this, if you have any interest in vegetarianism at all, I suggest you check this book out.

 

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And now for the giveaway! In addition to giving away the Vegetarian Cookbook For Beginners, I am also giving away some of my favorite spice grinders. Do you remember when I did a shout out to JR Watkins during that Pumpkin Pie with Salted Molasses post (pictured above)? Well I’m obviously a huge fan of their spices and they were kind enough to send me some grinders. And these aren’t just any grinders – they are lemon pepper and garlic salt. Both goes fantastic with literally everything! I’ve basically replaced them with my usual table salt / pepper because they had such a wonderful extra bite (except in baking – garlic and sweets don’t usually go together).

 

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And the last part of the giveaway are some Vegetarian ‘Ventures magnets. Yup, I made magnets. I don’t know why? Probably because my boyfriend and all his friends make band swag in the form of buttons, t-shirts, and cassettes so I wanted to have a little blog swag. Why not, right? I love these little magnets – I wish I could just send one out to every single one of you! They are seriously SO cute and awesome.

 

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The giveaway starts today and will run through next Sunday. I will be shipping out the winner their goodies the following Monday. Thanks for entering!

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70 Comments

  • Reply Courtney M. December 5, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I love the health benefits of being a vegetarian as well as all the fun you can have with food that isn’t meat.

  • Reply Jennifer North December 5, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I’m not a true, strict vegetarian, but I do follow a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet with the exception of fish and seafood. For me, it’s about health, but I can certainly understand the concern for animal welfare.

  • Reply Laura Starkey December 5, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I have been vegetarian for 24 years now. I learned a better way to eat when I lived in Cambridge, England. I discovered how wonderful food really is. The variety, the colour, the spices keep my imagination working in the kitchen. I am an artist so being creative in my lifestyle as well as my work go hand in hand.
    Your posts are inspirational and beautiful, thank you.

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      I completely agree! Cooking has become my creative outlet and also love experimenting with colors, spices, and combinations!

  • Reply Emily December 5, 2013 at 10:39 am

    what a fabulous giveaway! for me, being a vegetarian isa lifestyle, not a fad. since i was a child i’ve lived a meatless life but it wasn’t until i grew up that i realized the ethical reasonings as well!

  • Reply Melody Phua December 5, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for your story on being a vegetarian and the giveaway! I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate healthy meals into my diet without incorporating too much meat.

  • Reply Xochitl December 5, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Thank you for sharing this. You write beautifully. I think there is so much potential for growth in those moments in which the breadth one’s passions and convictions are revealed to herself.

  • Reply Kelly December 5, 2013 at 11:55 am

    This post has me re-thinking my meat-eating ways. I actually was vegan for a couple of years but recently started eating chicken and fish, mainly for the protein. However, I’m sure it’s not necessary and would love to do more research on a healthy vegetarian diet. Thank you for the post and reminder :) Love your blog and beautiful pictures.

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      So glad to hear I’ve inspired you to look into a meat-free diet!

  • Reply Anna December 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I really appreciate you taking the time to record your feelings about vegetarianism and I’m sure the very complicated feelings about loved ones’ hunting. I was raised a vegetarian by my parents but my moral and health views about vegetarianism have always been very strong and it took me many years before I could learn not to preach and figure out the proper way to express my opinions. Anyways, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your views in such an unassuming and unpreachy way, I hope that many people take the time to read it and perhaps it will make them consider their own diets and lifestyles.

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Anna! It’s always refreshing to hear from someone with a similar eating mind set!

  • Reply Juliette December 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Amen! I have been vegetarian for years as well (and I am 24 too) and it’s just a little repetitive so hear the same questions over and over again. On the other hand, I kind of understand them, but nowadays I just cut it short, and just like you I tell them that I do it for myself, for the animals and for nature.

    I don’t even think about it anymore, it’s more other people who make me think about “Why do I not eat meat?”. When people around me go hunting a can barely restrain myself. I don;t want to be the tree hugger or the annoying one, but I just have to at least give them ‘the’ look.

    Juliette

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      Exactly, Juliette! I really dislike when people mark someone off as a tree hugger or hippies because of their diet choices. Silly people.

  • Reply A Girl and her Whisk December 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to write this- I am a meat-eater, but find myself increasingly keen to reduce how much meat I eat as I am more and more conflicted about how food we eat ends up on our plate- especially at the seemingly ‘low’ cost of food. There’s a cost to another (animal) life further up the chain. So this sounds like an interesting read!

  • Reply Morgan B December 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I love this post. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 2 years now and I’m always having people asking me why? or how I need to add meat back into my diet, and my favorite comment of all when I have dinner at a family/friends house, how am I supposed to cook for a vegetarian? Well I absolutely love being a vegetarian! This cookbook would be an awesome addition in my household. I plan on cooking dinner for my family and friends to show them how great a meal and a diet without meat can be.

  • Reply Courtney December 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Being a vegetarian (I’m not currently) intrigues me as it forces me to stay in tune with what nature provides seasonally. It encourages me to be more sustainable in my choices, but also exposes me to options I wouldn’t otherwise know existed!

  • Reply Caroline December 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I’m not a novice vegetarian. My husband is very supportive but still likes his meat now and then. He’s so kind to cook it himself. Because I’m not a vegetarian-to-be because of health reason. I simply find it disgusting to have something dead on my plate. Your cookbook is on my wish list anyway :-)

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      My boyfriend is the same way! He is very supportive but gets his meat craving now and then. It’s a good thing he cooks it himself because I don’t even know how to cook meat. Ha

  • Reply Katie @ Produce on Parade December 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    What a lovely post. I am vegan and I feel the same way. I live in Alaska, the land of subsistence and I grew up on salmon and moose and caribou. It’s all very selfish when we do have the ability to live off plants…in the less rural areas of Alaska. I’ve always hated the idea of hunting and even fishing, I stopped going on fishing trips when I was a teenager because they just made me so sad.

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Loved hearing about being a vegan from your Alaskan perspective, Katie! It’s so crazy to think we live in the same country but grew up on completely different meat. Makes me wonder about all the veggies / spices that vary between our two states as well!

  • Reply Caroline December 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    I’m married to a vegetarian and have pretty much adopted his eating lifestyle. I appreciate your thoughts on being a vegetarian, and your blog is a lovely inspiration!

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      That is wonderful, Caroline! Glad to hear you are so supportive of your husband’s lifestyle.

  • Reply Christina December 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Over the past few years, something about eating vegetarian has interested me. I’ve never been one, but the only food I get excited about eating lately are the vegetables: grains, greens, roots, anything. My husband thinks I’m insane. It’s forced me to get creative when meal planning; something meaty for him and veg on the side that can make a meal for me. Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for the giveaway!

  • Reply Jen P December 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I think that I wonder what it would be like to not eat meat culturally, as a Southerner. I definitely eat much less meat than I grew up eating, but I am still a ways away from vegetarian.

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Good question! I lived in Nashville TN for a few years (which isn’t even that far south) and the vegetarian options were much more limited than the Midwest. However, on the other hand, I’ve had some pretty darn fantastic vegan Mac n cheese, pumpkin grits, and pan-fried seitan.

  • Reply Robyn Mueller December 5, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    What interests me about being vegetarian is the affects this decision has made on my health in a positive aspect, and how crazy obsessed my meat eating pals have gotten over where I get my protein from lol.

  • Reply BriAnna Wagnon December 5, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    love the health benefits and ultimately feeling better. i have many chronic illnesses so it wasn’t really a choice at first but i have grown to love it!

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      Cheers to that and your positive attitude! Being forced to do something is never fun but it sounds like you’ve positively embraced the lifestyle!

  • Reply Bell December 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    i am 14 years old and became a little while back. i LOVE that i have so much more energy now! i became ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 4 years ago and ever since i changed my diet, my health has improved greatly! i love feeling like a kid again and being able to say to people “i have changed my life for the better”. i have no problem with people who eat meat, but i do know that what i am eating actually gives me something back, instead of just being empty fuel for my body.God made veggies, and people made processed food. its really a no brainier when you think about it!

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      That is wonderful you’ve discovered the benefits of fresh veggies at such a young age! Glad to hear that a vegetarian diet has impacted your energy level in such a positive way!

  • Reply Amanda December 6, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Thanks for posting this. As a vegetarian, I love hearing other vegetarians stories and reasons for why they eat that way. Personally, I do it simply for health reasons. I would love to get my hands on this cookbook!

  • Reply Susan December 6, 2013 at 3:42 am

    I love your blog. I’m not a vegetarian but I know I would like to be some day. I eat meat now and then, but mainly because I still go to school and need quick and filling food and live on a very strict budget and were I live vegetarian stuff often cost a fortune, if they even sell it…
    I don’t think eating meat is good for the environment, me nor the poor animals, but still I do have a problem with finding a place to start. Especially with my family, when my mom makes something, I’d feel rude saying no, because she’d used a lot of time and/or money and a lot of food would go to waste.
    Another reason is that my mom always wants to cater to my needs, this summer I went vegetarian and she felt the need t always make me something to eat when I’d say no to meat. I dont want to be a burden for the people around be by not eating meat…
    You say you vent veg when you were 12. How did you do that, Im guessing you still lived with your parents then, how did they take it?? How did you find good recipes. Thankfully I have your blog… I love that chickpea dumpling recipe and all your pictures are fantastic! I just have to say I love your blog!!!

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Hey Susan! That is a tough one – I could completely see how you wouldn’t want to burden your mother. My mother was always super good about making things that could have the meat left out of part of it. Perhaps you could keep some beans / tofu / tempeh around the kitchen and ask your mom to leave the meat out of a small portion of the dinner and add your own protein?

      Also, I became interested in cooking when I switched to being a vegetarian because I would pick out veggie recipes that I knew our whole family would like and suggest them to my mother. And finally, once I got comfortable enough in the kitchen then I would take the burden off of my mother preparing two mains by helping her in the kitchen or offering to make dinner a few times a week.

      Hope that helps!

  • Reply Nina December 6, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Hi Shelly! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Though I am not vegetarian, I have thought about it for a while. Sometimes I think I’m ready to make the big jump, and sometimes I just think I could eat animals that were raised and killed ethically (and then I think that there is NO WAY to kill ethically, event if it is an animal, this is taking a life, for real!). For me, the “for the animal” and “for the environment” parts are what matter the most. Not that I don’t care about my health, but even being an omnivorous, I’m not a big meat eater anyway (and red meat just disgusts me so I can’t have a piece of beef, excepted for super well cooked groud beef), and I think my diet is well-balanced.

    I started thinking about being vegetarian as a teenager. I experienced a few things that made me realise what is meat. It is dead flesh, dead muscle, blood. Me, the girl who almost faints when seing blood, I eat dead flesh. And that’s hard to face. It is easy to forget that today, now that buying meat is simply purchasing pieces of flesh in a plastic box. Not everyone sees the killing part, the suffering anymore. When I talk about this with friends, most of them tell me they LOVE meat and couldn’t stop eating it, that meat is life (well no sorry actually it’s death!) and they don’t care about killing a pig since :
    - it was raised for that purpose
    - we’ve been doing this for centuries and this is normal for humans to eat meat.
    I keep answering them that we are not cavemen anymore and that we have other solutions to feed us, solutions that will be better for our health and our planet too. I keep saying “would you eat cat or dog?” and they say “no, of course!”, but I think that if you are able to kill a baby lamb or veal and eat it, then what is a cat for you, that’s meat all the same. Chinese people do eat cat and dog, they make no difference with any other animal and I think it more logical. I’m angry at all these people who say that “they love animals” and stand up against fur, or beaten cats and dogs, but do not give a f**k about eating a dead animal that spent its whole life in an overcrowded barn, never saw the light and was fed with antibiotics and antidepressants.

    I have not been raised in a vegetarian family, but we never ate so much meat. We did eat fish, but today I’m really concerned by how we are emptiying our oceans so I try to avoid fish at most. I grew up with the fresh, beautiful organic vegetables that my grand parents grew in their garden. 3 years ago, when I moved for my studies, I started decreasing the amount of meat in my diet. I only bought bacon from time to time, and chicken breast when my boyfriend came visiting me. I could spent days without eating a single piece of meat and my friends always asked me : but don’t you miss it? No, I don’t.

    It’s been 3 years of hesitating. I won’t lie, I like meat, sometimes. Yes, I think that veal or lamb is delicious, and I love fish. But this is cruel. I thought I was fine with the “ethically raised and killed” part but I’m not so sure. I couldn’t kill animals with my own hands and it is too easy to let someone else do that for me, while I only enjoy the meat without being a murderer. Of course I could eat meat without thinking about it, without asking questions. I could just see pieces of flesh in a plastic box. But I can’t close my eyes on the environmental disaster that meat is, and fot that reason, I would like to convince everyone I know to eat less meat, to eat local and in season. But people don’t care usually. It’s easier to rely on processed food, to cook a piece of meat with rice/pasta/canned vegetables when you are a student not very interested in cooking. But that’s another point that I won’t develop here (thanks god haha ^^).

    And today, the more I think about it, the more I can’t close my eyes on the fact that an animal is a living being, and that we have no right to treat them as we do, be they cows or pigs or chicken or cats or anything. They are all the same for me. For 3 years I’ve been cooking almost exclusively vegetarian dishes, but I haven’t completely crossed the line. I keep telling me that this is because my friends and family are not vegetarian and that I could eat meat with them from time to time to maje it easier for them to cook for me. But I think I’ve been lying to me. I’m the only one who can make this choice and my family and friends are just an excuse I keep telling me. I fear that this will be difficult to be a real vegetarian.

    I know I could live without meat or fish, this is not the problem. But this would not be enough. The “environmental issue” is already solved with my current diet (organic, local, in season and with very few meat), but the ethical one isn’t. If I really care about animals and say I don’t eat meat b/c I don’t want to mistreat and kill animals, then I should stop buying leather, wool (at first I tought “wtf you don’t harm sheeps when shaving them!” but then I realised they probably are raised in deplorable condition too… so it’s not only about shaving them), dairy etc. All in all, I should go vegan (or almost, I can still buy eggs, honey, dairy and maybe wool to local producers who respect the animals) and I’m not sure I’m strong enough to do so. This would mean to change all my habits, to shop completely differently, and I’m not sure I want to live my whole life cheking if what I buy is vegan-friendly (and let’s be honest, I’m not sure I could live without my beautiful leather bags and shoes…). In a word, I’ll have to stay out of the classical food industry. This does not really bother me at the moment, but what will it be when I have children? No doubt that this will be harder, and let’s face it, very expensive… Even If I eat eggs and dairy, I recently learnt that many cheeses are not vegetarians b/c of the use of animal rennet. I know that you can find vegetarian cheeses in the US, but in France it is almost impossible. I already asked in my regular organic shops and they don’t have that. There are many countries that are vegetarian/vegan friendly in Europe, but in France it is still a bit hard. I should’nt let that stop me if I’m really determined however. I’ve been reading vegan blogs for a few weeks now and this helps a bit.

    I would like that my friends and family and other people around me respect my choice, even if they do not understand it. I do respect theirs, if they want to eat meat and that they are fine with killing innocent beings, what ca, I say? I don’t blame them and I’m not trying to convince them. I just want them to be conscious of what their choice means, but many of them won’t even think about it. But I’m tired of arguing about that, I know they won’t listen because it’s easier to close the eyes and go with the flow. I’m tired of the aggressivity of people who do not understand my choices and try to convince me that this is normal to eat dead flesh, who think that you can’t be in good health if you are vegetarian/vegan. I think that many of them are scared actually. And I am too.

    I’m really confused. I really want to change my habits and I don’t want to support the “regular” food industry with all its waste and all its pain. But then I would have to give up on food I really like, to give up on many restaurants. This seems very sad to me because I love eating and going out. On the other hand I’ll be able to cook many new delicious things. Vegetarian/vegan cooking is very creative and I love it! But I know it is not possible to live only on local, organic and ethically made products nowadays. We all depend on each another and if we stop eating exotic products or animal products, what will happen to the farmers, breeders, fishers, transporting company etc? I think this is a very deep problem!

    Haha well, I could keep on going with the pros and cons that fight into my brain but I’ve already been waaaaay to long. Sorry for that and many thanks if you have read everything. That probably was very messy and full of mistakes, but that really reflects how much I’m puzzled right now. Sorry again!!! Have a super good day, despite all my “I can’t save the world” depressive thought! Thank you for letting me share what’s going on in my brain!

    • Reply phi @PrincessTofu December 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      @nina, I used to feel the same way as you, and let me tell you, there’s no outside pressure to do or be more than you can handle. Becoming a vegetarian is a huge commitment, one that took me ages to succumb to. For most, it begins with little steps, but you’ve already got the heart. It honestly doesn’t take much more than heart and I can assure that that no one will ever frown if one or twice a week you eat a piece of meat.

      While I’d like to think I am doing the honourable thing by avoiding meat, it’s just another way to save myself from guilt and that’s just as selfish as indulging in fish, imo.

      best of luck.

      • Reply Shellywest December 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm

        Exactly! I was going to say something very similar, Phi! You can’t be hard on yourself and you certainly shouldn’t deprive yourself of your favorite restaurants / foods or else you’ll begin to resent vegetarianism all together. You shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you need the comfort of a favorite meat meal you grew up on or if you indulge in that special recipe on holiday.

        I started out only eating vegetarian at home and still indulging in meat at my favorite restaurant. Eventually, as my pallet began to prefer all the wonderful flavors of a meat-free meal and my favorite meals at these restaurants changed (along with a whole new slew of restaurants that became new favorites as I discovered delicious veggie options at them).

        It really does sound like you are headed in the right direction! Just keep eating and doing what feels right and it’ll all click with time! I still struggle with my desire to eat expensive cheeses and ice cream filled with heavy cream – we all can’t be perfect but it’s great to know that there are people out there that are also trying, like you and me, to make a difference!

        • Reply Nina December 9, 2013 at 6:01 am

          Thank you to both of you! Actually this is how I feel, and that’s how my current diet looks like : I eat mostly vegetarian and indulge on meat/fish from time to time. I really like vegetarian food, and I almost always choose the vegetarian option of a meal. I love the creativity of vegetarian cooking. I will eat meat or fish with my whole family for Christmas, because I like what my grandmother cooks, and I know she would feel a bit sad if I told her that I am vegetarian from now on. I know my family and close friends will accept me as I am, and I know I should’nt put too much pressure on myself. I am just very confused because I can’t know for sure what I find acceptable : being vegan and totally free from animal suffering, which would probably be difficult for me, even though I know that I would have to do it step by step, or indulge from time to time with ethically produced meat or dairy. I am still unsure about this “animal exploitation” stuff, if it is really possible to put an end to it or if it is unavoidable and is a part of being an omnivorous human. If I choose to remain omniorous, I wish at least that the animals I eat had a decent life.

          The day I wrote the coment, I stumbled upon a quote of Nelson Mandela saying “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. Whether it will prove to be right for me, I’ll see. I know at least that I’m determined to keep on reducing the amount of animal products I eat because I’m strongly convinced that this is good for my health and for the environment.

          Thank you again for your kind and supportive words!

  • Reply Staci Powell December 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I am not actually a vegetarian, but my daughter is. I eat vegetarian a lot of the time when my husband is at work. I am here to find recipes to cook for my daughter. My daughter mostly is vegetarian for the animals. I am not a big meat-eater, so it does not bother me to fix one vegetarian meal for the two of us. My husband is a big meat eater, so I cook two meals when he is at home. :)

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      As I mentioned to Amy as well, I think it’s fantastic that you are so supportive of your daughter’s decisions! I couldn’t have been a vegetarian growing up without my mother’s support.

  • Reply Ashley December 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    I recently stopped eating meat entirely. It had been drifting towards that for a while, but eventually I realized that there were way more reasons to not eat it than to eat it and so I decided to stop. It just wasn’t worth it.

  • Reply allison December 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    for me, it was simple. I couldnt disassociate a cow i would admire in nature to a cow i would find on my plate. it was too much. i rather not ignore that its my animal friend and avoid eating it all together!

  • Reply Amy December 6, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I think that my daughter’s choice to be vegetarian is a good one for many reasons. Healthier options, not leaving a huge carbon imprint, and the capability to thrive on food choices/options that others may never consider as real food.

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      So glad the hear you are supportive of your daughter’s decision! I could not have maintained my veg lifestyle as a kid without the support of my own mother.

  • Reply Pat Owens December 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I am not a vegetarian but I do like to eat healthy.. You have a beautiful site, & I would like to try your receipts….

  • Reply Lucinda L. December 6, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I am going to start limiting my meat intake for health reasons. I was raised on a farm and love meat, I know that isn’t what I’m suppose to say. I do want to have a healthier life style. So slowly I will change.

    • Reply Shellywest December 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      You are supposed to say whatever your true thoughts are! I hope that limiting your meat intake works out the best for you.

  • Reply Docia Vagnerini December 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    I don’t like the fact that we eat animals it bothers me

  • Reply Kira December 6, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I love your magnets! They’re so cute :)

  • Reply Holly E December 6, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    It means being healthy and compassionate to all living things.

  • Reply Linda F. December 6, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Becoming and being a vegetarian will open doors to a whole new way of looking at food. It will help me to be more thoughtful in food planning vs old ways of steak on the BBQ for gatherings.

  • Reply Dana Warner December 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    This would be a wonderful prize! Very exciting!

  • Reply Cindy Smith Carey December 6, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    I would like to make more vegeterian meals.

  • Reply Denise Choong December 7, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Firstly, i was born vegetarian, with both my parents being vegetarian. Then, I got to choose :) and I choose to stay vegetarian as i feel that i can live my life without guilt by being a vegetarian :)

  • Reply Krishna Gorur December 7, 2013 at 4:48 am

    Keeping one foot in India helps me keep a vegetarian lifestyle fresh and delicious. Exploring seasonings and dishes from another culture can make meal time healthy and interesting as well as yummy!

  • Reply rose December 9, 2013 at 3:18 am

    I feel healthy
    I am inspired in the kitchen and excited to cook
    I am supporting a more sustainable way of eating and living

  • Reply Gingerbread Syrup /// DIY Gifting | December 9, 2013 at 8:40 am

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  • Reply Katie @ 24 Carrot Life December 9, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I LOVE those pins. Such a necessary purchase. I am not a full vegetarian, but I like eating meatless pretty frequently because I know it keeps my environmental footprint down, I can still eat healthy and cheaper with legumes and veggies, etc, and because it often makes me feel better physically too!

  • Reply Shannon of Happiness Is December 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Ugh I’ve been warding off those “why” questions since I was 4. Thankfully, now people accept vegetarianism more and ask less questions, but I still get the occasional dumbfounded looks when Im away from the west coast and in foreign countries. The mist annoying question is “sooo what DO you eat?” !! And I would have cried too if my boyfriend came home with a dead deer! So sad.

  • Reply April December 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I love that vegetarian eating can mean more veggies, plant food, whole foods. we are not vegetarian but certainly can lean that way.

  • Reply Keri December 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    I am a vegetarian married to a meat eater, and from a family of meat-eaters, and nearly ALL of my friends have jumped on the Paleo band wagon. My husband is very understanding of how squeamish and grossed out I get by meat. All I can think about when I see it are dead animals, and I really get grossed out by animal flesh and bacteria. My dad and brother hunt. If I saw the animal, I’d be crying too, but if they are going to eat meat, I’m glad that they hunt instead of buy from some factory farm where the animals live a miserable life and then suffer a slow, painful death.

    It’s easier to be at peace with my meat eating family, but harder to put up with the comments about how I’m ripping my guts apart by eating whole grains and legumes from my Paleo friends. Any one else have this issue?

  • Reply Emily C. December 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I’ve never been a fan of raw meat and it seems so much healthier to abstain/limit eating it. Thanks!

  • Reply Emma December 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I’m pretty new to VV but am so happy to have found you.
    I’ve been vegetarian for nearly 10 years and vegan for the last four and was thinking just recently about how grateful I am that I came to this lifestyle. I feel so much more at peace abstaining from being a part of animal cruelty and helping build a more sustainable world, as well as with myself on a personal level, making healthier choices and learning to love food!

  • Reply trace December 9, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    love being veggie girl b/c of the way it makes my body feel: i feel lighter, healthier, free-er, and just… better!

  • Reply Toni December 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I’m not a strict vegetarian. I just find that I don’t want meat with my meal more often than I do!

  • Reply Amy L December 9, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    I love the health benefits of being vegetarian as well as exploring new foods and cooking techniques from other cultures who are primarily vegetarian.

  • Reply Candace December 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Lovely giveaway! I haven’t posted on this site before, but I’m transitioning to vegetarianism, so this would be a nice treat.

  • Reply Laura December 10, 2013 at 3:53 am

    I love how healthy and delicious a vegetarian meal is.

  • Reply Richenda December 11, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I had a very similar experience with my then-boyfriend, now-husband going hunting. That was almost 10 years ago, and it was my catalyst for becoming a vegetarian. The gut reaction I had then is the same that keeps me enjoying a vegetarian life now — I don’t believe in killing animals for any reason, be it sustenance or something else. In this life I want to have the least negative impact on the world around me. I’m proud to leave a whole lot of living animals in my wake! Thank you for this thoughtful, honest post!

  • Reply Sherri December 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I’ve just recently began the transition to vegetarianism but I’m having trouble with the meal planning. It’s a new way to eat and I have meat eaters in the house so it’s been tricky to say the least. This book looks extremely helpful!

  • Reply Jennifer Paine December 13, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    This cookbook looks great!

  • Thoughts?!