Returning to Vegetarianism?

I’m seriously reconsidering vegetarianism for health reasons. Ever since I incorporated meats into my diet again at the end of ’05– compounded by my advancing years– I seem to have developed one malady after another. And, I’m afraid that if I don’t make some drastic changes, things will only get worse. Of course, eating meat is not necessarily a health risk in itself. Not eating meat, however, benefits many aspects of life apart from one’s health.

From January ’02 to December ’05, I was lacto-ovo-vegetarian, which is a fancy way of saying that I allowed dairy and eggs into my vegetarian lifestyle. I actually arrived at lacto-ovo-vegetarianism through a gradual process of eliminating one type of meat after another for a full year. I gave up beef in January ’99; beef and pork in January ’00; beef, pork, and chicken in January ’01; and, finally, all meats in January ’02. This gradual elimination of certain types of meat helped ease me into my vegetarian lifestyle. There is actually a book on becoming vegetarian gradually.

The toughest part about being vegetarian at that time was when I lived in Puerto Rico, the antithesis to vegetarianism. Every dish in Puerto Rico involved some type of meat or meat product. During my first week there, I was at a restaurant where I’d ordered a “vegetarian” item only to find out afterward that the broth was made from pork fat. And, because of the nature of my job, I had no time to cook for myself and ended up resorting to fast food, takeout, and overall unhealthy albeit meat-free eating. I actually found myself rationalizing: “Hey, Doritos is vegetarian, right?”

Finally, it took a trip to Japan– where I wanted to taste authentic sushi and Kobe beef– to accept meat into my diet again. That was when my health started taking a turn for the worse.

A co-worker of mine announced in January that he had become vegetarian. My Little Bro has been vegetarian for a decade now, I believe. Vegetarianism has also been touted as one of the best ways to “green living.” All the signs are there for me to see.

Of course, I may be blaming eating meat for my poor health right now. I’m certain I’m overlooking other factors such as ineffective exercise regimen and overall inactivity. But becoming vegetarian again can only help.

Right?

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7 Responses to “Returning to Vegetarianism?”


  1. 1 DAVE ID March 27, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Don’t do it. I was a no-escape-vegetarian myself and it’s just not worth it. Eat less meat but don’t cut it all out man, life has no meaning without bacon.

    And I quote Anthony Bourdain: “Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It’s healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I’ve worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold. Oh, I’ll accommodate them, I’ll rummage around for something to feed them, for a ‘vegetarian plate’, if called on to do so. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine.”

  2. 2 jonsquared March 27, 2008 at 10:51 am

    @ DAVE ID – I hear you, but I’m still vascilating. “Life has no meaning without bacon.” That’s one hell of an epitaph!

  3. 3 DAVE ID March 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I loves my bacon 😀

  4. 4 smysore March 31, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    I would say, go for it, for all the reasons you already stated above and more … Gosh, I saw some videos on how they were kicking those cows in the slaughter house and wondered if anyone would want to eat beef after seeing that.

    But then, what do I know – since I’ve never eaten any. It could be truly hard to give up. At least thats what some of my friends say. But since you have already done it for 4 yrs in the past, I’m sure you can do it again.

    BTW, where are you with caffeine?

  5. 5 jonsquared March 31, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    @ smysore – I’m going to ease into it by pretty much staying off the meat during the weekdays and allowing myself to eat meat during the weekends. It’s not to say that I’m going to gorge on it on Saturdays and Sundays. It simply means that I’m not going to necessarily deprive myself of it. Lil Bro suggests that I lay off the red meat altogether, and keep fish and chicken in my diet for now. I think that’s a great idea. And, yes, if I can live as a vegetarian once, I believe I can do it again.

    Regarding my caffeine-free lifestyle: I’d rather not say right now. I think I’ll save it for a blog entry. 🙂

  6. 6 Rey April 2, 2008 at 11:54 am

    My brother Ryan swears that beef and pork give him all sorts of physical ailments. So he sticks to the occasional chicken and fish, and on Thanksgiving, turkey, of course. And he’s doing pretty good with that sort of diet.

    As a confirmed vegetarian myself, my biggest concern is getting enough protein. So I look for that when choosing my meals. That, along with an attempt at exercise everyday, usually keeps the doctor away…so far, at least!

  7. 7 jonsquared April 3, 2008 at 10:28 am

    @ Rey – Yeah, I spent about three years trying to convince myself french fries was a great source of protein.


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