T Nation

Transitioning to Vegetarianism


#1

Over the past week I have been slowly transitioning to vegetarianism, with the thought of perhaps in the future going full-blown vegan. Two years ago I started thinking of the insanely inhumane practices happening in factory farms, not only for food, but for clothing too. I also have one of my closest friends being a vegetarian or vegan since 2002.

And not only did I start thinking of the aforesaid practices, I started thinking of how every living thing on this earth, and the earth itself, is connected. When I first met my wife, I realized that she was far more spiritual than was I. She mentioned ideas to me that were completely foreign to me. I had an almost completely materialistic worldview. No, I don’t mean materialistic in that I liked gaudy junk or the accumulation of things for the sake of it, as so many insanely consumer-driven are Americans. I meant that although I was worldly in the sense that I knew of the many different kinds of people roaming this earth and was a history buff for quite some time, I lived my life without much thinking of my day-to-day activities, nor had I traveled much (I still haven’t). I was concerned with finding a woman (with marriage in mind), spending time with friends and family, and work–you know, like nearly everyone else runs their lives and thinks.

Keep in mind, I for quite some time thought of things like overpopulation, eugenics, and how modern man, especially in America, is brutalizing, exploiting, mistreating and ruining his own land and related creatures. But beyond thoughts, I never did much. After all, what the hell can or could I do?

My wife mentioned vegetarianism to me two years ago, and being a stereotypical meat head and gymrat, I agreed to a meatless day here and there. That did not last long considering we had only one “meatless Monday” and the idea fizzled out immediately for me. She tried vegetarianism for a few weeks and that fizzled out for her too, considering it’s sort of difficult when one lives with a meat eater.

Then I bumped into the Vegan Gains You Tube channel and I really started thinking all over again. I went back and read Berardi’s vegan nutrition article on here. I started perusing vegan bodybuilding websites. So, last week, I went to a hardcore show in Brooklyn (it was a benefit show for diabetes) and there are many vegan restaurants in Williamsburg, where the event was. So, I wanted to try something new and said, F— it! I’ll try something out of the ordinary! So we went to the restaurant and the meal was great. The next day I had a meatless day with some dairy. It was actually enjoyable. So for the last week I have only been finishing the meat in my home slowly and been having mostly meatless meals, with a few days being totally meatless and dairy free, but eating eggs everyday. I will be buying eggs from the farm around the corner from me that raises chickens only for eggs, not meat, and lets them roam about.

My reason for doing this is purely ethical, after seeing the utterly horrifying and tear-jerking scenes on factory farms, including those for clothing.

I had been buying organic meat and eggs for some time, despite the expense because I was of the belief that so long as the animal is treated humanely while alive, it is alright for it to be killed swiftly for food in the end. I thought and sometimes still think, despite it seeming juvenile, something like, “Well, we are animals, just we humans are animals might be at the top of the food chain in some cases, and like how other animals kill animals for food, we do the same.” The counter thought I have buzzing around my head is that although that might make some sense, I believe we are at a point in which we are killing, breeding, and eating animals in such gross excess. Look at how freely people grossly over eat all food products, including blitzing though burgers, wings and blue cheese dressing while being entranced by a ball game. I myself, even being a dietitian and gymrat myself never thought about how my food wound up on my table or how clothing wound up on my body till recently.

I am sharing this on this board in case anyone is interested because it has to do with nutrition and I believe the people in this sub-forum to be bright and friendly and thoughtful. If no one cares to read it or get into it , that’s fine.

The nutritional concerns I have are B12 intake and omega-3 intake. I believe egg intake will take care of the B12 issue and the omega-3 intake will be and has been for some days with flax and chia seeds and seaweed.

There have been some thoughts buzzing around forums regarding vegans and vegetarians I have thought about it. They do make some sense but I don’t fit them.

Vegans hate other humans. I don’t! Although I am cynical and believe that we are overpopulated. I also think we are in an unprecedented dysgenic state in America and the breeding of ne’er-do-wells, bottom feeders, degenerates, and intellectually stunted and the compromised breeding of the brightest and steadiest people–mostly because of economic or selfish reasons–is sending our civilization down the drain! This does not mean I am not caring or loving. I have solid social and familial ties and understand the severe importance of them and aware of the obligations I have to other people, whether the obligations are with people close to me or obligation I have to be a civic-minded person, follow rules, and treat other people with respect. Those who spew misanthropic garbage like, “Humans are filthy, death to mankind, blah blah blah,” do so as a PC-copout instead of laying the blame on a degenerate few at the expense of everyone else! In this day and age, we often hear shit like, “We as a human race failed!” because scumbags do evil actions. This is false! Scumbags failed us! I believe they also fail us when they mistreat and abuse and terrify animals.

Our ancestors ate meat. Yeah, our ancestors also collectively did some deeds and had institutions (that is, not some individuals at work, but institutions upheld by the group as a whole) that would make some modern tough guys and bleeding hearts squirming and bleeding real blood! So while I can understand what this statement means, I can’t wrap my head around it fully. Northern European ancestors used to drown homosexuals, and I’m sure they weren’t boasting, “Good for HER” when they encountered some dude who really thought he was a woman. My Jewish ancestors stoned them to death. The Greeks practiced crypteia, in which young Spartans would make their bones by arming themselves with daggers and ambushing and murdering helots to keep their population in check. They did away with handicapped babies. Some of our ancestors looked upon racial mixing in the same way we look at bestiality.

I don’t say this to be pedantic, nor do I think all of what I say here is reasonable to some reading what I write here. I say this because when I hear people talking about how our ancestors did things and then go on to call vegans “faggots” or overly sentimental, maybe they should think about how they are nowhere near as stoic, hardened, or insensitive as our ancestors they so enthusiastically speak of.

As for the protein issue, I no longer believe we need so much damn protein to grow, so long as their is appropriate caloric intake. I’ve seen too many large men eat lower than the “gram of bro-tein per pound” recommendation and some studies have shown muscle growth at intakes as low as 0.6 grams per pound. I’ve been eating lentils, eggs, very little dairy (which I might phase out too, considering what goes on), all kinds of beans, green peas, seeds, nuts, whole grains like quinoa and amaranth, tons of veggies, and potatoes. I get around 20 to 30 grams of protein four times per day. I am not going crazy with counting right now, just getting in the groove of portion control with the aforesaid items and getting the right nutrients. I feel very good.

Will I remain this way forever? Who knows? I am not making that vow now, nor am I trying to turn anyone else.

Comment if you like. I don’t mean to ruffle feathers here, only to share my thoughts with the very thoughtful bunch we have here now. If some of what I say seems ludicrous, oh well. I can only express myself as I see fit and my thoughts and myself are not perfect.


#2

Then there’s the other statement. One might lose muscle if they turn vegan, for whatever reason. I think my muscles are a little less important than what’s going on, no matter how much I love this HOBBY.


#3

Ethics aside have you seen any legitimate health benefits to eating less or no meat than a typical gymrat would eat? My main issue with the anti-meat health crowd is they are almost exclusively referring to processed meats and fast food burgers which I don’t eat anyway so I tend to ignore everything I hear on this.


#4

[quote]sufiandy wrote:
Ethics aside have you seen any legitimate health benefits to eating less or no meat than a typical gymrat would eat? [/quote]

No. I haven’t read much into it regarding health benefits. Someone can be healthy eating a balanced plant-based or a balanced mixed diet (meat, dairy, eggs, and plant food). My interest is purely morally and ideologically driven.

[quote]
My main issue with the anti-meat health crowd is they are almost exclusively referring to processed meats and fast food burgers which I don’t eat anyway so I tend to ignore everything I hear on this.[/quote]

Yeah, the ones referring to health benefits, which is irresponsible of them. That’s not me. As you can see from my OP, I did not mention health once, though I plan on being healthy as possible while I do this (eg, omega-3’s, micros, B12 intake, enough protein, etc.).


#5

If it is for ethical reasons why not go full blown vegan and will you stop using all animal products?

What about all the poor animals being killed harvesting crops? Do they not matter? All the pesticides? Even if you go organic, organic farming uses animal manure for fertility. Animal manures that come primarily from confined animals, raised for meat or eggs.

THERE IS BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS!!!


#6

I also do not want to buy more leather shoes, wallets, or watches. I will wear our the leather items I have already and then not buy more.


#7

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:
If it is for ethical reasons why not go full blown vegan and will you stop using all animal products? [/quote]

That is what I aim to do (eg, shoes, wallets, etc.).

[quote]

What about all the poor animals being killed harvesting crops? Do they not matter? All the pesticides? Even if you go organic, organic farming uses animal manure for fertility. Animal manures that come primarily from confined animals, raised for meat or eggs. [/quote]

I am aware of all this.

[quote]
THERE IS BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS!!![/quote]

If you want to put it like that, then fine, there is. So long as I am living in America I am part of the system and there is no way around it, unless I were to go completely off the grid Unabomber-style (no thanks!).

Just how restrictive I intend to be is up to me, so long as I am AWARE of just what I am doing and consuming and buying, rather than blindly stuffing my face and putting animal products on me without a thought.

Will I be perfect? Likely not. Nor did I even make some lifelong vow here.

I am not sure if you intended to throw me things to throw me off, but as I said, I am aware of all that you say here.

Your post is civil, but I don’t quite understand what was your intention. To get me to think or be even further restrictive, or to throw me off.


#8

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:

Even if you go organic, organic farming uses animal manure for fertility.[/quote]

I did say I was going organic for awhile and then re-considered that as well, hence why I am down to eggs purchased from the farm around the corner where the chickens are not being raised for meat.


#9

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#10

There’s something telling about how people respond to someone who has chosen to become vegetarian or vegan.

They then try to find flaws in what you’re doing. You still use wood products? Well animals are used to haul the logs in some parts of the world or some shit so you’re a hypocrite.

Don’t listen to them. You’re doing a good thing that I wish I had the strength to do.


#11

What you eat is a personal choice and with your vast knowledge in nutrition and fitness I know you’ll make it work.


#12

i think the guy at vegan gains is a douche
if you are going vegan check out Patrik Baboumian vegan strong man his info is really good no theatrics like vegan gains

most if not all vegan foods are not complete amino acid profile
his info on how to mix foods for your protien is pretty good


#13

[quote]pushharder wrote:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:

Even if you go organic, organic farming uses animal manure for fertility.[/quote]

I did say I was going organic for awhile and then re-considered that as well, hence why I am down to eggs purchased from the farm around the corner where the chickens are not being raised for meat. [/quote]

But what about the murder of them there chicken babies? Hens are having abortions so you can eat their offspring! Yuck![/quote]

As with Seraphim’s post, I do not know the intention of your post.

Usually when people say yuck, it’s in disgust. So I take it, perhaps wrongfully so, that you are implying that I I have devolved into some squeamish half-pint when that’s not the case.

You know, when I saw in the forum that you replied to my thread, I thought to myself, “Oh Push replied. He’s intelligent and insightful. Let me see what he has to say.”

It’s one thing to be insulted by someone you don’t really give a rat’s ass about because of their irrelevance or stupidity or ignorance. It’s another to be randomly insulted by someone who you think highly of.

Considering the length and depth of my post, I am surprised and disappointed with your post here.


#14

First Crossfit, now veganism. It’s only a matter of time before you post an avatar pic in a dress…

…just kidding. I actually agree with everything you said, but I just can’t see myself ever giving up meat. My digestive tract can’t handle beans and pulses. If it could, I think I’d actually have tried what you’re doing myself.


#15

[quote]Nards wrote:
There’s something telling about how people respond to someone who has chosen to become vegetarian or vegan.

They then try to find flaws in what you’re doing. You still use wood products? Well animals are used to haul the logs in some parts of the world or some shit so you’re a hypocrite.

Don’t listen to them. You’re doing a good thing that I wish I had the strength to do.[/quote]

Thanks. I also think such drive-by zingers are highly disingenuous considering the depth and seriousness of my post. For someone to recognize exactly what he is doing and say, “Gee, I better take responsibility for my actions and/or realize what I put my money towards,” and then to have someone drive by and say “there’s blood on your hands!” is (pardon my French), FREAKING WEIRD to me.

If I took the post wrong, I apologize.

Perhaps out of nowhere when a noob pops up on T-mag, who has finally going to take responsibility for his health, and says something like, “I am obese and really want to get in shape. Here are the steps I am taking,” I will just turn up the heat on him. Instead of taking in what he says and offering some help (or saying nothing), I’ll just say something like, “Oh, so you’re just going to stop drinking beer? You think that’s gonna get you somewhere? Why not revamping your whole diet right now. You do know you got into your obese mess by doing more than just drinking or having a pizza here and there, right?”

How does this sound to someone who is ALREADY honing up to what he has been doing and taking responsibility. He knows the error of his ways already, so that fact is already implied, so telling him that is the same as informing him the earth is round.


#16

[quote]Yogi wrote:
First Crossfit, now veganism. It’s only a matter of time before you post an avatar pic in a dress…

…just kidding. I actually agree with everything you said, but I just can’t see myself ever giving up meat. My digestive tract can’t handle beans and pulses. If it could, I think I’d actually have tried what you’re doing myself.[/quote]

Never joined the Crossfit gym. :slight_smile: The boxes I was interested in going to are just too far for me to commute to for working out. There is a UFC gym a few minutes from me that my bro goes to, that I might join soon, which has a lot of stuff I’d like to use, such as battle ropes, tires, sleds, sprinting turf, etc.

Thanks for the post. Yes, I’ve had some bloating, but it’s not so bad. I’ve had probably four totally meatless days so far, with two of them being dairy free as well. Like I said, this is not a lifelong vow, but I consider it something far more important than this hobby at this point.


#17

[quote]cavemansam wrote:
i think the guy at vegan gains is a douche
if you are going vegan check out Patrik Baboumian vegan strong man his info is really good no theatrics like vegan gains

most if not all vegan foods are not complete amino acid profile
his info on how to mix foods for your protien is pretty good[/quote]

Thanks for the post.

Yes, Vegan Gains has some really dislikable traits, but I do like some things about him. Although he cites studies that are very misleading, I believe, he is well-spoken, funny, and intelligent. I do not like his misanthropy particularly and he has said some dumb shit. His approach is warranted with some people, I believe, particularly with his Worst of the Fitness Industry segments. Sorry, if you arrogantly lie big to people at large, I don’t see a problem with people taking a hardline approach with that. Or for people to come across as they are nutrition know-it-alls when they have know idea what they are talking about is annoying too. It’s not an approach I encourage grown adults with normal social and professional ties to use, but being the guy is very young, lives with his parents, and can get away with it, he is in the position to put himself out there however he pleases, I guess.

I’ve looked up Patrick Baboumian.

I have the Precision Nutrition Plant Based Food Guide from John Berardi’s company, so that is a big help. It’s pretty simple: combine a plant based protein rich food (beans, peas, tofu) with a whole grain or tuber (my faves are oatmeal, corn, yucca, rice, amaranth, and quinoa). Add some fats, tons of veggies, and some fruits and you are good to go. My concern with B12 can be taken care of with eggs and the omega-3’s can be gotten from flax and chia seeds and seaweed. I will include eggs and sparing amounts of dairy because despite my beliefs, I only care to be as restrictive as I can be without developing deficiencies or having to rely on supplementation (I can’t stand taking pills and powders). So this would make me a vegetarian, not a vegan.


#18

What’s ironic about drive by zingers is that I said in my first post, “… obligation I have to be a civic-minded person… and treat other people with respect.”


#19

In my mind, animals like cows, pigs and chickens are here simply to be eaten. They are like plants with eyes. They convert things like grass into protien. They’re there to provide food for predatory animals.

I wonder, if we don’t eat chickens, pigs, and cows…what good are they to this earth? (Besides milk, in the case of cows and goats)


#20

[quote]BrickHead wrote:
What’s ironic about drive by zingers is that I said in my first post, “… obligation I have to be a civic-minded person… and treat other people with respect.” [/quote]

Because you are a respectful guy, I tried to not be blatantly offensive in my post. Also, surely it isn’t “ironic”, more of an odd coincidence.