Vegetarian or Not?

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I’m posting while eating.  Naughty, naughty!  But, I’ve got to make this snappy and get back to business.

 

Before the big "vegetarian discussion," here’s what I’m eating for lunch:

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Boiled corn on the cob (These corn holders have been in our family since I was 5 years old!):

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Whole wheat English muffin with globs of cottage cheese:

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Roasted red pepper soup (1 cup NOT 1 can, this stuff is calorie-dense!):

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And my dessert will be a chocolate that Brandi sent me:

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Thanks, Brandi!

 

Vegetarian or Not?

 

After reading Skinny Bitch, I decided to go vegetarian. I actually haven’t had meat since April 26 (my birthday).  I have been hesitant to "announce" on the blog because I do not want to insult any vegetarians in case I "fall off the wagon."  This is a serious lifestyle choice, and I didn’t want it to appear I was taking the decision lightly.

 

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’ve actually tried to go veggie twice before:

 

  • I was a semi-veggie (no red meat or pork) from the age of 10 to the age of 20.  However, I got drunk at a tailgate and ate a pepperoni pizza and that was that.
  • The Hus and I tried to go veggie two years ago, but we only lasted a few weeks.  We were on a road trip, and I was freaking out because there was nothing mildly healthy to eat at the rest stops that was vegetarian, so I broke down and had a chicken sandwich.  And that was that!

 

Although I think Skinny Bitch is pretty extreme (it says you should be a vegan), the chapters on the treatment of farm factory animals really, really got to me.  I "knew" what it was like for the animals, but to be honest, I just chose to ignore it and eat meat anyway.  After reading Skinny Bitch, I could NOT get several passages about the slaughter and housing of pigs, cows, chicken, fish, etc. out of my head.  Literally, the words haunted me (and still do). 

 

One thing I’ve kind of accepted is that if you’re a vegetarian, there will be times when you have to basically eat junk food instead of a healthy meal (like when you are out to dinner) or you just need to make an exception and eat meat.  Vegetarian options often suck, and sometimes, you cannot ask for modifications (like at The Players Championship on Sunday.  I didn’t document my meals because cameras weren’t allowed, but I literally ate chips and cookies for lunch because that was the only veggie option).

 

I’m not saying I’m NEVER going to eat meat again.  But for right now, I feel like I need to at least try to go veggie because honestly, I love animals and I just don’t think the way we currently treat farm animals is acceptable.  I know that this statement means I should go vegan, but I really cannot make that big of a change nor am I sure I would want to.   I’m going vegetarian for different/more compelling reasons than ever before, so I think it might stick.

 

I’m not saying you’re a bad person if you eat meat!  It’s a personal choice that I’m making for myself (the Husband isn’t going veggie, for example).   So, please don’t feel offended.

 

So, there you have it.  I’m currently a vegetarian.    šŸ™‚

 

To answer some follow-up questions in the comments:

 

  • No, the Husband is not going vegetarian.  We’ll just make chicken for him and beans or tofu for me for dinner.
  • No, I’m not eating fish.  In my opinion, fish counts as a living thing, and fish are farm-raised in the same terrible conditions as sheep, pigs, and cows.  Yes, I realize that I should stop fishing for fun.
  • No, I’m not going vegan. 
  • No, I’m not going to be completely insane about it.  I read ingredient labels already, and I wouldn’t eat soup made with beef broth, but I’m not going to freak out if there is gelatin in my yogurt.  One step at a time!

 

Update Number 2: 

 

  • Some of you have suggested that I eat organic or "free roam" meat as an alternative.  I hate to break it to you, but these buzz words were just created by the meat industry to make people feel better about eating meat.  Especially at larger organic farms, the treatment of the animals is pretty much the same as it is at factory farms.  Now, I’m not going vegan, but I think it’s important to point out that "free roam eggs" mean "chickens are locked in a shed" not "chickens get to roam a lovely pasture."  Again — it’s deceptive marketing.  Plus, organic animals are usually slaughtered at the same factories are regular animals.  There are very few laws in place to protect animals while they are alive or being slaughtered.  In fact, the British government has ruled that it is deceptive marketing to claim that animals raised on organic farms enjoy better lives than animals in conventional factory farms.   I am not trying to make you feel bad about eating organic meat, but do not buy into manufacturer claims that it is better (cruelty-wise) than regular meat.  It does contain less hormones and chemicals, though, so that’s one plus.
{ 144 comments }

 

  • DoubleDigits May 12, 2009, 8:53 am

    I have also been going veggie for the last few months based on moral reasons. I have eaten meat a few times, but I want to make it the rare exception and not the rule. I haven’t read Skinny Bitch because I am a wimp – I know that the info about treatment of animals will be hard to read. I, too, think that going veggie based on compassion for animals is helping me stick to it. Good luck, and I look forward to reading about your veggie meals!

  • Weight and Meditate May 12, 2009, 8:54 am

    Good for you!

    I think I struggle so much wanting to go vegan (been veg for years) because I know the dairy industry isn’t the best for animals, either, but I haven’t been able to take the plunge permanently. I give you props for at least giving up meat! Besides, giving up meat also helps the environment, not just the animals. If you fall off the wagon I promise I won’t be mad, either! You just do what feels right to you!

  • amy. May 12, 2009, 8:55 am

    I totally support you! You're amazing Caitlin. I'm glad you feel confident and strong in your decision. I decided to go Vegetarian as soon as I got back to school for Spring semester. So around January 10th. I've had salmon once or twice, at a restaurant, but besides that, I am so happy with my choice. Enjoy it!

    <3

  • Krista May 12, 2009, 8:56 am

    Skinny Bitch really got to me, too. I actually cried at some some the passages on the animal treatment! I’ve never been a big meat eater and although I do still eat meat, I don’t eat much of it. It certainly was a while before I could stomach chicken again.

  • redheadedjournal May 12, 2009, 8:56 am

    Yay! I’ve been a vegetarian since 2001. I’m excited to read about your veggie eats! šŸ™‚

  • Faith C. May 12, 2009, 8:58 am

    I think it’s great that you decided to become veggie! I am semi-veggie now for moral reasons – I still occasionally have meat although it’s never my first choice – why is it so hard for restaurants, events, etc to have decent veggie options? Bah. Anyway, I definitely look forward to seeing your veggie meals and am excited for you! Is the hub going veg with you?

  • Meredith (Pursuing Balance) May 12, 2009, 9:00 am

    Good for you!
    I’ve been vegetarian since I was 12, and went vegan 3.5 years ago for the same reason you’re going vegetarian — I felt like it was selfish of me to continue eating (yummy) dairy products when I knew what went into making them. I definitely cheat sometimes though (when I’m at restaurants or someone’s house). We just do the best we can šŸ™‚

  • The Decayed Gentlewoman May 12, 2009, 9:07 am

    Good luck with your choice! It sounds like you are making it for excellent reasons.
    I don’t see myself ever becoming a vegetarian, but I feel rather influenced by the writing of Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan. I try to limit the amount of meat (and especially red meat) that I eat, and I haven’t eaten beef at home in a number of years. I occasionally buy bacon or prosciutto (maybe once or twice a year) if a little bit is required for a special dish. I will eat red meat at a restaurant if that’s what I really want, but it rarely is. I generally stick with fish, chicken, and turkey and have been pretty satisfied with that eating pattern.
    More recently, I’ve stopped eating meat at lunch time. I don’t think I made a conscious decision to stop, I just stopped because that’s what suits my taste and appetite. It helps that I hate sandwiches.
    I think it would be prohibitively difficult for me to stop eating meat all together for a number of reasons. I like the way restaurants prepare it, I live with my boyfriend who is into bodybuilding (and thus eats A LOT of chicken breast), and (this is, of course, a personal choice- I’m not judging you)I am not personally okay with having to choose an unhealthy vegetarian option over a healthy meat one.
    I am actively trying to eat more veggies and to eat local veggies more often. (I just stopped getting the local co-op’s veggie box- I guess I should go back, but it is hard to get used to eating seasonally when there are so many yummy veggies in the store regardless of the season.)
    Anyway, Like I said, Good luck! Its not for me, but I think your endeavor is a good, noble one. šŸ™‚

  • Erica May 12, 2009, 9:09 am

    Good for you! I pretty much eat a vegetarian diet (about 95% of the time). I’m not a HUGE fan of getting protein through tofu or fake meat though, so I usually end up getting most of my protein from beans, nuts, eggs, and milk. Let me know what works for you!

  • GreenDogWine May 12, 2009, 9:11 am

    Good for you! I think SELF published an article (or maybe Glamour – I read to many magazines) – categorizing vegitarians – and they had on in there called “Flexitarian” – which is basically what you described. There might be meat if absolutely necessary, otherwise it’s all veggies – I loved the definition because that was totally ME!

  • Sam May 12, 2009, 9:12 am

    Congratulations on your decision Caitlin, and best of luck with it all :). Out of interest, will you still be eating fish, or is that off-limits too?

    Since drastically improving my diet a few months ago, i’ve been eating a lot less meat (especially red meat) than I used to. And while I’m not ready to go veggie yet, I’m enjoying a much wider range of veggie meals than before.

  • SuzanneRN May 12, 2009, 9:13 am

    My hubbie and I have gone “flexi-pesceterian” which is basically eating seafood once and awhile but primarily veggies. I also read Skinny Bitch and literally got nauseated while reading it! Very sad. Anyway, good luck! šŸ™‚

  • Nicole (anotheronebitesthecrust.wordpress.com) May 12, 2009, 9:14 am

    Changing to a vegetarian diet (and then about two years ago to vegan) was one of the best decisions I’ve made! I tried when I was in high school and it never stuck with me. When I realized about the treatment of animals in the industry, it finally clicked and I haven’t even been tempted!

    I think it’s a great change and I think you’ll do great!

  • Brooke May 12, 2009, 9:14 am

    Wow…you are a hard worker! I don’t think I could do all that you do. Make sure to take some time for yourself on the weekends and whenever you can šŸ™‚
    As far as being a veggie…I only eat chicken and turkey, but rarely. Like you said, sometimes it is necessary in a restaurant or on the go. I am not a huge cheese fan and the other veggie choices are often slim.

  • Moran May 12, 2009, 9:15 am

    Best of luck, girl! I am really interested in seeing your eats based on the change!

  • Melissa @ For the Love of Health May 12, 2009, 9:20 am

    I totally agree that it is a personal choice and good for you for choosing to be a vegetarian šŸ™‚

  • Anonymous May 12, 2009, 9:21 am

    Caitin – I am impressed by your decision. I have contemplated it too. But I struggle w/ any eating restrictions – I just tend to get crazy when I restrict food groups. I've been going days at a time w/o meat but always break down at some point & enjoy it at one meal. My biggest issue is I could give up all meat right now EXCEPT red meat! I dislike chicken & fish. I can take turkey & occasionally enjoy pork but not often. Red meat is the one I seem to struggle with giving up. I love animals too & do feel guilty at times about eating meat. I guess I'm just not ready to make a firm commitment yet but I am defintely not eating meat I don't love anymore just "for protein" like I used to. I also seriously LOVE dairy so I know going vegan is out of the question for me right now. I guess I'll just continue to follow your journey & think about it more. I'm scared of reading the book b/c I know it would kill me to know what they do.

  • Victoria May 12, 2009, 9:21 am

    Good for you! Although, I don’t normally find that eating out is that difficult if you aren’t eating meat. I tend to get things like a grilled chicken salad minus the chicken for example. I guess it probably just depends on where you go.

  • Amy May 12, 2009, 9:21 am

    Caitin – I am impressed by your decision. I have contemplated it too. But I struggle w/ any eating restrictions – I just tend to get crazy when I restrict food groups. I've been going days at a time w/o meat but always break down at some point & enjoy it at one meal. My biggest issue is I could give up all meat right now EXCEPT red meat! I dislike chicken & fish. I can take turkey & occasionally enjoy pork but not often. Red meat is the one I seem to struggle with giving up. I love animals too & do feel guilty at times about eating meat. I guess I'm just not ready to make a firm commitment yet but I am defintely not eating meat I don't love anymore just "for protein" like I used to. I also seriously LOVE dairy so I know going vegan is out of the question for me right now. I guess I'll just continue to follow your journey & think about it more. I'm scared of reading the book b/c I know it would kill me to know what they do.

  • L. Elizabeth May 12, 2009, 9:22 am

    I read Skinny Bitch and couldn’t touch meat for weeks and weeks. It was very surprising because I wasn’t expecting to read what I did in the book about slaughterhouses. Totally unexpected!

    Check out my giveaway if you are needing some Holey Donut Carbs! šŸ™‚

    http://lovejackson.blogspot.com/2009/05/holey-giveaway.html

  • katie May 12, 2009, 9:22 am

    od for you! Im whats called a symathetic vegetarian..which i guess really isn’t too vegetarian. Online is this definition: “Folks who do eat meat, fish, and chicken — but perhaps much less than they once did, and perhaps more carefully (they may choose organically raised meats). They lean somewhat towards a low- or no-meat way in their thinking.”
    Simply put I limit my meat intake usually only eating it when the family has it or because well sometimes a girl needs a real burger I try to buy cage free, organically raised chicken, and do eat shrimp and fish.

  • Leane May 12, 2009, 9:23 am

    Skinny Bitch was a powerful book for sure… I definitely considered going veg after reading it too.

    Do you think you’ll make different meals for you and your husband, or just make modifications to fit each of you?

  • Art Historical Runner May 12, 2009, 9:24 am

    I have been a vegetarian for over seven years now. I don’t necessarily do if for moral reasons (although, it doesn’t hurt!), but rather because I never liked the taste of meat or the way my body felt while digesting meat. What I really wanted to comment on was to not let the awful non-veggie options at places to discourage you. Yes, it certainly can take planning in advance; but sometimes it is just unavoidable. When these situations happen–like when I am forced to get a grilled cheese at a diner b/c there is nothing else to order–I try to remind myself why I am a vegetarian, and just not let this one unhealthy meal bother me šŸ™‚ I applaud your decision!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 12, 2009, 9:24 am

    leane -for the last two weeks, we’ve just been making the same meal, but subbing his chicken or meat out with beans or tofu for me. easy, and not a big deal!

  • Beth May 12, 2009, 9:25 am

    I had a similar experience a few years ago and went meat free for two years. I went back to meat after making a decision to eat “cruelty free” meats (free range, no antibiotics or hormones, organic feed, etc.) as much as possible. I also realized I don’t need meat at every meal. It’s working for me. I made this decision because, like you, I felt like being veggie wasn’t always the healthiest option for me – I did great when at home cooking all my meals, but I eat out a lot for work and other reasons and bread and cheese wasn’t always cutting it.

  • Bec May 12, 2009, 9:25 am

    Good for you, I know I can’t go fully veggie but I eat vegetarian 90% of the time (I have meat 2 times a month max and fish once a week). The peperoni story is so similar to all of my friends that have fallen off the veggie wagon (some after 15 years) they got drunk and ate a chicken wing or bacon!

  • healthy ashley May 12, 2009, 9:26 am

    How exciting šŸ™‚

    I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 9 years and love it. Finding decent vegetarian options is tough, but you’ll make due!

  • greenbean May 12, 2009, 9:29 am

    i feel you! i recently saw the movie Food, INC. and was really affected by the treatment of the animals and the farmers and just how abusive the meat companies are. i’m not planning to go vegeterain, but i left that movie crying and determined to be much more mindful and only purchase humanely raised animals.

  • K from ksgoodeats May 12, 2009, 9:30 am

    CC on and English muffin – I love it šŸ™‚

    Congrats on going vegetarian! I have to say that since I made the switch I’ve noticed so many positive side effects. My skin is clear, my hair and nails are stronger, and I feel more energetic. Good luck!!

  • *Andrea* May 12, 2009, 9:31 am

    congrats! good decision.. i dont label myself but i RARELY ever eat meat. my body and love for animals feels better šŸ™‚

  • Mel May 12, 2009, 9:40 am

    I’ve never eaten any kind of red meat (weird I know) haha and for the past year or so I’ve eaten less and less chicken or turkey. Now, I basically eat all veggie except for fish (I can’t ever give up my salmon) about once a week and when I go visit my family they make alot of chicken and I eat that sometimes. I don’t want to rely on a lot of soy products though (I eat alot of veg. burgers, soy milk, and tofu about once or twice aweek) so I’m trying to watch that!! Almond butter is huge in my diet, lots of veg, fruit, string cheese, oatmeal, etc. Do you eat nut butters?? Good luck to you!

  • Runeatrepeat May 12, 2009, 9:42 am

    Sorry, I just blurted out a question about this when I noticed a while back. I know it’s hard to talk about these things on the blog because everyone has their own comments and opinions.

    I get it, I became a vegan in college after reading about how the animals were treated. But I slowly fell out of it because it was difficult to maintain. You’ve inspired me to read Skinny Bitch though!

  • Runeatrepeat May 12, 2009, 9:43 am

    Oh, and no one will be mad if you fall off the wagon. If people are that freakin’ judgemental they can stop reading.

  • Thinspired May 12, 2009, 9:43 am

    Hey Caitlin,
    I think this is an exciting decision! You have my full support and I can’t wait to read about your veggie adventures. šŸ™‚ I am trying o incorporate more vegetarian meals into my diet lately so I am also hoping to steal some meal ideas šŸ˜‰

  • J May 12, 2009, 9:44 am

    Good for you! I’ve always thought about it but honestly, I like meat too much to be a vegetarian. I need a cheeseburger every once in awhile! But I’ve definitely cut a lot of meat out of my diet recently, partially for health reasons but also because it is expensive. I probably eat chicken once a week and red meat twice a month, if that. I’m surprised at how easy it’s been to incorporate beans into my weekly meal plans for protein and I’m sure you’ll find the same! Will eat seafood?

  • runnerskitchen May 12, 2009, 9:44 am

    Congrats on your decision to go vegetarian! I eat meat occasionally, but prefer plant-based foods. I made Veganomican’s “Snobby Joes” a few weeks ago and they were delish! Even better than sloppy joes šŸ™‚

  • Lindsey May 12, 2009, 9:44 am

    I just found your blog and I love it! Good luck with going vegetarian!

  • Jamie May 12, 2009, 9:51 am

    I totally feel the same way. I have had a hard time getting away from meat because that is pretty much all my husband eats. He is not a veggie person… as much as I TRY… he won’t budge. Is your hubby going veggie with you? I can’t stand the way they treat animals for slaughter so inhumane. It disgusts me and I honestly think I should try to go vegetarian. How much research do you do before you purchase foods. I know that alot of foods are made with animal products. Would that mean you need to go vegan to avoid those items?

  • Monica May 12, 2009, 10:01 am

    My brother decided to go veggie last fall, and I was majorly impressed with him. He’s really stuck to it, and just made the transition to vegan. I’ve never been a huge meat eater (I’m a lazy cooker) but then I read Skinny Bitch and the chapters on the treatment of animals broke my heart. I skimmed them because I couldn’t stomach it. So I decided to go vegetarian around the middle of April for that main reason. I recently read another book, that focused more on environmental impact, and it just added more of a reason. Good luck with it, and I also look forward to some yummy recipes and meal ideas!! šŸ™‚

  • Run Sarah May 12, 2009, 10:10 am

    Skinny Bitch influenced my decision to go veg too. I agreethat eating out is so much tougher though!

  • Carolina John May 12, 2009, 10:13 am

    you’re not going fishing at a salmon farm are you? fishing to catch and release should be fine. it is a lot of fun!

  • Brooke May 12, 2009, 10:15 am

    {clapping, applause} Good for you! I am like you in that I don’t eat red meat or pork, but I just can’t give up my fish, so I eat a veggie diet with fish. You can do it!

  • kilax May 12, 2009, 10:17 am

    Good for you. You will find that it will become easier, finding options. You will learn which restaurants to avoid, and bring your own dishes when you know veggie friendly food will be scarce. The only thing you have to worry about now is people’s attitudes about it.

    I am hoping to make the switch to veganism soon. It bothers me how they treat the dairy cows and egg-laying chickens.

  • FoodsThatFit May 12, 2009, 10:23 am

    I watched a video from PETA about a year ago about how they fatten the duck livers for foie gras and it horrified me!! I contemplated going vegetarian, and while I am not there by any means, I have cut back a lot.

    I agree with you, small steps at a time. They lead up to huge changes.

    It’s amazing how many vegetarian resources and cookbooks are out there. It is fun to learn a new way of healthy cooking and eating as well.

  • nibblesandwiggles May 12, 2009, 10:25 am

    Good for you.

    Gelatin is one of the few things I look for in ingredient labels and its in EVERYTHING. Grrr. Animals have to die for that, so I choose to eliminate that from my diet as well.

    I don’t know about the have to eat junk food sometimes though. I usually try to plan around that – eat before or pack something.

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous May 12, 2009, 10:28 am

    I think it’s great if you want to go vegetarian and should definitely be a personal choice! Good for you! I will often choose the veggie choices over meat. I’m not a big meat eater at the moment. To be completely honest with you.. I read Skinny Bitch, but I skipped over the animal slaughter chapter because well, I didn’t think I could handle it. A bit ignorant eh?

  • Christina May 12, 2009, 10:32 am

    I became part-vegetarian (I still eat fish) about 6 months ago after reading about how much of an impact the meat industry has on the environment. Surprisingly, I haven’t had any desire to eat meat and have discovered tons of new foods (I had never had tofu before this year!). It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made!

    The only hard part about it for me is explaining it to my family. I hadn’t told anyone until there was an Easter incident where my grandma made the manicotti with meat sauce but I won’t go there..

    Anyways, congrats on your decision! And don’t feel bad if you fall off the wagon, even if someone cut out meat one day a week it still makes an impact!

  • Leila May 12, 2009, 10:37 am

    thanks for being so open and honest in your choice, very interesting. I’ve been a veggie for almost 15 years now and I just wanted to say, no one should worry about “offending” anyone else when making a personal decision. If you wake up one day and decide you will eat chicken, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In terms of the treatment of animals you could then decide to eat only organic, free range,etc. The point being is that no one should judge anyone else for making a choice whether that to eat or not eat meat! šŸ™‚

  • Brandi May 12, 2009, 10:37 am

    ooh, I hope you enjoy the chocolate! those spikes are SO good šŸ™‚

    good for you on making your choice – I definitely think eating whatever you want is perfect for each person as long as you know why you’re doing it.

  • HangryPants May 12, 2009, 10:38 am

    Good luck Caitlin! Mark will eat tofu, etc., but sometimes I cook him chicken and even that bothers me. šŸ™

    Every once in awhile I will have chicken, but it’s usually in a burger or sausage form – it makes me feel less weird even though I know it’s still meet.

    I think the hardest part is being at places where the only things are unhealthy. My family and Mark’s family eat meat, so even though they are supportive of my decision, they don’t always have options, or don’t understand that something still “counts” as meat ie. chicken broth or chicken sausage. Anyway, I personally will not judge you either way – good luck, but don’t feel pressured to not eat something because of the blog!

  • Rachel May 12, 2009, 10:48 am

    Good for you! I have been a vegetarian most of my life because I have never enjoyed the taste or texture of meat. I REALLY hate having to deal with raw meat! lol I can’t wait to see some of your meals because I’ve been in a food rut lately. Have a good day šŸ™‚

  • Stacey May 12, 2009, 10:58 am

    I did the EXACT same thing after reading that book, I had never really eaten meat that much anyway, and after reading Skinny Bitch, I became complete vegetarian! Been happy ever since šŸ™‚ My boyfriend doesn’t follow my lifestyle, but he does eat a lot more veggies around me šŸ™‚

    Good luck with it!

  • Beezus May 12, 2009, 11:27 am

    Another approach to being a conscientious eater is choosing meat that comes from a good local farm. Here in Seattle we have a a number of Farmer’s Markets where you can find REAL free-range (not “cage free”) chicken, pastured grass-fed beef, happy goats, sheep and pigs.

    Abstaining from factory farmed meats does not necessarily mean going vegetarian, and I have actually found it HARDER to be a conscientious meat eater than it was to be a vegetarian… who knew!

  • Alison May 12, 2009, 11:27 am

    Thank you for mentioning that fish are breed in the same horrible conditions as other animals we eat. My friends only eat fish because they “get to swim free” and totally didn’t believe me when I told them that wasn’t true.

    Good luck!

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy) May 12, 2009, 11:30 am

    Awesome Cait. This is what I’m doing too, and so far so good. I think the last time I ate meat was in January sometime. I really don’t miss it at all, and I think you will do great. Who knows, the hubs may even join you, like mine did! Good luck!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 12, 2009, 11:31 am

    beezus – just because an animal is “organic” does not mean it is humanly slaughtered (which is the big deal for me):

    http://www.goveg.
    com/organic.asp

    the are no legal requirements for the humane slaughter of chickens, for example. just an FYI. and i dont think there is any such things as a happy cow who gets tasered in the face prior to slaughter. šŸ™

  • MacDuff May 12, 2009, 11:43 am

    I do this sporadically. I do think there’s a difference between being vegetarian and choosing not to eat too much meat, though. Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle. Not eating meat is about your diet. I think the best someone ever put it to me was this:

    There’s a problem with our current system of diet. We eat too many animals, and we hurt them in the process. So let’s just take a step back and not be a link in that chain of events. Just take yourself out of the picture and you’ll avoid many issues.

    Good luck!

  • Kristin P. May 12, 2009, 11:43 am

    Welcome! I went vegetarian a little over a year ago for the exact same reason. I just love animals so much and I don’t feel right taking a life. It was easier than I thought! I was worried it would take too much planning, etc. but its actually really easy and I don’t feel limited at all. Can’t wait to try some of your veggie recipes!
    Also, beware! First its vegetarian and then the next thing you know you won’t be able to buy products that are tested on animals or anything made with leather. Which turns out not to be that hard either. šŸ™‚

  • Katie May 12, 2009, 11:58 am

    Congratulations Caitlin – making a big change is a committment so do not allow anyone to make you feel badly for how YOU choose to do it!
    Also, I do totally agree with your information on organic farming – there aren’t legal requirements for humane slaughtering of animals. However, if you choose to eat direct from the farm – meaning going there directly or taking the time to visit – you can find some few and far between farmers who choose not to be organic due to the government’s restrictions, but do raise and slaughter animals in what I believe to be the most humane way possible. Getting access to that food, however, is another story, esp if those farms are not local to you. But more than changing your mind (I myself am 99% veggie as well, other than fish) its just nice to know that some individuals on the farming side are also working toward change! Good luck!

  • Tami May 12, 2009, 12:14 pm

    good for you for making this decision, i feel badly that you need to explain this to us! to each is own.

  • Gretchen May 12, 2009, 12:15 pm

    Congrats on going veggie! There are so many options out there for vegetarians these days – and it will get easier as time goes on. For your dairy and eggs, maybe you can try finding a local farm where you can actually see how the animals are treated. You’re right, a lot of meat and dairy products labeled “free range” and “organic” don’t treat the animals any better than the factory farms. And even conventionally grown vegetables kill a lot of animals from pesticides and farming equipment. For all food really, your best bet is to get to know your farmer!

  • Anonymous May 12, 2009, 12:21 pm

    Hey, what about Kosher meats? There should be some kosher butcher shops around. And I’ve heard that they have strict rules about the treatment of animals. They are much more ethical.

  • just me May 12, 2009, 12:22 pm

    yay, another veg! totally cool if you have meat every once in a while though..we won’t kill you. šŸ™‚

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 12, 2009, 12:23 pm

    anon – accordingly to goveg.com and skinny bitch, kosher places do not really treat or slaughter their meats any better. those are bias sources, but my guess would be they are right. i just dont think there is a humane way to raise and slaughter thousands of animals a day.

  • happinessawaits May 12, 2009, 12:25 pm

    I went vegetarian last year for 40 days (for Lent) and it was too difficult on my body. I have Crohn’s disease so adding another dietary restriction to my life was too much. I need to just try and listen to my stomach….and being vegetarian added some undue stress.

    Unfortunately that means I have to turn a blind eye to some of the awful conditions out there (Jihad vs McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World is another incredible book that goes into details about the food industry).

    Best of luck and I hope you are able to stick to it and incorporate it as a way of life!

    Happiness Awaits

  • kirsten May 12, 2009, 12:30 pm

    congrats on going veggie ! I have been vegetarian for about 4 years and after reading skinny bitch I went vegan for a while but just couldn’t sustain it, so I am back on dairy and eggs. Hopefully one day more restaurants will carry vegan foods which will make it much easier for me to stick with.

  • Anonymous May 12, 2009, 12:37 pm

    Jump on the bandwagon… Seriously, what’s wrong with FISH?! (besides mercury in larger fish…)

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 12, 2009, 12:40 pm

    anon – im clearly not “jumping on a bandwagon” and i think this post conveyed the fact that i did not make this decision lightly. if you want to know what is wrong with fish, do some research on aqua farming and fish intelligence. they aren’t much different than cows or pigs. but, you can have your own opinion on the subject, i really don’t care.

  • Tina May 12, 2009, 12:46 pm

    That’s exactly how I feel, but I don’t think I will ever call myself a true vegetarian. I rarely eat meat now– especially chicken (I still can’t stand the thought of de-beaking!) I love burgers and hot dogs off the grill a little too much to give up meat for good! šŸ™‚

  • Lisa M May 12, 2009, 12:51 pm

    Caitlin –
    I too was completely disgusted after reading Skinny Bitch about a month ago and chose to go vegetarian. Like you, I was aware of it but sort of just didn’t think about and tried to envision meat as just food in a package as opposed to the actual animal.
    Since my change, I’ve been searching for some sort of statistic on what impact each of us has once becoming vegetarian. I want to know that I’m making a difference, you know?
    Have you researched anything similar? Without sounding preachy, I think it would be useful information for individuals out there who may be “on the fence?”

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 12, 2009, 12:54 pm

    lisa m – i know that according to peta, a lifelong veggie saves 760 chickens, 5 cows, 20 pigs, 46 turkeys, 15 ducks, 7rabbits, and a half ton of fish. pretty cool! there’s tons of info on how much less greenhouse gases you create by going veggie, but i dont know thats stats off hand.

  • Anonymous May 12, 2009, 12:58 pm

    Congrats on ‘taking the big plunge’ into vegetarianism! I’ve been veg for 2 years now, and while it does suck that I just can’t walk into any eatery and get an awesome meal like most other people do, I’ve learned ways to cope, and you will, too! (ex, I look up the menu and decide what I’m going to get beforehand every time i eat out…and if I decide I need more protein or carbs or whatever, I make myself a little snacky before or afterward)–this way, I can be social but still be well-fed, too! (oh, and if all else fails–order a plain baked potato to eat while you’re out, and have a “real meal” later—almost all restaurants have baked potatoes on the menu!)

  • Eliza May 12, 2009, 12:59 pm

    Are there any local farms in your area? I buy all my meat from local farms. Most of my chicken is raised by my parents, the rest is from a farm 20 minutes from where I live. My beef came from a farm down the road from my partner’s parents house. Our close friends raised a pig and split it with us. The problem is mass production of meat, and many people’s compelte disconnect from where it comes from. I don’t eat much meat because of the environmental strain any meat involves, and for health reasons, but I just wanted to comment that although “free range” might be a word made up by the food industry, there are true “free range” and ethically sound choices available. Check your local farmers market, and ask the farmers questions. This might be what you could do for your husbands meat.

  • Brooke May 12, 2009, 1:02 pm

    Hey girl hey you rock that vegetarian diet! I was a vegetarian all of 2008 and loved it. I started eating meat again simple because I felt like it but am starting to eat completely vegetarian at home and only meat when I go out!

  • sweetandfit May 12, 2009, 1:04 pm

    caitlin –

    congrats on going veg! I read skinny bitch, and ever since I did – I have been wanting to limit how much meat i eat.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing what type of veggie meals you ill be eating – the black bean/sweet potato needs to make a comeback!

  • Jennifer @ His N' Her Health May 12, 2009, 1:04 pm

    People always ask me why I don’t eat humanely slaughtered animals, uh how is slaughtering humane?? I agree with the fact that sometimes you have to eat only junk. Every time we go to my boyfriend’s parents for dinner I get fed cheese ravioli, spaghetti or some other pasta dish covered in cheese! My boyfriend isn’t a veggie and he eats a meaty dinner/lunch and has a veggie dinner with me, so that is also an option for your husband!

  • Natalie M. May 12, 2009, 1:45 pm

    Congrats Caitlin!

    I’ve been a vegetarian for about two months now and I must say that I don’t miss meat at all. I thought it would be much harder to make the change but it was actually simple. Best of luck to you in your journey.. sometimes we all have to do what feels right.. and this feels right to you.. kudos!

  • The Pensive Turtle May 12, 2009, 1:55 pm

    Good for you! I went veg January of 2008 while on a trip to India, and I have never looked back. You get used to making it work when you’re out and about. Yes, it can be difficult to find things, and your restaurant selection gets a whole lot slimmer, but overall, it’s well worth it. Besides, you seem like a savvy girl and quite capable of being prepared for situations where veg options are not available. Good luck on your journey!

  • Anonymous May 12, 2009, 1:58 pm

    Caitlin- In recent months I’ve become a pescatarian of sorts. I am just starting to read skinny bitch now and am sure it will secure my view of the treatment of farm animals…re: fish I guess I haven’t formed an opinion on it as badly yet…as I grew up fileting them with my grandfather after fishing trips. But I’m interested in reading up on it. I’m glad you’re taking a stance against something you believe in and can’t wait to read about some new veggie eats of yours!? I suggest my fav the eggplant meatballs that dominex makes…to die for!

  • Emily May 12, 2009, 2:28 pm

    congrats on your decision. i think the most important thing is just to do what you are comfortable with, and forget about labeling yourself as this or that. going vegan was one of the best decisions i’ve ever made, and i actually found it to be an easy transition, because for the first time i was really putting serious thought into my food choices and that gave me a huge amount of satisfaction. and i physically felt great too.

    i haven’t read skinny bitch, and am not sure that i want to. i may check it out at some point!

  • Kristi @ Sweet Cheeks May 12, 2009, 3:08 pm

    Great post! This is something I have considering now and again…so your process will definitely interest me! Good luck!

  • Carrie H May 12, 2009, 3:11 pm

    I feel conflicted about the meat that I eat too, and try not to eat much of it. But I come from an avid Western family of hunters, and I really think that hunting — in a natural way, not on a farm with guns aimed at caged animals — is the most humane ways to eat meat. My father, brother and husband go hunting each fall for venison and they take the responsibility of taking a life very seriously. The typical hunter is not a bloodthirsty maniac, but is a respectful person wanting to feed their family. I’ve even heard many grown men tear up describing their hunts and the sacrifice of the animal. I live in an area with expansive prairies and untouched, undeveloped wildlife areas (read: hundreds, probably thousands, of miles without a home, building or car) in which these wild animals are truly “free range” for their entire lives. They are a prey species for many other animals (mountian lions, wolves, bears) and some argue that hunting helps to keep the ecosystem in balance, allowing those endangered predatory species to flourish as well, because they have the space left over from the prey to develop thier own lifestyles.
    Any opinions on true, respectful hunting?
    I enjoy chicken, though, and need to find an alternative for that source of meat …

  • Oh She Glows May 12, 2009, 3:32 pm

    While I was a vegetarian for a couple years in university and a non red meat eater for about 5 yrs…Skinny Bitch was what finally made me decide to go vegetarian again…and eventually vegan. That book changed my life! Congrats to you for your new journey šŸ™‚

  • Graze With Me May 12, 2009, 3:38 pm

    I completely agree with you on how Skinny Bitch can open your eyes to how bad the meat industry is. I went vegan for a few months last year but found it really difficult. I do eat about 85% vegetarian right now and I like it. Good luck to you!

    Also the only meats I eat at home are either from my fiance’s mom’s ranch or wild game that the fiance has hunted himself. No chemically-laden or mistreated meats in this house!

  • Amy May 12, 2009, 3:39 pm

    I just went vegetarian back in April as well. I read the book “Farm Sanctuary” which describes a lot about how animals are treated. I just couldn’t keep eating meat after knowing that. Try to check out that book if you can. It’s so good because it tells the problem but the man who wrote it is part of the solution. He saves downed animals and helps them live full, fulfilling lives on a farm where the only food served is vegan for guests, workers, etc.

  • Amy May 12, 2009, 3:44 pm

    As I read through the comments I saw the fish comments. Originally I was still eating seafood. It’s hard to be a New England coast girl and not be enticed by it! But then I read “The Face on Your Plate” and found out how bad it is to eat fish as well. They’re intelligent creatures but also it has large environmental effects. As some species go extinct, it throws off the whole aquaculture. It could have big implications in the future for us all.

    And I definitely agree about the organic meat. Just because they were fed better feed and not given antibiotics doesn’t mean the slaughter was any more humane.

  • Uncle Ray May 12, 2009, 4:10 pm

    Vegetarian! 11 years now, and never even a thought of going back.

  • seesaraheat May 12, 2009, 4:45 pm

    I have gone veg a few different times and even recently have noticed that I just don’t “naturally” eat meat in my every day diet and therefore I’m thinking about making that permanent. I think now that I have learned how to supplement protein the right way it will be easier. I applaud your reasons too, mine is more from a “I just don’t like meat” standpoint but I can certainly see how the way animals are treated can affect that decision too. Good luck to you with this and your new work schedule šŸ˜‰

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 12, 2009, 5:20 pm

    carrie h – i am OK with hunting the way you describe it. my friend bethany and i had a big discussion about it. she’s a vegetarian AND a veterarian and she told me hunting is truly necessary in some parts of the country to control the animal population. so, that’s OK with me.

  • Andrea May 12, 2009, 5:46 pm

    This is great!

    I recently experimented with being vegetarian, as well. I read Skinny Bitch several years ago and yes, it was appalling. It didn’t make me switch my habits right away, but it did help to plant the idea in my mind and when I decided to go for it, I remembered everything Skinny Bitch said about the treatment of animals and the risks of putting really terrible things in your body when eating them.

    The past couple days, I have been eating meat. I went to a BBQ Festival over the weekend and indulged in pork and beef. It was delicious, but so so so heavy. It sat in my stomach for the rest of the day and I was so aware of it. Honestly, I couldn’t enjoy it. So, since then, I’ve decided to reduce my meat intake a lot.

    My problem is that when I was vegetarian, my diet consisted mostly of carbs. I got*enough* protein, but the proportion of carbs to proteins in my diet was off. So, I’m incorporating a little meat from time to time. I definitely won’t be calling myself a vegetarian or a “flexitarian” because it’s a serious lifestyle choice and it would be insulting to call my lax diet “vegetarian.” But I’m trying to cut back until I can figure out a diet that works vest for me and makes me feel absolutely GREAT!

    Not eating meat feels a lot better.

  • Bula May 12, 2009, 5:51 pm

    You can do it! I read pamphlets on veganism/vegetarianism while in line to hear Obama speak last May; I have been pescetarian since then. I know, it’s somewhat of a cop-out but I love sushi (although I am slowly starting to loathe the thought of fish carcass in my mouth. I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long and really can’t imagine eating eat (other than some sea food) again.

  • Jessica May 12, 2009, 6:36 pm

    I was a vegetarian for a long time and for the most part I still am but I don’t feel the complete need to restrict my meat intake the same as I once did, since I’m more careful about the sources of my food in general now (non-processed, whole, local foods).

    Currently I very rarely eat meat that isn’t from a locally sourced farm. I know you have opinions on the marketing of terms like ‘free-range’ and I completely agree but that doesn’t mean that true humane places don’t exist. For one, there is no marketing for the places I buy my meat, other than their stand at the farmer’s market. These are families that are trying to keep up the traditional values of farming and in my opinion they deserve my support for surviving against the proliferation of the meat industry.

    Some people believe that killing animals at all isn’t humane, but I consider that a separate argument. You have to remember that while the meat industry has a heavy bias that causes it to manipulate these terms in their favour, books like ‘Skinny Bitch’ and other sources are also heavily biased against the slaughtering of animals in any regard. You just have to be careful to not fully accept either opinion until you have fully researched your own alternatives. I feel confident that the places I get my meat from meet my moral and social guidelines.

  • Heather May 12, 2009, 6:45 pm

    Congrats on your decision, Caitlin! The factory farming issue is what initially sparked my veganism. I was a vegetarian for 10 years before I really started to research it and was appalled. If you can handle it, you should watch “Earthlings” – I think you can find it online for free. Also, Orlando is slowly popping up with tons of cool vegetarian options – there’s a new place called “Loving Hut” downtown that’s supposed to great, and there’s always tons of great salad places. Jason’s Deli is my favorite chain to go to with my meat-eating friends so we all have options.

  • NoMeatAthlete May 12, 2009, 7:09 pm

    Good for you taking the vegetarian plunge! I did the same thing in March, and I’m loving every part of it. Although I still allow myself to eat fish (as a sort of failsafe for weddings, friend’s houses, etc.), I haven’t even had that in a long time.

    Really I haven’t had to have too many junk food meals. Probably because I don’t eat out much (it’s less appealing to go out now).

    Congratulations again, I think it’s a great decision for both yourself and the environment. I’m looking forward to getting some vegetarian recipe ideas on your blog! Check out mine if you’re ever in a pinch šŸ™‚

  • Angie Eats Peace May 12, 2009, 7:26 pm

    Congrats!
    SB pushed me over the vegan line.
    Enjoy the benefits of ethical eating.

  • Sarah Mila May 12, 2009, 8:17 pm

    I read the first 9 chapters of “Skinny Bitch” today around 3 o’clock and honestly lost my appetite for the rest of the evening. The only thing I could stomach was a popsicle (5 hours later) after reading chapter 6.

  • ChickPea May 12, 2009, 10:02 pm

    Congrats on your new lifestyle choice! I’ve loved every minute of my 5 meat-free years:)

  • amyinmalawi May 12, 2009, 11:42 pm

    I am generally a lurker, but this post lured me out. Rather, update #2 lured me out. The real problem, I think, is eating animals that are produced by “manufacturers” rather than “farmers.” It is true that “free range” and “organic” are FDA-regulated marketing terms that do not necessarily lead to better conditions for the animals. (Marion Nestle’s What To Eat has a ton of great info on this.) But it is also true that the terms are NOT ALWAYS a lie, that animals can be raised sustainably, and yes, killed ethically. If you and your readers want to continue eating meat, I would encourage them to get to know some farmers. Find out how the animals are raised and slaughtered. While you will pay a premium for meat with this much background, it is well worth the price. As an eater, one of the most important things you do is VOTE WITH YOUR FOOD DOLLAR. Buying sustainably raised meat is way not only to vote against industrial meat production, but to vote FOR an alternative. (Now, if we could just stop farmworker exploitation and get some ethically produced vegetables…)

  • Lindsay May 13, 2009, 6:16 am

    Perhaps you stated it in earlier comments (I just skimmed) but why once you took a bite of pizza or chicken did you say “that’s that” and switch to meat again? Why not just move on and go back starting the next meal?
    I have read all that stuff and it doesn’t really get to me. I do eat more vegetarian than not, but I won’t stop myself from eating meat either. I do try to make the healthier/humane choice when given the option, but that is one battle I don’t feel called to fight in.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 13, 2009, 6:18 am

    lindsay – i was kind of all or nothing about being veggie (i remember throwing up once because i accidentally ate soup with ham in it), so when i caved and ate pepperoni, it was all over. i think i feel more strongly about my decision this time so it will stick. and truthfully, eating veggie most of the time and enjoying meat occasionally is better than eating meat ALL the time. so good for you for doing what works for you!

  • Kiersten May 13, 2009, 8:43 am

    Good for you! I’ve been vegan for about 9 months now and was vegetarian for 6 months before that. I love it!

  • Elizabeth May 13, 2009, 12:03 pm

    After reading you addendum about organic meat, I have to say I agree and disagree. Many large companies HAVE used this as a marketing ploy. However, there are good, reliable, honest organic farmers out there – you just need to do your research.

    You statement seems a bit broad.

  • Publog May 13, 2009, 1:55 pm

    Best wishes for your vegetarian journey! Just wanted to respond to the idea that “free range” is a myth. As a Kansas family farm kid, I helped raise (and butcher) cattle and pigs who freely roamed our enormous pastures. Now, as an adult living in a small Midwestern city, I get buffalo, chicken and eggs (don’t drink milk) from farmers within a few miles of my small town; I do not consume meat from factory farms or even unknown sources; I only eat meat about once a week, for environmental reasons; and I personally feel a large nutritional benefit from occasional meat consumption. I know this is not feasible for folks in metropolitan areas, but I for me it is possible to consume animal products from grass-fed animals who are cared for with love (my egg supplier plays mandolin for his chickens…). Finally, I certainly respect anyone’s belief that raising an animal for the purpose of consuming it is inherently unethical, regardless of the quality of its life. I’ll look forward to your yummy veggie recipes! Good luck!

  • Beezus May 13, 2009, 7:19 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    Thanks for the response. I just wanted to let you know that I have most definitely done my research on factory farms, local farms, slaughtering, organic, free-range, cage-free, grass-fed, grass-finished, etc, etc. I was a vegetarian for a number of years due to “Meet Your Meat” and research for an ethnography I wrote on a local sub-culture of vegans in Tacoma, WA.

    However, I have incorporated meat back into my diet starting with fish in 2006 abiding by strict rules about sustainability and health, resources including: http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=1521
    http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_sushi.aspx
    I have now been eating other meat since Feb 2008 only getting meat when I know which farms it comes from, at the farmer’s markets they are always happy to provide answers about how the animals raised and how they were slaughtered. Here are some of the ones I choose: Loki Fish Co., Seabreeze Farms (i get mostly raw milk from them and I now know the names of all the cows on the farm…), Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, and the Skagit River Ranch.
    Sorry this is so long, I take my food and food education very seriously. I have taken steps in my life to eat REAL unprocessed, natural food (fake meats don’t really fit in anymore). I just wanted to let you know that I have done my research and feel at peace with the food I eat, the environment, my body and my health.

  • Bambi's Fat Loss May 14, 2009, 11:42 pm

    Congratulations! Well done on becoming vegetarian, not only is it good for the whole not killing animals but also it’s friendlier to the environment. Regardless of whether it is a permanent change or temporary, it is still an amazing thing to do.

  • jessica~ May 17, 2009, 5:27 pm

    Often times when a person first goes vegetarian (or vegan) they will eat a lot of junk or feel limited with their food choices because they are trying to replace their meats with tofu and soy-substitutes. Don’t forget to focus on the most important part of the diet – the vegetables. I’ve been stuck at restaurants/functions with no obvious choices and have made due with ordering a couple of different side dishes of just veggies. They make a meal (and a good one at that).

    Good luck with your vegetarianism!!

  • Anonymous May 29, 2009, 9:01 pm

    Sorry but it makes me mad as a vegetarian that you would consider eating meat if you have no choice of veg options. Eating even one bite of meat does not make you a vegetarian. You cannot be semi-veg or do it part-time. You are either a vegetarian or an omnivore who just doesn’t eat much meat. Please please please don’t degrade vegetarianism. However, I do commend your choice to stop eating meat.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 30, 2009, 3:10 am

    anon – you completely misconstrued my statement – i would NOT eat meat and would rather eat something non-vegetarian and unhealthy. i was just saying it a choice other people are faced with because veg options suck at restaurants.

  • Tracie June 3, 2009, 10:04 am

    Like you, I stopped eating red meat when I was about 15/16 years old and then, after reading Skinny Bitch, I decided to go vegan.

    It's been a little over a year now and I'm so happy I made the decision.

    Good luck on your journey šŸ™‚

  • rosie.moth July 23, 2009, 1:37 pm

    Hey Caitlin,

    This seems like a hot topic! I am also a vegetarian – although, I lean towards veganism as I try to avoid dairy and eggs mostly because of the fat content. I have been off and on with vegetarian // veganism for a long time – but skinny bitch did inspire me to get back on the bandwagon. something i think is important to note: falling off the "veggie bandwagon" is no different than falling off the "exercise bandwagon." just because you miss a workout or have to eat meat or fish because there are no other options doesn't mean you should quit altogether. that mindset is what has helped me stay veg for over a year. and i feel so much happier // healthier because of it!

  • Eliza Rose August 4, 2009, 5:40 am

    Hey,
    I think it's great what you are doing. I am a semi vege in the fact that I rarely eat meat (for moral reasons); only occasionally to keep me healthy. I also refuse to eat lamb in general. I love your blog, it shows me how healthy and happy you can be through nutrition and excercise. I really love healthy food, and being a surf lifesaver, need it to help me stay fit, but I also suffered from disordered eating a couple of years back (in my early- mid teens)so although I have recovered now, your blog is beneficial to me. I have problems with lack of appetite (due to being busy with uni etc) and reading your blog showed me that I do not have to eat a lot of food, as long as I am meeting my nutritional needs and enjoying the food. I now eat lots of Granola with nuts, Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit, salads with fetta and pecan, and sushi. I also like egg noodles stirfried with chinese cabbage.
    Well, thanks for the inspiratiom

  • Diana October 11, 2009, 1:08 pm

    When I was ignorant about the subject I too thought veganism was extreme. But then I did a little reading.

    Omnivores and vegetarians alike are speciesist. In other words, they’re against the abuse of dogs or cats, and in the case of vegetarians, against the enslavement, torture and murder of pigs and cows perhaps.

    But otherwise, vegetarians are just like most of the population and actively support the enslavement and torture of egg hens and dairy cows, which in turn supports the veal industry. Can’t have baby cows drink their mothers’ milk when people just have to have their pizza. Or cottage cheese.

    Here’s a very good article I’d like to share (I have nothing to do with this blog or know the author in any way): http://thevegantruth.blogspot.com/2009/10/veganism-purest-form-of-animal-rights.html

    • caitlin October 11, 2009, 1:25 pm

      i agree with you that vegetarians are a tad hypocritical, but i cannot and do not desire to become a vegan for a variety of reasons. i think at least as a vegetarian, i am doing *something* for the enviro and the animals, which is better than nothing.

  • Julie @ Wearing Mascara October 27, 2009, 9:47 pm

    Hi!

    I just found your blog through a recommendation on Twitter. I haven’t announce this yet (to really… anyone. Only a few people), but I am a new vegetarian. It’s scary but I’m doing it for many of the same reasons you mentioned plus health reasons. I’m a new follower. Thank you!

    Julie

  • lindsay November 18, 2009, 12:58 am

    Congradulations. I know that at first the transition can be hard, I was veigtarian for about 2 weeks before i told anyone. I have now been succesfully vegitarian for over 5 years.
    Good luck!

  • Brita November 18, 2009, 6:19 pm

    I went over one year vegetarian after reading Skinny Bitch. This year I decided I would go back to chicken, only because it is a main food in my house and my mom got tired of me not eating much of anything. Once I’m out on my own I’m back on it! It really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and I felt great afterwards! I still am staying away from pork and beef.

    Good luck!

    -Brita

  • Brita November 18, 2009, 6:20 pm

    I went over one year vegetarian after reading Skinny Bitch. This year I decided I would go back to chicken, only because it is a main food in my house and my mom got tired of me not eating much of anything. Once I’m out on my own I’m back on it! It really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and I felt great afterwards! I still am staying away from pork and beef.

    Good luck!

  • Brita November 18, 2009, 6:20 pm

    sorry didn’t mean to twice!

  • Melissa December 9, 2009, 3:47 pm

    I just found your website through the Vitamin G blog on Glamour’s website. I am now going to subscribe to your blog via my Google Reader. I work out 5 – 6 times a week and eat very healthy. I have not eaten beef or pork since I was maybe 18? Don’t miss it at all. I do it for moral reasons, as well, and that is what has helped me the whole time. I love animals so much. I barely eat fish, but mostly chicken and turkey. (only a few times a week at most). I feel very, very guilty every single time I eat meat…like I am going against everything I believe. I try to eat things like Amy’s meals (which are sooo delicious and always vegetarian, but kind of pricey!). I am going to keep reading your blog and getting vegetarian recipe ideas from you
    Also, your Operation Beautiful idea is very inspiring and really great. You are trying to make a difference in people’s lives and that inspires me, as well.
    By the way I am 28 years old, wife of 5 years, and mother to 4 and 1 year old boys.

  • Marie January 14, 2010, 1:49 pm

    I understand how you feel about the treatment of animals. My biggest problem is how the animal is slaughtered. What is your opinion on hunting? My husband and brother hunt pheasant and deer. I like to think the animal did not suffer… but that’s not always true.

    Do you think there are any situations in which you would eat meat again, given a particular circumstance of the animals life?

    • Caitlin January 14, 2010, 1:52 pm

      Hunting for pleasure really grosses me out. But hunting with the intention to eat the animal is slightly better… but then again, I’m really not sure we should be eating animals at all.

      I might break down and eat fish again. I would be more comfortable eating meat if it was organic, free range, etc but I think I have just lost the taste for animal flesh now.

      • Melissa (Getting Fit If It Kills Me) February 5, 2010, 2:27 pm

        I’ve been debating going back to eating a Vegetarian diet again. I was a Vegetarian for about a year nearly nine years ago, then I got pregnant and all I wanted was real meat. The “fake” meat products made me sick to my stomach, go figure. I only recently found both your websites within the last 1/2 year, so I’m just now reading your blog entries about becoming Vegetarian, as well as your “Vegan 4 a Day”. I like that you share your experiences and give information, yet you don’t come across preachy. There a lots of different eaters out there, and the last thing we need is someone making us feel inadequate because we do or do not enjoy eating meat. My brother is a hunter & trapper, and he has lots of “stuffed” animals in his house (most of them done by himself in his basement…believe me, walking in on an animal draining will cure you of ever wanting to eat meat again!) That’s always bothered me. He’s also a Republican and a member of the NRA, so let’s not get me started. LOL! I’m updating my blog about my decision to get back to eating a Vegetarian diet. As you’re always so adept at explaining, let’s all try to be conscious of what we’re eating, no matter what kind of foods we enjoy. šŸ™‚

        • caitlin February 5, 2010, 5:18 pm

          i want to stuff maggie and james when they die – slightly off topic but your comment reminded me šŸ™‚ thanks for the nice comment!

  • Serena February 8, 2010, 10:38 am

    I just read Skinny Bitch, because of your review of it actually, and LOVED it. Yes, it has a few negative (well a lot) criticisms, but I just laughed them off (they admit themselves later on that they are human, they too make mistakes, and the name of the book is to draw attention so I take them as humorous, sarcastic people). Anyway I knew factory farming was bad but parts of the book just made me cringe (which is a GOOD thing in my opinion…more people should know!)
    Anyway just wanted to post that I enjoyed the book šŸ™‚

    • Caitlin February 8, 2010, 5:41 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! I thought it was a VERY interesting read!

  • Maria February 21, 2010, 7:47 pm

    I have to say that for someone who has just gone vegetarian and made the statement “I’m not saying I will NEVER eat meat” I’m VERY proud and smiley with all the research you’ve put into your reasoning. Most people say that they are vegetarian and then eat fish or even chicken at times. With the title “vegetarian” comes a ton of weird looks and questions and cliche’s, but you have mentioned many of the reasons that I went vegetarian 7 years ago. I haven’t read Skinny Bitch, but I read Diet For A New America by John Robbins almost 8 years ago and that was it for me. My daughter and I made the switch together (she was 2 so had no choice) and I haven’t looked back.
    I now struggle with the ‘vegan’ switch. I have days where I’m practically vegan and other days where I’m barely a vegetarian (eggs and gelatin sneak in all over the place) but I do what I do for the reasons I do and someday maybe I can make the switch, but for right now ‘vegan’ is a title I cannot fully embrace just yet.

  • Lorin April 14, 2010, 6:31 pm

    I just decided to go vegetarian because of Skinny Bitch too. I definately thought the book was extreme but the quotes in the factory farm section from the workers motivated me to stop eating meat. I hope I can last, I think I can, I really only like chicken so it shouldn’t be too hard. Plus, I just tried tempeh and I really like it, still haven’t tried tofu yet.

  • Shannon May 21, 2010, 12:04 pm

    I totally appreciate why you are becoming a vegetarian. The one principle that I have stuck with as far as the ethical question of what to eat is “Where Does This Food Come From?”

    For instance, most commercially produced yogurt comes from cows who were treated just as poorly as the cows who are slaughtered for meat.

    For that reason we obtain all of our dairy, eggs, and meat from local farmers where WE KNOW they are raised humanely and fed their God-given diet (grass, bugs, etc.)

  • Lea July 15, 2010, 5:14 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    New reader here…just catching up on your blog. Just from what I’ve read so far, we seem alike. But on this post, you included your birthday. We share the same birthday. That explains the similiraties šŸ™‚

    I’ve been enjoying your blog so far and hopefully I can attend the Healthy Summit conference in 2011.

    • Caitlin July 15, 2010, 5:17 pm

      Yay April 26!!!

  • Jen November 15, 2010, 12:35 pm

    It’s very important for you to eat meat to be healthy. Just raise your own animals for your own eggs or your own meat. That way you know exactly how they’re being treated, what’s going into them, and how they are killed. It also brings a certain amount of realism to the whole process of eating meat and allows you to be a part of the real world where we are omnivores that are a part of the circle of life.

    Or, better yet, you can find a local farm and support them so that they continue to make better choices for the raising of their animals. Instead of forgetting about raising livestock for food, it would be much better to support those who are doing it right. A single raindrop starts the flood, and you could be that raindrop for these people who are actually raising animals kindly.

    • Caitlin November 15, 2010, 12:59 pm

      I’m sorry, but I entirely disagree with you that you need to eat meat to be healthy. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that this is true.

      • Jen November 15, 2010, 3:43 pm

        What about the rest of what I said? If you’re only a vegetarian for ethical reasons then what about ethical treatment of animals? If you’re also a vegetarian for health reasons though, there’s more.

        Here, this is good for both of us: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=1&fid=814552&jid=PNS&volumeId=65&issueId=01&aid=814540&bodyId=&membershipNumber=&societyETOCSession=

        Apparently research is currently limited but there is a worry that many vegetarians (I don’t believe you’re one of these) aren’t getting the correct supplements in the correct amounts, and apparently there’s some important things to be known about types of vitamin B12: http://veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?257-Vitamin-B12-All-Cobalamins-are-not-Equal

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1464-410x.2000.00436.x/full shows increased birth defect of incorrect urethra placement in males among vegetarian mothers, which I found interesting, but it doesn’t seem that there is a huge difference…don’t quote me on that, I’ve never taken statistics.

        Personally, I’m not a vegetarian, but I do severely limit my intake of meat. I believe that humans evolved over millions of years to be occasional omnivores and that I’d rather not rely on laboratory creations to make up for the materials I wouldn’t get if I didn’t eat meat. Nature is a remarkable thing that is in relative balance until humans mess it up, and as far as I know, the waste products and pollution from factories that create synthetic materials, including supplements, is much worse for nature than what the effects would be if kind farming was adopted. I am not against wearing leather or any other part of animals for this reason as well: at least I know for a fact that it will break down in nature and, if I get the right leather (and not http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2277597 ), will not release as many carcinogenic materials in the process.

        • Caitlin November 15, 2010, 4:53 pm

          Well, it definitely true that most Americans are lacking in key nutrients, vegetarian or not. And vegans are more likely to suffer these issues, which is one of the primary reasons I’m a vegetarian.

          I do take a B12 shot though!

          Thanks for passing on these links. I’ll definitely check them out.

  • carol December 12, 2010, 6:34 pm

    The Bible says that God gave men dominion over the animals, basically the whole earth. I’m not saying that is a green light for torture, but it’s pretty clear that He meant for them to be part of our diet.

  • Gretchen @ Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! February 28, 2011, 10:29 am

    Hi Caitlin,

    I know I’m about a bajillion years late, but I just stumbled upon this post due to some extreme blog clickage through your post from this morning, haha. I just wanted to say thank you for being so honest about your decision to go vegetarian. I recently watched Food, Inc and am about to start Skinny Bitch myself (I recently finished reading Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Life where she encourages a fully vegan diet as well) and have been struggling with whether or not to fully embrace a vegetarian lifestyle again. I was vegetarian for about a year in college after watching a couple “Meet Your Meat” PETA scare-tactic videos (what can I say, they worked?!) but in the end my enjoyment of the taste of meat, as well as the pressure from a lot of my friends brought me back into meat eating.

    I find myself unable to simply ignore what I know now about factory farming conditions and the animal cruelty that goes on. I consider myself an animal lover (my blog details JUST how obsessed I am with my two dogs, haha) and realize that it’s not fair for me to say that but to continue to support the broken meat industry here in the US. After all, I can’t just un-know what I know now, you know? Haha.

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you sincerely because I think that your honesty is going to go a long way in helping me come to terms with how I want to go forward. You seriously rock, I hope you know that. šŸ™‚

    • Caitlin February 28, 2011, 10:32 am

      Thank you so much šŸ™‚

  • Lia May 5, 2014, 7:24 am

    Hello from Greece Caitlin!!!

    I really like your blog and you have the cutest little boy and pets.
    Few days ago I saw a speech by Gary Yourofsky in youtube, someone that I didn’t know or heard about, and I was very shocked. I’m also a vegetarian and I saw what is going on in the factories for the milk and I must say that it was worse than the slaughter. I can’t take these images from my head. Have you heard about him or even seen a speech? I would really like to know what you think of his speech

    • Caitlin May 5, 2014, 2:40 pm

      I have not heard of him but I’ll look into it! Thanks for telling me about it.

      • Lia May 6, 2014, 5:04 am

        Hi again Caitlin!

        Like I said in my last comment, I’m also a vegetarian but I do eat dairy products (milk, eggs, cheese) but after seeing that I feel such a hypocrite because they torture the cows in dairy farms. Of course the one I saw was from an american dairy farm and I have no idea how they are treated here in Greece. We take our eggs from my husband’s mother because she has few chickens in her little farm and I have seen them, they are not getting abused or anything like that. But the milk and cheese from the supermarkets, sometimes we buy almond or soy milk but they’re quite expensive here. I don’t know what to do. I sent an e-mail to the website of Gary Yourofsky asking somethings and his answer basically was that if I don’t become a vegan and stop eating all animal products I will be a self-centered, egotistical morally bankrupt a…..e (sorry but these were his exact words).
        Do you have any advise? I’m sorry for the very long comment.
        Thank you so much and I must say that times that I’m very sad I watch the videos of little Henry and he puts a huge a smile on my face.
        Lia

        • Caitlin May 6, 2014, 3:27 pm

          Aw that is so sweet. Henry says he’s glad he cheers you up! šŸ™‚

          I feel very torn about this too… I feel like there’s always going to be a line that you could “do more” for the animals. Like, you could be vegan but you would also have to stop buying leather, drinking certain beers, etc. It’s really hard to live a completely cruelty free life. That being said, many people would find it easy to go vegan, but I would not! I do try to limit my consumption… I don’t necessarily eat dairy every day and I try to choose alternatives (I don’t buy cow’s milk for example but I do eat cheese and ice cream). Even if you can choose to skip it every now and then, that makes a difference in demand. I try to buy products from companys that support local farmers (like Cabot cheese here in the US) because I do believe there are good farmers. I do believe there is a difference between killing an animal for meat and using it for dairy… Vegans like Gary would not agree with me but that’s his choice and my choice. You’ve got to decide for yourself.

          Have you looked into making your own almond milk? Not sure if it would be cheaper than buying in the store!

          • Lia May 7, 2014, 3:47 am

            Hi there Caitlin!!

            I agree with everything you said, it is not an easy decision to become vegan for many reasons. Yesterday I tried to not eat anything that had milk, eggs, cheese and honey and I couldn’t find anything in the fridge. Even some things that I would never think they had milk, they did have a very small amound. So I really think it would be very difficult for me to become vegan. There is only one vegan shop, it’s quite far away from where I live and I work 12-14 hours a day (me and my husband own a little coffeeshop) so I don’t have free time to look around. I wake up at 5 in the morning to exercise and then go to work and the few hours I have in the day are for cooking, caring for our little dog and housework so as you can imagine is non-stop.
            I do everything I can to feed the strays and take them to a doctor if they’re ill and it hurts that I can’t save them all. The last few days after watching that (the speech and the 2 videos) I couldn’t sleep and my stomach was killing me from the stress and I cried so much that I couldn’t breath.
            Today after reading what you wrote to me I feel a little better, I wish I could save all the animals and children in the world from the abuse and the suffering but I know that I can’t. I will try to do my best though I am not perfect and I don’t have the means to help more animals. Like you said every little bit helps and I really hope that it does.
            I know that they’re some vegans think that is all or nothing, but I don’t agree with that and I don’t think it’s fair.
            Once again I apologise for a very long comment and thank you for taking the time to read them.
            I would love to hear your thoughts,
            Thank you so much for being such a kind person,
            Lia

          • Caitlin May 7, 2014, 7:33 am

            Thanks for being so kind yourself šŸ™‚ Thanks for all you do!!!

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