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LKL
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10 Dec 2013, 1:54 am

I haven't seen any argument for vegan diets for dogs & cats that haven't come from ideologically vegan sources (by contrast, there are lots of studies on humans eating vegetarian or vegan diets).
http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/he ... -pets.aspx
http://www.dognutrition.com/vegetarian- ... -dogs.html



AngelRho
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10 Dec 2013, 6:50 am

LKL wrote:
I haven't seen any argument for vegan diets for dogs & cats that haven't come from ideologically vegan sources (by contrast, there are lots of studies on humans eating vegetarian or vegan diets).
http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/he ... -pets.aspx
http://www.dognutrition.com/vegetarian- ... -dogs.html

I just meant that for ME going all-out vegetarian or vegan is an ideal to be hoped for or worked towards, but not something I feel I can do right now with any degree of consistency.

Usually if someone were to come up to me and say, "man, I sure wish I could quit smoking..." I'd be like, "Dude, just quit!" For them it might not really seem all that easy, even though it really is. I went solid vegetarian for a month or two about this time last year, and it was one of the hardest things I ever did. Not because I craved meat so much, but because I couldn't go anywhere that meat wasn't some component of any dish. It's weird going to, say, a staff Christmas party and just not eating. There's a certain tyranny of the majority that makes interacting with others unduly (in my opinion) difficult when certain things, like eating meat, are so deeply ingrained into the surrounding culture.

That's partially why I find meat-eating arguments so suspect...but then, I find pretty much all fad diets suspect. Basic biological principles are that 1) Body consumes food for energy; 2) Body stores excess as fat. Want to lose weight? Want a healthier lifestyle? It's really simple...just don't eat. Just from my experience alone, I have serious doubts as to what human bodies actually need as opposed to what the industry says the body needs. I happen to be one of those people who can exercise 5 days out of a week, consume 500 or less calories every day, and STILL manage to GAIN weight. I don't understand it, but that's just the way my body is built. My opinion, just based on what I've seen, is that people who have difficulties in losing weight and keeping it off 1) Don't want it THAT bad, 2) Have a misinformed appraisal of what their bodies actually need. If "I'm hungry" is the reason you eat, you're doing it wrong. It should be "I need to eat to stay alive and healthy." There's nothing like a cup of coffee and half a liter of water to relieve hunger pangs (I typically drink water 1 liter at a time).

My point is not about what the greatest diet ever is, i.e. the way I do it, or how "evil" popular diets are because they involve consuming food (i.e. don't give a drunk a drink), but that I think the general perception of what the human body actually needs is badly skewed. It's this whole "I have to eat meat or I'm gonna DIE" mentality that people around me seem to have that makes it really difficult for me to completely stick to a vegetarian diet. And who can blame them? Food from the southern USA is the best food on the planet, so we're inclined to overeating. It's an addiction, pure and simple, how I imagine the opium trade might have been at one time. OK, just because everyone else is an addict doesn't mean that I personally have to be. However, it's near impossible to kick an addiction when you're still breathing someone else's fumes.

'Keet is fortunate that he CAN stick to a disciplined diet the way he has. I don't share his ideology, which is why I think he has an easier time of it. So, for me, it becomes about not "what" I eat but about "when I eat what." Meat on weekends/special occasions only. I avoid pork as much as I can. Mega salads on Wednesdays, with the exception of fried chicken day when I load up on fried chicken gizzard. Mexican night once a MONTH rather than once a week, and if the family opts for fast-food, I just munch on some fries. That has really worked for me not just in maintaining a much lower weight than I had, but in reaching some semblance of consistency. That, and regular weekly fasting has helped tremendously.

What I think 'keet has done is removed the focus from food and replaced it with a focus on something more important than food--in his case, the treatment of animals. He's broken the cycle of dieting and circumvented the reasons why they regularly fail for most people. Once food stops being "just food," it's easier to adopt a new diet and lifestyle. He's exceeded anything I feel I could ever hope for, as have all vegans/vegetarians, and that makes me a little jealous!



LKL
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10 Dec 2013, 11:22 pm

AngelRho, I was actually responding to 'Keet with those links.

Wrt. eating, hunger, and meat: I have lost, and kept off, a great deal of weight in the past and my problem was exactly that I *wasn't* eating just when I was hungry, and just eating enough to make myself full; in general, if I eat what the packaging says is '1 serving,' or what a restaurant thinks is a meal, I'll be eating about twice as much as I actually need. I was raised to clean my plate, though, and it was hard to overcome that and just eat what satisfied my hunger and no more. I get by pretty comfortably on 15K kcal/day, a little bit more on some days and a little bit less on others. As for meat, I'm almost never hungry for it. I know that I have *much* less craving for meat than the average person, especially the average man; it doesn't really take any 'will power' at all for me to be a vegetarian. It's one of those areas where I think that there might be some actual biological backing to the cultural stereotype of men being more into meat than women. Because I seem to have less craving for it, I feel like it would be arrogant of me to chastise anyone who hasn't had as easy of a time as I have getting off of meat.
As far as the 'food at work' issue, I have a harder time with the doughnuts! Usually if there's a meal-meeting, there will be something vegetarian (vegan, much more rarely) for me to at least nibble on: salad, crackers, even just a soda lets me feel like I'm participating in the gathering, even if I know that I have to bring my own snacks to nibble on later, just in case there isn't anything that I want to eat.

I don't know how true it is, but I think that a large part of people having a 'hard time' going vegan or vegetarian is that they just don't know (because it's not an established part of American food culture, yet) how fantastic and filling vegan and vegetarian dishes can be. It's not just salads, sticks, and twigs; a good eggplant stir fry is better, to me, than a meat-containing stir fry could ever be. Hummus on toast is a great snack. Stuffed portabella mushrooms are better than turkey. ... etc, ad infinitum.



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11 Dec 2013, 4:35 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xc5wIpUenQ[/youtube]Welcome back and happy belated Thanksgiving!


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AngelRho
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12 Dec 2013, 6:58 am

LKL wrote:
AngelRho, I was actually responding to 'Keet with those links.

My bad. :oops:

Wrt. eating, hunger, and meat: I have lost, and kept off, a great deal of weight in the past and my problem was exactly that I *wasn't* eating just when I was hungry, and just eating enough to make myself full; in general, if I eat what the packaging says is '1 serving,' or what a restaurant thinks is a meal, I'll be eating about twice as much as I actually need. I was raised to clean my plate, though, and it was hard to overcome that and just eat what satisfied my hunger and no more.[/quote]
Same here. Were your parents the type who said "There are starving children in China who would have eaten that..."? In our house, we really don't have that much money to play with, so my kids don't get to eat 1/4 of what I had growing up. And they're doing just fine.

The consequence of growing up the way I did is that I can't walk past an unfinished plate without asking one of my kids "Are you going to eat that?" I could shut down an all-you-can-eat buffet and even had a system of what to eat in what sequence in order to inflict maximum damage. To this day I still get a little wistful every time I pass a Golden Corral.

LKL wrote:
I get by pretty comfortably on 15K kcal/day, a little bit more on some days and a little bit less on others. As for meat, I'm almost never hungry for it. I know that I have *much* less craving for meat than the average person, especially the average man; it doesn't really take any 'will power' at all for me to be a vegetarian. It's one of those areas where I think that there might be some actual biological backing to the cultural stereotype of men being more into meat than women. Because I seem to have less craving for it, I feel like it would be arrogant of me to chastise anyone who hasn't had as easy of a time as I have getting off of meat.

I do ok as long as I have the support of my family. It's nights when the wife cooks stew meat in a pot of veggies that I really want to throw something. So I get to eat...what? A biscuit? :wall:

It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't feel some kind of obligation to eat it. Our kids know they either eat our nasty food or starve. 1st, if they see me not eating and they know it's not a fasting day, they're going to wonder why it's fair I get out of eating and they don't. 2nd, my wife is a good cook, and I don't want her to think I'm not eating her food because something is wrong with it.

LKL wrote:
As far as the 'food at work' issue, I have a harder time with the doughnuts! Usually if there's a meal-meeting, there will be something vegetarian (vegan, much more rarely) for me to at least nibble on: salad, crackers, even just a soda lets me feel like I'm participating in the gathering, even if I know that I have to bring my own snacks to nibble on later, just in case there isn't anything that I want to eat.

I should start doing that more. Wednesdays are weird days for me because it's the one day out of the week I don't get to use my own toilet. If I know what's on the menu for lunch and dinner and know I can't eat without consuming meat that day, I could just bring rice and beans for myself.

LKL wrote:
I don't know how true it is, but I think that a large part of people having a 'hard time' going vegan or vegetarian is that they just don't know (because it's not an established part of American food culture, yet) how fantastic and filling vegan and vegetarian dishes can be. It's not just salads, sticks, and twigs; a good eggplant stir fry is better, to me, than a meat-containing stir fry could ever be. Hummus on toast is a great snack. Stuffed portabella mushrooms are better than turkey. ... etc, ad infinitum.

You're probably right. For me, personally, it's not really about meat...it's about FOOD. Getting rid of meat for some reason I can't figure out sharply reduces portions. If you baked a dozen large potatoes, covered them in butter, sour cream, and salt, and nobody else around to eat them, I'd have no problem disposing of them for you.

Seems to me we have a lot in common.



LKL
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13 Dec 2013, 1:11 am

Hah! Sometimes a meal for me is one, small baked potato with some butter, or hummus, or pesto, or sour cream. I couldn't even eat one whole large baked potato now, though I used to force myself to.