i stopped eating meat one week ago today. i ate red meat, felt like crap, and then happened to stumble across the book. I've been debating going veg for years for ethical reasons- im a big animal lover. so this week has been good- im not doing vegan just yet. just tackling no meat for now which is a big change from meat twice a day. hubby is supportive but concerned that its going to really affect him as i do most of the cooking. this week i just made lots of familiar meatless meals and it has been fine. well tomorrow my family and i are going out to my favorite family-style all you can eat chicken/potatoes/salad/pasta restaurant. and next weekend we're goingto a friend's house and ordering in our group's favorite subs from TC Landos- yummy steak subs! i checked out the menu, and yes they have good veggie options, but its hard staring at all those yummy favorites. and then the weekend after THAT we're celebrating a friend's birthday at his house and he is having it catered by the BBQ place that catered our wedding back in october. yes, lots of good veggie sides, but ive been craving that damned pulled pork since i only got to have bite of it on the big day. im trying so hard. i really mostly hate veggies but i've been trying. the other night i was in whole foods and i just wanted curl up on the floor and cry i was so overwhelmed. help!!!
i should add that im doing ok if i take it day by day, but if i start to think about NEVER HAVING PULLED PORK AGAIN or chicken etc it just makes me want to give up and go back to the way i was eating. and this allsounds awful and im a terrible person for thinking this way- those poor animals!!!!
Hey Krysten! All i can say is give your taste buds time to get used to all the new tastes. I've been vegan for just over a year and I can tell you that I was a huge white bread, pasta and rice sort of person. but now a year later - I can't stand any of that stuff. Wholemeal bread and brown rice for me all the way!!! Try introducing new vegies one at a time. It can be a bit bewildering having a plate full of things that you've never tried before - the thing is to give everyrhing a go - don't be scared- there's plenty of info either on this website or on the net in general. Oh and if you do 'jump off the wagon' - its no big deal. I think that all experiences are there to make us learn. All else I can say is - good luck and soon you'll be eating healthy, kind and yummy food before you know it.
ps - the best cakes are vegan - even my omni friends can attest to that!!
My best advice is to take it one day at a time. Don't think about never eating pulled pork every again (which used to be my favorite by the way!); just think about not having any today. Then do the same tomorrow. It is a struggle at first, I know. But I guarantee that over time you will start to lose those cravings.
A book I would recommend to someone starting out or struggling: "Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating" by Erik Marcus. This book took away any cravings I had left. It even introduced me to Farm Sanctuary in California, where I live, which is an organization recuing farm animals injured and left to die, and giving them a place to live and thrive for the remainder of their lives. The stories so touched my heart that I can't even fathom eating meat or dairy ever again. I am even going to visit this May and meet some of the animals and hear their stories.
Good luck to you, and please know that you are not alone. It is difficult to change patterns we are so used to. But I think you will end up feeling more at peace as you continue in this wonderful journey.
Hey Krysten, Reading your post reminds me a little of myself. I too have the pressure of cooking for a meat-eating husband. It is very overwhelming when you think about not ever eating meat again. Don't think about it, just do it. I have been meat free since August 2009. Prior to that I was in the McDonalds drive thru about twice a week ordering the Big N Tasty meal supersized, or at IN N OUTgetting a chesseburger animal style. I LOVED all kinds of meat. Steak, cheeseburger, chicken, pork. BUT I also LOVED ANIMALS. I have felt like a total hypocrite for so many years & have struggled with my brain & heart wanting to be a vegeterain & my stomache wanting a steak. One day I joined PETA after making a donation to provide dog houses to dogs left outside. They sent me some material. I read the through "Meet the Meat you eat" and never looked back. From that second on I decided not to eat meat. I didn't even get to enjoy my last "meat" meal, becasue I didn't realize it was going to be my last!! 5 months later I am still meat free. Last week I decided to try a vegan diet for 3 weeks after reading The KInd Life. You can do it. Hang in there. The first few weeks I was a little depressed, mourning my meat eating life. It is a trasition. You can get through it.
Hey Krysten! You can do it! You are off to such a great start but yes it's definitely a transition that takes time to get used to. Cravings definitely go away. My recommendation is to keep in mind that the meat that tastes so good was once an animal you love so much. I was never a huge meat eater so giving it up wasn't too hard for me, but I used to crave chicken sometimes so I would try to think about the living, breathing animal, and then what was on the plate wouldn't smell so tempting. Now I don't even crave it. If you never eat pulled pork again, then you won't be killing the pigs who suffer and die to make it! Good luck!
Hi Krysten! Hang in there! It gets better over time. When I first became a vegetarian, I missed my old favorites (BBQ ribs, crab legs, cheeseburgers) for years. I also felt very hungry ALL THE TIME! However, I think making such a big adjustment takes planning. Try to make a menu of what you plan to eat for the whole week, and then go grocery shopping so you have everything you need in the house. Don't forget snacks, either! And, at first, don't try to eat "healthy" all the time. If you are craving meat, treat yourself to something vegetarian that will help you get over your cravings... ice cream, Chinese carry-out (lots of delicious veggie options), even a pizza! If you want something wonderfully satisfying while you're out, Chili's has a fantastic veggie burger! I don't believe it's vegan, but it is definitely vegetarian. As for family/friend gatherings, those are often somewhat difficult at first... especially if you are the only vegetarian. I always try to bring something delicious that I want to eat. Maybe bring an appetizer, too... spinach artichoke dip, taco dip, et. (something filling), so that way you aren't starving during the main course. That way, the meat option is not quite as tempting. It does get better... I promise! 12 years later, I accidentally received a regular burger instead of a veggie burger at a restaurant. Not noticing, I bit into it... and I spit it out because I didn't like it! It smelled great, but, now, I actually prefer veggie burgers over regular burgers. This will happen for you, too. Just keep up the good work, and remember that all small changes make a huge difference :-)
Krysten, I am just flirting myself and have been a big meat eater, but always felt guilty because I love animals. We can do this and I just focus on how great I will feel and also try to visualize my body inside healing. I'm pulling for you and me!! Good luck.
It is hard, it is. We have all been there, but there are so many people that posted to you today that went through the same exact feelings you are feeling. Think of the positive. Instead of thinking "NO pulled pork ever again in my life," think, that pig deserves to live just as much as I do. Always think of the postive things of being a veg. because it is very easy to slip back into your old ways. Also, do not let other meat eaters persuade you to eat meat by saying "well, its already dead so just eat it." I've heard that soooo many times it is rediculous. But that is not the point of me being a vegan. Im a vegan because I feel amazing, and I LOOVE animals. Remember that cravings are temporary and the feelings of guilt are way more intense and upsetting. You can get through an hour craving, but are you ready to deal with the huge, heavy feeling of guilt that could last days? that was my biggest problem, if it was infront of me, I would eat it, but then i would feel horrible afterwards. Keep going strong! You're doing great, and almost everyone experiences these cravings! Good luck and be strong!
Here's something I've been wanting to try: what about Seitan pulled "pork"? For me, dropping meat was easy, but dh is much less entheusiastic (but mostly willing). I think what he misses is really just the bbq sauce, and Seitan is pretty versatile.
I guess, try to focus mostly on the new opportunities (cooking is fun again for me, after being hum-drum for years), and when a craving gets too bad, seek a substitute.