to think my friend is being unreasonable about vegetarian food

(71 Posts)
PurpleStorm Mon 04-Mar-13 15:45:25

I had a friend over for lunch today.

We were talking about food and so on, and my friend said that she could never be a vegetarian because "vegetarian food is boring."

I said that IMO this wasn't the case, as there are loads of different ways to cook vegetarian food, so if you do a bit of research into vegetarian recipes and use a bit of imagination, I couldn't see how you'd get bored of it. I admit someone who likes eating meat would probably miss meat if they never had it, but I don't think that's the same as being "bored".

I can see that if you only cooked a narrow range of vegetarian receipes then you could get bored of being a vegetarian very quickly - but I think that it's equally possible to have a boring meat based diet, if you only cook a narrow range of meat based receipes. So the boringness of a diet isn't down to whether or not it includes meat.

Friend was unconvinced by my arguments and continued to insist that a diet without meat must be boring. AIBU or is she?

(should point out here that I'm not a vegetarian myself and usually serve meat dishes when this friend is round for a meal)

HumphreyCobbler Mon 04-Mar-13 15:47:55

SIBU

I am not a vegetarian either but I am much better cook from learning how to cook vegetarian meals properly.

Dannilion Mon 04-Mar-13 15:47:58

Neither of you are unreasonable, your friend is just a bit ignorant and you are just a bit er, keen.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 04-Mar-13 15:51:17

YANBU. Daft to dismiss an entire cuisine with one word. It's like saying 'sandwiches are boring' when we all know there is a world of difference between a flat 'British Rail' cheese slice on white and a granary baguette stuffed with delicious deli meats. Probably your friend is basing her opinion on the ubiquitous 'mushroom stroganoff' or similarly bland crap that gets churned out as the veggie option on so many menus smile

curryeater Mon 04-Mar-13 15:53:16

I think your friend has a point, especially if there are other restrictions on her diet, like trying to eat seasonally, or low carb.

I live with a veggie and am horrifically bored of vegetarian food. To be fair this is not his fault because I was veggie myself for years before I met him so was sick of it anyway; and he doesn't expect me to eat veggie food so if I do, it's all my own fault.

I am over it and over the hair-shirt mentality that made me think it was something I should do. In my case (not all) the acceptable face of an eating disorder.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 04-Mar-13 15:57:27

SIBU. Vegetarian food isn't just nut roast (which I hate).

There are loads of delicious veggie recipes, it's a bit much to make a sweeping generalisation about a whole dietary group.

Although saying that, is a vegan diet boring? grin

JandT Mon 04-Mar-13 15:57:37

She's just being a bit judgemental.

I'm vegetarian, have been for more than 20 years and still regularly eat 'new' meals and don't get bored. We are probably quite 'adventurous' with food and do get bored quite easily. DH and DC's aren't vegetarian but all happily eat 'meat free' a couple of times a week.

I would however point out that we have a much more varied diet than most meat eaters I know so think that is more our personalities than 'vegetarian'....

Your friend is BU. I've always said that I couldn't be vegetarian in this country as I don't like red peppers or aubergines, and that vegetarian pub grub staple, the vegetarian lasagne, would be out of the equation.

However, we live near Leicester and the range of Indian vegetarian food is amazing, with dhaal, gram flour etc.

I guess your friend is only referring to British vegetarian food, and if you cinsider that egg and chips is vegetarian, there's not a huge variety. If you start to look at Greek salads, Mexican bean dishes, and asian countries with nuts, pulses etc, there's a better range of options.

WaitingForMe Mon 04-Mar-13 15:58:18

I think she has a point. I'm not a vegetarian but I created some vegetarian dishes for a cookery class I was teaching and meat is a shortcut to texture and depth of flavour. I created some very nice dishes but it was a challenge. Vegetarian food needn't be boring but I think it takes more effort to make it interesting and varied.

ouryve Mon 04-Mar-13 16:01:18

Well, FOB, there's egg and chips, but there's also egg, beans and chips, egg, egg beans and chips, fried egg and chips, scrambled egg and chips, egg and chips with extra chips....

AlfalfaMum Mon 04-Mar-13 16:09:10

I'm a pescetarian, so mostly eat vegetarian meals. I think the answer is yes and no. The food I cook at home is not boring, I'm an excellent cook and buy good ingredients. I'm also easily bored so like to keep food interesting and unrepetitive. Likewise, I have a few veggie/pescy friends who cook for me and their fare is always delicious and interesting.

Eating out on the other hand, unless you go to a dedicated vegetarian restaurant, the vegetarian options (if youre lucky enough to have more than one) are usually boring shite. For example, I went to a lovely wedding recently with amazing food. I went for the pescetarian options, some kind of beautiful smoked salmon starter, then sea bass - all lovely. Friend sitting beside me was a proper veggie, she got spring rolls followed by risotto hmm

PurpleStorm Mon 04-Mar-13 16:12:16

Maybe my friend is thinking she'd be restricted to egg & chips with the occasional vegetarian lasagne thrown in! Thinking on it, she isn't the most adventurous of eaters.

So far as I know, she hasn't any dietary restrictions.

Moominsarehippos Mon 04-Mar-13 16:13:52

Meat + 2 veg = bo-rrring!

Being a vegetarian is boring in many places and with many veggies imo! I say that as a veggie!

I lived with vegans for three months. Their diet consisted of pasta, tofu sausages and peas. Nothing else. Until I was 22 my diet consisted of carbs and quorn really. Really really boring.

My older sister's diet is pretty much the old school 'vegetarian' style of mish-mashing stuff together that looks and tastes bland. A roasted courgette with a veggie sausage and mash potato (no gravy shock). Or "Grilled asparagus, chilli lemon & lime carrot, marinated tofu, cheesy mash and crispy sweet potato chips", veggie Kievs with a Chinese inspired noodle salad, cheese and tomato toasties with spinach for dinner hmm envy << sick face

If your friend has only been exposed to those kinds of veggies I can see why she thinks vegetarian diets are boring. DP and I were horrified when we first moved in together and realised our diets were so bloody boring. He is a meat eater through and through.

However, we have an awesome vegetarian diet these days ;)

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Mar-13 16:15:25

She might have formed her opinion from looking at the vegetarian options on most menus, which always seems to involve goats cheese, filo pastry, mushroom risotto and sun dried tomatoes and not much else.

If that's where she's coming from, she has a point!

theodorakisses Mon 04-Mar-13 16:17:32

My vegi sausage rolls are to die for

PurpleStorm Mon 04-Mar-13 16:22:54

Fair point that vegetarian options in restaurants tend to be very limited and samey. That's something I didn't consider until now!

We do live near a lovely little vegetarian restaurant. It hasn't got a big menu as it's tiny, but they do change the menu often, so it's quite varied. Maybe I should take my friend there for lunch sometime smile

PurpleStorm Mon 04-Mar-13 16:23:51

A tiny restaurant, I meant. Rather than a tiny menu.

Oh, and she is being unreasonable btw. Needs to meet some proper veggies ;)

I think Cog has it bang on with this:
"Probably your friend is basing her opinion on the ubiquitous 'mushroom stroganoff' or similarly bland crap that gets churned out as the veggie option on so many menus"
I can't eat in my hometown because of the few places that serve proper veggie options and not just salad, it's all shite.

Pobble You haven't tried my DP's Nut Roast, it's amazing. I could live off of the stuff!

We moved to Brighton at the end of 2011. Best thing I ever did! Really good vegetarian food everywhere, really imaginative and fun food too. We also got a copy of Hugh's Veg book, which should be enough if you can't just up and move to Brighton ;) The leek and chestnut risotto has become a staple in this house, even though the chestnuts cost a bomb hmm

I've just gone gluten free recently too, still managing to have a really interesting menu plan each week. Might be because DP is really good at cooking though grin

FellNel Mon 04-Mar-13 16:25:12

It's her opinion, based on what she knows about food and her personal preferences. She's entitled to think whatever the hell she likes. I will experiment with all sorts of foods but I frequently find food that is lacking in either meat or fish to taste strangely one-dimensional. Nice, very nice sometimes in fact, but only any good as a side dish or as an accompaniment to something involving meat. Or as an occasional lunch. Not as dinner night after night. My taste buds would pretty soon feel deprived.

The exception might be something that involves copious amounts of cheese, or a maybe really good vegetable curry or dhal.

Don't take it so personally. If you loved cheese or eggs and I said I hated cheese or eggs you wouldn't bat an eyelid. You are being chippy and seeing it as anti-your lifestyle.

Trills Mon 04-Mar-13 16:25:18

Thinking on it, she isn't the most adventurous of eaters.

If you listed all the things that she doesn't like or won't eat I'd probably conclude that her diet was booooring.

SIBU - I've been veggie all my life and have never been bored of my diet.

You just have to think about food differently....I think a some (not all) meat eaters base their meal around the meat and go from there....so they find it hard to get their head around it not being there.

Oh and yes, I agree about vegetarian options in restaurants etc.

Being a vegetarian who hates mushrooms and aubergines....eating out can be a challenge grin

BiddyPop Mon 04-Mar-13 16:44:28

While we are not veggie, we currently have a veggie au pair (who eats fish) and we are eating more "meat free" meals than we used to (would always have lots of veg anyway!).

What i find is that I just don't have the opportunity to try out all my ideas, or go back to things I liked, as we have such a huge variety of things we like and eat all sorts in our house.

We eat lots of pasta dishes (many are veggie, or pescie), and curries, DH makes a nice chilli con carne, but tried a veggie chilli a few months ago and prefers it, we always ate a reasonable amount of fish anyway, I do things like Chinese and other Asian dishes (sometimes from a packet/jar of sauce, often completely from scratch), I make sushi the odd time, I do a few different types of risotto (and never order it out as its often very inferior - I use HM stock and lots of flavour).

And we also have lovely "regular" roast dinners too. Or chop, mash and veg dinners. I'm actually hoping AP doesn't take the leftover cauli cheese from yesterday, as I would rather like that for my lunch tomorrow at work!

curryeater Mon 04-Mar-13 17:52:59

Fish is not vegetarian.

Eating veggie food sometimes is completely different from being fully vegetarian. You are not "a bit vegetarian" if you don't eat meat 21 times a week.

A varied omnivorous diet = includes some food that is vegetarian = not boring

A vegetarian diet = BORING

flatbread Mon 04-Mar-13 18:05:37

I think meat is easier yo prepare, but a veggie diet can be full of flavour and varied.

I love Asian cooking with flavours coming from ginger, garlic, whole spices etc. rather than cheesy or creamy dishes.

I recently went to a restaurant (part of a hotel) which surprise! had a really good veg selection. Included cashew nut freshly made burger, roasted butternut squash with figs and mushrooms, zucchini with feta and other greens etc. None of the usual risotto and goats tart.

Dawndonna Mon 04-Mar-13 18:08:05

I have two veggie dcs. I just checked with them and they're not bored with their diet. They've been veggie for six years. I make a mean veggie curry!

IJustWoreMyTrenchcoat Mon 04-Mar-13 18:29:29

Theodora, how do you make your veggie sausage rolls?

aldiwhore Mon 04-Mar-13 18:43:42

If she said that in her opinion veggie food is boring then SWNBU as that's her opinion and you can't argue it. She finds it boring.

YANBU to think it's not.

SIBU to make it a statement of fact, because it isn't.

CityTiliDie Mon 04-Mar-13 20:26:13

Having been Veggie for 22 years and vegan for the past 9 SIBU. there is nothing boring about well reseached, well cooked veggie or vegan food. just ignorant corpse munching fools who think all meals start with a large piece of flesh!

It is laziness and ignorance that stops most people becoming veggies. It is well proven to be the healthier diet to a MEAT based one, and cheaper and more environmentally friendly but why let the evidence get in the way of a good old prejudice?

whateveritakes Mon 04-Mar-13 20:35:11

I'm always intrigued by the environmentally friendly bit.

As far as I can tell most veggie food in the UK consists of out season veg, flavored by spices from 1,000's of miles away, bulked out with nuts and lentils also from miles away.

BeeBopDingALing Mon 04-Mar-13 20:41:56

I'm vegan and what I eat is anything but boring, I'm always trying out new recipes. But a vegetarian friend of mine eats the same thing again and again and I would be bored eating his diet. I think some people just get stuck in a rut with food. It depends on the cook I guess.

floweryblue Mon 04-Mar-13 20:55:02

DSis was a vegetarian for years. She is also an excellent cook. Just about any meal at her house was super-yummy. Now that she cooks/eats meat again, the meaty dishes are less fab than the the nut roasts etc she used to make. Still better than anything I can be arsed to cook though

squeakytoy Mon 04-Mar-13 20:59:46

I am not a veggie, but I know I could (if I wanted to) eat a very varied and interesting diet without meat.

When I go to chinese or indian restaurants, I almost always go for vegetarian dishes as they are lovely. I only discovered paneer cheese recently and am addicted to that at the moment.

exexpat Mon 04-Mar-13 21:03:47

The most boring diet I can think of is my parents-in-laws' diet: ham and/cheese sandwiches for lunch every day (possibly with a cup-a-soup if they are feeling adventurous) and a very limited range of evening meals based on meat and potatoes, avoiding anything spicy/anything fussy/anything foreign/anything that wasn't a standard part of the British diet in the 1950s. But I am sure it would be possible to devise an equally monotonous vegetarian diet.

Really, whether or not a diet is boring depends on a bit of imagination and a willingness to try new things, not whether it contains meat or fish. There are enough interesting ways of flavouring and cooking things out there to make any basic ingredients interesting.

CityTiliDie Mon 04-Mar-13 21:18:47

Whatever you have a very ill informed idea of veggie food!

The environmental issue is a big one for a lot of vegans and veggies. There is an enormous amount of wonderful vegan food produced in the UK but the main argument is that animal/meat production is so wasteful, polluting, energy consuming and takes up vast swathes of rainforrest and UK farmland. In order to produce 1kg of Beef/Horse you need to feed the animal a minimum of 15kg of food! Why not juseat teh 15kg of food then you have 15x the food and can feed the planet also takes upto 100.000 litres of water to make the 1lg of meat ! Thats enough to keep 100's of people alive! All the animals reared for food produce enormous amounts of Poo and wee which all goes into your drinking water! It takes massive amounts of fuel to transport herds to the abbatoir and energy to slaughter, render, process, refridgerate, package and cook meat. Most rainforrest destruction os done to grow feed for the cattle to produce meat.

Not to mention the health benefits of the diet as well as the cost benefits.

One of the main reasons for me being Vegan is the moral issue. Who has the right to take the life of a living creature just because you are too ignorant to consider an alternative and you like the taste.

Long may your arteries harden, your cholestrol levels rise, your diabetes worsen and your moral lack compassion.

ColinFirthsGirth Mon 04-Mar-13 22:39:28

Well myself, my hubbie and our two children are veggie and I love veggie food. There is so much variety and loads of great recipes. My children eat veegie food better than they ever did food with meat in it. I think anyone that says vegetarian food is boring is either ignorant or hasn't tried enough of a variety of recipes.

No need to be rude City. It is a relatively valid point, many veggies (including myself) eat food that is out of season and is therefore flown in or cultivated in greenhouses, and include a variety of spices in our foods that have to be flown/shipped/driven in.

Before you say it, I know that it's probably cancelled out easily by the lack of meat consumption on our behalves, but it's still there.

Haggischucker Mon 04-Mar-13 23:18:20

Another long term veggie here, 25 years, I eat eggs and dairy but no meat replacements like quorn or even soya/tofu. Diets are very subjective and what's boring for one may not be for another.

DH eats a lot of veggie meals during the week and does not feel lacking at all but when we dine out he always has a meat or fish option. I have a bank of old faithful recipes but try new ones regularly to prevent too much repetition.

The thought of meat and two veg obviously doesn't appeal to me nor DH and he rarely has a Sunday lunch type meal. It's all about mixing up your diet, using items in season and being a little adventurous! It does grate on me when people look at me in sympathy when I say I'm veggie and the good old 'I don't know how you do it' type response, well I don't know how people eat meat. Each to their own I guess and with the restaurant point I chose restaurants based on menu not only for me but DH also and if I don't like what's on there I have been known to contact them in advance to do something else for me. Any diet or lifestyle choice is what you make it smile

AlfalfaMum Tue 05-Mar-13 00:30:23

"Long may your arteries harden, your cholestrol levels rise, your diabetes worsen and your moral lack compassion." confused you come across as ever so slightly lacking in the compassion department yourself, City. I agreed with most of your points up until then.

ivanapoo Tue 05-Mar-13 02:21:23

So Confused and Whatever surely meat eaters also eat flown in and out of season veg/pulses/spices too...?

In my experience vegetarians are more conscious about what they eat and are therefore more likely to pay attention to things like seasonality, where their food comes from and so on.

How many people eat meat or fish seasonally these days I wonder?

FWIW I think the assumption that veggie food is boring is so far from the truth - a quick trip to Ottolenghi or Terre a Terre will set you right.

But I will say that it usually requires more work and skill to create a tasty, interesting veg dish than it does to make a tasty meal based on a great cut of meat or fresh fish.

And some cuisines are awful for veggie food. Sushi and dim sum for example - never had good veg versions.

this thread is making me hungry. Please share the veggie curry/ chili/ veggie sausage rolls recipes. And any others! We might eat meat a couple times a week, though i usually avoid it altogether. I have never tried paneer, will have to get some!

FellNel Tue 05-Mar-13 03:45:30

And City speaking of people being 'ill informed' anyone who still think that our arteries harden and our cholesterol levels rise and we get diabetes as a result of eating meat, or saturated fat is rather ill informed themselves. I won't bore you all with the truth about saturated fat versus other sorts of supposedly more 'healthy' fats, but suffice to say that the non-animal fats many people think are healthy are wolves in sheep's clothing.

All those things you mentioned are due to a poor diet, not to a meat diet. A diet that is too high in sugar, mainly. Particularly fructose and corn syrup which is hidden in many modern convenience foods. Any of the ailments you listed could just as easily affect a vegetarian eating poorly as a meat eater eating poorly, and someone eating a very basic, pure diet of good quality meat, fish, fruit and vegetables but excluding wheat and processed sugars would be highly likely to have better cholesterol levels and more stable blood sugar than your average vegetarian who indulges in too many processed carbs.

Studies have shown that Inuits (before they got McDonalds and 'civilisation') ate a diet consisting largely of whale and seal blubber, with very little fruits/vegetables at all as they simply had no access to them and yet in spite of a diet extremely high in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol they had very low cholesterol, and very low rates of heart disease.

India is the place with the fastest rising rate of Diabetes, and it has the second highest rate in the world, yet it is estimated that vegetarianism is practised by anywhere between 30% and 40% of the population.

Funnily enough the rate at which heart disease and diabetes has skyrocketed has almost perfectly coincided with us being told around 40-50 years ago that we should eat more carbs, less red meat and as little saturated fat as possible. Another coincidence hmm was that is was also exactly when they started stuffing ready made foods with refined sugars and hydrogenated vegetable fats, and telling us they were 'healthier'.

If you want to be a vegetarian then by all means go ahead, but if you want to get preachy you need to be very, very sure that you know exactly what you are talking about.

chandellina Tue 05-Mar-13 07:14:16

Ridiculous. You can replace meat with substitutes so the argument doesn't even pass the first hurdle. I am not currently veggie but for no particular reason eat meat or fish in maybe two meals a week. I cook every night and prefer veggie.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 07:20:31

Just agree to differ- any diet is boring if you don't have a wide range if foods. Vegetarians have a wide range- if they want to.

MrsHoarder Tue 05-Mar-13 07:28:51

I think she has a point, because its easier to have the variety if you can just throw some meat in. For example I've found that the perfect ingredient for most veg soups is one rasher of bacon. Just gives it something that I can't get when I make a vegetarian version.

We're not a meat and two veg type of household, but a small amount of meat/fish does make cooking interestingly easier.

lljkk Tue 05-Mar-13 07:28:59

Boring is a matter of opinion, how can you argue over that?

mmm... I was veggie for 16 yrs which was fine, never seemed boring, but have to say that in last 12 yrs that I eat meat, I find some veggie fare quite boring.

Ivana: i wasn't arguing that meateaters didn't eat things flown in, just that there was a point in that veggies do!

These days I know more meat eaters who care about where their foods comes from and it's seasonality than veggies who do weirdly enough. I know it's not always the case but I think awareness of where food comes from is increasing in all circles.

Fell: nice to see somebody in here who speaks perfect sense! It's amazing how many people know so little about when our diets changed for the worse and why.

I am a veggie out of habit. I stay veggie because I dislike the hypocrisy of a lot of people in this country in judging the meat other countries have, but have no issue in throwing away half a carcass abecause every don't fancy eating the lesser cuts. Many people these days also wouldn't be happy killing or preparing their own meat, which I find extremely ridiculous. Fine are the days when people really understand where where food came from.

It's also significantly cheaper than buying great quality meat!

curryeater Tue 05-Mar-13 09:30:36

All that angry, self-righteous guff from City is such silly rubbish. It's tempting to be cross at the ill-informed self-righteousness. But we should feel sorry for her, not angry, because it's hard to manage mood in a state of malnutrition.

As everyone else knows, high-carb = public health disaster, so we don't even need to go into that.

My own position, for full disclosure, is that I struggled on as a vegetarian (not even vegan, which I felt guilty about) for many years and only now while eating meat and fish again feel remotely well. I believe (because they tell me so) that it is possible for some people to be happy, healthy vegetarians, or even vegans. but I know I can't. I know it the bloody hard way.

However, although initially it pained me very much to feel as if I was prioritising my health over the environment, now it pains me in a completely different way to come to the horrible realisation that there is no non-disastrous way to feed 7 billion people on this planet. Agriculture - large scale grain production - has destroyed, for instance, the American prairie. I am sure many of you read about the humanitarian disaster caused by high prices of quinoa caused by Western trendiness of this food and the people who grow it not being able to afford to eat it.

The "one rasher of bacon" which someone mentioned above seems to me to be a brilliant solution to a lot of these problems - keep a pig, feed it on rubbish, convert rubbish into protein, salt and preserve the protein and eat it over the winter with your otherwise fiendishly boring and hungry-making local vegetables, like kale and turnips and cabbage. All low-impact ways of using the earth. Keeping animals is how to get nitrogen back into the soil, and they give us protein. Eggs only, if you can't stand to kill. If we could manage a way to live off the local earth like this maybe we could get all smug and high and mighty on message boards. But I'm afraid I don't. Not sure whether we could feed cities this way even in theory. In practice... oh it's exhausting.

So all I can do is not buy apples from stupid places like New Zealand (etc) and try to be healthy for my family, and keep them well. Pathetic. But at least I am not attacking anyone else about it.

aurynne Tue 05-Mar-13 10:11:27

"One of the main reasons for me being Vegan is the moral issue. Who has the right to take the life of a living creature just because you are too ignorant to consider an alternative and you like the taste."

I will just make a short intervention to remind all the holier-than-thou veggies that plants are living creatures too...

FellNel Tue 05-Mar-13 10:40:10

Yes and we'll just gloss over the fact that the world is full of creatures routinely eating other creatures. Why we think that as humans we should somehow 'rise above' that basic evolutionary, biological, nutritional urge and mess up the natural order of the food chain is beyond me, when we continue to acknowledge that many wild animals eat one another in order to live, right down from the mosquito sucking blood from mammals, to the fish eating mosquito lavae, to frogs eating flies, to birds eating caterpillars or fish or small mammals, to sharks eating seals, to lions eating antelopes, to apes eating monkeys and smaller apes, to humans eating a bacon sandwich. We are all just doing what we were designed to do. I think it's quite smug to think they we should all somehow be above that, on a moral level.

I can see several arguments for why vegetarianism might be a good thing, but 'for the good of my health' and 'it's morally wrong to take an animal's life' are two that just don't stack up for me.

nokidshere Tue 05-Mar-13 10:48:35

I cook for vegetarians and for meat eaters. Sometimes I am bored by all of it. Everyone gets into a routine of samey stuff regardless of how they eat.

Even my son, who is fussy, is bored of the restricted diet of his own choosing.

flatbread Tue 05-Mar-13 10:49:22

What is wrong with the two arguments, though Fellnell?

Both of these are my reasons for being a vegetarian.

I Personally think it is good for my health and body type. My body loves veggies (I crave veggies and nuts) and can't handle meat or dairy well.

Plus I don't want to eat flesh from another living being. I realise other animals and humans do it, but it is my moral choice.

aldiwhore Tue 05-Mar-13 10:49:23

fellnel well said, a very good post.

It is true that my son ate his most healthy diet during his first 3 years, he had a dairy and egg allergy and simply didn't like meat... I become obsessive about giving him a healthy diet and learned that being omnivores you can be healthy and get nutrients from a wide range of foods. I had to think outside my 'dairy and meat' box. What I have stuck with through the years, what I've taken away from that experience, is not that dairy and meat are BAD, but when I was concerned about allergens, we didn't eat any processed food at all. THAT is where the healthy diet was most successful. Though you probably would twist that to say it was the lack of meat, you wouldn't be correct.

I absolutely resepct your right to your views, and I haven't insulted you for your choices, so please don't insult me for mine. I choose to eat meat and dairy now, I have also never been healthier because of my experience of veganism the range of foods I eat is broader.

I'm perfectly happy to accept that many other people want to eat meat. I don't have a problem with it. My DH and DD eat meat, and I don't mind cooking it, in fact I quite like cooking meat (DH says I make the best roast chicken he's had, and I've never eaten it) I just choose not to eat it myself. I get a healthy, varied diet. I don't like the idea of eating flesh, so I don't.

I don't see myself as sanctimonious and I've never had a go at anyone for choosing to eat meat, just as I don't wish anyone to have a go at me for not eating it. Many animals eat meat....many animals don't. We're lucky enough and have access to enough food, to make that choice ourselves.

samandi Tue 05-Mar-13 12:21:49

We were talking about food and so on, and my friend said that she could never be a vegetarian because "vegetarian food is boring."

Your friend is obviously rather boring herself, lacking imagination, a sense of experimentation and basic culinary skills.

whateveritakes Tue 05-Mar-13 14:03:58

City - I have heard all the pints about livestock and that is probably true if you are going to farm animals. Not sure what else you could "grow" on the Welsh hills except sheep though..

However you could live as a meat eater just by eating the animals available all year round. rabbits, pigeons, ducks etc. In fact I pretty much did.

Vegetarians would have a boring diet if you could only eat what we grew n the UK was my point. I can't imagine how big the green houses would have to be to do even the basics in the winter. Agreed we are very lucky to have as much choice as we do.

curryeater Tue 05-Mar-13 14:06:32

ScarletLady, you sound like a nice vegetarian ;)

Scholes34 Tue 05-Mar-13 15:04:29

Certainly vegetarian food is not boring. DS2 is vegetarian, so I find myself cooking two meals when we're not all eating a vegetarian meal. A chicken and leek pie for everyone else leads to a leek, spinach, pepper, nut and ricotta pasty for him, made with the trimmings of pastry from the chicken pie.

What is very boring from a vegetarian point of view is the lack of vegetarian options when dining out in a mixed group. DS2 hates beans. Goats cheese is also a no-no. A standard family friendly restaurant seems to offer a vast variety of meat-based dishes, with a very few, unimaginative vegetarian dishes. A bit more imagination on the part of the big chain restaurants would go a long way.

Pigsmummy Tue 05-Mar-13 15:16:30

Trying to find a pack of Fine Beans that haven't got more air miles than me is a challenge these days

"We're lucky enough and have access to enough food, to make that choice ourselves." - that is the essence of it really! We should let everybody make that choice.

It annoys me when veggies say "My child will never eat meat." because at the end of the day, you don't know that. As they grow they may choose to eat meat, and once they leave home there would be nothing you can do to stop them making that choice.

exexpat Tue 05-Mar-13 15:50:39

I don't think I know any vegetarians who say their child will never eat meat - I certainly don't. I'm not going to cook it for them, but of course as they grow up it will be entirely up to them what they eat, just as it will be up to them where they live, what they believe, how they vote, what newspaper they read, what job they do etc. All those choices may well be influenced by how I am bringing them up, but I certainly won't be dictating any of their choices.

FellNel Tue 05-Mar-13 16:20:18

Actually why I find weird is that some people I know are veggie themselves but cook meat and feed it to their children and say 'it's up to them to choose if they want to be a veggie later - I don't want to impose my beliefs on them'.

This often happens in families where one parent is veggie and one isn't. I would have thought that if your decision is rooted in morality and a firm belief that you are doing the right thing then you should say the opposite:

'My child does not eat meat now because I believe it's wrong for reasons X,Y and Z, but I accept that when they are old enough to think for themselves they may choose to eat it when I am not the one feeding them.'

flatbread I respect your reasons, I just don't agree with them! I find them flawed - but that's ok, you don't need to worry about what I think, so long as you are doing what makes the most sense to you. I just object to other people telling me what I should be doing based on a reasoning/morality I find flawed.

FellNel Tue 05-Mar-13 16:20:54

what I find, not why.

FellNel Tue 05-Mar-13 16:27:48

Actually flatbread I completely agree with what you said upthread about cooking Asian style with lots of ginger and spices, and things like aubergines and paneer and mushrooms or lentils can be a great, gutsy substitute for meat when they are fantastically cooked, with loads of beautifully put together spices. If ever I don't miss meat it's when I am eating a really good veg curry or dhal, and I make those often. But I don't think I'd want to do it every day for the rest of my life.

exex: It's not something I've heard often (mostly because I think most are realistic about it), but it is something I've heard and it is usually followed by "I'd be so disappointed in them." or "I don't know if I could allow them in my house." or "I would feel heartbroken/betrayed.". Which may be why I dislike the statement really as I don't think I've never heard it uttered by people who don't come out with something quite so melodramatic afterwards!

I'd do the same, my kids probably won't be actively fed it by me purely for ease of cooking a big meal, I'd tell them why I am veggie and DP would tell them why he is not and we'd leave it up to them to decide. But I would never make that choice or express upset if they did choose otherwise.

FellNel Tue 05-Mar-13 16:40:51

Well that's all part of being a parent. However great your kids are, chanced are they may become young adults and start to reject some of the things you taught them to believe in. Whether it's your religion, your politics or your vegetarianism, your accent, your hopes and dreams for their educational achievement and their career, or whether you think they should marry within their own culture/ethnicity and they choose to marry outside it. Life is full of betrayals and disappointments as a parent, so I don't know why vegetarians think it should be any different for them. grin

but if your child can think for himself and stand up for his own beliefs then you have done a great job and that matters more than how they eat/vote/pray/marry.

Fell: I think a lot of veggies do do it the second way, not cook the meat for their kids but let them have it elsewhere. What bugs me when parents say their child will never eat meat, implying that even when they are in a position to make that decision, that decision won't be respected. A bit like the reverse is true too, that when a child says that they want to stop eating meat, but that isn't respected by family who insist that they still eat it against their wishes. Both ways annoy me.

flatbread Tue 05-Mar-13 16:41:19

Fellnell, I don't tell anyone else not to eat meat. In fact, I often cook it for dh or when we have guests. It is my moral discomfort with eating meat, and I don't want to impose it on others.

Dh is a born carnivore and can happily eat a cold piece of lamb for breakfast. A vegetarian diet just doesn't work for him. He will eat my veggies but also needs a regular intake of meat. I have removed sausages and processed meat from his diet and get bulk cuts of meat from the butcher and freeze into individual portions.

I think your point on processed food earlier was spot on. We eat way too much crap without even being aware of it.

FellNel Tue 05-Mar-13 16:43:39

I know you don't flatbread I was just talking in a generic/general sense. Sorry if it came across wrong.

midastouch Tue 05-Mar-13 16:45:46

i dont really see how a vegetarian diet is boring there are meat free substitues for just about everything now a days. I like my 'boring' vege food so it doesnt really matter to me what other people think

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