V is for Vegetarian

In June 0f 2013 I wrote this in my journal:

June 12th:

Definitely leaning towards vegetarianism. “The average age (longevity) of a meat eater is 63. I am on the verge of 85 and still work as hard as ever. I have lived quite long enough and am trying to die; but I simply cannot do it. A single beef-steak would finish me; but I cannot bring myself to swallow it. I am oppressed with the dread of living forever. That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism. ” George Bernard Shaw

Told [one daughter] and she said to wait until after we visit her because she’s planned meals that have meat. Sent [husband] a link about the bad stuff in meat and he is onboard with it as well. [Other daughter’s family] stopped by with Father’s Day cards and gifts. I made oatmeal coconut cookies. Gave [daughter] our ham and bacon. She said she’ll save it for next week when we go back to eating meat. haha.

June 13th:

Today was a total vegetarian day. I don’t know how long I can last with meat and fish still in the freezer and our beach trip coming up, but I want to do as much as often as I can.

My experiment with being a vegetarian lasted about 3 months. Once again I immersed myself in the literature, watching a video called “Planeat,” read Forks Over Knives by Caldwell Esselstyn, My Beef with Meat, by Rip Esselstyn, The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability, by Lierre Keith, In Defense of Food, An Eater’s Manifesto, by Michael Pollan,  had in-depth discussions with avowed vegetarians I knew, but by July 15th I recorded this:

I went to Costco and bought  2 chickens for Rachel. They were roasted and looked and smelled good and I thought, “I should get one for our dinner tonight,” then I remembered that I don’t eat chicken anymore. haha. I guess I’m taking the slow route to vegetarianism!

I decided I wanted to live more in moderation. Today we rarely eat red meat, getting our protein from fish, beans and eggs (I could never be vegan because of eggs but buy them from my friend who has chickens and whom I know raises them humanely) and try to have a more plant-focused diet. I take my cue from Doctrine & Covenants 89, which Mormons refer to as the Word of Wisdom, which reads in part:

10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—11. Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving. 12.Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;  13. And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

14. All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;  15. And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger. 16. All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—

18. And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; 19. And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; 20. And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

A careful study of these verses lend weight to vegetarianism (for how often now are we in times of famine?), but as it is also given for the “weakest of the saints,” they too, can find justification in eating meat “sparingly.” After all, one can be 100% vegetarian and have an unhealthy diet consisting of Twinkies…

What we eat is a personal decision. As I pay attention to my body and how it reacts/deals with what I put into it, I fine-tune the optimal diet for me. fruits-vegetables




About Gail

Genealogist, librarian, writer, traveler, Mormon
This entry was posted in Health & Wellness, nutrition, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to V is for Vegetarian

  1. I posted about vegetables today! I can happily eat a meal of just veggies, but I’m not about to give up meat. My idea of healthy eating is moderation, variety and enjoying one’s meals. My views are shaped around Peter on the rooftop and the sheet coming down before him with all types of animals for food and God told him three times to kill and eat of any of it.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

    • Gail says:

      Nice perspective. And great application of the scriptures. I like it! Thanks for stopping by– I’ll check out your “vegetables.”

  2. Alice Gerard says:

    I love vegetables. Yummy! I recently completed a three week vegan cleanse, which I enjoyed more than I anticipated. The person who directed the cleanse suggested to me that I eat a vegan diet three days a week. I can do that. I don’t know if I want to become a full time vegan but I can be a part time vegan. Today is day number two vegan day. My dinner consisted of a salad with mixed greens, green onions, and cucumber. Then I had pasta with an avocado sauce and steamed asparagus and green beans. Also a glass of apple cider. It tasted great! ‘

  3. saracsnider says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for about 21 years. I’ve done all-out veganism, and now these days I suppose I’d be leaning towards pescetarianism, though the occasions I eat fish are pretty rare. I can tell you first-hand that being vegetarian does not necessarily mean being healthy, just as eating meat does not necessarily mean being unhealthy. Like you say, it’s all about moderation and balance. For me, I try to eat mostly veggies, beans, nuts, fruits, and whole grains. Less of other things like white bread, sugar, dairy, though I do eat them. Just not as much as before. Find what works for you, what makes you feel good and you enjoy. And then go with that. Everything else is just noise.

  4. brandolyn says:

    I am experimenting with a plant-based, whole foods diet (vegan). I just read the China Study and it is very compelling to think that so many of the diseases we get can be traced back to our diet.

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