Accidental Vegetarianism

I’ve yet to find anything vegetarian that comes close to pepperoni or chorizo, and spices are a huge part of their flavours. The people that make them don’t even seem to be trying with the flavour, but texture is another issue. Meat is much firmer than most meat analogues. I think that’s why I turn to things like halloumi - it’s salty and greasy protein with some bite to it. I’ve gone without meat for most of my life, but I still want something like it now and then.

Oh, and as for tofu, it can vary a huge amount. It doesn’t have much of a flavour so it tastes of whatever it’s cooked with, and the texture can vary from mascarpone-like to something approaching the firmness of meat. The point is, if you don’t think you like tofu, you probably just haven’t tried the right kind yet.

One final tip: A lot of meat-eaters insist they don’t like soya or Quorn or tofu or whatever. It must be true for some of them, but it can’t be true for all of them. I think part of the trick is not to expect meat when that’s not what you’re eating. Try not to think of it as wannabe-meat and you might like it more.

ETA: Le Puy lentils have a great texture and I often use them, in combination with soya, as an alternative to mince in recipes.

Do you like Indian food? You’ll find plenty of options at an Indian restaurant. And perhaps discover some methods of preparing vegetables that you like. Ditto for vegetarian restaurants - there’s a difference between a meal with the meat left out, and a recipe intended from the start to be vegetarian.

As you eat less meat and more vegetables, you’ll probably find that your tastes gradually change.

Yep. I’ve been in a poultry plant and a slaughterhouse. I’ve watched a mahi-mahi being butchered alive to prepare a tartare that was exquisite. But I have to not think about the negatives to enjoy the positives.

Or consider therapy to help you deal with the texture issues so you can enjoy a wider range of vegetables.

It’s really not healthy to have so many hang ups about food. I can understand being grossed out by that article, but if you’re going to go to extra lengths, I think you’ll get the best results from (1) choosing carefully what you put in your head (it’s not too different from being choosy about what you put in your mouth) and (2) getting over your adversion to foods that lots of other people enjoy. You don’t have to learn to love kidneys or even brussel sprouts, for example, but it’s in your interest to learn to enjoy lots of different vegetables, fruits, beans, fish, etc. I have no information to back up this claim, but I think the behavior of many picky eaters is learned during childhood. You don’t want something like that interfering with the rest of your life, do you?

Okay, while I appreciate the suggestions therapy is not going to happen. Please stop suggesting it. If you have recommendations for ways to slowly expand my palate or places to find ethically raised and slaughtered meat that is fabulous, but therapy is not up for debate here.

As for vegetables, just try making them less and less soggy each time. Of course there’s not really a “right” way to cook anything, but making vegetables too soft is still kind of “wrong” - you’re losing flavour and texture, and I’d guess nutrients too. I’m guessing (as jerez mentioned) that perhaps you grew up in a household where overcooked vegetables were normal?

Maybe not - apparently common preps of green beans are too crunchy for him. He may actually prefer his vegetables more done than the average person does.

The best advice, really, is to keep trying vegetables different ways and different vegetables until he finds what he likes.

pbbth be a her, if I’m not mistaken. :slight_smile:

In regard to slowly expanding what you eat, maybe think of advice I read when I had wee tots. And that is, you have to offer a food 10 times before they’ll eat it. Realizing that they may never eat it, of course, but knowing there was a number that could be hit helped me get through tough spots when they wouldn’t eat anything, it seemed. I laugh to think of my son pushing away bean burritos at one time. I think they’ve eating their weight and then some in burritos over the years.

Anyway, give yourself a break and realize you may not like it at first, but knowing that you might eventually love something might give you the strength to muscle your way through. Unless you’re actually gagging, of course — but think of really yucky sounding things that lots and lots of people like (me included) but didn’t like as kids: bleu cheese, olives, broccoli. Your palate changes as you get older you might like them now.

Before I went veg in the 1990s I couldn’t stomach a lima bean. YUCK slimy horrible things. Well, I got into the habit of eating lots of beans and legumes, and lo and behold I ate a lima and liked it! :slight_smile: So slow immersion is the ticket, in my view.

We have a small farm and raise our own pigs, turkeys, and chickens. For a few years we didn’t and couldn’t believe the general shittiness of pork from the grocery store. We quit buying it.

I was watching “The Taste” a few weeks back (a cooking competition show where the judges blind taste food) and the judges were actually debating whether the protein in a dish was chicken or pork. That’s how flavorless commercial pork is, the judges, who are all professional chefs, thought it was chicken!

I eat a lot of olive oil, but I can’t see it as comparable to pork in any way.

Okay, call it re-conditioning then, or cognitive behavioral retraining. It’s just a way to re-shape your body’s responses to certain stimuli. You wouldn’t object to having physical therapy to retrain your misaligned hip, would you? Then why object to it to retrain your gag reflex or taste buds?

I’d suggest just cooking them up different ways and see what you like - steaming is good for soft/non-slimy, but have you tried baking? Lots of vegetables are yummy baked, it’s not just for potatoes. Baked carrot is basically candy (yum!), but you can bake squash, pumpkin, apples, peppers, turnips, broccoli, lettuce, anything really. Chop whatever it is into big chunks, throw into a baking pan with butter and salt/pepper/rosemary and leave it for an hour, and you have yummy food.

Not to mention vegetable stews over rice or pasta or fries is great. Can you still deal with dairy or eggs? Veggies+grilled cheese often hits the same spot as meat does, at least for me.

Now I’m hungry, dammit.

And yet far *more *animals have to die for your vegetarian diet.

What you mean, of course, is that you shouldn’t have to eat the things that have to die for you to eat. If 7 crows, 200 mice and 20, 000 caterpillars have to die so you can eat your tofu burger, that’s fine, because you don’t have to eat the crows caterpillars and mice. If one chicken dies so you can have a chicken burger, that;s not acceptable because you have to eat the chicken.

The problem is not the deaths that are necessary for you to eat, since deaths will always be necessary for you to eat. It’s the eating of the dead things that is the problem.

OP, check your area for natural food stores. They’re a good starting point to finding local farmers. They may already carry meat they find acceptably raised, and stores like that have the farms they buy from listed prominently. There’s one near me that has both a meat and a vegetable CSA.

Anyway, that’s how I got started, and found the farmer I buy meat from. She has a truck and a van she uses to go to all the farmer’s markets in the summer, and then during the off season she and her mom use the truck and van to park near where the markets usually are. That way, people who buy meat from her can always find her. She emails weekly as to where and when she will be at the locations and lists what she has on the truck. Her own farm is a hog farm, so all the pork products are hers. She also carries meat from a couple other farms that pasture raise their animals and use farming philosophies that are the same as hers. So I get everything, chicken, beef, pork, lamb, bison, duck, and turkey in November and December.

Her truck broke down a couple weeks ago and it’s been in the shop. So the last couple weeks she’s been making door-to-door deliveries. Kinda nice to have my farmer show up at my door with a bag of meat that I ordered!

This again?

Is this that spurious “farming and harvesting plants kills more animals” claim?

Since cattle in the US are fed grain diets, land for plant-based agriculture is required to produce a given amount of beef anyway. The idea that cows eat natural grass without disturbing the environment is nice, but increasingly does not apply to intensive factory agriculture (which completely dominates other agriculture). Chickens and pigs are also fed agricultural products unless I am mistaken.

And since energy is inevitably lost, you have to use a lot of sunlight to produce a given amount of beef than plants.

AND the cow still dies.