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View Poll Results: How do you feel about Veganism?
I am one already! 44 10.26%
I love my tandoori chicken! 253 58.97%
I am vegetarian/pescatarian etc etc. 107 24.94%
Veganism excites me and I want to know more 44 10.26%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 429. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 15th September 2018, 18:26   #16
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From an evolutionary perspective, you could that was an extension of the grand bargain the cows struck with humans to ensure transmission of their genes - by giving up companionship between mother and child and turning into milk producing machines. But if you claim to care for animals, such a cynical bargain should be unacceptable.
Theory of evolution aka natural selection would mean that transmission of genes would have happened anyway. Sorry if I have misunderstood something.

Imagine the trauma of a mother who is separated from her child at birth and is then kept continuously pregnant artificially so that she can lactate. And when she can no longer produce milk, she is sent to slaughter house.

I am not sure if anyone has seen the 2005 documentary called Earthlings which has a separate section on Indian cows. Its heart wrenching.
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Old 15th September 2018, 18:40   #17
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Default re: The Veganism & Vegetarian Thread

Am a vegetarian-eggatarian by religious conviction. Turned in 1996 due to religious reasons. Stayed that way ever since. Ate everything till then. My family was/is a mix of veg and non-veg. But I love my milk and milk products and omelets too much to drop them. Will confess on rare occasions I miss sheekh kabab and luncheon meat ham. Alas. Mechanized dairy farms destroy cows. We get our fresh desi milk from a neighbour's farm.
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Old 15th September 2018, 18:47   #18
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Mechanized dairy farms destroy cows. We get our fresh desi milk from a neighbour's farm.
So what do these family run farms do with the calves?

Here is the Indian cows section from the documentary that I mentioned above. Apparently India is one of the largest producer of leather if not the largest.

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Old 15th September 2018, 21:28   #19
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I am a born again Vegetarian as in India, otherwise eat everything according to rules and regulations of any developed country am in.

The yield of Indian produce or animal is paltry according to world standards. The reason is as all the people in the food chain maximize profit by overlooking regulations or best practices, at every stage. Are there any regulations in first place. Take Fresh water or salt water fish, both waters are polluted, check for self. Latest is the formalin thing. Abroad you have a complete log of the animal from birth to slaughter. Just my thought. Never liked raw Milk or in coffee. Occasional curd or Ras gulla yes.
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Old 15th September 2018, 22:16   #20
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I am a Vegetarian and not a 'Vegan'. Veganism I personally find a bit extreme.

I am not from a family of Vegetarians. I became a Vegetarian by choice. It had nothing to do with religion either.

If I remember right, my journey into Vegetarianism started at the age of 10 or 11. I had accompanied my uncle to a poultry farm somewhere in Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay) one Sunday. Even though my uncle tried to dissuade me from watching, I watched first hand, the process, of how that wonderful chicken curry lands in my plate. The sight of the hen being slaughtered struck a nerve somewhere. I couldn't eat anything 'chicken' for a week. I did continue to eat fish and eggs in this phase. Slowly, however, I got over it, and the sights and smells of a really good Chicken Biryani with an egg topping was just too much to resist. So I dived back in.

Few years later, we shifted to the middle east; Kuwait, to be precise. This was a non-vegetarians paradise. Me and my sibling gorged on the delicious helpings of chicken this, chicken that, salamis, sausages and you know what. Chicken and other meat came frozen, ready to cook. Even if you were to buy fresh, you were spared the agony of watching it slaughtered as everything was automated. But however, one fine evening, on the way back from a restaurant, I saw a truck load of cattle (all jam packed, hardly able to breath) being transported for you know what. Immediately later, we drove past a meat shop. In the middle east, the meat was all hung raw in glorious display, behind shiny glass windows. Bang! That raw nerve got struck again.

I made a declaration at home that evening that I am not eating any meat / fish / chicken from that day. My parents were equally amused and a bit scared at the same time. What did they do wrong, they wondered? They heard my explanation and took it sportingly. The next weekend, my dad made a nice chicken biryani. Oh Boy ! How do you refuse that ? Well I didn't. I skillfully separated the chicken pieces from the rice and ate the rest. And therein began my journey into being a Vegetarian.

After a while, I stopped eating Biryanis. My poor parents had to cook separate vegetarian biryani or veg equivalent dishes for me every time. They attributed it to some 'Brahmin shaap (curse)' running in the family. My family was of a warrior clan. But our ancestors used to 'mingle' with Brahmins (if you know what I mean). My sibling of course thought I was an idiot. I don't blame her. Over time fish and eggs went off my menu. And thats' how its' been since. My parents soon turned veg, to my sibling's horror! She was now sure I was a complete idiot. Although no non-veg was cooked at home after that changeover, to her relief, they did allow her to have non-veg stuff at restaurants or from carry-homes.

My sibling got back to her free non-veg ways once she started her higher studies. She got married to a nice, non veg only, husband. And they both are living happy lives with their equally non veg relishing children.

As for me, I got married to a non vegetarian wife. She comes from a region that relishes and is famous for it's fish cuisines. She and her family have a mutual respect for our diet choices. However, her parents too, have slowly turned vegetarian. My wife started discovering a lot of vegetarian dishes after our marriage and found that they can be tasty too. She now only occasionally has non-veg food. And this is without any compulsion from me. My son, well, he is more like, "What ?! No chicken today?".

I do not enforce my diet choices on anyone. I can enjoy my vegetarian food with someone having a nonveg food right next to me without feeling averse.

I am not a true vegetarian and I wouldn't blame anyone if they called me a hypocrite. I would have to shun a lot of egg and diary products to be a true vegetarian. I don't have egg in boiled or omlette form. But I love Mayonaisse. I've gotten used to eggless Mayo, but it tastes nowhere as good as the real thing. So sometimes I basket the red dot labelled Mayo 'by mistake' instead of the green one. I love cheese, ice-cream and I do love rich creamy fresh milk delivered straight from the cow to my doorstep. Would I refuse a slice of Mango cheese cake, Chocolate truffle or Caramel custard ? Hell No ! So in a way, I am a Lacto-ovo-vegetarian (one who shuns animal flesh but has egg and milk products).

Vegetarianism has its advantages and disadvantages.

My father is a diabetic. No doubt, converting to a vegetarian had delayed the inevitable effects his condition would have brought on to his body. I myself, am now, according to my colleague (a Diabetologist), in a pre-diabetic state. I am able to control my sugars, without medications, by means of a calorie restricted diet and regular exercise. This would be difficult (but not impossible) with a non vegetarian diet as, unfortunately, non vegetarian foods have higher calorie values for equivalent smaller portions.

Various studies over the years have shown that diets rich in meat and meat products have increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, Heart disease and to some extent cancer. This is of course, only in comparison to people on vegetarian diets. Even non vegetarians can develop these diseases. Only their incidence is lower than the general population. So non vegetarians out here don't need to jump from their chairs and spill coffee at the site of the word 'cancer'. You just need to control your portions, thats' all.

So vegetarians are all healthy, eh? Nope.

The lack of fish in a diet can run you into a risk of developing Vitamin B12 deficiency. This vitamin is essential to prevent anaemia, for good vision and for recovery and maintenance of your nerves. Unfortunately, this vitamin is found in abundance in its natural state, only in fish or animal products. You need to compensate as much as you can with the green veggies, nuts, tofu ( a form paneer from soy milk). Be careful. If you are starting to feel a little tired, groggy and having tingling and numbness, time to visit the doctor and consider some vitamin supplements.

Lack of eggs and milk can make you protein and calcium deficient. This will lead to bone thinning and osteoporosis making you susceptible to fractures of your long bones and spondylosis of your spine. You need to compensate with lots of nuts like almonds, walnuts, mushrooms, again soy milk, spinach etc. Don't go overboard with the walnuts though. As I found out the hard way, they can increase your uric acid levels and cause joint pains. If left untreated, can progress to arthritis and gout. The general advise by dieticians is a fistful of nuts a day. If they are mixed variety of nuts, all the better. And no cheating ! You have to be able close your fist !

The above is just a small advice that I have for prospective, converted or traditional vegetarians. This is from my limited personal and professional experience. This is also, not meant to discourage or encourage anyone. A change over to Vegetarianism in any form is a significant life decision. The inspiration should come from within. Otherwise it will just be a temporary trial phase. Nothing wrong with that. Just be careful that you don't end up worse off than before with malnourishment. Believe me, this may have a psychological impact on you as well.

The internet is full of dietary advice. Check the source of the advice, ensure its' genuine and make good use of it to guide you. Better still, visit a good dietitian to develop a personalized diet plan. Only make sure that the dietitian incorporates food that you will eat daily and regularly. You are less likely to stick to a fancy diet plan.

Whatever diet you are on, the take home message is, to control your portions. What I realized during my initial phase of dieting is that, we all eat a lot more than we actually need. I had cut down nearly to half, my daily caloric intake. But I didn't even lose a single kilo for a month. That is, until I put regular physical activity into my routines. When I reached near my ideal weight, it stayed there. This is in spite of the weekly once 'cheat days'.

So what started of as my story on vegetarianism, ended up with some advice. I would like to apologize for that and this long post. extreme_torque's thread hit another nerve in my head and I just couldn't stop typing.

Thank you for bringing out what I'm sure will be an interesting thread. I am sure there are physicians and dietitians among us in this forum. I am eager to read on your thoughts and advice too.

So, Fruitarianism anyone ?

Last edited by psispace : 15th September 2018 at 22:18.
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Old 15th September 2018, 23:48   #21
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Default re: The Veganism & Vegetarian Thread

From what I've understood, it's tough to be a true vegan in India.

Let's just first differentiate vegetarians from vegans.Veganism means NO milk,honey,cream,eggs and absolutely nothing to do with anything containing animal skin / products.Just imagine a regular south indian like me not having milk as a part of his diet anymore.Besides being tough to adhere to, there's also the problem of under nutrition when you go vegan. If you're not careful it could adversely affect your health if you don't substitute your daily nutrients, namely protein, calcium, iodine,Vit B12, Vitamin D, and omega 3 fatty acids.It could be expensive as well - since dietary components like dairy substitutes are hard to find and the ones that are available are often costly.(in India - or so I've been told )

But if you really believe in the cause,are that compassionate about animals and not just in it because it's a fad - well,what's stopping you? All the best.Stay green !
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Old 15th September 2018, 23:51   #22
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Default re: The Veganism & Vegetarian Thread

I used to be part of a global forum for veggie diet and lifestyle years back, when I had a lot of free time in office. Mainly curiosity reasons.

Being well-experienced in vegetarianism what with me being born into a vegetarian family, I found that most of the international (mainly American and British) members were clueless on how to cook vegetarian/vegan food, and I mean clueless. Their idea on a vegan/veggie meal was to throw in a few chopped and diced veggies/fruits, lop some olive oil or lime juice, throw in some leafy greens for good measure and some nuts and voila! They also filled their tummies with random stuff like celery, apples or dates/nuts (again!) for snacks. I had just about enough and started writing recipes in detail - south indian and north Indian cuisines.. they needed some carbohydrate-cooked substance to take down their veggies and curries after all. Also gave suggestions to fine-tune the taste of food like using coconut milk, almond milk etc.

One also had to contend with some pretty extreme trolling and/or completely unrelated balderdash. People either protested veganism because they were vegetarian/meat eaters or vice-versa and also individualistic useless propaganda like feminism, LGBT whatever, anti-materialism and EVEN existential-crisis-ism were put into the mix. Now how any of those connects with diets, I have no idea, but I can easily say that most of them should be institutionalized for having heavy traces of depression or even psychopathic nature.

My opinion at the end of the day is that veganism is hard.. no one is a vegan on this planet yet, I put veganism as a test of how far you can go before you fail and then the test re-boots. It is IMPOSSIBLE, given that some sweaters may have a wool blend, some cars will have some leather by default and if you indulge in anything having stearic acid (found in tyres), animal by-products, eggs (found in chocolates and pastries) then you've failed the vegan experiment instantly. Our Indian veggie diet is a perfect mix of what a human being would need in his/her lifetime.. cheese, ice-cream, curds, butter contain trace amounts of B12 and good amounts of protein. Nuts and seeds contain pantothenic acid and other essential oils for skin and hair. Veggies like carrots and peas are a daily essential. I'm all for being a vegan.. but practically it is impossible if you dive down into the micro-details. All one can do is cut down the unnecessary hogging of non-vegan products and only consume what is necessary for survival. Many sweets like pedhas, gulab jamun, roshogolla get immediately eliminated if you're a vegan and in general we may only eat them once or twice a year which is ok I'd suppose.

The first goal is to reach and maintain vegetarianism to its fullest/most optimal extent, then by continually refining your own approach to vegetarianism by avoiding/lowering animal byproducts & clothing, by lowering milk/honey/egg-based products and THEN finally looking into finer aspects, you could be considered as a vegan in training (the highest attainable feat according to me as even soaps have stearic acid). FYI I've avoided/still avoid milk, cheese or leather to whatever max possible extent I can but fully? No chance.. I need that half glass of milk for my morning coffee.

BTW I hope this thread doesn't go awry.. this topic is highly explosive in most places I've seen.

Last edited by dark.knight : 15th September 2018 at 23:55.
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Old 16th September 2018, 09:01   #23
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Default re: The Veganism & Vegetarian Thread

I think the purpose of this thread should be for vegans to share their inputs/recipes/ best practices to learn from each other and also for aspiring vegans to learn.

If the purpose is to debate vegan vs vegetarian vs non vegetarian, there is going to be no end to it and will get ugly.
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Old 16th September 2018, 10:03   #24
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Why should it get ugly? People have choice and can pen in their thoughts. It gets ugly only if it becomes my choice is better than yours level.

Been vegetarian from birth and by religion. So is better half. And she gets complimented often enough for her tasty cooking by hard core non vegetarians.

Yes vegan philosophy is difficult to follow but each on his own
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Old 16th September 2018, 10:17   #25
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Default re: The Veganism & Vegetarian Thread

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Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
I think the purpose of this thread should be for vegans to share their inputs/recipes/ best practices to learn from each other and also for aspiring vegans to learn.
Let's use the thread to the purpose/intent seen by each of us - please do share your thoughts on the area if you feel are important; I remember @GTO sharing vegan/veg restaurants that offer good options in south Mumbai; I believe a lot of us would be happy to have viewpoints on best practices.

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Why should it get ugly? People have choice and can pen in their thoughts. It gets ugly only if it becomes my choice is better than yours level.
...
Yes vegan philosophy is difficult to follow but each on his own
+1 to this.

Although the downside of a forum is people tend to get into comparisons and related discussions. I'd suggest vegans/vegetarians to share the benefits they have achieved by going vegan/vegetarian. It'll help people on the fence to determine their future decisions accordingly.

For me, going vegetarian has made me realize some of the amazing recipes and benefits of home cooked food that my mom/grandmom used to focus on; which got lost over the last few decades. And the importance of fruits!
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Old 16th September 2018, 11:30   #26
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Default re: The Veganism & Vegetarian Thread

I am an avid non-veg person. True, there is the debate on ethics, health etc. Ideally, I would like for the animal to have been humanely slaughtered with no suffering as it happens in the wild. I really deplore how animals are treated in China etc as well as battery farming.

I can survive on a vegetarian diet and have no problem with it. Am happy to eat vegeratrian food and make it a point to do so when my hosts are vegetarian unless I know they are okay with me eating non-veg along with them.

A school mate of mine (south indian brahman) who was veg moved to California and became a vegan. He struggles in India as the dosa's etc are smothered in ghee. Ends up surviving on idli and set dosa's!

I actually have cut back on meat. It is more of a treat than a necessity. I find at conferences and events where there is a buffet, I avoid the meat dishes. I prefer quality over necessity.
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Old 16th September 2018, 11:31   #27
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Default re: The Veganism & Vegetarian Thread

Some 10 thousand years ago, humans carefully selected few species of plants (like paddy, wheat) and mass cultivated them. Around the same time, few animals were domesticated to help in cultivation and to provide as an additional source of food. This transition phase constitutes the agriculture revolution. Before this time, humans were hunters, gatherers for at least a million years. Humans were omnivorous, eating whatever is available in the forests. Our digestive system is evolved for the hunter-gatherer lifestyle since the majority of human history is spent in this phase. While our body is still adapting to agriculture lifestyle, we have the new industry-office, mostly sitting lifestyle.

Being omnivorous provides a wide variety of nutrients options for our body's needs. What would be the motivation for being a vegetarian and a vegan? From the post above, I deduce these points:
  • Vegetarian - Due to globalization, there is a wide variety of nutrient food options available from the plant source, at one's doorstep. Hence can switch completely to food from the plant source.
  • Vegan - Due to the agricultural revolution and the subsequent industrialization of farming, animals are treated badly. Hence will avoid all food options from industrialized farming. Any missing nutrient will be compensated by modern medicine supplements.
Do share your thoughts. Just some curious questions
If farming is bad for animals, how about for plants? Isn't the practice cruel to plants?
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Originally Posted by psispace View Post
So, Fruitarianism anyone ?
Having just fruits is very bad for human body. One might try fruit diet for few days and beyond that, body will suffer.
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Various studies over the years have shown that diets rich in meat and meat products have increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, Heart disease and to some extent cancer. This is of course, only in comparison to people on vegetarian diets. Even non vegetarians can develop these diseases. Only their incidence is lower than the general population. So non vegetarians out here don't need to jump from their chairs and spill coffee at the site of the word 'cancer'. You just need to control your portions, thats' all.
These are lifestyle diseases. Around 6% of world population are vegetarians. So it is diffcult to attribute the cause of these diseases to food source, without considering their lifestyle. Secondly, cause of cancer is not fully understood. Hence it is common to attribute sun & sundry to cancer. Unless there is concrete evidence, can't attribute cancer to non-vegetarian food habits.

Last edited by msdivy : 16th September 2018 at 11:33.
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Old 16th September 2018, 14:41   #28
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I am an avid non-veg person. True, there is the debate on ethics, health etc. Ideally, I would like for the animal to have been humanely slaughtered with no suffering as it happens in the wild. I really deplore how animals are treated in China etc as well as battery farming.
To be honest, there is no humane way of killing an animal who does not want to die. Their whole life is full of misery right from when they arern because they are considered produce not living sentient being capable of feeling pain and emotions. Young piglets have their tail and teeth removed without anesthesia, cows are marked and their horns removed again without anesthesia. I would recommend you watch Earthlings or another recent documentary called Dominion. They say if factory farms had glass walls, we would all be vegans.

I am considering going vegan because I do not want to contribute to this industry of animal exploitation.

Here's a website called challenge22 which helps you take your first step towards veganism. You can continue if you like it.

https://www.challenge22.com/challenge22/
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Old 16th September 2018, 15:08   #29
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Default Re: The Vegan Thread

If I may strike a jarring idea here.

I think a critical issue today is how much of our personal life which includes our beliefs and health is getting moulded by consuming highly processed food and how far are we moving away from what and the way nature has provided for us.

Violence and peace have coexisted in the nature, in that context I feel eating meat may not be going out of nature's way. Human beings evolved being omnivores as it was in their best interest, and that's why we are here as we are.

Balance is another fundamental of nature, in that context I feel whatever we eat need to be based on that paradigm. It is not about eating exact portions of everything but keeping the food in harmony with your lifestyle, I am sure eating tandoory chicken or paneer butter masala are equally harmful to oneself as well the nature.

Lastly, age old knowledge says 'eat to live' and not the other way around, (TBHP wasn't around at that time, otherwise our motto may have evolved into 'Drive to Live', wouldn't have been a bad I idea, I say ) The thought above has two distinct derivations for me besides what to eat it is about the way what we eat and I try to keep the balance, this time between desires and necessity.
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Old 16th September 2018, 20:07   #30
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Default re: The Veganism & Vegetarian Thread

I am a Malayalee and we love meat by nature.

As far as my memory goes, I have been a huge animal lover.

I was around 10 yrs old when my uncle took me to a butcher and I saw a chicken being butchered and that was it... I swore that I would never eat chicken or mutton. I could not simply stand a poor harmless creature being mercilessly cut into pieces, all for 5 minutes of my pleasure.

I still used to eat fish occasionally. Around 8 years back, I stopped that too and now I am a total vegetarian. So much that I find non-vegetarian food gross and I would not touch a plate if it has an any piece of meat or gravy on it.

Now, I wish to be a vegan. The only think I am unable to stop completely is my morning tea. I am on my way towards veganism and one day, maybe I can proudly say that no innocent living beings have been harmed because of me.
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