Being a Vegetarian: good or bad?

I have a confession to make.
I'm a closet vegetarian.
There! I said it.
Contrary to the belief of some I don't hate vegetarians.
It’s true, I have been known to have the occasional rant about vegetarianism; I find it frustrating when people don't eat meat for animal welfare issues but still continue to eat cheap eggs, milk or other animal products. I feel like that shows a lack of understanding of where your food comes from. If you want to drink milk that is produced by commercial dairies then why not eat the meat of the calves that are produced to keep that milk coming? You can't have the one without the other.
I don't care if you don't want to eat meat - you're perfectly entitled to eat whatever you want - but please don't tell me that I shouldn't eat meat because it's cruel to animals while you continue to buy products that keep those 'cruel' companies in production.
OK, rant over. Back to the point...
The older I get the less I like meat. I don't know why it is; it's not really a conscious decision but I've just been gravitating more to vegetarian meals recently. It's become more obvious now that I'm eating at Josh's college several times a week. Four times out of five I'll choose the veggy option and if not I often have fish (although I do consider that to be meat). If I have a roast meal I much prefer to pile my plate up with veg, roast potatoes and gravy and only have a very small portion of meat.

But the weird thing is, when I cook I still end up using a lot of meat. When I was planning meals for our visitors last week I noticed whilst shopping that nearly all my meals had meat in them {at least the boys were happy!}. If I naturally enjoy vegetarian meals more why do I gravitate towards meat dishes when I have to cook?
I think it's probably fear of the unknown. I've been brought up in a meat eating family and although I do often eat vegetarian meals if I want something quick or a meal for entertaining I often default to meat because it's easy, filling and I know it'll be tasty. I'm not saying vegetarian food can't be like that too but you have to put more effort into finding different types of pulses, combining flavours, adding herbs and spices and making sure you've got enough 'bulk' to keep everyone happy.

I know the government and environmental campaigners have been trying to get us all to cut down on our meat intake, but if I struggle and I enjoy cooking how much more difficult will it be for people that don't really have much cooking experience and just want something quick to fill them up?
I'm not going to be giving up meat completely. I still enjoy eating it and contrary to what I've just said will often order a massive steak when we go out for dinner (see above)! However considering I seem to naturally prefer eating a vegetarian based diet and the environmental need for us all to cut down on our meat intake I really need to take a second look at our shopping list and not just default to meat dishes because they're easier.
Quick Questions
1. Are you a veggy or a meat eater?
2. Got any good veggy recipes?
3. Want to rant at me about vegetarianism? Go ahead! I like discussion.

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  1. Oh I love this post! You read my mind!
    I couldn't agree more with you!
    I love meat, but I try to balance our diet and we eat meat two days a week, fish 2 or 3 days a week, vegetables and fruit every day, and pasta/ pizza 1 or 2 days a week.

  2. I love meat. But I like a good vegetarian meal every once in a while. BUT, like you..I cook with meat. It's so much easier because that's what I was raised on. And even worse, I was raised on ground chuck, so it's hard for me to find good ways to cook steak or pork, though, I'm getting much better. I just found this recipe that looks good, but I'll probably use ground turkey in it :) http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-vegetarian-lasagna-recipe/
    I'm sure there are a ton of yummy vegetarian dishes to be found online. I love searching for new recipes myself, so if I find anything, I'll let you know!! :)

  3. I totally agree with the first part of your post. All I will add to that: leather shoes?!?

    I eat meat now, because I like it, but I was a vegetarian for about 5 years or so. I am feeling a bit dubious about eating meat, as I am unsure if I would be able to kill a cow or pig myself. I do try and only buy organic, free-range meat (and milk and eggs...). I don't eat a lot of it, but I love me a Sunday roast or a nice steak from time to time. But I'd say that most my meals are probably veggie.

  4. I am a ravenous carnivore. :) Always have been. But I do like vegetarian dishes occasionally. Also though, I DO hate to think of the poor animals. I am an animal lover through and through. I am terribly guilty of just sticking my head in the sand on the issue. :(
    Trader Joes has some quick and easy veg meals you can just heat up in the oven and on the stovetop. Some favorites are their frozen pasta bag (I forget what it's called but it's in the purple bag) and their Bird's nests. Yummy shredded veggies and such made to look like mini bird nests. I guess you probably don't have Trader Joes over there though, ha?

  5. We eat meat about once a week, and I really don't miss it - the other week we had something that I thought was shepherd's pie, but it wasn't until I nearly finished that I realised that it didn't have any meat in it!! There are loads of tasty recipies - do they really take that much more effort?

  6. We eat with freedom in our family. Some meals are veggie, some have meat. I try to stay away from radical view points in this subject. I have a friend who is an amazing cook and posts vegetarian options on her blog often. I've tried several of her recipes and they are delicious and filling. Here is the link if you are interested.


  7. Being a vegetarian or vegan is a serious lifestyle choice and not something I would choose for myself. The main problem I see with it is we are naturally supposed to eat meat and animal products for the protein. I know some vegans who take supplements but they are very expensive.

    I also like to support local industry. The entire behind the scenes process from cow eating grass in the field to ground beef in the grocery store isn't always made apparent to us, but I try to buy meat from local ranches, free-range eggs, and things like that. It makes me feel a little better that I'm getting my food from a smaller business and not just a giant slaughterhouse.

  8. I totally get you! I always say I could give up meat; I just do not care for it! But I continue to eat it occasionally :( Linked to your blog from another and enjoying reading! :) GOD BLESS!

  9. WELL... :] hahah I am a vegetarian. I agree with a lot of what you said. I also would always opt for free range eggs and I actually use soya milk rather than dairy. My one big area of failing is cheese... I generally don't see an option for any kind of 'kind to cows' cheese... I mean I hope (and perhaps I'm naive) that if I get british cheese from co-op that the cow has had a reasonable life, but I know it's still not ideal. So yes, I take your point about it being a bit hypocritical to be a veggie but then unrestrainedly eat battery eggs. But I'd also say that while we live on this earth we do constantly have an impact on it, and we are responsible for our actions and choices and finding out what the consequences are. I know that I still have a negative impact on the world, and I am really sorry that that is the case, but I'd rather try to lessen that bad impact and still mess up in places, than give up on doing so altogether just because I know I'll fail. Am I making any sense?

    So I've found that for flavoursome meals it's often best to look outside of british cuisine if you're veggie... Curries and chinese dishes, of course there are lots of yummmy kinds of soups you can make... especially with all the autumn root vegetables (but if you're feeding a man, doubtless soup will not count as a real meal haha) And also using pies as a container for your vegetables... om nom nom.
    If you want to make something quite quick one thing that I've found is really yummy is spicy bean burgers. I could go on but I might be boring you.

    SO i think (obviously) that being a veggie is a great way to be more climate friendly, potentially more healthy (all this you can't get protein or iron elsewhere nonsense is exactly that: nonsense) and even if it doesn't entirely cut out animal cruelty, if you are wise about it and try your best to source the right stuff than it probably massively decreases your contribution to cruelty in food production.

    Having said that, if you eat free range/organic/local meat once or twice a week... I have no criticism of you... Maybe one day when I'm richer I'll indulge in some every so often xx

  10. I love bacon. I just love it. Today I ate it in 2 meals!

    However the lady I live with doesn't eat red meat at all so I have seriously cut down the amount of meat I eat on a weekly basis.

    While I do love the meat I have been becoming more aware of the environmental impact on how much land is needed to farm all the animals we will end up consuming...and to be honest eating loads of meat isn't particularly healthy...I'm just trying to get to a middle ground.

    But if you cook anything with bacon it tastes amazing....