Do you still adhere to vegetarianism? If so, do you still use the meat substitutes? What are your reasons for remaining veggie, if you do?
For me, I became an SDA and a vegetarian shortly before I honed life skills like preparing nutritious meals and shopping for food. So I just really don't know how to prepare meat. Also, I'm pretty healthy well into my late 50s, and I can't help but think that might have something to do with it. EGW said enough crazy and erroneous health stuff to fill a library, but the major points of the "health message" seem to be sound.
I was raised vegetarian, but I am not now. I still cannot eat pork in any form--it makes me sick. I have a hard time with most "unclean" sea food too.
Yes still vegetarian and I plan to stay so. I grew up an a vegetarian home, but my parents always encouraged us to try new things even meat if we so desired (although in retrospect I don't think that this would have extended to unclean meats at least not on my mom's part). I've actually gone in the opposite direction since leaving Adventism and have become mostly vegan. I don't think that this is a coincidence. Allowing myself to think about things more critically made me realize that my feelings on animal products were hypocritical and I needed to change my eating habits. Actually my sister-in-law became vegetarian after leaving adventism and having grown up as a meat eater.
I was born and raised vegetarian. I continued with it in my 20s, after leaving the church at 18. I was in college, and all of the lefty radicals in my circle of friends were vegetarians, too! I fit right in.
But after college, I had some health problems, and gradually realized that I am much healthier when I don't eat any wheat or soy, not even soy sauce :(
So, my diet now consists mostly of fresh vegetables, meats, eggs, and fruits. I live in the South, so we have access to fresh Gulf seafood, and lots of other great stuff like crawfish and rabbit and quail. My mom almost faints when I talk about raw oyster season.
I am almost more angry at the church for feeding me all that processed fake meat crap at academy than I am angry about all the other bizarre EGW stuff.
While I started out loosely vegetarian, because my parents ate that way largely for religious reasons, like Ashton I shifted further towards veganism the farther I distanced myself from Xianity. My reasons were never religious, but moral, and three-fold. As my critical thinking waxed, so did my belief in vegetarianism.
1. A huge part of doing the most good for the most people is not using animal products. They contribute methane and CO2 to global warming, raise food prices, are the cause of vancomycin resistant bacteria, contribute to algeal blooms and watershead die-offs, and hasten the drainage of our aquafirs. Every cheeseburger, or even just each slice of cheese, you eat at the expense of the suffering of other human beings, both future and present.
2. Have you any concept of how some of these animals suffer? I'm not Pete Singer, but it's wrong to pretend that only human suffering matters. And sure, if you were cooking at home, you could by free range eggs. But most laying hens, even on free range farms, are genetically altered to produce growth hormones 24/7, causing them to grow to enormous sizes, lay eggs daily, and have myriad health problems. Most die within a year or two due to their artificially sped up lives. I have literally seen these hens with my own eyes and know a farmer who raises them. They may be free range, but they have been genetically modified to suffer. And even if that's not true for the eggs you buy, it is true for the eggs in your mayo at Subway or your dessert at the Cheesecake Factory or your pancakes at IHOP. The only way to stop causing this suffering is to stop eating meat, eggs, milk, and other animal products.
3. I have a moral responsibility to be healthy, both to contribute to my immediate family and to my human family. In an environment like the U.S. where the top killer is cardiovascular disease and the most common disability is obesity, avoidance of animal products makes sense as a moral choice.
Now, keep in mind that these are my reasons that I share because you asked about it! Most folks will never hear this, because these aren't something I try to push on others.
The "Intelligent Designer" made me complete with canine teeth, "designed" to puncture flesh and tear meat. I wouldn't want to act like I knew better that "he".
My mum, a born and raised SDA, knew a lot about meat sustitutes and fed us a few of them, but not really as a substitute. To this day I still love nutolene.
We didn't eat unlean meats, but ate a LOT of lamb and beef and a little fish. Since I have left home, my consumption of meat has gone down considerably, and I started getting free range eggs. I feel really strongly in animal welfare but I also have hope that the system will eventually make food from animals that did not suffer accessible to everyone, or maybe I'm a little naive. :P
I have a friend who has been almost vegan all her life, an SDA, and reavealed that she has an eating disorder to me recently. Her family was pretty hardcore SDA though. I think I actually felt pressure in my family to eat excessively, especially round Christmas when everyone gorged themselves. I still find the very thought a little stomach churning, esp. to remember how much I consciously knew I ate just becuse people always made me "try some", yet still went on doing it until I hit 72 kilos at 15 (I'm 23 and 59kg now) and decided maybe it was time to start saying no. I can't help but think this suggestibility was a side effect of other rules from my childhood but eh anyway.
Now I want to eat a lot more fish (but can't afford it) and use small, cheap cuts of beef (90% mince) and lamb (price is rising on that too though) to season dishes. I probably have a steak about twice a year. Poor life ftw!
I tend to actually feel a little empty and gurgly and bloated and gaseous if I don't have some eggs or cheese at the very least, if not a little bit of ham or other meat, every single day. When I stayed over at friends places who were vegetarian as a kid I always noticed the constant vegetable-smelling farts. So I don't think vegetarianism is really for me.
Oh, and these days I'm also into prawns, and haven't tried many types of seafoods yet and only recently tried rabbit and liked it. So it's pretty early days yet.
I was never vegetarian, except for a couple years in my late teen years. I like meat. That's probably not going to change... :)
I was brought up a vegetarian, but I dont think our diet was all that healthy - all that overprocessed, over salted meat substitute muck. Maybe it has improved since the 70s but I dont think so - I buy it when my mum comes to visit and it still looks like rubbish.
My parents were very EGW, so quite strict. Some of my church friends were not strict vegetarian though. I used to feel like a freak at school - this was way before vegetarianism became trendy - and it was a small working-class town full of migrants.
I gave up vegetarianism when I left. I think my diet is healthier now, I still eat veg meals a lot, but with fresh, whole foods.
That's exactly the deal for me, too. I've "rebelled" against the "health message" by actually not eating crappy food full of cheese and Crisco and mushroom soup. Being a veggie or vegan is so rewarding when you actually do it right.
I was raised to think EGW writings regarding health were more valid than science and therefore more miraculous since these "truths" were supposedly revealed to her divinely. I now eat pretty much whatever I want without the guilt. I look back with some anger about being indoctrinated to think my eternal salvation could be at risk for eating shrimp or licking a pork chop. What a waste of mental energy.