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Vegetarian Advice: Religion & Vegetarian Diet

How To Become Vegetarian In Meat-Loving Religious Community

I've always wanted to become vegetarian but it seems to me a quasi-impossible task.

My concern lies in the fact that I live with 5 other carnivores and it's very difficult to find a compromise amongst everybody (the 6 of us form what is known as a religious community).

Do you have any advice on this? How can I become vegetarian while living, praying, and eating at the same table with my meat-lover community members? I would appreciate your help a lot! - A. M.

Savvy Vegetarian Advice:

Dear A.M.,

You have three choices:

1) Ignore your cohorts, and become vegetarian by yourself. It can be done if you're very determined, but may be divisive and nutritionally iffy (you'd tend to just eat what's not meat, instead of what you need to be well nourished as a vegetarian). You could possibly get your friends to eat more grains, beans and veggies as a matter of health, which would help you and them.

2) Leave your community, find a more sympathetic crowd, and go your own way as a vegetarian. The question is, how important is it to you to become vegetarian, as opposed to being part of your religious community? You'll always have to associate with people who aren't vegetarian, no matter where you live.

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3) Persuade your friends to become vegetarian with you. Ask them how they really feel about eating meat. You might be surprised. Often, meat eating is more from habit than conviction. I don't know what kind of religious community you are, but the terms 'religious' and 'meat-loving' have always seemed contradictory to me. There's plenty of history to support the relationship between vegetarianism and the quest for enlightenment or divine grace.

To sum up, go for win/win - it always works best.

I've attached two helpful free reports, Ten Tips for Beginning Vegetarians, and Veg-NonVeg Eat Together.

Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

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