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I have lots of cookbooks that I really enjoy - I think my first one was the original The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas.
When I was still eating cheese, I loved The Horn of the Moon Cookbook.
Not only do I have all no more allergies, my arthritis is MUCH better and my blood pressure is better than normal.
Glad I like to eat my greens.
California is vegetarian heaven. I almost never have to wonder "is there anything I can eat there?" My favorite is a chic Indian restaurant where the food is organically-grown and 99% vegan, and if that weren't enough, there's live jazz music. Believe me though, after having survived in the Midwest for 11 years (without "cheating" once), I definitely don't take it for granted. A visit to see family once a year keeps things in perspective. The last time we ate out there, the only thing on the menu I could eat was a plain baked potato. :D
AbbyR & kcasada - I'm sorry to hear about your allergies. A friend of mine in high school was quite allergic to all meat and shellfish, but she ate it anyways once a week knowing she would turn red and throw up. Ouch. :(
I consider myself vegetarian, but I don't eat eggs and eat dairy only rarely. Almost-but-not-quite vegan. I'm even allergic to dairy and eat it anyway, for I am weak and love cheese.
I was about to start a veggie group last night, but went to bed instead. I'm glad someone else thought of it too.
When I went to California in 2002 I actually found it really hard to find vegetarian food. There was sometimes a plain green salad or a very boring boring but expensive pasta. I suppose the problem partly that we were driving up the coast so it was all fish restaurants and also that my husband wanted meat so we weren't looking for spcifically vegetarian restaurants but I was surprised.
In Britain it is rare that I go into a restaurant and not find at least one vegetarian restaurant. This makes me awkward whenever I go away! However, I did find it great when I was in New York last week - loveley vegetarian food.
(And I'm not trying to start trouble, just debate! I'm genuinely curious regarding the opinions of others, and I too eat cheese.)
I'm not sure about that. Most of the ethical bases I can think of for vegetarianism would preclude the use of any animal based products, even those that don't directly cause the death of the animal. Certainly the dairy and egg industries are directly tied to the meat production industries, etc, but on an even more theoretical level, isn't the point that people don't have the right to use other living beings? Even to make something as gloriously wonderful as cheesecake?
Now on the philosophical aspects of non-meat eating. I spent one proud year as a vegan, but I only stuck with it for the last three months so that I could call it an even year. While I did hold my beliefs dear, I was wholly unable to eat in public. Not only did few restaurants have truly vegan dishes, but no one who ever invited me over for dinner seemed to remember my dietary habits. Consequently, I always left meals hungry, and had to deal with being called ‘anorexic’ or some other condescending remarks because people never saw me eat. So although I do have dairy allergies- and do not buy animal products for consumption at home, I did make the decision to no longer turn down that home-made bruschetta because the cheese was too finely grated for me to pick off.
Finally, over the course of the last eleven years, my reasoning for being a veggie has drastically changed. Whereas I used to believe that the animal had as much a right to live as I, and the moment I gave up meat was eerily similar to the experience of Lisa Simpson, I now have problems with the way animals are treated, not that they are used as sustenance, and all of the other things society sees fit to do with animals. If I could afford it (and were not so scared of getting sick after all this time) I would eat free-range, organic meat, especially if no part of the animal was being wasted. As it is, I’ll stick to homemade pasta…
Of course, one is free to declare certain by-products okay. (Someone mentioned Jello earlier.) It's not like there are rules other than one's own.
I always feel more reassured when menus have a 'v' sign next to vegetarian options.
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