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Should Vegetarians Have To Cook Meat?

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Charls Conley
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Hey Guys/Gals,

I was reading an article on a chef that is vegetarian but has to cook meat meals. It made me think. Do vegetarians have to cook meat meals? I'm not just talking about chefs, but what about housewives etc?

Should we have to cook meat meals for our friends just because they're not vegetarian?

My view is that it's like smoking. If we are not smokers we shouldn't have to hold other's cigarettes for them (I could be alienating a few people sorry), so why should we have to cook meat for others?

What do you guys/gals think?

~ Charlotte

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Sue CarberryF
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I'm not a veggie but, I'd happily cook a veggie dinner for my friends. You can cook meat without having to eat it.

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claire2327
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I'm not a veggie but I don't think it's the same at all as cooking a veggie meal when you're a meat eater!
A lot of veggies really object to seeing/handling dead flesh, which I think is fair enough. Despite eating meat, I'm not keen on raw chicken, I think it smells funny...

But if you're a chef, it's hard, unless you only work in veggie restaurant. For your friends and family, I think it's fair to only cook veggie meals, I wouldn't be shicked at all!

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Charls Conley
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I agree with Claire. Being a meat-eater cooking a veggie meal is nothing like a veggie cooking a meat meal.

Usually its not against any core values for a meat eater to cook vegetarian because they are not worried about how the veggies are grown, what is done to them in the process, and how inhumane their captivity is.

Nice try 😎

~ Charlotte

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Celia
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I am a vegetarian and don't prepare non vegetarian foods for my friends and family and they are fine with that. The only exception I make is when I visit my elderly mother and buy food / prepare things she likes or wants. It's never a raw meat or poultry issue, more likely to be sliced meat or pate or similar. Funnily enough my mother was a vegetarian many years ago as was her mother but my father wouldn't agree with her continuing it when married. She enjoys veggie food when she visits me but I reckon she should have what she fancies at her age so I put aside my views on those occasions.

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myarka
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Usually its not against any core values for a meat eater to cook vegetarian because they are not worried about how the veggies are grown, what is done to them in the process, and how inhumane their captivity is.

There are a lot of meat eaters who are concerned about how veggies are grown. I will not eat:

- GM Veggies
- Meat that's been fed on GM veggies
- shipped half way round the world
- veggies grown by the exploitation of their workers
- palm oil or soyer products from cleared rain forest
- rice from manipulated markets
- unsustainable organic veggies

But I do eat:
- local in season veggies,
- veggies grown by myself
- sustainable organic veggies

If I visit veggie friends I expect to have veggie food, and as a meat eater I respect veggies for their believe. It isn't going to kill me to eat a veggie meal. My family has 1 veggies day a week and see that as a normal part of our diet.

But to say meat eaters are not worried how veggies are grown is very wrong and short sighted.

Myarka.

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kvdp
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I'm veggie, my wife eats meat, it isn't a problem. A lot depends on why someone is veggie - it's possible to avoid meat without being anti-meat. But I totally agree - you shouldn't be complicit in something if you are opposed to it, and you shouldn't be expected by others to overcome your principles.

I find it faintly amusing how many carnivores are quite squeemish about meat, that's a terrible place to be. I'd say that if someone likes meat but has difficulty with its origins, then it's time to look at what they believe in and make a few decisions.

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Energylz
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I think in answer to the original question, it comes down to the individual. Different people have different beliefs and reasons why they have chosen that path. e.g. If a Veggie housewife doesn't want to cook meat then that is her right and her family should respect that, however, if a someone chooses to be a professional chef and they choose to work in an establishment that serves meat dishes then they have chosen that profession and should be expected to do their work, and if they don't like doing that work they should seek alternative employment working for somewhere where they wouldn't have to deal with meat.

It's all about choices and respect.

All Love and Reiki Hugs

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Charls Conley
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Hi Myarka,

I agree that some (probably not the majority) of meat eaters would like to know where their veggies come from. However that is very different to not wanting to cook a vegetarian meal for a vegetarian due to the hardships that vegetables go through. Therefore it doesn't clash with a meat-eater's core value to cook a vegetarian meal ANYWHERE near as much as it is for a vegetarian to cook a meat meal.

Do you get my point?

My point was not about if meat eaters care where their vegetables come from ie. organic etc. it was about the fact that meat eaters don't have a core value conflict with cooking vegetarian meals because it doesn't go against their beliefs.

In that sense I would say that if you think that the majority of meat eaters (I say less than 1%) care about the humanity of how veggies are cooked then that is "very short sighted and wrong..."

~ Charlotte

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claire2327
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I find it faintly amusing how many carnivores are quite squeemish about meat, that's a terrible place to be. I'd say that if someone likes meat but has difficulty with its origins, then it's time to look at what they believe in and make a few decisions.

I agree, it's hypocritical. I could become a veggie, but I find it hard to do it on my own! In France, it's virtually impossible if you want to eat out! πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, I have a problem with a lot of the common veggie things offered on a basic restaurant menu: I am not keen on mushrooms or on cheese (especially goat cheese which seems to be a favourite with veggie options)...

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myarka
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In that sense I would say that if you think that the majority of meat eaters (I say less than 1%) care about the humanity of how veggies are cooked then that is "very short sighted and wrong..."

I did say:

If I visit veggie friends I expect to have veggie food,

However....

I think there are different principles here.

- Not all veggies do so on the basis of humanity. A vegetarian diet on the basis of humanity is a fairly modern western concept. Whereas many of the world's vegetarian cultures would put other reasons first for not eating meat.

- Meat eaters really fall into to different groups and IMO it's wrong to lump all together as one opinion. Many in western culture are passive meat eaters, not caring about any of the food they eat. Some are agressive about it and see meating eating as a basic human right. But then there are those like myself who care for the environment and the food we eat. Food is a spiritual part of our lives and we believe that food should be honoured.

Therefore, yes I believe in honouring our food and give thanks you it life. I would avoiding eating in places that support the abuse of creation in food production. So I don't have any problem with the premise of this thread, and IMO meat eaters that expect veggies to cook meat for them are as bad as those who smoke in front of non-smokers (another can of worms;)).

My only request is that I would like veggies to actually stop telling me what I think as a meat eater and generalising about us. Meat eaters have as many views as veggies and vegans and it's only through exploring each other's beliefs that we can come to understanding and respect.

Perhaps you would like to contribute a recipe to my Donate a recipe thread that is inclusive to meat eaters, veggies and vegans:

Namaste,
Myarka

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kvdp
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I agree, it's hypocritical. I could become a veggie, but I find it hard to do it on my own! In France, it's virtually impossible if you want to eat out! πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, I have a problem with a lot of the common veggie things offered on a basic restaurant menu: I am not keen on mushrooms or on cheese (especially goat cheese which seems to be a favourite with veggie options)...

I'm aware of this problem. In a restaurant in Vichy I asked for something 'sans viande', only to be brought a plate of pig parts. When I mentioned the mistake I was told "ce n'est pas viande, c'est charcuterie". It was clearly going to be pointless asking what kind of stock was in the onion soup, so I settled for pommes frites avec moutard. Thus we came away with sterotypes intact.

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claire2327
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I'm aware of this problem. In a restaurant in Vichy I asked for something 'sans viande', only to be brought a plate of pig parts. When I mentioned the mistake I was told "ce n'est pas viande, c'est charcuterie". It was clearly going to be pointless asking what kind of stock was in the onion soup, so I settled for pommes frites avec moutard. Thus we came away with sterotypes intact.

Hahaha, this is so typical! It's not teh first time I hear something like that from veggies going to France... "No, it's not meat, just bits of bacon!".
Being vegetarian is just not feasible here unless you want to eat chips everywhere! Or lettuce!

Anyway, I'm trying to find a job back in the UK... So maybe one day I'll give the vegetarian diet a try!

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Fadette
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(looking for veggie meals out in France is indeed complicated.some still eat fish (I know, they shouldnt call themselves vegetarian..) which leaves a bit more choice. but if you choose not to, then you re left with dry sandwitches of cheese+chesse+butter. Yak)

Like you said Myarka, it s mostly in the West that vegetarian ways of lives are based on animal cruelty avoidance.
However in my guts I feel it used to be the same in India thousands years ago but down the generations, the wisdom was seperated from the true feeling and is now just a "health" and "spiritual" aspect of life. however it s easy to see how eating an animal who was raised for this purpose and killed violently is indeed poisonous on more than the spiritual level.
I think it is different for societies that arent agriculture-based / still nomadic and therefore rely heavily on hunting like some Siberia tribes.

But I can see how millenias ago some wise sages who came up with the ayurvedic knowledge (again, it was probably there 15000 years ago and was probably Women's Lore, after millenias of rearing kids, caring for the sick and experimenting with nature: plants etc, women had to become more prone to discover "healthy" diets and life enhancing things like yoga, plants and massage. but the knowledge probably got intellectualized into "science" by sages), because they were one of the first few civilizations, ie, relying already on farming (therefore heavily on seasons. food being less reliable than in a hunting gathering society) for food.
Therefore eating animals who were captive and not living natural lives must have hit them as "not right" and even not good for the health...
but it's all my fanciful speculation.

About the original question, I agree, even for a veggie chef, cooking meat must be hard. Like we would more easily acknowledge how a Jew or Muslim chef would find it hard to cook pork. and it's hard to reply "well, they should have thought of another profession".

I just think having personal beliefs is a problem with a lot of social life! It's ok as long as you stay at home and have like-minded people round you, but as soon as you dive in society, we have to compromise or justify yourself forever, unless we invent our own Cult ( πŸ™‚ ).

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Energylz
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About the original question, I agree, even for a veggie chef, cooking meat must be hard. Like we would more easily acknowledge how a Jew or Muslim chef would find it hard to cook pork. and it's hard to reply "well, they should have thought of another profession".

I don't think they would need to consider (or have considered) another profession. They would just need to consider the establishment they work in.

I just think having personal beliefs is a problem with a lot of social life! It's ok as long as you stay at home and have like-minded people round you, but as soon as you dive in society, we have to compromise or justify yourself forever, unless we invent our own Cult ( πŸ™‚ ).

Indeed, society is very varied and, when we restrict ourselves with beliefs, this inevitebly leads to conflict.

All Love and Reiki Hugs

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Fadette
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.

Indeed, society is very varied and, when we restrict ourselves with beliefs, this inevitebly leads to conflict.

All Love and Reiki Hugs

???

You re not seriously thinking this?

no beliefs, principles, personal morals and spiritual values is preferrable because then you can fit in society more easily and this avoid pain?!

Or are you just talking about vegetarian people who restrict themselves with personal commitments to one ideal (and this one is not about adding comfort, money, or power to oneself, it is about sacricing something for another species to live) and therefore are voluntarily opening themselves to conflict?

I think your comment cant be what I understand it to be because otherwise this basically means that you dont have any morals or empathy as long as this doesnt cause you to disagree with anything in this world.

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Charls Conley
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Hi Myarka,

I understand that you would have veggie food. However what I am saying is that the majority of meat eaters are not going to bawk at cooking a vegetarian meal due to them being worried about the vegetables that were slaughtered to provide this meal.

Therefore meat eaters (in general) have nowhere near the same issue with cooking a vegetarian meal as vegetarians do cooking a meat meal. That was the whole point of my discussion.

Of course some meat eaters care if their veggies are organic or not (a minority of meat eaters) but that is a different discussion.

You are an extremely thoughtful meat eater. You would be one of about 1% of the meat-eating population (especially in the western world). I think that is great that you are like that but you unfortunately are not representative of the majority of meat eaters.

The problem is when we are talking about any group that is we generally talk about the majority in that group. Maybe I should put in a clause that there is the 1% that are thoughtful, soulful eaters like yourself. No offense was intented for you.

~ Charlotte

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Amethystfairy
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I am a vegetarian. I wouldn't cook meat for others simply cos of the smell it makes me feel sick, however I would only buy cooked slices of meat or chicken if necessary if I had meat eater living with me, if she/he wanted to cook meat based meal from scratch then he/she do it not me!

and while I am out so i don't have to smell it!

Amethsytfairy:D

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Charls Conley
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I tend to agree with you Amethystfairy.. If people want meat that bad they can cook it for themselves.

~ Charlotte

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ChloeDharma
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I'm fairly easy going with the meat issue and avoid debates about it if i can help it but people who have expressed a belief that i should cook meat for a person who eats it get very quickly and firmly put in their place. I find it incredibly rude to expect me to cook something that makes me squeamish. In fact if i'm cooking i decide what i'm doing and if someone wants something different then they can go and cook it themselves, that goes for partners too.
The only time i'll cook it is for my dogs as they can't cook it for themselves, i don't enjoy doing it but i will do for them.

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clarity77
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If making food is job another place than vegetarian restaurant and they offer meat dinners, yes, you have to do your job. If you are offer to make dinner for your friends or relatives in their house and for helping them and from their fridge and their wishings, yes, if they want meat, you have to make it (For example for old gp). Another case you have to say you cannot help. If you are going to go someones elses homes you can bring your own vegetarian food with you for yourself or say you do not eat meat but you can pick bread etc and not need especial food just for you.

Case being vegetarian and meat:
Some people is impossible understand that some people are too sensitive to even watch meat. That is dead animal, or piece of it and it can be emotional. If you cannot watch it, how you think you can touch it? Cut it? See it change its color? Or smell it? Some people do not want to buy meat for anyone because it is one life less and practical same killing as kill it own hands. Dead is dead. So no, if vegetarian cannot watch or touch meat s/he cannot make dinner for others. It can gives too much mental and physical pain reflexs like puking.

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John_D
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A person has supreme authority over what they decide to do. If someone decides not to cook meat, that's their own decision... Of course that leaves moral quandaries for the person to sort out for themsleves, but there's no independent moral resource to adhere to (unless you believe in a judgemental God or suchlike).

In my view, there (probably) is no God or higher absolute moral code, an individual simply has only their own conscience to answer to.

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fozzyo
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We have a few veggie friends, if we have a dinner party and they come over we cater for them. They are our guests and it is just good form and manners to ensure your guests are looked after.

If one of them, or anyone was to have us over for a dinner party I would expect the same. That doesn't necessarily mean cooking meat (though I do have some veggie friends who do), it means ensuring their needs are catered for. You could do the most amazing vegetarian dinner that you think is the nicest meal in the world ... but it its not to their taste it doesn't make them feel very welcome.

Mat

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cactuschris
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Of course veggies should cook meat for those that eat it. I know it is 'a little' distasteful to prepare it and handle it, but if *we* cannot show tolerance for people's dietry habits then who can?
However - as part of the meal I suggest that preparing a delicious veggie option and 'allowing' the meat eaters to have some will make them realise that veggie food can be tasty and delicious, and let's be fair, many veggie options go well with meat options - things like nut roast are akin to stuffing, stuffed peppers or mushrooms are more than adequate as vegetable options.
If the meal is to be a lasagna or some such dish then usually the veggie option is more than acceptable for the meat eaters as it is - meat adds nothing to this kind of meal that vegetables cannot.

love
chris

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jnani
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I don't eat meat but the rest of my family does. So I cook Meat, completely understanding that they are going along with the urge to eat meat versus appreciating aesthetics (or lack of it). and that is fine.
There is no judgement about it.
How does it matter? There is nothing black and white. People make choices or shall I say choices make themselves according to the level of consciousness.

Gradually as the spirit mellows and softens the judgements disappear and with that disappear all labels the good & bad, should & shouldn't, worldly & spiritual, right & wrong etc atc
Do what you feel like In a particular situation. Cook if you wish to or refuse if your heart does not go along with it. And you might find there are inconsistencies there too, One minute it is ok The next it is not, so be it. Who are you answerable to?

Allow yourself to live from heart. Heart knows no fear. Whatever your heart says will be your authentic response. An authentic response has a way of being honored.

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atlanticpearl
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As a semi-vegetarian (I eat fish) I find it hard cooking any meat nowadays. I havent eaten meat/poultry for 29 years if I am out for a meal and friends choose meat I have no problem with it as long as for example if they have steak its not pouring with blood. I used to cook meat/poultry for friends when they came for a visit but I say now to anyone coming for a meal that's its vegetarian and my friends are quite happy eating veggie food now and then.

I became semi-veg because a relative was a pig farmer and around the same time having undergone food intollerance/allergy tests I was allergic to beef also gelatin amongst other things. Within the next year or two I will probably cut out fish.

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SeaWay
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I am a vegetarian and don't prepare non vegetarian foods for my friends and family and they are fine with that.

Thank God my entire family is vegetarian so I don't have to bother with cooking meat, except for my dog, he is the only one who eats meat in my family. I dont count my cat because he eats cat food and I dont need to prepare anything for him. I cook for my dog because he would never understand a concept such as vegetarianism. So, if I had guests who could never understand that concept, maybe I would cook meat for them too. But all of our friends can understand why we dont eat meat, so I dont think that I have to cook anything non vegetarian for them, even if they wanted to. Since they are able to comprehend the moral values behind vegetarianism, then they should be responsible.

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ConnieReader
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I know this is a fairly old thread, but it struck a note with me.

I have a good friend who is a professional chef. She currently runs the kitchen of an upmarket hotel, where the menu is almost entirely meat and fish (one token veggie option). She has also worked in burger bars and a fish-and-chip shop.

This friend is also a life-long vegetarian. In her entire 30-plus years, she has never knowingly eaten meat.

I've often asked her how she can bear to cook meat - or even to be in the same kitchen where meat is present. She says she just can't understand why it's a problem. Chefs are often called on to cook things they wouldn't eat themselves. She has no difficulty at all with it.

Personally, I would hate to be in her position. I'm uncomfortable just sitting at a table where others are eating meat (I try not to show it, of course), and I even avoid walking down the meat aisle in the supermarket.

I suppose, as other people have commented in this discussion, it's all down to personal tastes and temperament.

Connie.

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Energylz
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Thanks Connie for the interesting angle. Your friend sounds as though she is doing what I was talking about earlier in the thread i.e. working in a particular environment and doing what the job requires. I'm sure if she was really averse to being near or cooking meat, as you are yourself, she would seek to be employed in a vegetarian restaraunt instead.

It is a matter of choice.

p.s. welcome to the forums.

All Love and Reiki Hugs

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Tank2
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Surely depends entirely on ones reasons for being a vegetarian, I wouldn't touch meat but I am a veggie for spiritual reasons.

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