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I'm sure I was born a vegetarian . . . I never liked meat but my parents believed that I wouldn't grow up if I didn't eat it !
Sunday lunch time was the worst . . .  the dreaded roast   :o(
"Eat that meat now or you can go to your room and stay there until you decide to come back to the table and finish it ! "
If it was chicken . . . no way !! I'd rather spend the afternoon in my room ! Anything else, I would try to swallow, but
you can only chew it for so long before you throw up, can't you ?
In the end, they almost gave in . . . or at least they let me think they had. I would eat Spam or bacon, or even ground beef,
so that was the compromise. But they still insisted that I wouldn't grow . . .

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The sad part was that they really believed meat was essential for good nutrition . . . I sometimes wonder if my Mother
would have lived past the age of 51 if she had been a vegetarian. She died from a heart attack . . . sudden, unexpected and
final. I was 22 at the time, and still forcing myself to eat a small amount of meat because I'd been brainwashed !!

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Sometime in 1978, when I was 29, I finally dared to cut out all meat from my diet . . . ( even Spam ! )  . . . and HEY !! . . .
I survived ! In fact my health improved. I stopped getting tonsillitis three times every winter, and when I caught a cold
it lasted three days instead of two weeks. And all those unidentifiable aches and pains disappeared. My digestive system
couldn't figure out what had happened . . .  it was working so much more efficiently :o)

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But it wasn't really easy being a vegetarian back then . . . everyone kept asking me what supplements I was taking . . .
because I must be missing out on SOMETHING . . . and eating out was a nightmare. Just about all I could get in a
restaurant was a salad, and on a trip to Paris, the waiter acted as if he didn't understand what 'vegetarian' meant,
even though I was using my best high school French to tell him "no meat . . . only vegetables !"
Once when I was at a wedding reception, the person sitting opposite me commented that
"There's a stigma attached to vegetarianism . . . something like having AIDS "   !!!!????

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And then there was the time that dear old Auntie invited us over for dinner. She knew I was a vegetarian, as was
one of my sons by this time. ( He still is after 7 years, now aged 21 )  One mouthful of that vegetable soup told me
I shouldn't finish it, but Auntie insisted there was no meat in it. Craig and I looked at each other . . . our tastebuds
surely weren't malfunctioning ?? "NO, no, no," said Auntie . . . "definitely no meat dearies, I know you don't eat it !"
When the meal was over, Auntie told us how easy the soup was to make . . . "just boil up some lamb shanks . . ."
I was physically ill for three days !!! Truly !

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Well, I'm pleased to say that shopping for vegetarian foods in Melbourne is becoming easier every week, with a great
variety of healthy packaged meals on the market, as well as plentiful supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Craig and I have such an interesting diet that Bill ( my Husband ) and Brad ( youngest son ) often prefer to eat
vegetarian meals rather than meat.

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My parents were right about one thing though . . . I didn't grow !!!  ( I'm only 4ft 11 . 3/4ins )
Oh well, Mum always said good things come in small packages . . .

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Here's some links to great vegetarian sites, starting with the one whose products we use heaps of . . .


101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian
by Pamela Teisler-Rice

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The Australian Vegetarian Society
Home Page

Guernsey Vegetarian Group



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