On Moving Toward Vegetarianism: Finding Some Support


Photo credit: Kelly Rossiter

A number of people have commented on earlier posts over the past few weeks about not knowing exactly how to go about being a vegetarian. You've made the ethical decision not to eat meat, but then practical issues come to the fore. Maybe you don't know what to cook, or how to get all your vitamins and protein on a vegetarian diet, where to buy local ingredients for a vegan diet, or even where to eat out.

Just remember, as a vegetarian, you are not alone. You don't have to figure out all of these things on your own, seek out some help and some support. If you are looking for websites to give you some advice, start with Savvy Vegetarian. TreeHugger commentor Judith introduced me to her site and there is a huge amount of information there for people new to vegetarianism as well as people who have been vegetarian for years. Judith also directed me to the book Becoming Vegetarian by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis which is a pretty exhaustive guide to everything relating to vegetarianism.

Toronto has a very active, well organized Vegetarian Association, which has a great website directing you to stores, farmers' markets, restaurants and activities. If you want a more personal approach, they have a resource centre where you can go and use their lending library, or have access to lots of free material on vegetarianism and volunteers to help you out. They also publish a directory with a detailed map of all of the places in Toronto that are vegetarian friendly. Check out your own neighbourhood and see if there is an active vegetarian association.


Photo credit: Kelly Rossiter

Both the publishing world and the internet have exploded with vegetarian recipes over the past few years. If you are looking for a cookbook anything by Deborah Madison is good. Peter Berley's book Fresh Food Fast, Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, Veganonimicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Tony Hope Romero and Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking are also good choices.


Photo credit: Kelly Rossiter

If you are looking for recipes online, look no further than TreeHugger. I've been doing a Recipe of the Week on and off since 2005 on TH. I believe in all that time there is only one recipe that has meat in it and then I decided to stick with vegetarian dishes. There are also plenty of vegetarian recipes over on our sister site, Planet Green. As with TreeHugger, the emphasis is on local and fresh seasonal ingredients.

Challenge of the week: See if there is a vegetarian association close to you. Check it out and meet some new people who can give you some support.

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Tags: Cooking | Vegetarian