One of the funniest claims made by animal rights groups is that you will save money by becoming a vegetarian. They always say that if you spend about 400. per year on meat, and then stop buying meat, you will save 400. a year. This is simplistic garbage. If you remove meat from your diet, then you will replace it with something else, and whatever that may be will most likely not be free. Usually it is replaced with fruits and vegetables. In case you haven't noticed, fruits and vegetables are pretty expensive! Much more expensive than meat even. It is easy, simple, and cheap to be a meat eater- that is a fact.
Of course the health, moral, and environmental benefits far outweigh those things to a mature person.
They also like to say how easy it is to replace meat with all the soy options available these days. Actually, there are several problems with fake meat products. For one thing they don't taste very good and people are turned off to vegetarianism after they try this stuff, thinking that they would rather eat meat if that's what this stuff tastes like. Also, fake meat products are very expensive. They cost about the same or more as buying the equivalent in real meat at a fast food joint. (Fake hot dogs, pkg. of 8: 4.00; real ones, pkg. of 12: 1.50.....etc. etc.). Many fake meats are also very spicy. I suppose the carnivores that formulate this stuff feel like they have to replace the meat flavor with something, so they spice it up. This is fine for Mexican vegetarians, but not me. Next, consider the availability that animal groups claim is so prevalent. Good luck locating it in your grocery store. Wal-Marts for example, seem to put it in a different place at each store I have been to. The last time I looked, these items were in between the waffles and the frozen juices. They also are never marked with a sign, and are never anywhere near the "health food" sections. Imagine that. Give this stuff a try but be aware of it's price and availability. Because of these factors fake meat makes a good snack on occasion but is not practical to use as a constant meat substitute.
As far as buying food at health food markets, you need to be rich or forget it. I have never seen one that didn't have outrageous prices on everything in the store. It is also interesting to note that all so-called 'health food' stores also sell meat, dairy, and eggs- just at exorbitant prices.
Soy cheese is also a waste of time and money. Read the ingredients: it will always say 'casein' on it. This is a milk-derived protein. By 'non-dairy' they mean that the lactose has been removed for lactose intolerant people, but it is not actually 'non-dairy' at all. I sometimes wonder how many years these companies will get away with this deceptive labeling. Anyway, fake cheese is rubbery and will not melt no matter what. Plus it is expensive. This stuff is a complete waste of effort.
It is semi-hilarious how the animal groups feel this constant need to post recipes for vegetarians. As if we are that stupid. All you need to do is leave the meat out of any normal recipe. Or for more detailed cooking- see this excellent chart. Obviously, the well meaning yet misguided animal groups are caught up in the propaganda and hype of how complex it supposedly is to not eat meat, so they want to make sure we know some recipes to get by on until we can get used to the list of what to eat and in what combinations, and so on. Like I said in other writings: just leave out the meat for starters, and go from there.