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I'm not doing this for "health" (sort of) or for weight loss, I truly want to stop eating any animals, I just don't know how to start this off.
It's going to be tough for me because I am used to eating chicken salads all the time or albacore fish sandwiches....but this is a mission I want to finish!

How can I slowly ease my way into it...
I brought Tofu and veggie patties (I used to eat the patties all the time) but I never cooked/tasted tofu. I heard it's an acquired taste, but I can get used to anything pretty fast.
I don't drink milk (lacto) and I eat soy-cheese.
Eggs is very seldom in my diet
21 days to break a habit right?

(im going vegetarian, NOT vegan)
WOW! All of you guys are awesome! I was waiting for a few rude bashing comments from people (might get it now)

Earlier this year, I completely cut out all meats and fish cold turkey, and within a week I got sick...but I'm not sure if that was the cause but it pretty much backfired on me.

This is something I have been researching for a while and just learning more about the 'lifestyle'.

I'm all for alternatives.

With this task at hand, I also hope to volunteer at an animal shelter (it sounds so cliche`, I know, sue me LOL)
firstable i want to say: good for you.
turning vegetarian is not easy sometimes. the first thing you need is encouragement. explain your decision slowly to your family, and i'm sure they'll be supportive. i've said this a million times before, and i'm saying it again, watch the KFC torture videos on youtube. make your family and friends watch them, too. believe me, you will never, ever look at chicken the same way again.
you also need determination. Tofu is a great meat subsitute. there are some amazing veggie burgers which taste just like meat. become a vegetarian for a week. i did this, and i NEVER EVER want to eat meat again. after some time, you might find meat disgusting. here's a great site to start with:
here you can chat with others, and find vegetarian restauramts in your area
good luck, hun
well im still doing the same i cut out red meats COMPLETELY i also eat tofu and veggie patties i mean its easy by a year im pretty sure you can do it! so keep going and just know there are others out there to help you
It's easy...just imagine this scenario...

You're responsible for rearing an animal. You then have to choose that animal to be slaughtered. Then you help to slaughter it.

Still like eating animals?? Thought not. Thats what put me off eating animals..i watched a programme on UK tv about this and was actually puking during it. Vegan's no bad thing by the way,should u choose to do it...but yeah,think about the above,,,
Check out the book "Tofu 1-2-3", that book opened my eyes to the wonders of tofu! It's amazing what you can do with that stuff. (It tells you how to make a pretty mean "chicken" salad, too!)
It took me about half a year to become a "full" vegetarian. It might be kind of odd, but I stopped eating meat by different animals, like, first I dropped beef and pork, then turkey and chicken, and then fish. I think it might be easier that way.( I do it for moral reasons, too, by the way.)
Also try Morning Star Farms (frozen "fake meat"), if you haven't already, and Smart Dogs, from Light life, are great soy hot dogs (I recommend grilling!)
And if you're opposed to gelatin, make sure you read ingredients of everything! That nasty stuff gets put into some pretty suprising things! (Yogurt, sour cream, even chewing gum!)

It's great that you're becoming a vegetarian, best of luck! And hope this helps!
Good for you, I am a vegetarian for the same purpose.

Anyway, if you like salads, beans and vegetables, this will be very easy for you because there are so many options. I went vegetarian cold turkey, but that can be a little difficult. So maybe just ease you're way into by eating less meat and try things in place of it like Morningside products; they have really good veggie burgers like Chik patties and black bean burgers. Boco burgers are OK but I think there are many tastier things. Tofu isn't really that good in my opinion, but it depends how you cook it since it absorbs any flavor you put it in. Soy is really good if it's cooked well. Vegetarian corn dogs are really good too if you can find those. Beans are very high in protein and are really good for you, so try tasting a lot of different kinds of beans. When you eat salads, be sure to add in a bunch of other vegetables. One major problem with being vegetarian is that you don't get all the proteins you need in your diet, but adding a bunch of vegetables will ensure you will get all the essential amino acids.

The other thing you want to watch out for (even though you stated above you have lactose problems) is to not eat too many sweets or other junk food. When you go vegetarian and stop eating meat, it's easy to crave other things to try to fill that missing part of your diet, and I know for me, it's chocolate haha.

Good luck!
U can go 2 WWW.GOVEG.COM & order their free starter kit
good choice!
You can flirt with being a vegetarian without fully committing. Vegetarian is really just a label. The important thing is that you follow a path that will help you succeed. It's possible that too drastic of a change would make you quit trying. (For the same reason so many weight-loss diets fail.)
I don't cook a lot of tofu at home, but love to eat it at Thai restaurants. I'm sure there are already a lot of foods you love that can easily be converted to vegetarian. Any rice or pasta dish is usually easy to prepare without meat. Try varying your salads to include nuts in place of the chicken. I don't know how you feel about hummus, but I love it in a sandwich.
If you want some information, order a free vegetarian starter kit at http://www.goveg.com/order.asp I found this info completely interesting and helpful. BTW, it leans toward veganism. Don't feel pressure to be vegan. If you choose that, that's cool.

Warning... many many vegetarians and vegans get competitive... "Oh, you say you're vegetarian, but you wear leather." Or "You say your vegetarian, but if you really cared about animals you'd be vegan." Do NOT let people treat you like this. Tell them you are making a difference in ways you are ready, and you are up for learning more, but you will not be bullied, lectured, or made to feel bad about things that ultimately are NOT their business. But thank every friend and family member who offers to support you and remembers you're working on being vegetarian.

By the way, don't expect to like tofu. I do, but I don't dare think everyone will or should. And there are lots of bad vegetarian food out there. Fake meats in general suck. So, beware. Try stuff, and if you don't like it, make note of that. :) That said, Morningstar veggie bacon is really tasty stuff. :)

Good luck, no matter what you choose to eat. And if you want easy junk-food that is veg, check out http://www.peta.org/accidentallyvegan/ for a big list of all kinds of foods, snacks, and ingredients you wouldn't have guess is veg, but is!

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