Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vegetarian

I remember the first time I met someone who was vegetarian and I thought he was really strange. Definitely not the kind of person who would convert me to the idea or anything like that. Who knew that several years later I’d have joined his ranks? Since I eat fish, I guess I’m technically a pescetarian.

If you ever invite me over for dinner, please know this:

1. I don’t care if you eat meat. I don’t care if you eat meat in front of me. I make Jacob a BLT every day. Please don’t feel guilty if you’ve made a meat-centered meal. I would love it if there were an alternative, but if not, I’ll eat the meat. I’m not a die-hard.

2. It’s possible that one day I will resume meat-eating… or that I will go the other direction and become vegan.

3. But for now, with the research that I’ve done, eating the way I do makes sense to me. Here’s why:

I love animals.

I picture the animal when I’m eating it, and I can’t divest the type of animal I’d never eat from the ones that are sociably acceptable. Like, it’s gross to eat cats and dogs right? But not sheep, lamb, goats, cows, pigs, chicken, or turkeys? Why not?vegetarian-argument

I do eat fish-sometimes-because I can go fishing. I’m still a little bothered by it, but I can do it. But I can’t imagine slaughtering a cow and dividing its parts for consumption. And if I can’t imagine doing it myself on moral grounds (that would make me sick) it seems strange to ask someone else to do it for me.

A whole new world of cooking is opened up to you.

A lot of people get stuck on just eating a slab of meat every night for dinner for lack of any other ideas. If you look at cuisines around the world, however, you’ll find so many ways of preparing vegetables, legumes, and sauces that there is an infinite variety available—much more than steak and potatoes or a hamburger.

 

P1070082P1070424 China June 2010 025

Health.

The healthiest group of people in the United States are the 7th Day Adventists (the Mormons follow close behind). The 7th Day Adventists are about 35 % vegetarian and encourage a low-meat diet.

The Japanese are famous for their large centenarian population and they eat much more fish than meat.

The American Heart Association reports that vegetarians have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and several forms of cancer.

The animal industry mistreats animals and pumps the animals full of chemicals and hormones.

If you research this at all, you will be astonished at the conditions animals in the American food industry are left in. Pigs go insane at their treatment. They are sometimes castrated and boiled alive. They are left inside cages where they can’t turn around.

Chicken meat has four times the amount of arsenic (yes, the poison) than any other meat due to what drugs they are given.

Hormones are infused in the animals to make them bigger which we humans then ingest.

Much of the meat in the American food industry is highly processed, which means it contains dangerous cancer-causing ingredients like sodium nitrate which has been significantly linked to pancreatic cancer.

Eating meat damages the environment.

The meat industry causes more emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide than all the cars, planes, and ships in the world combined.

More than half of all the water consumed in the US is used to raise animals for food.

The run off from factory farms pollutes our rivers and lakes more than all other industry sources combined.

Protein

I’m no expert on this, but what research I’ve done is that you get plenty of protein in plant-based foods. Vegetables, nuts, eggs, and fish all provide protein—and so do milk and cheese. However, getting too much protein is linked to kidney stones and cancer of the colon and liver.

The Word of Wisdom

This is controversial, I know. But this is my interpretation of it: It says eat meat only in times of famine or winter. I believe the “eat meat sparingly” is taken too liberally (it’s eaten at every meal). Of course during the 1800s during winter meat was the only thing available. But these days you can get anything you want any time of year, making the need for eating meat…never.

I don’t know how to cook vegetarian?

It’s easy. There are plenty of cookbooks available, and you can even buy fake meat if you love the taste of meat (I don’t.) Substitute vegetables or bean curd or fish or cheese for your meat. As long as you replace your meat with something good, like plums for example, and not something bad, like carby doughy bread or extra dessert, then you’ll be on your way to getting all the nutrients you need (especially if you take a multivitamin) and reaching your target weight.

P1070665

2 comments:

GooberDiva13 said...

i like this. i'm thinking of looking into becoming mostly vegetarian, too. i just haven't gotten around to it. i think i'd mostly do it because my body seems to be rejecting meat most of the time.

Lauren said...

Good one! We are meat minimalists, but it has been trickier lately since legumes upset the little guys belly. I prefer not eating red meat, but like you, will eat it as a guest. Or in a good properly made hamburger because I actually enjoy that- the meat taste isn't so strong. It is expensive to buy any form of meat without all the chemicals, but it is worth my health- so normally we do that once a week or so. We actually try to plan our meals around the protein type and then an ethnic region to ensure variety. It is kinda fun!

Powered by Blogger