ETHELMERZ, I have to disagree with your statement about not having enough land to grow vegetables. Not sure where you got your "facts". Think of all the land now being used to grow feed corn for animals who will be eaten for food. Not to mention all the land they occupy before being slaughtered.
3/3/2013 1:26:37 PM
I am a vegetarian and have struggled with weight all my life. It can be healthier to avoid meat but it depends on how you eat overall. I don't eat meat for many reasons-- I do think meat is murder, but just as importantly I don't like the texture. The real reason I am commenting is that the statement about most vegetarians loving cold cuts twanged for me. It may be true that a lot of vegetarians eat veggie cold cuts (altho I personally don't know any) but I think it is false to say that most love them. I hate cold cuts and I agree that most of the veggie substitutes for cold cuts are laden with sodium. If I wanted something with the texture of meat, I would eat meat.
2/19/2013 10:25:26 PM
I have known 11 people who are vegetarians, all of them have extra weight, too much grains, beans and cheesy foods, they enjoy alot of rice and veggie dishes. Two of them recently began to eat fish and chicken as side dishes, and lost weight, finally. It certainly isn't for everyone, and there is not enough land being used for growing vegetables to be enough if everyone suddenly became vegetarian or vegan, it would wear out the earth if that happened, saving nothing.
I consciously choose not to eat meat as much as possible. I may buy some form of meat this year maybe five times. Some months, I may only eat two meat dishes. Others, like during the holidays, I eat more. However, I strive to not eat meat, and may someday just become a vegetarian. I consider myself flexitarian, and I'm proud of it. I strive to be what I feel is a consistent flexitarian: choosing to not eat meat whenever possible, but remaining flexible so that, for example, I can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal without having to fight with my family who wouldn't understand my viewpoints or enjoy freshly caught fish my dad was proud to have hooked. Some may see this labeling as pointless, most of which I've noted are people that sometimes don't eat meat, but on a more random or unintentional basis. That's fine with me if it's fine with you. However, the label isn't pointless to me, because I have labelled myself, and the label gives me more motivation to keep up with my goals. Just because you ate cheerios for breakfast and didn't throw hunks of sausage in the bowl but then chose a chicken quesadilla for lunch doesn't mean you are flexitarian, but it doesn't mean you need to criticize my (and other flexitarians') beliefs either. If you don't want to be labelled as flexitarian, then don't label yourself as it.
I gave up meat for lent this year, and I did it completely the wrong way. I filled in the gaps with all the wrong food (cheese, cheese, and cheese), and (with school and everything) completely undid all of the hard work I'd done the previous summer. Maybe I'll take another go at this, but step by step.
I'm living proof that not all vegetarians are lean and healthy. I've been strict vegetarian for YEARS and my weight has yo-yo'd like anyone else's would with an unhealthy diet. A lot of popular junk food is vegetarian; cake, cookies, etc. Not to mention, the soy meats are horribly processed junk with loads of sodium in them.
I went VEGAN (no meat, dairy or eggs) for half a year once and lost over 30lbs with no exercise. I felt amazing too, but cheese and ranch dressing were my downfall. I should really try veganism again someday, maybe even raw vegan or fruitarianism.
Tofurkey? Really? Not all vegetarians eat that processed garbage. This is why people react the way negatively to this particular lifestyle. I might as well eat fast food then eat that. UGH! Why not just promote a whole foods lifestyle instead?
Check our Mark Bittman's "Food Matters" book. He makes a good case for eating less meat and provides lots of great recipes. Michael Pollan has written several books that shed light on the food industry and has developed "Food Rules".... "Eat Food", "Mostly Plants" , "Not too much".
There is no such thing as "humane" slaughtering. If I said that I was going to humanely murder you, would you be cool with that? My guess is probably not. There is no "eating in moderation" when it comes to meat either. Flesh is not a food group.
"I love how whenever vegetarianism is brought up people who lack the willpower, discipline, care, or whatever to try it out get all up and arms and try to discredit the entire article. As if that changes the fact that this article is really just about incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet. "
Um, have to disagree with you on that... unless you call my 10 years meat-free as lacking willpower. No need to be condescending or rude about why people are attempting to discredit the article... have you thought that maybe the article is not accurate and relies on biased information? The article says a lot more than "eat more veggies"... if that's all it said, I would completely agree. Instead it talks of the benefits of avoiding meat, to which I do disagree and for good reason.
In the end, I will also get a steak and big helping of veggies, so maybe we agree... although I may have more than 4 ounces of steak. :)
I have two sister in laws who are vegetarian. When one came to visit I prepared in advance trying out vegan dishes on my family so I could cook food they could eat. We chose the tastiest meals and I practiced them. When my sister in law came she pushed the food around on her plate and several times went out to eat right after dinner. I was hurt that I tried so hard to please her and she didn't like my food. My other sister in law on the other side of the family did much the same thing, eating granola bars she had brought. The other members of the family loved the food so I wonder what the problem is. I used all foods that I either grew in my garden and organic seasonings and salt and stuff that was not animal based. Perhaps it would be easier just to let them eat their granola bars and go to McDonalds and not put so much effort into it.
I love how whenever vegetarianism is brought up people who lack the willpower, discipline, care, or whatever to try it out get all up and arms and try to discredit the entire article. As if that changes the fact that this article is really just about incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet. You can complain about the difference between a pescatarian, flexitarian and a vegetarian, I'll just worry about getting the 4 ounce steak instead of the 16 and add a big pile of vegetables on the side.
On a related note - finding causation in any epidemiological study is fraught with problems. Epidemiology should only be used to look for correlations not causation. As a simple example - people with diabetes are generally overweight. Does diabetes cause people to be overweight or does being overweight cause diabetes? Making a health decision based on that data could very well be misdirected. Just sayin'
Quote from the article - "According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, vegetarians have lower rates of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and asthma." Compared to what other group - people who eat a Standard American Diet? Well not wonder vegetarians are healthier, so is most of the developed world.
Apparently there are 5 million vegetarians in the US who, as an aggregate, have lower rates of some diseases. This statistic has reference bias written all over it - vegetarians by definition are mindful eaters - they think about what goes into their mouths. I am sure we could find another group of 5 million Americans who are also mindful eaters who happen to include meat in their diets and are as healthy or healthier than the 5 million non-meat eaters.
In reality health and nutrition is so complex it is almost impossible to account for, or control, all the variables and confounders in any given piece of research. Promoting a meatless diet as being healthier is bad science. If you want to suggest people try it and see how it works for them, I have no quarrel with that, but please hold off on the unfounded, unproven statements about what is healthier - we all know the results of the "fat is bad" message from a few years ago. Oops, turns out we need fat - who knew?
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