Vegetarianism [General]

2007 Apr 25
[In response to zymurgist's comment in the Chinese Cooking Class topic about vegetarians who eat seafood not being vegetarian...]

zymurgist, you're technically correct, but... there are different levels of "devotion" when it comes to vegetarians. Given that even vegetarians will accidentally consume insects while eating vegetables (or riding a bike) there's no such thing as a 100% vegetarian. It's a bit like religion -- would you say someone isn't Catholic if they eat meat on a Friday or would you say someone isn't Jewish if they like bacon? The "loosest" vegetarians simply avoid red meat. I don't consider that to be vegetarianism at all but some people do. Good for them, it doesn't bother me! :)

We had a house guest this weekend past who was vegetarian. When I pulled out the dessert pie, it suddenly struck me that the crust was made with lard and would not do for a vegetarian. I pointed this out and she laughed and said that doesn't bother her! I replied that I could be a vegetarian too if I were allowed to eat pork fat and bacon! ;-)

2007 Apr 28
Oh, I know about human nutrition, don't get me wrong, all I'm saying is that the human body is, at it's start (and we're talking evolution here), was designed to eat meat. Ever look at a chimpanzee's or a gorillas teeth? Ever wonder why we have two sets of sharp teeth called canines? They arent there to grind down a rock hard squash or a tough green apple.

I even talked to my local high school human biology teacher, and she stated that yes, humans are naturally meant to eat meat. Not only meat, but still, to cut out beef, chicken, porc, and all those other tasty animals isn't what our bodies are meant for.

And even then, where would you get your iron? From pills? From cereal? That's even more unnatural than not eating meat.

So back to nutrition, yes, a blanced diet of meat, fruits and vegetables is key, that's why we have our molars, to grind down vegetable to a pleasant mush of sorts. All I was trying to say was that a strict diet of ONLY vegetables and fruits isn't very good for your body. That's all :)

2007 May 6
I think part of the confusion that is causing kmennie and other vegetarians headaches, is that many people have modified their meat consumption without going strictly vegetarian. My oldest child doesn't eat meat or poultry, but does eat fish and seafood. Every time I inform someone that I don't eat beef, they assume I am vegetarian and interrogate me about what I DO eat. I do eat a lot of vegetarian food, but would not consider myself vegetarian at all.

When I cook for just myself, I never prepare meat. It's something I can take or leave, and usually do. But I wouldn't necessarily think that a vegetarian diet would suit everyone. My youngest child has autism, and has a lot of issues with food and food textures. Most of the meats he used to prefer are highly processed and mushy. Hot dogs, burgers, nuggets, greasy pepperoni on a pizza. I am discovering that he now is becoming accepting of food textures he previously hated. If I can get him to enjoy a pork chop and corn on the cob instead of the highly coveted burger and fries, then that is a victory for me....and I'll take it, with apologies to the pigs. He doesn't like eggs, or tofu or beans (with the exception of hummus) and the protein he likes the best (peanut butter) is strictly forbidden at school. He would happily exist on a diet of Quaker instant oatmeal and pasta with cheese if I let him.

Anyway, to get back to the topic at hand...I do think it is a good thing that more and more people are eating vegetarian food and decreasing their meat consumption. I don't think you have to adopt a strict vegetarian diet to ask yourself the question "Does something need to die every time I get hungry?"