T Nation

Vegetarians

I know some people on this forum are vegetarian. I was just wondering why? Most people pretty much agree that it may not be the healthiest way to eat. There are a lot of vitamins and minerals that are found in meat and many that are absorbed better from meat. I know i would never give up my meats for anything but i was just wondering why some of you did?

Many people are vegetarian for health, environmental, moral and religous reasons. Some people claim tobe vegetarian and are really fussy meat eaters (they still eat fish etc). This type of psuedo vegetarian is becoming increasingly common and even ‘trendy’.
Vegetarians live about 5 years longer use hospitals and are sick less. This may not be entirely due to the diet but more due to the relatively conservative attitude toward health held by most vegetarians (a sweeping generalization i know!).


Im vegetarian becuase when i was 5 years old i was watching a documentary on killing animals and decided it was wrong. It was probably hard for me to do back then but 14 years later i dont even have to think about it. I dont know what im missing (from what i hear its probably better i dont).
while Certain minerals are better absorbed from meat but studies have shown that in general vegetarians in western society are not defficient in any (we have lower iron stores but in general are not deficient)

Getting adequate protein is a real bitch though.
Im doing my best.

ps
there are several types of vegetarian each allowing certain things to be eaten.
Lacto ovo (allows eggs and milk) is probably the healthiest and the most common besides the fake vego or fussy meater (aka pesco vegetarian)
from there each type gets progressively stricter untill you cant have honey, touch leather or do gods knows what if your a microbiotic vege (breathing may not be allowed for all i know :slight_smile: )
I have no idea why some people would want to be that strict but then again hardly anyone understands why im as strict as i am

Chris: I just wanted to say that I REALLY appreciated how you answered this question.Too often the answers are wrought with peoples political/religious/whatever agendas, that usually begin with some tirade over the evils of meat AND the people who eat it! (By the way…talk about STRICT…I read about a group that will only eat fruits and veggies that have already fallen off the tree or vine…that has to be tough!)


Well…thanks for being so even-handed.

Most vegetables grown in this country are 99.999% deficient in Vitamin B12. Unless you want to become anemic, a supplement is in order. Or some red meat, whichever you prefer.

Veg. can for the most part be divided into two groups – those that are veg because it is pol correct, trendy, whateever, and those who beleive it to be more healthy. Of course there is some crossover. With all due respect to the second group, I think they are mistaken. The best way to find out what you should eat, and the best way to approach any question, is with the scientific method. Obviously there is a subsection of all the available foods that we have available that is the best for us. And just as obviously, that would be those foods that our bodies can best use, and that will keep us most healthy. What foods can our bodies best make use of? Those that we have evolved to eat. There has not been enough time since the adoption of agriculture for our systems to evolve, so we most likely should be eating what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. Esentially, to paraphrase Polquin, if it swims in the water, runs on land, flys in the air, or you can eat it raw - go for it. This leads to a diet high in protein, with lots of fresh veggies and fruit. (Sounds like T-Dawg, doesn’t it?) This conclusion is supported by a mountain of data based on archeological finds of cro-magnon campsites and analysis of remains. Interestingly, you find almost no evidence of diabetes, cancer, or heart disease in human remains until 7000 years ago, when we started using agriculture. Food for thought.
Fortunately, we live in a world where you could probably go on an all pussy diet and make up the difference with supplements and metamusel.

I became vegetarian (for approx. 7 yrs.), lacking an affinity for meat (i.e. due to taste & digestibility issues rather than any religious and/or political reason).

I still have difficulty eating meat, often suffering post-meal upset stomach distress. As such, my main sources of protein include milk, eggs, beans, oatmeal, & MRP’s. (BTW, I’m allergic to seafood so fish is out of the question.)

As an athlete, acheiving my daily protein intake/requirements is a challenge. My training & recovery are often times severly compromised - just wish I had an easier time w/ eating meat. Just my $0.02…

I am a vegan (no dairy, meat, eggs, honey) for ethical reasons. I do not find that my recovery time is hampered and make gains on a consistant regular basis with a full time long hour job in the dotcom world.

People are dying of cancer etc now because they are diseases of the aged and back then everyone died young. Basically you have to live along time to get them, many years ago people died very young and didnt get the chance to get these diseases. So by trying not to offend anyone these disease are (gulp) a blessing in disguise, afterall in the olden days everyone died of other stuff before cancer etc could be apparent. Since the old days life expectancy has nearly doubled. The idea behind what you are saying may be correct but your arguments are wrong.

Why can’t you have honey?

Have lots of vegan friends. Can’t have honey because it’s “abusive” to the bees. The easiest way to think about it (from a vegan point of view) is that “animals” are an end to themselves and should not be used as a means to an end. While that rule doesn’t encompase even a small part of the vegan philosophy it’s the easiest way I’ve found to wrap my mind around where my vegan friends are coming from.

I’ve been a lacto-oval vegetarian for 10 yrs. I started to see if I felt healthier and I did. It’s probably more due to the whole “healthly living” than not eating meat. But now I can never go back. It’s strange but the thought of animal meat does not appeal to me anymore even though I never disliked it. I consume alot of MRP and other protein sources. I’m always trying to gain good weight but it doesn’t mean you can’t get fat! I know a few fat vegetarians. That’s my thoughts…

Eating honey is abusive to bees? Wow. That’s . . . a concept. Can any of the vegans out there expand upon that a bit for me? Mike? Anyone? This is the first I’ve heard of this idea, and I’m intrigued about how it’s supposed to work.

Chris – that is what I always thought. But if you get into the literature, though, you find that if you subtract deaths of hunter-gatherers from trauma, they lived almost as long as we do. In addition, when you look at the fossil record, you find that diabetes, esp claimed many lives in the period shortly after agriculture became established, and that the other “diseases of civilization” ramped up right along side it. Aveage height decreased, and so did disease related mortality. The record is not at all ambiguous. It is not veggies and fruit that get us, it is refined grain products. Again, if we cannot eat it raw, we are not evolved to eat it. (I know what you are thinking --yes, we ate raw meat. The use of fire for heat predates the use of fire for cooking by a good bit.)Get on the web and search a little. The info is not hard to find. Even in recent history, you can see where some Eskimo tribes have exhibited rocketing rates of disease after being exposed to, and eating our diet.
here is a good link:

www.beyondveg.com/cat/paleodiet/index.shtml

BTW, I am not a fanatic or anything, and I ate my share of pie at Thanksgiving. This, of all the other things I have seen on the subject, makes the most sense to me. As far as others go, eat what you like.
PS I still think the “all pussy diet” could work, but the wife vetoed it on the basis of MRP prices.

Char – the “abuse to bees” by eating honey is a result of anthropomorphism, the process whereby people ascreibe human qualities to animals, an even inanimate objects. Maybe they figure that if someone took their honey they would be pissed, so they invoke the golden rule. Or perhaps they think the bees won’t make it without the honey, which is strange when you consider it comes from hives maintained by humans in the first place. Or maybe they they know something about bees that I don’t. (There is plenty I don’t know, for sure) How about it, bee-lovers?

Husk,
Wow. Thanks heaps for the link and info. The people that lecture us at uni really do leave alot out. Nevertheless im not going to be eating meet anytime soon :slight_smile: