Thursday, March 10, 2011
Not a vegetarian, not planning on ever becoming one...
I have to start this by saying that I'm not trying to "bash" vegetarians or vegetarianism. I'm not an anti-veg, and I don't have a problem with vegetarians or vegans for that matter. Generally I'm a kind of person who believes that every human being is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, and I respect people's way of life, regardless of how different from mine they may be. I have to insist on all of the above, because I don't want to cause any misunderstandings.
I don't know how exactly this started, but I'm currently feeling exceedingly tired and annoyed, as a result of a collection of encounters that I have had with vegetarian people during the past couple of years. When did vegetarianism turn into a religion? And why is it that a very large percentage of the people who turn veg, see it fit to try to either convert you, or act as if you're somehow unholy?
I read the labels on the food products I buy [or anything else for that matter] quite carefully. I pay close attention to my diet, nutritional balance, and needs of my body. I do sports and I exercise every day, sometimes heavily. Generally I pay attention to my health and fitness. Apparently, this somehow makes me the perfect target. First I am "invited" to take the "next step", then comes the bickering and well, if you know anything about me you probably know that I don't react too well to someone trying to poke at me using arguments that they can't properly and logically defend. And yes, I'm afraid most of the times the discussion comes to an uncomfortable halt once you bring the medical and nutritional facts to the tables. Facts that unfortunately most of these terrifyingly passionate vegies didn't think to read through before they chose vegetarianism not only for themselves, but for the rest of us as well.
But before we get to the actual health facts, I also have to make a mention of another questionable reasoning the religious vegies usually bring up [very often when all else seems to fail], and that's the whole animal cruelty discussion. Well, I don't wear Merino wool or fur or anything of the sort. I don't eat in McDonald's or any of the similar chains. I think what these corporations do to animals is indeed criminal. But is that in any way the same as what humans have traditionally been doing for millenniums now?
When the Native Americans hunted a buffalo, they killed it as quickly and painlessly as possible. They did so for their survival, and they used pretty much every part of the animal for a purpose, so that nothing went to waste. Like them, I believe in nature, and in it's rules and balance. In the cycle of nature there are billions of examples of bigger living organisms feeding off of smaller ones. I don't see anything wrong with that. To me, that's as correct and natural as it gets. However, unfortunately us human beings have turned into the only animals who kill other living beings just for the heck of it, or torture other living beings for our own profit, and I truly despise that. But how does it make any sense to say that use of meat or other animal products in the traditional sense is also "animal cruelty"??! "Meat is murder"? Really? If that's the case then I suppose mother nature is the biggest murderer of all eh?
So now let's get back to the health and nutrition side of things. I'm not going to try to explain the medical facts myself seeing that I don't have a degree in any of the related fields, but instead I have decided to create a reference list below, from a number of quite well written articles on the web that explain everything.
Of course I have to add a few notes of commons sense as well. In general what a person's body needs and what keeps them healthy is to a good extent depending on the person's body type, age, sex, life style, form and amount of activities and many other details. To recommend a diet [more like a life style in this case] to someone without taking account all the variables of their life, is generally a very bad idea. I for instance have a somewhat above the average amount of physical and mental activity per cycle, and I hardly ever sleep. The following articles will give you an idea as to how it would be an extremely bad idea for someone like me to become a vegetarian.
Also, if your diet used to consist of so much meat that you may have expired from Gout, your new vegetarian diets is most certainly much healthier. If you pay a good deal of attention to your vegetarian diet and make sure to include replacements for what you don't eat, you can certainly have a more healthy diet than most people in this world. But again, that doesn't mean that vegetarianism can be healthy for everyone and in fact, very often it is not, specially since it becomes a severe pain to create a "real" healthy vegetarian diet, which is something that many vegetarians don't seem to realize.
The list of articles and references below is something that I'm compiling [with help from friends] so that from now on I can just forward people with "suggestions" to it, instead of having to say/type it all again each time. I have gone through the articles that I'm listing, with a couple of doctor friends, to make certain of their validity. If you'd like to add anything to this article or the links list, either log onto Verse and do so, or contact me. Enjoy reading! ;)
[I have posted this article and the actual links list on this Verse page. This way anyone else interested can edit and contribute, so that we can have a more complete reference in time.]