From Issue #4
By Julie Cameron
I told my mother I was going to be a vegetarian she didn't try
to discourage me, she simply said, "fine, but I'm not making
two dinners." She thought it was a phase, something that
I would grow out of. After all, who can live their entire life
without eating a hamburger, a hot dog, or the traditional turkey
at Thanksgiving? Turns out, lots of people can.
have to realize, two of my uncles are butchers and they keep
much of my family in discount meat. For me to waltz into my
parents' kitchen and inform my mother that I would no longer
be participating in family steak night was, well, unexpected
to say the least.
to my mother's dismay, I turned out to be one of thousands of
vegetarians in Canada who was under voting age. Some people
thought I did it to be cool, some people (like my mother) thought
I did it for shock value. But I was always asked the one-word
question, so many times I should hand out flyers explaining
Lots of reasons, I was never a big steak fan, loved animals,
and when I was little I had a friend who lived on a dairy farm.
If you have ever named a cow, you will understand how difficult
it is to sit down to a hamburger. But there was, of course,
one fateful encounter that pushed me to my dinner of destiny.
mother had a friend named Jen. Jen had long brown hair down
to her calves. I'm not exaggerating, it was down to her calves.
She insisted we go to the Natural Foods Store in our town so
she could get organic vegetables and soymilk. I had never even
known what soy was, or that there was a difference between vegetables
from the grocery store and vegetables from a natural foods store.
And I was amazed. Not only did she have hair down to her calves,
but she also knew about foods I had never even heard of. My
decision was made.
I feel very fortunate to be a vegetarian in an age where there
are so many meat alternatives. My friends and family appreciate
that I don't try to force my food choices on them - there is
nothing worse than a holier-than-thou vegetarian.
If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian, it's important
to do a little research first and make sure you maintain a healthy
diet. I have met so many junk-food vegetarians (a self-proclaimed
vegetarian who doesn't eat meat, but doesn't eat anything healthy
or remotely close to a vegetable, unless potato chips and French
fries count), that I'm not surprised most people think eating
vegetarian isn't healthy. It is extremely important to make
sure that your nutrition is balanced, especially since you have
to find alternatives to getting your protein, iron and zinc
from something other than meat.
sure to take in healthy doses of beans/pulses and rice (or grains)
together to get the full complement of essential amino acids.
Without the beans, some essential protein building blocks are
missing and the body will not be able to make proper muscle
tissue, and other tissues in the body and you could lose muscle
and gain fat. Soy protein is a good way to get the protein needed.
Veggie soy dogs and soy burgers are often the easiest way with
a busy schedule!
meet these needs it is recommended that vegetarians:
at least 5 servings of a calcium rich food everyday
at lest 20-30 minutes of direct sunlight 2-3 times each week
for vitamin D
a food item that is fortified with vitamin B-12 and iron every
day. This means that a vitamin or mineral has been added to
a food item. A good source of this would be a fortified breakfast
a variety of whole-grain products everyday, this will boost
the intake of zinc.
a vitamin C fruit or juice with meals to help body absorb
Types of vegetarians:
Excludes the consumption of all food of animal origin except
human breast milk.
In general the diet excludes all red meat, milk, fats and oils
of animal origin, but it may include fish depending on the nationality
of the Rastafarian.
A diet that does not totally exclude but strictly limits foods
of animal origin.
The diet is confined to foods such as fruit, nuts and certain
vegetables, where harvesting allows the parent plant to flourish.
Form of vegetarianism that includes the consumption of chicken.
Form of vegetarianism that includes the consumption of milk.
Form of vegetarianism that excludes red meat, poultry and fish
but includes the consumption of dairy products and eggs.
Form of vegetarianism that includes the consumption of milk
and eggs, and, occasionally, fish.
Semivegetarian (demi-vegetarian; quasi-vegetarian)
A self-classification amongst people who claim to have eating
habits which focus on vegetarian foods, but they eat some kind
of meat on an occasional basis. Red meats are usually excluded.
People who classify themselves as reducing their overall
(vegan, on The Simpsons :-)
Baldwin and Kim Basinger
of the members of Blur
four of the Beatles
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