Vegetarianism: A Vegetarian’s Guide to Good Nutrition

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Why does a person choose to become a vegetarian? Many non-vegetarians wonder what drives once meat-eater to give up their carnivorous practices and adopt an completely different lifestyle. Whether it be for an innate aversion to meat, religious beliefs, compassion for our fellow animals, or environmental concerns…the list goes on and on. There are many reasons why one might choose to become a vegetarian. The inevitable subsequent question is, can one really live a healthy lifestyle as a vegetarian? As the vegetarian diet is limited in certain nutrients and animal proteins, those who follow this practice must take precautions and place more emphasis on protein complementation and complex dietary planning. The idea is to not only eat a varied diet, but to be aware of one’s nutritional needs, only in tandem, can one maintain a healthy meat-free diet. At age 8, when I used to live with my grandparents, meat was served or packed for every meal; whether it be meatloaf, steak, ham, baked chicken, etcetera. Reminiscent of the stereotypical American 1950s, our family would gather around the kitchen table for our home cooked meals. My grandfather was, and still is a strict meat-and-potato kind of man. Jokingly, I asked him what he would do if I wanted to become a vegetarian, to which he replied, “I’d throw you out!” It was not until several years later, when reading Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation in an introductory philosophy class, when I gave it serious contemplation. Although I found some parts of his beliefs to be radical, I was excited all the same because it broadened my mind to new ways of thinking. Meat was never a food I disliked, I enjoyed eating it as much as my family. In Vegetarianism : Movement or Moment?, a book authored... ... middle of paper ... ...ccepted. Integrating vegetarian meals into programs such as school lunches, will give students the option of possibly exploring a healthier eating alternative and giving them a chance to become familiar with the basic food groups that are used in vegetarian meals. Works Cited American, Dietetic Association, and of Canada Dietitians. "Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian Diets." American Dietetic Association. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 103.6 (2003): 748-65. ProQuest. Web. 27 Nov. 2011. Mangels, Reed. "Protein in the Vegan Diet -- The Vegetarian Resource Group." The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG). Vegetarian Resource Group. Web. 27 Nov. 2011. . Mauer, Donna. Vegetarianism : Movement or Moment? Philadelphia: Temple UP, 2002. Ebrary. Web. 24 Nov. 2011.

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