Eat meat and cheat, lie, steal, fight… Joke!

From a news article on the BBC site, about unusual passages in Indian text books:

A national textbook for 11-year-old students created uproar in 2012 when it was discovered that it said that people who eat meat “easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes”.

I found this a bit funny. Sometimes I’d like to think it’s true, but unfortunately, while I  totally agree that people who eat meat are usually that way, vegans and vegetarians, while more ‘righteous’ in my book, are still perfectly capable of doing all of the above. 🙁 By now, I’m completely disillusioned when it comes to the great majority of people, all kinds of people.

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Going vegetarian is the easiest and quickest way to lower your carbon footprint, reduce pollution, and save energy and water. That’s because meat production requires staggering amounts of land, water, and energy, compared to plant foods. Let’s explore that now.

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This seems like great info, but I’m not really happy about the ‘crazed hippie’ remark.

Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

Read more here.

When I went vegan

When I was five or six, I asked my mom what the difference was between my arm and the meat on my plate. Mom looked puzzled and said that there was no difference. That made me feel sick. So what we ate was exactly the same as our own bodies? I’m really glad my mom told the truth that day, because I know other parents have chosen to lie to their children so they wouldn’t have to face any difficult discussions. My sister and I were also really lucky in that mom (and grandmother) had always served us food that contained lots of fruit and vegetables. Some people only seem to eat meat and perhaps a bit of bread or potatoes. I can only imagine how hard their transitions must be, if they ever manage to switch over at all. Perhaps that’s the reason so many people find it difficult to go vegan.

Nothing happened for a couple of years, but then I got a rabbit for my twelfth birthday (unfortunately she only lived for two years, I think she got cancer…) She had a really sweet breath and I thought, that must be because she doesn’t eat anything dead.

That was when I stopped eating meat myself. I still ate fish so I suppose I was really a pescatarian, but I didn’t know that at the time. Then some time in high school, I don’t remember exactly when, I became an ovo-lacto vegetarian (though again, I didn’t know the exact term, I just saw myself as a vegetarian.). Finally, a few years later, when I’d discovered that cheese contained rennet, and that I was actually lactose intolerant I became vegan and I’ve never regretted that. Those weren’t the only reasons, but they contributed. It took me a few years to fully realize how farm animals are treated. Apart from getting rid of the lactose intolerance problems I can’t honestly say I feel better healthwise, but emotionally I feel a lot better. Though come to think of it, I didn’t get a cold for a whole year, after I went vegan, so to some extent, I must have become healthier. On the other hand, apart from the animal-derived products, my family and I have always eaten a lot of fruit and vegetables, so I suppose we were all used to it from the start. My sister became pescatarian, vegetarian, then vegan at the same time I did, so we’ve always been able to support each other.

My grandmother, who didn’t live that many years after I went vegetarian, once asked me when I was going to start eating ‘normal food’ (or ‘ordinary’ food – I don’t remember her exact words) again. I said never and she never asked me about it again. Again, it was such a relief that she respected my decision. I’ve heard horror stories about parents, grandparents and other relatives doing their best to manipulate their children etc into giving up vegetarianism.

Eventually, my parents became vegetarians too. If you had known my dad, you’d know what a major achievement that was. He was a big meat-eater (but again, he loved all kinds of food and candy etc).