Vegetarian Intro and Q&A

Friday, January 22, 2016

  As a vegetarian, I get asked a lot of questions after people learn that I choose not to eat meat.  I thought that I would provide a general answer to some of these questions before I do a few posts that go a bit more in depth about vegetarianism.

What do you eat?  Like will you eat seafood? 
This is a valid question because everyone is different.  I will eat some seafood such as crabs and shrimp and sometimes salmon.  I don't eat these thing very often though (crabs once a year, shrimp once a month, salmon if I go to a restaurant and can't find anything else I like).  I do not eat any land dwelling animals (chicken, pig, cow) at all and I only eat some animal byproducts.  For example, I will eat eggs but I use milk very sparingly.  I try to buy products that don't have milk in them.   Right now, I just consider myself vegetarian, but I am definitely making changes and heading towards a more vegan lifestyle.  I don't think I'll ever go 100% vegan but I am trying to eliminate many animal products.

If you don't eat meat then where do you get your protein?
 Every time I'm asked this question I struggle not to bang my head against a wall.  So here is my mini lesson in nutrition.  The reason that meats are considered the best source of protein is because they contain all essential amino acids where as plant sources don't.  However, it is not that hard to find two food sources that, when combined, have all essential amino acids.  If you have a bowl of rice and beans, you now have all essential amino acids.  There are so many good foods out there that are full of protein but people are so stuck on meat being the main source because that is what's advertised.  It's not, it's just the easiest.  My sources of protein?  Almonds, broccoli, almond butter, oatmeal, green beans, brown rice, pasta, and the list goes on.  I plan to do a whole post on protein sources.

Why don't you eat meat?
I have two reasons why I choose to live a vegetarian lifestyle.  1) because I love animals and I think it's a bit hypocritical of me to call myself an animal lover as I sit there and eat a cow.  2) for health reasons; meat has more negative affects on health than positive.  Stay tuned for a more in depth post about this.   This question is almost always asked in conjunction with the next question.

You know humans are omnivores right?  We're supposed to eat meat!
Actually, based on biology and anatomy, there are arguments that this is not true.  We are not built to kill and rip apart flesh with our bear teeth like obligate omnivores.   We can not do this because our teeth are not made for it, and it would make us very sick to not cook the meat.   So, we can eat meat but that doesn't mean we are supposed to eat meat.  

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