• Question: Are any of you vegetarian?

    Asked by Lucija to Alex, Ana, Clay, Keegan, Mark on 27 Apr 2016.
    • Photo: Mark Ritchie

      Mark Ritchie answered on 27 Apr 2016:

      I am not vegetarian right now but have been in the past. My family has plans to become so, and we eat 3 vegetarian dinners each week.

    • Photo: Alexander Taylor

      Alexander Taylor answered on 27 Apr 2016:

      I am not a vegetarian, but I do make efforts to eat less meat, mainly for environmental reasons.

      One thing that I’ve found helps me eat cheaply, healthily, and deliciously with less meat is to prepare a large meal centered on legumes and fill several tupperware containers with lunches for the week. Legumes are crops like lentils, chickpeas, peas, and beans, and you can buy dried legumes in bulk very cheaply. They are high in protein due to the symbiotic partnership they make with bacteria, nodulation, which is what I study! Another important nutrient you can miss without meat is iron, which you can get with leafy greens like spinach.

    • Photo: Ana Páez Garcia

      Ana Páez Garcia answered on 27 Apr 2016:

      I am not a vegetarian or a vegan. I eat every kind of food but cow milk because my stomach is sensitive to it. I try to eat fish more than meat because I like it better, but when I live right now is difficult. In Oklahoma, comparing to my country, is difficult to find fresh fish in the market!!

    • Photo: Keegan Cooke

      Keegan Cooke answered on 28 Apr 2016:

      I was a vegetarian for a couple years. Now, I just limit my meat intake. Limiting your meat intake is healthier for you and also better for the environment.

    • Photo: Clay Robinson

      Clay Robinson answered on 28 Apr 2016:

      I am not a vegetarian, though my daughter is. She became a vegetarian after she went to college.
      My family eats mostly eggs and chicken, and less frequently beef or pork.
      We do have meatless meals, and eat rice and beans at least weekly.
      It is much easier for an adult to be a vegetarian than for a child or teen. Why? It is difficult to get enough protein and complete proteins without eating meat. Cereal grains (wheat, maize/corn, rice, and others) and pulses (dried beans, peas, lentils, and others) must be eaten together to get the full complement of amino acids your body needs to make protein. Wheat, maize/corn, and rice provide more than 70% of the energy (calories) for most of the world’s population. The two biggest challenges my daughter has are getting enough protein and getting enough calories. A diet very high in vegetables is very low in calories. Vegetables can make you feel full, and give you a lot of vitamins and minerals, but leave you malnourished. That is why people trying to lose weight are encouraged to eat a lot of vegetables.
      Without a lot of guidance and the advice of a dietitian, a young person actually can stunt their growth by not providing enough calories (energy) or the right kinds of proteins when their body is trying to grow rapidly.
      The problem of getting enough calories becomes even more challenging when vegetarians who do not have ciliac disease or really are gluten-intolerant follow the fad diets and misinformation on the internet and begin cutting wheat products out of their diet, and so cut out another energy source.
      There is also a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about animal production systems. Many people have a lot of pie-in-the-sky ideas about raising animals for food who have absolutely no idea of the feasibility and practicality of those ideas. People who think they know about something (because they read an article on the internet or watched a documentary), but don’t really know about it. often make really bad decisions. Some of these are scientists and other VERY smart people, but who have no training in animal production, agriculture, agronomy. They may be historians, psychologists, engineers, physicists, geologists, and even biologists or soil scientists. When it comes to their diet, too many people make decisions with insufficient information or understanding.