What is a Vegetarian?

Starting Tuesday December 6, 2011  A Telephone Support group.

 First an announcement!

The telephone support group will be a safe, warm and supportive environment for people to talk about their issues with Fibro or anything for that matter. You’ll be able to meet people, make new friends and be with non-judgmental people. The tone will be uplifting, affirmative and positive. The idea is to learn, to find some joy and to leave feeling good about yourselves. I (Dr. Martin) will also speak on a topic (can be your suggestions and or my choice) and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers. The nice part is that after the teleconference, an audio copy will be e-mailed to you within 24 hours. The hours will be:

Every Tuesday:                                  6 PM Pacific

                                                            7 PM Mountain      

                                                            8 PM Central

                                                            9 PM Eastern

Send an e-mail to fibro@drgenemartin.com and I’ll fill you in on the rest of the details. Remember that with cell phones or Skype, even long distance calls are pennies these days. Take a positive step

What is a Vegetarian?

Being a vegetarian is basically and simply the practice of eating only plant based foods. People practice this for a number of reasons: health, religion, environmental, cultural and economic.

Being a vegetarian goes back thousands of years to ancient Greece and India and in these cases it was related to a non-violent approach to animals. After the fall of the Roman empire, the practice basically disappeared in Europe. there has been a large resurgence in it’s popularity over the last century, primarily due to health concerns, and in the last 30 or so years also due to environmental reasons. Of course, as with any trend, there are always detractors, many times for economic reasons, but certain facts cannot be denied and have been shown to be true by study after study. Vegetarians tend to have lower lower body mass indexes lower levels of cholesterol, lower blood pressure, less incidence of heart disease, lower hypertension less type 2 diabetes (Adult onset) less kidney disease, less osteoporosis, less types of dementia (such as Alzheimer’s) and less incidences of other illnesses.and other disorders. Non-lean red meat, in particular, has been found to be directly associated with increased risk of cancers of the esophagus, liver, colon, and the lungs.

Again, many detractors will claim that a person cannot receive all the essential proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals from just a plain vegetarian diet, but this is just incorrect and a lie, again probably  for economic reasons. (Remember that the meat industry has very large monetary interests!)

Many argue (correctly), that humans are omnivores and have evolved to eat meat. Though this might be true, the quality of our commercialized meat is an excellent argument to consider the vegetarian lifestyle. Meat has been found with E-Coli bacteria. Another reason is that there are a number of illnesses that can be transmitted from animal to human, the most recognized being salmonella. Finally Scientists are beginning to realize and see that there is a  connection between animal meat and human cancer, birth defects, mutations, and many other diseases in humans. Commercial meat is also filled with hormones (to make it grow faster), antibiotics (which are a leading cause to our resistance problems), colored dyes to make it look more attractive (linked to cancers) and other chemicals.

An outrageous argument for eating meat (by the meat industry) is that lack of meat in adolescent girls lead to such eating disorders as bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa, this has simply been proven to be not true.

In many societies, controversy and debate have arisen over the ethics of eating animals. Ethical objections are generally divided into opposition to the act of killing in general, and opposition to certain agricultural practices surrounding the production of meat. Reasons for objecting to the practice of killing animals for consumption may include animal rights, environmental ethics, and/or religious reasons. Ethical vegetarians also believe that killing an animal, like killing a human, can only be justified in extreme circumstances and that consuming a living creature for its enjoyable taste, convenience, or nutritional value is not sufficient cause. Another common view is that humans are morally conscious of their behavior in a way other animals are not, and therefore subject to higher standards.

Some people choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for environmental reasons.

The use of large industrial machine that is common in industrialized agriculture, typically for feed crops such as corn and soy is more damaging to ecosystems than more sustainable farming practices such as organic farming.   Other concerns include the wasting of natural resources, such as food, water, etc.

Animals that feed on grain or rely on grazing require more water than grain crops. According to the USDA growing crops for farm animals requires nearly half of the U.S.water supply and 80% of its agricultural land. Animals raised for food in the U.S. consume 90% of the soy crop, 80% of the corn crop, and 70% of its grain.

There are a number of types of vegetarianism, which exclude or include various foods.

  • Ovo vegetarianism includes eggs but not dairy products.
  • Lacto vegetarianism includes dairy products but not eggs.
  • Ovo-Lacto vegetarianism(or lacto-ovo vegetarianism) includes animal/dairy products such as eggs, milk, and honey.
  • Veganism excludes all animal flesh and animal products, including milk, honey, and eggs, and may also exclude any products tested on animals, or any clothing from animals.
  • Raw Veganism includes only fresh and uncooked fruit, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Vegetables can only be cooked up to a certain temperature.
  • Fruitarianism permits only fruit, nuts, seeds, and other plant matter that can be gathered without harming the plant.
  • Buddhist vegetarianism(also known as su vegetarianism) excludes all animal products as well as vegetables in the allium family (which have the characteristic aroma of onion and garlic): onion, garlic, scallions, leeks, or shallots.
  • Jain Vegetarianism includes dairy but excludes eggs and honey, as well as root vegetables.
  • Macrobiotic diets consist mostly of whole grains and beans.

Some groups, such as PETA, promote vegetarianism as a way to offset poor treatment and working conditions of workers in the contemporary meat industry. (Read “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair) These groups cite studies showing the psychological damage caused by working in the meat industry, especially in factory and industrialized settings, and argue that the meat industry violates its laborers’ human rights by assigning difficult and distressing tasks without adequate counseling, training and debriefing.

So what does it all mean? Many studies have shown again and again that vegetarians live longer than non-vegetarians, with fewer illnesses and diseases. In fact a study published in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating much less meat or no meat significantly increased life expectancy.

Vegetarians tend to report that they feel better, are less stressed out with our every day lifestyles and overall think more clearly.

Famous Vegetarians:

  • Alicia Silverstone
  • Anthony Perkins
  • April McKay
  • Brooke Shields
  • Candice Bergen
  • Catherine Oxenberg
  • Danny DeVito
  • Daryl Hannah
  • Dennis Weaver
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Eric Stolz
  • Hayley Mills
  • Ian McKellen
  • Jenny Seagrove
  • Joanna Lumley
  • Kate Moss
  • Kim Basinger
  • Kirk Cameron
  • Lindsay Wagner
  • Lisa Bonet
  • Meredith Baxter
  • Nicola Bryant
  • Peter Bogdanovich (director)
  • Rhea Perlman
  • Richard Gere
  • Rosanna Arquette
  • Sara Gilbert (vegan)
  • Ted Danson
  • Tippi Hedren
  • Tom Watt
  • Tracey Pollen
  • Tracy Brabin
  • William Shatner
  • Woody Harrelson
  • B. B. King
  • B52s
  • Belinda Carlisle
  • Billy Idol
  • Bob Dylon
  • Boy George
  • Charlie Watts (Stones)
  • Chris Novoselic (Nirvana)
  • Chrissie Hynde
  • Dave Davies (Kinks)
  • David Gedge (Wedding Present)
  • Dizzie Gillespie
  • Elvis Costello
  • George Harrison (musician, Beatles/solo)
  • Gladys Knight
  • Grace Slick (Singer with Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship)
  • Indigo Girls
  • Joan Armatrading
  • Joan Baez (folk singer)
  • Joan Jett
  • Joe Jackson
  • K D Lang (vegan)
  • Kate Bush
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Meatloaf
  • Melissa Etheridge
  • Michael Bolton
  • Michael Franks
  • Michael Jackson
  • Michael Stipe (REM)
  • Moby (vegan)
  • Morrissey
  • Olivia Newton John
  • Paul McCartney
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Yehudi Menuhin

And the list goes on and on.

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