Last night (Thursday, June 20th) was the first vegetarian class/discussion that I hosted at Avgi Isle in secondlife. I think it went well and hope to see more attending in the future *hint*. I'm posting the transcript below. If you're not familiar with SL, the chat is real time so it can sometimes be difficult to follow but a little effort will show that it was a worthy event.
In attendance besides myself (Thomas Sadoul)
Aura Baar (Avgi Isle Manager)
Transcript: Ethical and Healthy Eating In A Modern World - June 19
Thomas Sadoul: ok, Welcome to the first installment of Ethical and Healthy Eating In A Modern World
Thomas Sadoul: When I was first asked to present a ‘class on vegetarianism’, I have to admit that although I was flattered to have been asked and a bit excited about doing this, it didn’t take to long before I wondering just what I could possibly teach about vegetarianism for one hour a week that would hold anybody’s interest
Thomas Sadoul: Actually a friend asked me that same question in a slightly different manner. Her response was: “Meat = bad…vegetables = good…class dismissed. Are you crazy?”
Thomas Sadoul: I laughed with her as she laughed at me….but it made me really think about what I could possibly present to practicing vegetarians that would keep their interest and those who are aspiring to become vegetarians or who are just curious about the subject.
Thomas Sadoul: What I do hear constantly from vegetarians is that they want to meet and exchange ideas and experiences with other vegetarians so I’d really like this gathering to keep that in mind and ensure that you feel free to speak up if you have a question or thought about the material. Open discussion is great and I only ask that we treat others courteously and respectfully even if you think they’re all wet
Thomas Sadoul: Being a child of the digital age as all of us here are, I ran to Wikipedia as a starting point from which to gather ideas and was really quite shocked to find such an abundance of information there
Thomas Sadoul: As you may know, Wikipedia is a community encyclopedia. Anybody can claim to be an expert and make contributions or edit out material provided by somebody else. As I read the article there, it became clear that the contributions had been made from those who had high regard for a vegetarian diet and by those who did not.
Thomas Sadoul: This seemed to me, an idea opportunity to learn from the work of others involved in a community project while keeping open and critical thinking minds of our own…to learn from the good and weed through any bad that might be lurking in the bushes.
Thomas Sadoul: So, I’d like to start by giving everybody the opportunity to share a piece of themselves with the others. I know the reasons for my interest in a vegetarian diet…and I used to assume that everybody had the same motivation but have since learned that we don’t all see things through the same glasses. In fact after reading the Wikipedia article, I realized I had no idea of the range of reasons that people choose a plant based diet.
sirhc DeSantis: well i did it as an experiment
sirhc DeSantis: i was mostly veg
Thomas Sadoul: How long did it or has it lasted for you?
TerryW McCallen: well i am not a vegitarian yet, but i can see the benifits in it.
sirhc DeSantis: i've been vegan four years
Thomas Sadoul: cool
Thomas Sadoul: I see Bonnie typing there so I don't want to interrupt her
Bonnie Diggs: I feel that I do not like the abuse of amimals......and never eat veal .. that was a start.
Thomas Sadoul: sure
Darminia Avalanche: Sorry but i will never be a vegitarian
Bonnie Diggs: Now giving up beef and maybe more
Thomas Sadoul: That's fine Darminia....I'm glad your here!
Thomas Sadoul: My conversion to a vegetarian diet happened nearly 4 years ago…though I had wanted to cut meat out of my diet for years before that and have had to compromise on occasion with my RL partner since then to avoid tension I created by making that decision. My decision was base primarily on a concern of cruelty to animals. Secondary concerns were environmental concerns about waste, overuse of cropland to grow grain for livestock rather than for people and political maneuvering and back room deals to sustain the industries that exist in this environment. My decision had nothing to do with a concern for my health or taste buds.
Thomas Sadoul: Ok, anybody else before I move on?
Darminia Avalanche: May i ask why is it that ppl think meet is so horride
Bonnie Diggs: Thomas .. I have seen horrible photos of cows being pushed off to the side with back hoes?
sirhc DeSantis: well i found the first 6 months rough - anger management problems
Rosalie Falworth: I'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian, trying to become a vegan.
Bonnie Diggs: The animals that were sick but still edible.
Bonnie Diggs: sickening to me... I am sorry
Bonnie Diggs: Sorry Thomas
Thomas Sadoul: Yes, I've heard of that Bonnie...and know it happens. They might be edible but perhaps not at a grade acceptable to the business?
Darminia Avalanche: There farms that care for there stock
sirhc DeSantis: agrred
Thomas Sadoul: Yes, many do. ....and many are just there for the profit...
Thomas Sadoul: ok...I'll go on a bit and then we can discuss more later
Darminia Avalanche: so true Thomas
sirhc DeSantis: my major beef (sorry) is people think food grows in supermarkets
Thomas Sadoul: True...and people don't always know what 'vegetarian' means either
Thomas Sadoul: To begin, we need to define vegetarian because not only are many non-vegetarians confused ( I have had to explain that chicken and fish ARE meat) but even practicing vegetarians find themselves confused at first.
Thomas Sadoul: In the simplest definition, a vegetarianism diet is one that excludes all animal flesh and slaughter by-products.
sirhc DeSantis: nothing with a face
Thomas Sadoul nods
Thomas Sadoul: A more exact definition from the vegetarian society
Thomas Sadoul: A vegetarian is someone living on a diet of grains, pulses(legumes or beans), nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with or without the use of dairy products and eggs.
Thomas Sadoul: Though there are several variants of vegetarian diets, there likely are more reasons for choosing to maintain a vegetarian diet. Reasons may include morality, religion, culture, ethics, aesthetics, environment, society, politics, taste or health.
Rosalie Falworth: I've always wondered, how many of those that consider themselves vegetarian eat insects? I don't. I know some people who do.
Thomas Sadoul: Well, I think we'll see that there are several 'forms' of vegetarianism....
sirhc DeSantis: i had an issue with a local store over insect infestation
Darminia Avalanche: I was told eggs and diary products where not to be eaten
Thomas Sadoul: ...and insects are killed even when crops are harvested..
Thomas Sadoul: Yes Darminia...Vegans do not eat eggs and dairy products
Rosalie Falworth: That's true. I avoid eating red 40 though, because of the cochineal... but I guess some of it is unavoidable.
Bonnie Diggs: To me it is the abuse of animas that is the most upsetting ..
sirhc DeSantis: but its a choice - not a religion
Thomas Sadoul: and there is a sign behind Bonnie showing what is acceptable in the 4 major divisions
Bonnie Diggs: like veal .... but even more so ...
Thomas Sadoul: The three most common variants of the diet are Lacto-ovo-vegetarian, Lacto-vegetarian and Vegan.
Thomas Sadoul: Lacto-ovo-vegetarian. Eats both dairy products and eggs. This is the most common type of vegetarian diet
Thomas Sadoul: Lacto-vegetarian. Eats dairy products but not eggs.
Thomas Sadoul: Ovo-vegetarian : Eats eggs but not other dairy products
Thomas Sadoul: and Vegan. Does not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other animal product.
sirhc DeSantis: well - tries
Thomas Sadoul smiles
Thomas Sadoul: yes, it is often a struggle...and many times it's difficult to know exactly what is in your food too.
Saraya Nightfire: the additives can be a minefield
Thomas Sadoul nods again
sirhc DeSantis: dyglicerides - i mean ??
Thomas Sadoul: Beyond those 4 main groups are several other variants....Other Vegetarian dietary practices include: Fruitarianism. Su vegetarianism, Macrobiotic diet, Natural hygiene, Dietary veganism and Freeganism.
Thomas Sadoul: really..and what are dyglicerides?
Bonnie Diggs: Interesting about "fetid vegetables"?
sirhc DeSantis: i have no idea but most of the bread here has them
Thomas Sadoul: …and then there are a handful of Semi-vegetarian diets which are held in contention by strict vegetarians, especially when the person practicing these semi-vegetarian diets claims to be vegetarian: Lessetarianism, Semi-vegetarianism, Pescetarianism, Pollotarianism, Flexitarianism
Aura Baar: thats alot of isms
Thomas Sadoul: it is
sirhc DeSantis: i never heard of these
Thomas Sadoul: and I think that is why there is so much confusion about what vegetarian means...
Rosalie Falworth: I've only heard of pescetarianism.
Bonnie Diggs: you've defined these but I am sure I know where you stand.
Rosalie Falworth: And diglicerides can be made from animals or vegetable oil by the way.
Thomas Sadoul: ...and I've seen people choosing these 'diets' but didn't know there was a name for them.
Bonnie Diggs: no flesh
Thomas Sadoul: Properly planned vegetarian diets have been found to satisfy the nutritional needs for all stages of life, and large-scale studies have shown vegetarianism to significantly lower risks of cancer, ischemic heart disease, and other diseases. However, planning is the key
Darminia Avalanche: I don,t study any of it so i,m not fremiller with it sorry
sirhc DeSantis: and vegans make better lovers
Thomas Sadoul: Darminia, just preparing for this has been a learning event for me...we're always learning
Thomas Sadoul laughs
Thomas Sadoul: Despite claims of health benefits, maintaining proper protein levels does take some effort and hopefully, together we will be able to help each other with that.
Darminia Avalanche: I,m not ferm. with that ether
sirhc DeSantis: i live on hummus and was surprised at the low protein level in chick peas
Bonnie Diggs: I truly believe that limiting intake of beef and maybe all "meats" is healthy.
Thomas Sadoul: That's great Sirhc...Next week, I hope to get more into the nutritional concerns ...
Darminia Avalanche: I guess u r saying i,m not a lover right
Rosalie Falworth: I make a nice tofu and vegetable stir fry
Bonnie Diggs: I am not sure how far to go ... and think I cannot give up fish.
sirhc DeSantis: like i said - its not a religion
Bonnie Diggs: and free-range poultry.
sirhc DeSantis: i used to keep chickens
Thomas Sadoul: well, Bonnie, I think you do what you feel most comfortable with and can't possibly live up to everybody else's standards one way or the other.
Bonnie Diggs: To me it is an abuse issue .. and partially a health issue
Saraya Nightfire: its maybe best to go as far as you are comfortable with. Its a personal thing
Rosalie Falworth: Ohh, there's really nice fake chicken, by smart choice I think. It's called smart strips. I don't miss chicken at all with that.
sirhc DeSantis: agreed saraya
Rosalie Falworth: It's still a choice issue, but you can always try some of the fakey products.
Thomas Sadoul: I have heard that is good Rosalie...but haven't tasted it.
Thomas Sadoul: Other stumbling blocks include the fact that many products one might expect to be animal-product free in fact are not.
Rosalie Falworth: I like it. A little too close to the taste of real chicken for me sometimes.
Thomas Sadoul: Many foods contain ingredients derived from the slaughter of animals. Gelatin is made from animal ligaments, tendons, and bones etc which have been boiled in water. It is often found in confectionery, low fat spreads and desserts, and other dairy products
sirhc DeSantis: yes i bought a trail mix that had honey in it
Saraya Nightfire: gelatine seems to turn up everywhere... sigh
Bonnie Diggs: I agree that it is a silly thing to go into the market and think that the chicken pieces got placed there magically.
Thomas Sadoul: ...and to me, once I decided it was an abuse issue, as Bonnie said, I don't really crave for chicken or steak...or whatever...
Thomas Sadoul: I get pictures of the suffering in my head and it turns my apetite off .
sirhc DeSantis: well the analogs make life easier
Bonnie Diggs: Who said recently that you should not be allowed to kill a beast ... until you killed one yourself.
Bonnie Diggs: A chicken?
sirhc DeSantis: confession - i have hunted and butchered
Bonnie Diggs: you have to have a license to eat one.. by hagving killed one.
Bonnie Diggs: The way my grandmother did...
Thomas Sadoul: I hunted with my dad until he finally killed a deer. Only he ate it and we never went again...to my relief.
Thomas Sadoul: And something that Vegans appreciate that I didn't know....Cheese is often made with rennet extracted from the stomach lining of slaughtered calves.
Vegetarian cheese is made with rennet from a microbial source.
Bonnie Diggs: Sorry I meant .. you should not be allowed to EAT a beast - until you have killed one.
Bonnie Diggs: even fishing is horrific.
sirhc DeSantis: casein
sirhc DeSantis: its in all the 'veggie' cheese here
Saraya Nightfire: bright blessings Darminia ))
Rosalie Falworth: It's not just vegans that know that I think... I knew that. O.O
Bonnie Diggs: Do we get enough protein by eating eggs, milk and by-products?
sirhc DeSantis: oh yes
Thomas Sadoul smiles...I'm still learning Rosalie
Rosalie Falworth: Definitely.
Bonnie Diggs: I seriously do not need beef.. pork .. and maybe now chicken?
Rosalie Falworth: The only thing you have to worry about really is vitamin B12, and that's only if you're vegan.
sirhc DeSantis: the whole 'incomplete protein' theory is dead
sirhc DeSantis: b12 - yes
Saraya Nightfire: well, theres actually different sorts of protein. Its about the ammino acids. I think theres 16 of them, and different proteins consist of different ammino acids
Thomas Sadoul: yes, this is great, you're getting right to where I was going next.
sirhc DeSantis: that is a worry
Thomas Sadoul: Despite popular opinion, the American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Cananda consider a properly planned (yes, I’m stressing this Vegetarian diet a healthy, viable diet that is capable of satisfying the nutrional needs for all stages of life.
Rosalie Falworth: 20 amino acids.
Saraya Nightfire: soya has all 16 i think
Rosalie Falworth: I think
Saraya Nightfire: ah, 20
Saraya Nightfire: lol, im not great at the science side
sirhc DeSantis: soya does - who likes tofu?
Rosalie Falworth: I like tofu.
Bonnie Diggs: I love tofu
Bonnie Diggs: sorry
sirhc DeSantis: i can't stand it
Rosalie Falworth: It has to be cooked right
Thomas Sadoul smiles...
Bonnie Diggs: Love it .. sauteed
Bonnie Diggs: nice texture
sirhc DeSantis: i had it once in china and it was divine
sirhc DeSantis: deep fried
Thomas Sadoul: ..and tempeh is a form of tofu is it not?
Rosalie Falworth: You have to remove all of the water from it, or it tastes nasty.
Rosalie Falworth: It's like tofu, but not the same
sirhc DeSantis: tempeh i can stomach
CallieDel Boa is Offline
Bonnie Diggs: rosalie .. it never tastes nasty.
Thomas Sadoul: OK
Saraya Nightfire: ive not heard of tempeh
Rosalie Falworth: It does. The kind packed in water. At least I don't like it. *~shrug~*
sirhc DeSantis: temph lettuce and tomato sandwich - heaven
sirhc DeSantis: a tlt
Bonnie Diggs: lol sirhc
Bonnie Diggs: to me tofu is heaven
Bonnie Diggs: good mouth feel also
Saraya Nightfire: whats tempeh made from?
sirhc DeSantis: erm - i have some - hold on
Thomas Sadoul: I've also come to the conclusion that when I take out and ask for a bhudist dish from the local oriental place, they use tempesh quite a bit.
Rosalie Falworth: soybeans
Thomas Sadoul: Like tofu, it is made from Soy, Saraya.
Saraya Nightfire: ah, ty ))
Rosalie Falworth: it's fermented and packed into cake for. All soy bean
Rosalie Falworth: It's got more protein too
sirhc DeSantis: this one is soy millet brown rice and the culture
Thomas Sadoul: Soy is the magical plant...and most of it grown in the US goes to feed animals so they can be slaughtered...rather than going directly to people.
sirhc DeSantis: rhizopus
Saraya Nightfire: oh cool! I will search that out next time i shop
Bonnie Diggs: so we all love soy ... and we hate the abuse of animals. I think we are agreed... almost.. I still love fish
Thomas Sadoul smiles at Bonnie
Rosalie Falworth: You can always be a pescetarian. If you can't give up on fish.
sirhc DeSantis: well when i get the cat tuna i am still tempted
Bonnie Diggs: Thomas .. so what am I then?
Rosalie Falworth: Pescetarian.
Bonnie Diggs: lol sirhc .. you are very funny
Thomas Sadoul: yup...Rosalie is right
Bonnie Diggs: why would you feed your cat that food if you are against eating it yourself?
Rosalie Falworth: Sorry, if I get annoying or bossy then tell me to shut up
Rosalie Falworth: Taurin.
Bonnie Diggs: It is not logical
Rosalie Falworth: *Taurine
sirhc DeSantis: because cats can't survive a vegan diet
Rosalie Falworth: Cats can't make that amino acid
Rosalie Falworth: Dogs can be vegetarians,
Rosalie Falworth: but cats can't
sirhc DeSantis: yes
Bonnie Diggs: then perhaps we cannot sirhc?
Rosalie Falworth: Their retinas would detach from their eyeballs. O.O
Bonnie Diggs: If cats cannot?
sirhc DeSantis: rosalie is
Rosalie Falworth: No.
sirhc DeSantis: right
Thomas Sadoul smiles
Rosalie Falworth: We can synthesize that.
Bonnie Diggs: so would mine then
Rosalie Falworth: Cat's can't make taurine. But we can.
sirhc DeSantis: well i loll before as proof we can
Rosalie Falworth: And no, yours won't.
Bonnie Diggs: this is not right.
Rosalie Falworth: Dogs can do the same.
Bonnie Diggs: you believe what you want ... I love and will continue to eat fish .... but not farmed animals
Rosalie Falworth: It is right. It's just in their genetic make up to not be able to make taurine.
sirhc DeSantis: cats are built carnivores
Thomas Sadoul smiles OK...Aura is prodding me that I need to start wrapping this up
Rosalie Falworth: That's fine
Bonnie Diggs: Also will eat eggs and milk.
sirhc DeSantis: and cheese lol
Thomas Sadoul: I'd like to delve more into the nutritional aspect of being vegetarian next week. We'll discuss what essential minerals one needs to be most concerned about when eliminating meat from their diet...and how to ensure you're getting enough.
Saraya Nightfire: lol, ive been veggie for years but still eat free range eggs and cheese
Bonnie Diggs: but define "meat" thomas
Bonnie Diggs: lol
Bonnie Diggs: I think you did do that today.
Thomas Sadoul: Well, I think the early description of anything with a face fits very well
Bonnie Diggs: Thanks Thomas.
Thomas Sadoul: OK...this has been great everybody!..
Rosalie Falworth: Technically the dictionary has always defined meat as not including fish, but I still stick with the anything with a face definition.
Thomas Sadoul: I'm happy you could all make it but Aura is going to toss us out.
Rosalie Falworth: lol
sirhc DeSantis: shame
Saraya Nightfire: anything with a face, and also worms
sirhc DeSantis: was fun
Rosalie Falworth: Thank you for letting us be here Aura.
Rosalie Falworth: That too.
Bonnie Diggs: Thank you Aura.
Thomas Sadoul: We are going to try to do this every thursday
Saraya Nightfire: thank you Aura ))
sirhc DeSantis: thanks aura
Thomas Sadoul: So, I hope to see you all again
Saraya Nightfire: every thursday would be great!
Thomas Sadoul: and yes, ty Aura
Saraya Nightfire: and thank you Thomas ))
Aura Baar smiles
Bonnie Diggs: Thank you Thomas ... and goodnight to you also.
Thomas Sadoul thinks Aura is afk now
Bonnie Diggs: Bye everyone.
Aura Baar: yes Arbuthnot
Rosalie Falworth: Yeah, thanks Thomas.
Aura Baar: that is true
Thomas Sadoul: thank you all ! ..and you're welcome
Saraya Nightfire: bright blessings everyone )) c u next week )
sirhc DeSantis: i'll be back