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The New Vegetarians

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The New Vegetarians

 

These four women walked away from meat for different reasons–and say doing so changed their lives, for the better. Could it change yours?

By Karen Cicero, Prevention

Shortly after giving up meat in 1995, Jessica Lindsey took a cross-country trip that gave her a taste of what eating out was going to be like. “Vegetarianism was still so fringe then that hardly anyone outside of California knew what it meant,” she says. “At one restaurant, the waitress told me that the soups were vegetarian. She said that the broth was from beef, and it contained chicken pieces, but no meat!”

7 Foods that should never cross your lips.

Today Lindsey rarely has such strange encounters. Vegetarianism is steadily becoming more mainstream. Roughly 6 to 8 million Americans are vegetarians, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group–up from a half million to 2 million in 1994. And they have gotten smarter about their dining choices.

A generation ago, vegetarian meals were often built around leaden nut loaves or uninspired brown-rice casseroles. Today, many vegetarians consider themselves foodies and relish the challenge of finding recipes that showcase fresh vegetables as a delicious main course, flavored with herbs and spices. More than 50 vegan cookbooks are set to be published this year alone. “Vegetables are becoming culinary rock stars,” says Amanda Cohen, owner of the vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy in New York City.

As these four women show, there are many potential benefits to eating vegetarian. Read on…

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Rodale

Rodale.com is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. Rodale.com focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.

204 comments

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9:00PM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

I think one of the things that makes adapting this lifestyle easier is finding a meet up group in your area. Many of them love to cook and share their food issues/ideas and social pressures. I just learned of a cook book due out this fall for all my southern friends. It is written by the woman who has the Vegan Crunk blog.

5:12AM PDT on May 29, 2011

I feel so inspired! Thanks!

5:43PM PDT on May 22, 2011

I loved reading this article, particularly the part when the child asked her mother for more carrots. It's not so much a diet but a lifestyle change. I've been a vegetarian for over a year now and it's been enduring for me because the food tastes good (as opposed to dreading the prospect of eating vegetables and fruits the way some people do)

9:33AM PDT on May 22, 2011

I just discovered another great creamer (non-dairy) for my morning lattee/coffee: Trader Joe's Organic Whole Grain Drink. It is made from Quinoa, Amaranth, millet and brown rice! So healthy. So cool to discover more ways to promote a cruelty-free way of living and being. Spiritual advancement naturally follows, with meditation, as well. Benefits of these every day choices extend all-around & in all directions.

3:05AM PDT on May 20, 2011

John Bernard... Why should Petra change her tune? I am an animal rights activist and a vegan, but I call myself "vegetarian". If I am asked do I eat dairy products, I say "no, I am a vegetarian". As far as I am concerned, being a vegetarian means I eat a plant-based diet. For those who are vegetarian and do eat dairy, perhaps they should consider the cruelty involved in dairy production (plenty of info. out there on this) and also consider the harm it does to one's health (read The China Study) and gradually eliminate dairy from their diet. I prefer to promote the label "vegetarian" as being non-animal in every sense because I believe all vegetarian groups are now adopting the view that the dairy industry is every bit as harmful (to the animal, to the environment, to our health) as is the meat industry.

To those who love cheese (and yes, it is addictive), it only takes a few weeks without it and that's the hard bit over with - really, no cheese!

7:20PM PDT on May 19, 2011

To Petra Luna, You said, "I'm vegetarian because I'm against animal abuse". Sorry to rain on your parade, but the entire animal rights community agrees-the worst form of animal abuse is perpetrated by the egg and dairy factory farm machine. So become Vegan or change your tune.

11:40AM PDT on May 19, 2011

Here's what I tell people when they ask why I am a vegetarian....
"My craving or taste for meat does not out weight the pain and suffering that farm animals endure"

8:55AM PDT on May 19, 2011

Brilliant, thank you.

11:18PM PDT on May 16, 2011

I have been a vegetarian for more than 25 years, purely for the sake of animals. Like Petra Luna, my complexion is flawless (I am 49), I never get sick and have never had any problems with energy.

BTW, I never eat processed vegetarian foods. Why would I?
I don't like faux meat - vegetables are to die for!

6:32AM PDT on May 16, 2011

I was interesting in Rana's comment and would like to put up for debate:

what is, in your opinion, healthier - eating some meat products or eating some processed vegetarian products (like the veggie burgers and steak tips mentioned in the comment)?

I'm just curious to know.

Why?

Because I eat a largely vegetarian / vegan diet now, but am worried about adding these processed, meat substitute meals, to my meal plan.

I believe most natural is best, but sometimes grabbing for a Schnitzel when I'm doing meat Schnitzel for my family could be very tempting ...

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