“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”
― Paul McCartney
Ok, honestly, I want to put the “inside slaughterhouse” video from YouTube. But it is too scary to be watched, so just listening this cool sound of JM.
One fact about me is I have not had eat meat and fish since I was 14 years old. It has been 9 years because now I am 23 years old and still do so. Some says, my life style now called “vegetarianism”. I try to search in Google, what exactly the meaning of vegetarian. Vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products for moral, religious, or health reasons. According to The American Dietetic Association (ADA), there are any types of vegetarians. They are :
- Vegans or total vegetarians. This type exclude all animal products like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, and sometimes honey.
- Lactovegetarians. They exclude meat, poultry, fish, and eggs but still include dairy products in their diet.
- Lacto-ovovegetarians. This type exclude meat, poultry, and fish but include dairy products and eggs.
So, maybe I can say that I’m a lacto-ovovegetarian. 🙂
My friends often ask me, why do you become vegetarian? Some people become vegetarian for many reasons such as for body health, environtmental concern, or moral reason like nonviolence, compassion or maybe for spiritual reason. And me, all I can say, I just following my heart.
“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”
― Thomas A. Edison
When I was a child, I eat meat just like the other children. I had eaten meat regularly but then suddenly, I felt sorrowful whenever I had meat or fish in my dish. I felt that I couldn’t eat and I thought that I had to stop eating them. Then, as you see now, I don’t eat meat or fish.
“I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
My friends sometimes warn me that I would have nutrition deficiency for becoming vegetarian. Ok. as a medical student, I have learn about nutrition. The text book says that our demand of protein mostly derived from meat, fish, egg and another animal product. But don’t forget that we can get protein from another natural resources that is plant-based like grains, lentils, beans, tofu, low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, tempeh and peas. (Oh, I love tempeh and tahu very much)
About mineral like calcium can be found in many plant foods with dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, mustard, collard and turnip greens, and bok choy-this is the first time i hear it-, broccoli, beans, dried figs, and sunflower seeds, as well as in calcium-fortified cereals, cereal bars and some fortified juices.
The other mineral that important to our body is Iron. To fulfill our demand, we can consume iron-fortified breads, cereals, vegetables that has dark green color like spinach and broccoli, dried fruits, prune juice, black strap molasses, pumpkin seeds, and soybean nuts. Don’t forget to consume vitamin C (you can find in citrus fruits, tomatoes, and green peppers). Vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron.
Vitamin B-12. This is kind of vitamin usually be the things that my friends worry for me. Well, it is produced in animals and by bacteria in the soil. Dairy products and eggs has B-12. Since I still drink milk, I know I still get enough B-12.
Then we should know that the key to any healthy diet is to choose a wide variety of foods, and to consume enough calories to meet our energy needs.
” it is not necessary to combine specific foods within a meal in order to “complete” the amino acids profile of the proteins found in plant foods. Eating a wide variety of foods and enough calories during the day will fulfill our protein needs.” – ADA
So, what the benefits that I get from becoming Vegetarian?
“It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.”
― Albert Einstein
Many research found that consuming a meat-based diet consisting of highly processed foods with fats and artificial ingredients will increase the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. By eating a healthy low-fat diet and high fiber such as a healthy vegetarian diet consisting of organic product and natural foods can reduce the risk of those disease.
“By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.”