Serena mentioned that she has a friend who has a daughter
who "almost died" after she switched to a vegetarian diet.
This is not terribly unusual for adolescent girls. They
wish to become vegan without studying or learning much
about dietary needs. Mostly, their motivation is for
animal rights--with a strong desire to lose weight.
Neither of these goals are inappropriate and certainly
animal rights is an excellent moral consideration.
Such issues as loss of tropical fauna and flora by
burning are tied up in these and of great concern
to all environmentalists. Meat eating causes terrible
But these young women tend to use their "vegegarianism"
as a method to "control" their families, draw attention
to themselves (when it is otherwise lacking) and eating
becomes the "entire family issue of communication."
They start to lose significant weight by seriously
limiting their caloric intake. Their stomachs shrink
(as do all who eat less) and they continue to look for
ways to limit their intake. All dietary control requires
some "rigidity" and inability to compromise...otherwise
we fall off the wagon too much and eat the wrong kinds
of foods. But these young women start to vomit their
food. It starts innocently enough...they get some
meat accidentally at a restaurant and decide that it
makes them sick...a trip to the bathroom will take
care of it. Vomiting suddenly gets to be a habit
and their "vegetarianism" becomes a serious eating
disorder. They start to consider sugar as the "enemy"
and fiber makes them feel "too full."
I think this is the genesis of it, NOT the vegetarian
diet. I could go on, but I don't want to make this
post too long.
(Dr.) Mike Rosenblatt