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Re: Vegan issues

Renee_Kemske@xxxxxxx (Renee Kemske) wrote:

> My questions concerns people having the SAD questioning a strict vegetarian diet
> or even a low-fat diet.  I'm constantly faced with people asking me if I'm
> healthy because I'm very thin and don't eat any animal products and have a very
> low-fat diet.  I eat mostly whole foods, and if I do eat anything processed I
> try to eat natural foods like natural crackers, breads, etc.  I constantly feel
> like I have to be on the defense justifying my way of life.  I'm going into
> nutrition as a career and have plenty of knowledge at my fingertips concerning
> health/nutrition and vegetarian diets, so I feel like I'm pretty educated.  Many
> of the issues I'm questioned with are the "Not Getting Enough Fat" issue and
> "Not Getting Enough Calories" issue.  I know that this is not recipe-related but
> am just curious if anyone experiences  the same problems or has any insight on
> the matter.

Hi Renee!

I find that most people ask these sorts of questions out of ignorance,
rather than out of spite.  They truly don't understand how someone can
eat something so simple and yet stay healthy.  I tend to treat it as an
opportunity to educate, rather than as a defense of my lifestyle.  After
all, it is _my_ lifestyle, not theirs!  If they don't want to live this
way, they don't have to... :)  And if I do get into a position where I
feel I'm defending myself, rather than teaching them, I simply say
"well, it works for me -- it may not work for everyone" and just leave
it at that.  If they keep hounding me, I keep repeating that... :)

In general, though, I find that most people are curious, not attacking. 
Some are even envious -- "wow, I wouldn't have the willpower to eat that
way".  There are the occasional few who go out of their way to flaunt
the ultra-rare hamburger or pork chop they're eating, but I just ignore
them... :)

The ones I get the biggest kick out of are the many Indians I work
with.  Many of them are vegetarian themselves (Hindu or Sikh, I assume),
or at least grew up with others who were vegetarian, but they haven't
quite figured me out yet -- someone who went vegetarian without being
raised that way!  What ever possessed me to do that?  Why do I stick it
out?  That Indian food's not too spicy, is it?  You like this stuff? 
They're slowly getting used to me now, but when they first discovered I
was vegan, it was pretty funny... :)

Hope this helps!

Faith                       |"Censorship ends in logical completeness
faith@xxxxxxxxx             |when nobody is allowed to read any books
http://www.senie.com/faith/ |except the books that nobody can read."
                            | -- George Bernard Shaw