I’ve heard it about a thousand times:
“Don’t be vegetarian, Serena!”
“It’s not healthy.”
(Eyes bug out of my face…) “Well it depends on food choices as a vegetarian…but like I said I’m not vegetarian.”
“See Serena? You aren’t growing because you’re not eating meat. You’re too skinny!” (While I gain 6 pounds)
“You can’t attribute growth to meat eating. Also, I DO eat meat. Chicken and salmon count ya know (and then I proceed to talk about the many times that I ate meat).”
As a growing teen, I can understand people who are concerned about my food choices because of the common misconception that meat = a growing body.
However, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “A well-balanced vegetarian diet can provide for the needs of children and adolescents.”
It’s important to eat a variety of nutritious foods, but meat is not essential. Most people say that by not eating meat (meaning beef), valuable protein is missing. But there are a plethora of foods that can be substituted for “meat” that contain the same amount of protein such as salmon, yogurt, eggs, beans, and soy.
I really appreciate that people are trying to look after me and their intention is to make sure I am healthy. However, it is my belief that society has led them to believe in the delusions about the benefits of meat. I am not arguing that meat is not healthy, but rather that meat can be substituted if the consumer chooses to.
So, with that rant aside, what do people say about your food choices?