Originally Posted by Yosemite
I'm just curious and admit I know little to nothing about vegetarian diets, but if being vegan is so healthy, why would you not continue during pregnancy. If it is really healthy it would be good for the baby would it not?
I'm also curious how beef is an environmental hazard. Can you explain that for me.
I'm seriously not being a smart-a$$ here, I would honestly like to know. I just happen to love most vegetables and eat plenty of them, but I also eat meat.
Because for so many, vegetarianism and veganism is an ethical and environmental choice, whether or not we were `made' to eat meat is entirely irrelevant, and doesn't really enter into the minds of most people who choose not to eat it.
I agree that humans are omnivorous and that is our genetic heritage. I like meat, I enjoy eating it. However, my reasons for becoming vegetarian had nothing to do with that. I didn't feel it was right to continue to eat meat and eggs and milk that came from animals that were exploited, and suffered greatly during their lives and then slaughters to bring me food that I can live without or find alternatives to.
So it wasn't a `health' choice or a `we shouldn't eat meat' choice - it was a purely ethical choice based on my disagreement with modern farming practices and the rearing and killing of livestock to produce meat, the conditions that battery chickens live in to produce eggs, and the same for dairy cows.
In terms of why stop being vegetarian whilst being pregnant (I was never a vegan - I couldn't give up marshmallows or honey or cheese and I know that's hypocritical - it's something I struggle with internally) I am not disciplined enough with the hours I work and everything else I do and the toll that being pregnant takes on my body to provide myself with a diet adequate to cover what I'm missing out on in meat and dairy. When I wasn't pregnant this didn't bother me so much because it was just me to worry about, but now that I am, I want my child to have the best possible start in life and as I felt I couldn't give the attention required to eating a diet that made up for a lack of meat and dairy.
The meat that we eat is organic, and ethically raised, and whilst I have had more cow's milk since I've been pregnant it is easy to get your hands on calcium-enriched soy milk etc so really my only change is that I've included some red meat back in my diet, and I don't really overdo it. Plus I just prefer the taste of soy milk, actually, so that one is easy.
I still never eat any pork or lamb. I don't eat baby animals and I don't eat pork because the pork industry is the worst of all in terms of animal cruelty and I can live without ham and bacon for the rest of my life as a result of that, easily.
As for the environment, the number one way that we can help our environment and help stop global warming is to stop eating beef. It is more destructive to the environment than driving a car. It takes approximately 169 megajoules of energy to produce 2.2 pounds of beef (the equivalent of 4 average-sized steaks or nearly 9 quarter-pound burgers). This is the same amount of energy that would be consumed by leaving a 100-watt bulb burning for 20 days.
One-third of the energy consumed goes into producing and transporting the animals' feed.
In addition to energy consumption and greenhouse emissions, animal agriculture produces a great amount of pollution and consumes substantially more water than plant agriculture. Some of this effect arises merely from the fact that eating animals is less efficient than eating plants a single animal must consume vast quantities of plants before it is slaughtered, which means that all the energy, water and other resources used to produce those plants are ultimately going to the production of a much smaller quantity of food.
And cows produce methane - a greenhouse gas which is far, far more hazardous to the environment than carbon dioxide (25 times more hazardous, to be exact). One
cow in it's lifetime can produce between 250 and 500 litres of methane gas daily
. Cows are responsible for almost half of the methane emissions produced worldwide.
Like global warming itself, this is not speculation or a contested science. These are the facts of the beef industry. Therefore when people tell you they are vegetarian or vegan or simply don't eat beef for environmental reasons, this is why!