The New Vegetarians: Promoting Health and Protecting Life

By Paul R. Amato; Sonia A. Partridge | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
The Vegetarian Lifestyle

Being a vegetarian involves more than simply not eating meat. Most people don't realize the extent to which their diets are linked to other aspects of their lifestyles. But when people become vegetarians, they set off a chain reaction that affects numerous areas of their everyday lives. Some aspects of the vegetarian lifestyle vary depending on one's motives for abstaining from meat and the particular diet one follows. Nevertheless, regardless of one's motives or the types of food one eats, living as a vegetarian leads to a set of shared prospects and problems.


SO WHAT DO YOU EAT IF YOU DON'T EAT MEAT?

Meat-eaters often wonder what vegetarians manage to find to eat; many have the misconception that vegetarians live mainly on lettuce and raw carrots. Not surprisingly, people raised on meat-centered diets assume that a meal without flesh is incomplete. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that many novice vegetarians share the view that meatless meals are bland and boring. As we noted earlier, many people, when first excluding flesh from their diets, are not well prepared and don't know what to cook. As a result, their limited diets confirm the worst expectations of meat-eaters.

However, most people eventually discover the rich variety of plant foods that are commonly available. There are literally scores of different types of vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruits from which to build meals. In contrast, flesh

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