As mentioned in the Preface, our personal journey into vegetarianism was quite gradual. One of the reasons was that we were not sure if it would be nutritionally complete. At first we questioned whether we would be getting enough protein and energy from our diet. After reading several books and articles on the topic, our anxiety was eased. Milk was a bit harder. Would we really be getting enough calcium? Laura was especially concerned, as she was approaching the age when calcium was a particular concern for women. Even after listening to John McDougall's presentation and reading his books, we were still a bit apprehensive. We continued to investigate the matter.
The thought that kept plaguing us was that if the people in China can live a healthy life on very little meat and no milk, then why couldn't we? An epidemiological study of 6,500 people in rural China conducted by Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University demonstrated that the Chinese diet is much healthier than the typical American diet, with much less heart disease, cancer, and virtually no cases of osteoporosis.
We also realized that our attitudes toward diet had been conditioned by our culture. We live in a highly competitive economic