Monday, May 12, 2008

10 Even Better Reasons to go Veg.

There was a very charming letter in Saturday’s Ottawa Citizen by one, Jaya Subramaniam, on the joys and benefits of vegetarianism. The letter ends:

Enjoyment of food is possible with leisure and with no commitment to aggressive achievements, military or otherwise. A peace-loving temperament and leisurely enjoyment of food thus reinforce each other. Similarly, any society, which is agricultural, develops a respect for the environment, together with a taste for vegetarian diet. Thus a vegetarian society is a peace-loving society, which enjoys good vegetarian food in addition to all the health benefits that it confers.

So, I'm thinking, “wow, there must be all sorts of hidden benefits to vegetarianism beyond all the well-publicized health, environmental, and ethical benefits."

World and inner peace, according to Jaya Subramaniam’s theory is possible if we all embrace the joys of a plant-based diet. I think we can also add the following:

1. Economics: Meat is bloody expensive.

2. Aesthetics: Vegetarians smell and taste better.

3. Endurance: A Yale University study revealed that vegetarians have nearly twice the stamina of meat-eaters.

4. Airline Food: It’s a well-known fact that if you order a vegetarian meal on an airplane you’ll get something resembling actual food.

5. Repel Insects: Insects, like mosquitoes, seem to be more attracted to omnivores than to vegetarians

6. Tidier Kitchens: Nothing messes up the stove, oven and pans more than roasting meat.

7. Feeling Superior: You can laugh at Mad-Cow anxiety; chide omnivores for their wasteful dietary practices and smirk smugly at other people’s food-related health issues.

8. Thwarting Conspiracies: You’re not a shill for the giants of transnational agri-food conglomerates -- the meat and dairy industries.

9. Element of Surprise: People assume because you’re a vegetarian you must be a weak, sensitive, pacifist pushover. You can take advantage of this gross under-estimation by kicking the shit out of them literally or metaphorically when they bug your ass.

10. Generate Conversations: Announcing your vegetarianism is a guaranteed ice-breaker at parties. People always have lots of questions, opinions and humorous/sarcastic quips to convey on the topic.


JB said...

"Vegetarians smell and taste better."
...but doesn't tasting a vegetarian constitute eating meat, and therefore defeat the purpose?

alison said...

Hmmm, I'm an omnivore and *furtively sniffing at herself* I think I smell pretty good.

One thing I do notice is that since the ex left a couple of years ago and I'm just cooking for the girls and myself, our meat consumption has gone waaay down. Though I still love me a nice bbq steak on occasion and bacon on a bun from the farmers' market on a Saturday morning, we don't eat meat every day anymore.

XUP said...

JB - that depends on whether you're actually killing and consuming said vegetarian or just tasting them.

Alison - The smell thing can be subtle depending on how much you consume - comes from the length of time it takes meat to digest causing it to putrify in your in your system which affects your breath, sweat, bodily fluids and even skin. I've heard that some cultures are actually repulsed to the point of gagging by the smell of people who eat dairy products.

JB said...

Interesting point you bring up about the smell of people who consume dairy products. Anyone who has smelled someone who eats vast amounts of curry, and finds that nasty? ...Well, apparently the smell of a person who consumes dairy to a person who doesn't? MUCH worse.

JB said...

Oh...and if one kills and consumes a vegetarian, does that count toward or against one's vegetarianism?
...just curious.

Dave said...

I agree with much of the list, but one issue I have with vegetarians is that a disproportionate number of them have, um, liberal hygiene habits, which tends to offset any gustatory benefits their flesh may derive from vegetarianism.

Milan said...

A couple more reasons:

1) Less chance of heart disease

2) Less chance of mad cow disease

3) Less chance of other meat-borne illnesses (like e. coli and trichonosis)

See also:

Reasons for vegetarianism

Grandy said...

An Ice-Breaker INDEED. Can you come to my next party?

XUP said...

JB - I think if you kill and consume a vegetarian your diet is going to be the least of your worries.

Dave - What you consider poor hygiene is a reflection of your North American conditioning. Our sanitized, deodorized, shaved, perfumed, bodies are considered repulsive in many other parts of the world.

Milan - Thanks. I predict that over the next few decades meat-eating will become as socially unacceptable as smoking as more and more research promotes the health and environmental benefits of vegetarianism - not to mention the wide-ranging ethical concerns

Grandy - I'm always available for parties. Name the day and time.

Veganity said...

5+yr vegetarian, and 1+yr vegan still going strong, and all these reasons are in the mix.

One amendment to the "endurance" one: veggies also have better sex lives. All those animal fats slow your blood EVERYWHERE.

Nick said...

Interesting list, but I don't believe it is as accurate as you'd want it to be. In fact, it seems that much of your list doesn't have much to do with a balanced diet (which is, in fact, the healthiest for all), but instead is directed at people that consume meat as the main course (or only course) at every meal.
The best point you made was economics (to a lesser extent, the comment on airline food). Aesthetics and endurance are somewhat absurd points to make, again, unless your diet is not balanced (noting that a balanced diet is, far and away, mainly vegetables, fruits, and grains). The insects comment was silly.

As for the conspiracy idea, let's hope you're steadfast against the corn industry, which is putting the beef/dairy industries to shame with the way they're poisoning prepared foods with HFCS, and trying to market their inefficient product as a future energy source.
#10... I'm sorry, I gotta say, I respect your right to eat what you wish, but I want the same common courtesy from you. I'd expect you wouldn't be all too thrilled if someone came up to you talking about all the ways they use bacon in their meals.

XUP said...

Veganity - You go!

Nick - I guess I'll have to make a new list of drawbacks to vegetarianism and the first thing on the list will have to be: A plant-based diet sometimes, though rarely causes an inability to recognize light-hearted banter.

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