Every so often, a friend or family member will ask me a question or make a statement that tells me they really don’t know what vegetarianism is really like. Just a few weeks ago, my niece confessed sheepishly (over a platter of fettucine primavera I was serving) that she thought I ate nothing but twigs, rocks and seeds. Well, you get the idea. She equated a vegetarian lifestyle with eating a lot of weird and not necessarily tasty foods.
I found this neat blog post on the myths of vegetarianism at DollyMix the other day and it really reminded me not only of some of the misconceptions about the vegetarian lifestyle, but also the misconceptions that I used to have. Here are a few of the myths pointed out in the post.
Myth #1: We were meant to eat meat.
This isn’t necessarily true. We can eat meat, but our bodies don’t require it. We can drink alcohol, too, but we don’t have to. As the article says,
The advent of tools, along with periods of great need and hunger probably drove us to eat meat and we discovered that it tasted good in the process. It probably led to our survival as a species. But this doesn’t mean we HAVE to eat it now we no longer need it for survival.”
Myth #2:Vegetarian food is boring.
We’ve all fielded questions from friends who wonder if we don’t get tired of eating all that oatmeal and dried fruit. I love surprising those friends with a delicious meal that is anything but boring.
Myth #3: The vegetarian diet doesn’t have enough protein.
We’ve talked about this one right here on The Radish. Yes, meat is more protein-dense than most other foods, but a) most Americans get too much protein and b) there are plenty of non-meat protein sources.
Myth #4: Being a vegetarian is hard work.
When you first make the transition to a vegetarian lifestyle, it can take some time to learn what does and doesn’t work for you and how to make sure you have a balanced diet. However, I think it’s less work in the long run, don’t you?
Check out the other myths about a vegetarian diet. It may give you some good responses when a friend or relative starts asking questions.