When this vegetarian started a meat-free diet at the age of 15, she didn't know what she knows now about the benefits of eating meat. Here's what she learned.
First of all, if this appears to be one of those "I told you so" moments, you couldn't be more wrong. On the surface, it might seem like a chance to dig someone for their true beliefs, but this is the time for inclusion and acceptance. Vegetarianism is a tried and true way to live your life, but it may not be for everyone, as one fellow writer found out.
Larell Scardelli penned a beautifully written and thoughtful piece for Rodale's Organic Life back in June of 2017 about the trials and tribulations of being a strict vegetarian while all that good animal protein was there for the taking.
"I became a vegetarian at the age of 15, because "I loved animals." I hadn't done much research; I just decided to do it with my rebellious best friend."
She would even be the first to say that she became a "meat is murder" supporter and began her life as a devout vegetarian in an almost militant way.
Then came the onset of adult cystic acne which changed everything. Suddenly she was sitting in front of an holistic dermatologist and listening to him say:
"How attached to vegetarianism are you?"
The beauty of Scardelli's new look, and the situation she came from, is as truthful as it is eye-opening:
"Looking back, I missed a few key aspects to this lifestyle change. For starters, I didn't do my homework. I thought supplementing beans as my main protein was sufficient and that all carbs were created equal. I also didn't fully understand what was going on behind the scenes of animal production, or that there could be ethical ways to consume animal meat and fish, mainly because I was terrified of what I would learn. And I didn't understand the toll that not getting the right nutrients was taking on my body--and my skin."
While animal protein has all of the nine essential amino acids, vegetables don't aways carry all of those. Veteran, lifelong vegetarians have found the ways and means to carry on their meat-free lives, but can't replace animal protein in any other way. Responsible meat eating includes wild game harvest and other free-range options that can't be replicated by factory farms.
Even Gretchen Hanson, vegan chef and health coach for some 30 years agrees that some vegan and vegetarians should consider returning to an animal protein diet saying,
"White meat proteins like chicken generally have a low allergen reaction, which is why they are commonly used in the Elimination Diet."
As hunters and meat eaters, we only want the same consideration that we have for those of the vegetarian and vegan persuasion: We understand and appreciate your life style and would only like the same the same in return.
Scardelli is now conscious of eating a wild, organic, and free range diet and now understands that not everyone is meant to eat a vegetarian only diet saying,
"(But for now) I'm grateful that I've learned to eat in a way that helps me to be healthy, and I'm happy to do that as ethically as possible."
There is no question that fruits and vegetables are part of an essentially healthy diet and have their place on all of our plates, and in addition to that, eating meat can not only be very healthy, but done in a responsible fashion.