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Volume 17 Issue 4
November/Dec 2011

Prayer That Works
Connecting With Our True Selves

Sugar: A Burst of Sweetness

On Becoming A Vegetarian

Caring for Our Precious Eyes in the Midst of Daily Life

Foods That Fight Chronic Inflammation © 2011

The Oneness Movement
Realizing the Divine Within

Subconscious Mind Correction

Trust Your Intuition!


On Becoming A Vegetarian
by Carolyn Herriot

I became a vegetarian when I landed in Vancouver from London, UK, in 1975, and found myself sharing a co-operative house with five others, who were all vegetarians. The deal was that we each took turns making dinner, and as I loved cooking, instead of being daunted, I dashed out to buy a vegetarian cook book that would teach me something other than egg and cheese dishes!

I happen to believe that “You are what you eat,” so after swallowing John Robbins’ Diet for a New America I was clear that I did not want the energy of suffering and inhumanity that goes into concentrated animal feed lot (CAFO) operations, to become part of me. It was at 23 Dunbar Street that I understood why I needed to become a vegetarian; where I shed 30 lbs in weight and felt my energy lighten with a much greater sense of well-being. There was no going back, and I have been a healthy vegetarian ever since!

It seemed to me from conversations at dinner parties that people were anxious about getting enough protein in a vegetarian diet, but I assured them that this was not a problem. Our bodies are composed of 20% protein by weight, and adequate protein is important for tissue growth and repair, metabolic functioning, and the formation of disease-fighting antibodies. Protein molecules are composed of building blocks called amino acids. There are 22 known amino acids, most of which are synthesized in the body, but there are eight that cannot be synthesized, referred to as essential amino acids.
All eight essential amino acids need to be present at the same time and in the right proportions, for protein synthesis to occur. Grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and dairy are valuable sources of these essential amino acids, and if combined assure an adequate intake of amino acids for complete protein synthesis. One of these three combinations with fresh vegetables from the garden means you can quit worrying about getting enough protein in your diet.

  1. Grains combined with beans
  2. Grains combined with dairy products
  3. Beans combined with seeds.

If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the US would save:

  • 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months;
  • 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year;
  • 70 million gallons of gas—enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare;
  • 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware;
  • 33 tons of antibiotics.

Kathy Freston, Huffington Post, http://www.alternet.org/story/134650/

Then there’s the global politics of making meat the centre of the meal. I find it hard to stomach that we grow corn and grains to feed to animals, when so many of us are going hungry. Imagine how easily we could feed the world if members of the affluent meat-eating society cut back to eating meat once a week. And imagine how much suffering to animals we could alleviate if we banned CAFOs!

This article first appeared in the August, 2011, issue of CommonGround Magazine (Issue 241) in Vancouver, BC (www.commonground.ca).

Carolyn Herriot is author of The Zero Mile Diet: A Year-round Guide to Growing Organic Food, and A Year On The Garden Path: A 52-Week Organic Gardening Guide (Harbour Publishing). She grows Seeds of Victoria at The Garden Path Centre in Victoria, BC. For more information visit http://earthfuture.com/gardenpath/.


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