May 12, 2009

There is now a vegan strip club in Portland, Ore., according to an article in the New York Times. The dancers wear pleather instead of leather, and they also forbid feathers, wool, fur, and silk in any of their outfits. Most of the dancers themselves are vegetarians or vegans, but the club owner Johnny Diablo made it imperative to eliminate anything animal-related in his Casa Diablo Gentleman’s Club. The food even contains soy products instead of meat or dairy.

Surprisingly, the club has sparked an unfavorable interest in the feminist community. The “feminazis”, as Diablo calls them, are complaining about the club exploiting women to sell veganism. Apparently it isn’t the first time scantily clad women on animal rights campaigns have offended the feminist community. PETA has been ridiculed for using naked celebrities in its advertisements.

It is odd because feminists were early adopters of veganism, since they related to animals’ right to freedom. But now, animal rights supporters are being accused of sexism for using women in their ads, when they are using consenting women who have a heart for the cause. Diablo ended up putting the club up for sale, but he said his only concern was for the rights of animals. “My sole purpose in this universe is to save every possible creature from pain and suffering,” he said. A strip club isn’t the best way to sell people on animal rights, but he had the right motivation.

Eating a plant-based diet can be unhealthy if exercised improperly or for the wrong reasons. Along with children, teenagers are also choosing vegetarianism as a way of life. However, teens do not have parental supervision over their food intake like children do, so they are more likely to abuse the diet. According to ABC News, the American Dietetic Association found that most teens that choose vegetarianism were more likely to develop eating disorders such as binge eating, vomiting, and misuse laxatives. Parents are encouraged to ask their teen for the reason they are choosing vegetarianism. If weight loss is their main objective, the choice could be a mask for an eating disorder.

It is never too early or too late to start planning for a healthier future, and vegetarianism is a successful plan if done right. The diet requires planning and a daily assessment of nutrient intake. If a teen takes on the challenge, dedication and the right motivation is necessary for a well-balanced diet. Otherwise, they will consume whatever will result in weight loss and not necessarily what is healthy.

It’s never too early

April 29, 2009

Vegetarianism is a healthy choice for all stages in life. A new study found that more and more children are choosing vegetarian diets without any push from their parents. Even children who are growing up in meat-eating families refuse to eat ham because of moral reasons. Harvard doctoral student Karen Hussar studies moral development in children, and she enjoys working with vegetarian children. According to an article on the Harvard Graduate School of Education website, Hussar says that they freely believe that eating animals is wrong because they are “friends.”

The main concern with parents is that their vegetarian children are not ingesting the proper nutrients required for healthy development. Howtodothings.com gives some helpful hints on how to provide a suitable diet for children choosing meatless diets. Obviously, proteins and good fats are necessary. Parents will likely concur that their child gladly accepts soy “hotdogs” and “hamburgers.” 

Vegetarianism is known to prevent many diseases and has been proven to extend quality of life. If vegetarian children maintain a well-balanced diet, there is nothing wrong with preparing for a healthy future at an early age. 

Vegetarians in the air

April 20, 2009

Vegetarian options on airplanes are virtually nonexistent, unless you want to have a bag of peanuts for lunch or dinner. Unfortunately, as a vegetarian, you transform into a squirrel and horde a small amount of food in order to prevent hunger for a few hours. Although, if you ask politely, I have learned that the flight attendants will give you as many bags of nuts as quantity permits. But who wants peanuts for lunch when you have paid for a meal?

When I flew to New York recently, I routinely asked the flight attendant for an extra bag of almonds and told her I would pass on the ham sandwich. She informed me that if I called ahead they would certainly cater to my dietary needs.

I called ahead this week and asked for a vegetarian meal on my Continental flight to Virginia.  Sure enough, instead of a hamburger, I was served a bowl of spinach pasta (so much for low-carb). It turns out, ordering a vegetarian meal from an airline is like playing Russian roulette, but at least there is an option. 

Blood Type Diet?

April 6, 2009

Dr Peter D’Adamo, naturopath and creator of the Blood Type Diet claims that your diet should be determined by your blood type. According to D’Adamo, following this diet and avoiding the “wrong foods” will help you feel better and even lose weight. Of course the idea sparked a debate. D’Adamo believes that blood type O should eat mostly meat and blood type A should follow a vegetarian diet. I am type A and a vegetarian, so I  may have a hard time disproving his argument. However, my boss is type O and a vegan. It has been ten years since he has had meat, and he is the picture of health.

On the other hand, I have worked with many musicians who swear by the Blood Type Diet. It is not surprising that there are satisfied customers since the diet is not harmful. His theory revolves around the timeline of blood types. Type O is the oldest blood type, so people with this type should eat meat because that is what humans ate in the earliest days. Blood type A is the second oldest, and it came around when farming was largely developed. Therefore type A people should eat veggies. Type B came around when people were migrating, so their diet should be balanced.

So are type O vegetarians hurting themselves? D’Adamo swears that they will be plagued with intestinal problems. My boss disagrees.

Feel better!

April 6, 2009

I became a vegetarian in 2004 when I first started as a runner for concerts. I realized that most touring musicians and their crew had adopted the vegetarian diet. In fact, most of the food in catering was meatless, so I was pretty much forced to be a vegetarian while working. It was Dave Matthews’ personal assistant that finally talked me into making it a lifestyle. He blabbed on and on about all the benefits then stated “I really just feel so much better.”

So I started that day, because I really just wanted to feel better. And it worked! Within a week i felt like a new person. There are many health benefits associated with giving up meat. If you are interested, check out http://www.benefitsofvegetarianism.com. It has been found that vegetarians live longer  than meat eaters and are significantly less likely to have heart problems. Everyone knows that red meat is hard on your heart, but did you know it is linked to early death for other reasons? Here is an excerpt from The Washinton Post.

“Previous research had found a link between red meat and an increased risk of heart disease and cancer, particularly colorectal cancer, but the new study is the first large examination of the relationship between eating meat and overall risk of death, and is by far the most detailed.”

Check out the new study!   http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/169/6/562

Bottom line: I may not be able to talk you into giving up all meat, but if you want to feel better then I suggest giving up a little here and there.