A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that a whopping 367,000 youths don’t eat the meat. Some vegetarians eat fish and dairy, others are vegan–no meat, no dairy, nada. The typical teen vegetarian is female, from higher-income family, living on the East or West coast. Sound familiar?
Vegetarianism, isn’t just for girls anymore; plenty of boys are doing it, too. Rarely is this dietary lifestyle taken up for health reasons. Most kids cite animal welfare as the reason they’re doing it. They don’t eat meat because…it’s inhumane. Swear. And with the popularity of certain chicken slaughtering videos on You Tube…well, I guess you can figure out the rest.*
Wow! I’m sure you can guess my feeling on this. If you read my monthly articles, you definitely know I think it’s a dangerous health game to be playing–vegetarianism for kids, that is. I said so in my last article on protein and vitamin B deficiency. Kids keep growing until they are 25 years old. They need protein; they need nutrients (vitamins B, D, iron and calcium); the best foods to get them from is meat, fish, and dairy. Yes, you can get protein from vegetable sources. But it’s hard; and it requires lots of planning and preparing–something that most adults have a hard time doing, let alone your average teenager.
But the conscience of the typical teen vegetarian guides them, along with some good old fashioned parental ignorance. Listen up parents: vegetarianism isn’t in the best interest of your child’s health. I predict we are going to see some ill adults within the next 20-30 years as a result of this fad.
*I talk about the unacceptable conditions of many of the country’s poultry farms in my book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health; but I don’t think that endangering one’s health with vegetarianism is the answer.