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Veganism: a choice for some but not for everyone | News, Sports, Jobs


Next week we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving, which for most people includes a slow roast turkey feast.

Turkey is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving holidays, great meals for entire families. It is traditional to eat a lot of food in the middle of the day, eat a pie later when there is room, and then enjoy leftover turkey for several days in sandwiches.

A small percentage of people need to take a different approach. Those who are strictly vegetarians need other options on Turkey Day.

I wondered how they handle this. Something like a Thanksgiving lasagna would have to be one in a million to compete with turkey and classic toppings.

Guess maybe they don’t need to plan a main course. They can enjoy almost everything else in a Thanksgiving feast; the potatoes, the green bean casserole, the salads, the cranberries and finally the pumpkin pie.

Yet they must challenge a centuries-old tradition. For many people, a meatless diet seems challenging all year round. This does not make sense to those who anchor most of their meals with meat products.

When I worked as an environmental educator for soil and water conservation districts, I was sometimes asked by elementary or high school students if I was vegetarian.

Guess the question was prompted by what they had heard back home about vegetarians and environmentalists. There was usually a noticeable approval from the interrogator when I replied that I enjoy meals with meat.

I didn’t know any vegetarians when I was young. I met them at university and during my years as a young professional.

They choose a vegan diet for several possible reasons. Sometimes it’s because they see it as a health conscious choice with less fat and cholesterol. For others, there is a desire to save on food costs.

Some vegetarians see it as a moral problem. They consider it morally reprehensible to kill a living being or to raise animals in order to market them as food.

This is a question that often arises in philosophy of general studies courses at universities. The philosophy professor, who is often not a vegetarian himself, asks the students whether the meat they eat contradicts the belief that it is wrong to kill.

A class normally explores both sides, including the idea that domestic cattle have the stockyard as a destination in life. It is emphasized that modern breeds would not exist if it had not been for many centuries of domestication of cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry.

It is valuable for agriculture and the food industry to promote the nutritional value of meats. There is a need to address the moral concerns of vegetarians with facts about animal nutrition, veterinary care and state-of-the-art barns.

At the end of the day, I don’t feel guilty about eating turkey on Thanksgiving or ordering steak at a restaurant. Four of my favorite dishes to cook are pork chops, chicken, ground beef, and bratwurst sausage.

I also enjoy a vegetarian meal sometimes, something like a plate full of spaghetti, a vegetable stir-fry or a chef’s salad with a wide range of ingredients.

Food is a very personal choice. Everyone should be able to choose what they want for whatever reason. It is good to respect the choice of vegetarians, and they in turn should accept the choices of meat eaters.

The only social pressure that should be applied to food is the need to make choices that reflect good nutritional standards. It is necessary to have a balanced diet with grains, vegetables, protein and all other dietary needs.

The question of whether humans should have moral qualms about being at the top of the modern food chain is something that can never be proven by the facts one way or another. It is simply a values ​​decision.

That shouldn’t be of concern to anyone next Thursday. Hopefully turkey eaters and vegetarians alike have a great vacation, with lots of great food and plenty of companionship.

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