Friday, August 29, 2008

Young Vegetarians

More Young People Are Becoming Vegetarians

An article in USA Today online reported that more kids aged 8 to 18 are vegetarians. The figure has grown to 3% of the population (About 3% of adults are vegetarian, while another 10% consider themselves vegetarian even though they may occasionally eat fish or chicken).

One of the plusses in this trend is that it is easier for the parents of these kids to find kid-friendly veggie staples, such as, soy milk, veggie broths, lard-free refried beans and veggie burgers.

Since I’ve been vegetarian since 1971, I’ve gotten to see this revolution take place in restaurants around the country. It used to be that when I was on the road and speaking in a small town, I needed to find one of the steak house chains like Bonanza or Ponderosa to eat in because I knew I could get their salad bar and a baked potato. Because almost all restaurants now offer veggie meals (and good ones, too), it’s been years since I’ve had to eat in one of the chains.

The article also cited many reasons why young people become vegetarian, including:
- personal taste,
- concerns about animal treatment,
- environmental questions surrounding the raising the livestock, and
- the influence of peers and celebrities.

To ease parents’ concerns about the nutritional wisdom of a young person becoming vegetarian, a 2003 review of the scientific literature by the American Dietetic Association concluded that a well-planned Vegan and other types of vegetarian diets can be appropriate for all ages.

  • So… please pass the soy burgers!  (and remembering the habits of the young - Fast Food Giant Burger King added a Vegetarian Burger to their menu, that is actually terrific tasting, and the Veggie at Subway is a big favorite!)

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