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Old 07-11-2007, 04:21 PM   #1
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Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

If a person grows up eating only a plant-based diet, will his or her body have the capability to handle meat later in life?

My boyfriend and I were talking about getting married and having kids. Since I'm a vegetarian and he isn't we've gone around a bit about what is best to feed our potential children. We both agree that they should have a choice as soon as they are able to make it, but he is worried that if they are fed only plant foods during their childhood their body will "never learn" how to process meat, effectively not giving them a choice in the matter. I think this is silly, quite honestly, but I'm willing to be proven wrong. Any idea which of us is right?

Last edited by evilnumberlady; 07-11-2007 at 04:28 PM.

 
Old 07-11-2007, 05:22 PM   #2
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

I grew up eating meat. I became a vegan that eats foods containing milk and eggs but ate no kind of meats. After about 10 years I had to eat meat cause I was protein deficient. It took my about a year to be able to keep chicken down. Till this day I can not eat red meat with out throwing it up 12-24 hours later whole and undigested. I stopped trying and only eat chicken and sometimes tuna but I have a hard time with tuna too.

So I am going to have to agree with your bf.

 
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:21 AM   #3
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

evilnumber,
I'll go with you. I think we have the capacity to change our diets and our body's learn to adjust.
If people can switch TO vegetarianism, I think they can switch away from it a well.

I don't think there is any special tricks the body must learn to digest meat as opposed to other plant proteins.

I'd start the kids vegetarian because, God knows, there is enough psychological force applied in later life to get them to eat meat so a head start might give them an edge.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 08:55 AM   #4
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

That makes sense Lenin and I agree with you. There are alot of extra hormones too in meat which IMO is why teens these days develop so fast. None of my friends or myself in our teens never developed like teens do today.

However each time I tried to eat red meat I felt like I had food posion. It was not fun.

evilnumberlady are you wanting to keep fish out of the diet too? I had a hard time with that as well?

 
Old 07-12-2007, 08:56 AM   #5
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

Thank you for the responses so far. I'd love to hear more.

FromSqueaky- Off-topic I know, but how on earth did you mange to be protein-deficient? I've never heard of such a thing.

Lenin- I know that the body, at least temporarily loses the ability to process meat if you don't eat it. I have accidentally eaten small amounts of meat before and been fine, but once someone gave me some food that had hamburger in it (they had told me it was boca crumbles) and I became rather ill as a result. I'm just wondering if the body stops completely or only until you reintroduce meat to your diet.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 08:59 AM   #6
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromSqueaky View Post
evilnumberlady are you wanting to keep fish out of the diet too? I had a hard time with that as well?
I personally don't eat fish, since I'm a vegetarian. My boyfriend and I have discussed raising our kids pescatarian as a compromise.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 10:17 AM   #7
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

I just wanted to clarify that since there are many typed of vegetarians.

I was asking because if for any reason your children wanted to try eat meat I think on my experience that fish might make their bodies more capable to digest meat with out making them so ill.

Boca crumbles I am not familiar with. Boca products are for vegans made with soy or grains with spices. Some of the ingredients have hidden MSG. Unless you know what the names are you would never know that MSG is in the product. Are you sensitive to MSG? I am.

I ate only peas, lima beans, with rice, or salads with 1/4 cup of fat free cheese and croutons with a sprinkle of flax seeds or a few nuts like sunflower seeds. Flaked mashed pototes made with water and lemon pepper seasoning pr any fat free dressing. Fat free yogurt or fat free home made cheese cake for snacks.
Or a wheat pocket stuffed with cottage cheese lettuce and chicken free chicken with seasoning.
While I was getting adjusted to chicken I was introduced to egg protein powder that I mixed with fat free milk strawberries and or bananas. I still do not eat red meat or pork.

My mother does not eat meat and now at the age of 68 she had to go to the dentist because her front tooth turned sideways. She has no cavities and pearly white teeth. When they they did an xray they found out that she had bone loss in that part of her jaw. Through tests at the doctor they found out she is protein deficient. She eats all things dairy but no meat tons of fruits and veggies. Her favorite is spinach or brussel sprouts with apple cider vinegar. I guess it just depends on how your body assimilates food.

I bought her the biggest container of soy protein I could find and she now drinks it every day. She claims it knocks her out so she has to take it at bedtime. My theory is that her body is so deficient that now it's receiving the protein it's finally able to relax. Of course that's just a guess.

Last edited by FromSqueaky; 07-12-2007 at 10:18 AM.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 03:16 PM   #8
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

I'm not sure how to respond to this. I have done a lot of reading about protein and protein deficiency. In all that I've read, I've never once heard about protein deficiency happening to someone in a developed country except for people who 1. don't eat enough food due to poverty, crash-dieting or disease 2. ate mainly junk food or 3. ate mainly fruit.

In addition I've never heard of protein deficiency causing bone loss. In fact, I've heard the opposite. That *excess* of protein causes bone loss, since the extra protein in our bodies literally leeches calcium from the bones.

I guess my advice is to maybe get a new doctor. I'm sorry if that doesn't sound very nice, I just can't think fo a better way to put it. I do appreciate you answering my question.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 05:23 PM   #9
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

I don't think it's a "protein" deficiency, rather than the right KIND of protein. There is a difference in plant protein and meat/fish/poultry protein.

You also cannot get ANY B-12 naturally unless you eat meat, you have to eat foods manufactured - fortified with it. Or take vitamins or shots if you become deficient.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 07:04 PM   #10
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isis498 View Post
I don't think it's a "protein" deficiency, rather than the right KIND of protein. There is a difference in plant protein and meat/fish/poultry protein.

You also cannot get ANY B-12 naturally unless you eat meat, you have to eat foods manufactured - fortified with it. Or take vitamins or shots if you become deficient.
Actually, the protein in meat and plants food is the same. Meat just has all the essential proteins from one source, while most plant foods only have a subset of the essential proteins. However, if you eat an even somewhat varied plant-based diet you'll get all the different kind of protein that you need. Some from one kind of food, some from others. And some plant foods have them all anyway-- I believe that soy is an example of this. I don't think that being deficient in a particular "kind" of protein is likely unless all you ever eat is one or two kinds of food.

B12 has nothing to do with this discussion at all, but I suppose that's OK since it has strayed from the original point already by my hand. There are plant food that provide B12, but I totally agree that these sources aren't reliable enough to count on them for dietary needs. However, a vegetarian that eats eggs or dairy can get B12 that way. Vegans do have to supplement, either with fortified food or vitamins, but a pill will do, no shots necessary. B12 is the only nutrient really naturally missing from a vegan diet. Luckily the body requires very little B12 so supplementing isn't very hard.

Last edited by evilnumberlady; 07-12-2007 at 07:13 PM.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 07:23 PM   #11
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromSqueaky View Post
Boca crumbles I am not familiar with. Boca products are for vegans made with soy or grains with spices. Some of the ingredients have hidden MSG. Unless you know what the names are you would never know that MSG is in the product. Are you sensitive to MSG? I am.
I don't have any problem with MSG so far. I don't use replacement products like Boca burgers excessively, either, but I do use them on occasion, like when I make quiche from my boyfriend (he only eats it if it has "sausage" in it) or when I'm at a barbeque and I bring along a "burger" so as to not starve.

They definitely should only be used as "transition" foods, something to eat when you get a craving or feel social pressure to eat meat but don't want to break your diet.

In this case, someone brought in Chili to work made with real meat. They told me it was made from Boca-brand fake ground beef, because he thought it would be a funny joke to make the vegetarian eat meat. When I threw up later and couldn't figure out why I was sick, he fessed up. It was pretty dumb of me to believe him, actually. A pretty bad experience, but at least the guy will never mess with me again about my diet!

 
Old 07-12-2007, 07:23 PM   #12
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilnumberlady View Post
Actually, the protein in meat and plants food is essentially the same. Meat just has all the essential proteins from one source, while most plant foods only have a subset of the essential proteins. However, if you eat an even somewhat varied plant-based diet you'll get all the different kind of protein that you need. Some from one kind of food, some from others. And some plant foods have them all anyway-- I believe that soy is an example of this. I don't think that being deficient in a particular "kind" of protein is likely unless all you ever eat is one or two kinds of food.

B12 has nothing to do with this discussion at all, but I suppose that's OK since it has strayed from the original point already by my hand. There are plant food that provide B12, but I totally agree that these sources aren't reliable enough to count on them for dietary needs. However, a vegetarian that eats eggs or dairy can get B12 that way. Vegans do have to supplement, either with fortified food or vitamins, but a pill will do, no shots necessary. B12 is the only nutrient really naturally missing from a vegan diet. Luckily the body requires very little B12 so supplementing isn't very hard.

I realize that B-12 shots aren't necessary for the usual supplementation, but for some it is. I followed a Vegetarian diet for only a year or so, and felt I ate very balanced, but became deficient, and had to take injections. I realize that is not the norm, but it CAN happen. I imagine some people can be more sensitive to eating little/no meat. It does not agree with everyone.

I guess I also find it odd that people who call eating Vegan consider it "Natural", yet it is a way of eating where it is missing vital nutrients which you have to artificially supplement to stay healthy.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 07:36 PM   #13
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isis498 View Post
I guess I also find it odd that people who call eating Vegan consider it "Natural", yet it is a way of eating where it is missing vital nutrients which you have to artificially supplement to stay healthy.
It's missing a vital nutrient. Not plural. The standard american diet on the other hand is chock full of saturated fats, cholesterol, and lacks tons of vitamins that people don't get enough of because they eat so little fruit and vegetables. It also tends to have dangerously low fiber levels.

Don't get me wrong, I think people who eat meat can eat healthy or unhealthy. Same for vegans and vegetarians. There certainly are junk-food vegetarians out there, and I don't recommend that. Every diet will have its pitfalls and it's bonuses. I think the minor bit of B12 that I would have to add to my diet were I to become a vegan would be more than a fair trade for the big dip in my cholesterol levels I've had in the past year being vegetarian. And the way I eat now requires no supplements.

There are also plenty of plant-based foods that contain B12. It's possible that some of these contain enough to sustain a vegan, but there just hasn't been enough research and data to support that yet.

Isis- I know there are few people who's bodies have a hard time absorbing B12. I can see why a vegan/vegetarian diet would be difficult for them. In my mind though, if it's a rare thing, that's a problem with that particular person's body, not with the diet as a whole

Last edited by evilnumberlady; 07-12-2007 at 08:09 PM.

 
Old 07-12-2007, 09:05 PM   #14
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

My mom has been told by more than one doctor during her life that she needed to consume meat in her diet because she was protein deficient. She just never obeyed and thought it was silly so she shrugged it off.

She is suppose to go in for a bone test I bet she finds some reason not to go.

 
Old 07-13-2007, 12:22 AM   #15
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Re: Can vegetarian children grow up to be meat-eating adults?

Yes evil. I was raised a vegetarian and now I eat meat.

 
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