I was honestly a bit taken aback by Jezebel’s article on a new study that “plunges a ‘steak’ into the ‘vegetarians are healthier’ lie.”
(you can read the whole article below). It seemed a bit harsh, without all that much to back up the claim with. Of course, I’m biased, how could I not be? I’m a vegetarian.
To give you more of an idea of where I’m coming from, I’m a vegetarian for a plethora of reasons: I am overly paranoid about undercooked meat, I don’t like the texture of meat, I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years and am very set in my ways, I like the taste of fake meat, I lost a solid 15 pounds when I became a vegetarian – and being an insecure tween at the time, was pretty stoked about that result, AND ok, I don’t really like the idea of eating the flesh of another creature, it just kind of weirds me out. I am the only vegetarian in my family and have never tried to convert anyone to vegetarianism, nor have I made a big deal out of not eating meat. I have known a couple of smug vegans, but the majority of vegans and vegetarians that I know are pretty easygoing people.
So, now that my bias is identified, here’s what I think about the study: there are some interesting correlations drawn between vegetarianism and poor health care practice, as well more frequent visits to doctors, and higher levels of certain disorders. Whether the correlations are cause is something that would need to be determined by further studies. I think for those who eat meat this isn’t a free pass to eat bacon and only bacon, but it is something to think about.
The only beef (pun intended) that I have with the article is the author’s sass. I like being a vegetarian, and I don’t expect other people to change their eating habits because they may be different from mine, so why should the author? It’s like when people who eat gluten-free are accused of doing so because it’s trendy. Well, that could be the case, or they could suffer from a range of gluten-related illnesses. If my intestines were set ablaze by wheat products, I’d probably cut them out of my diet too. How about we just don’t judge people based on their diets; or judge people at all, for that matter.
Meaty New Study Plunges 'Steak' into 'Vegetarians are Healthier' Lie
Tired of all those studies that claim that being a vegetarian is healthier/will save the environment or whatever? You're in luck, blessed carnivores, for Austria's Medical University of Graz has published a study concluding that vegetarians in fact are less healthy and have a lower quality of life than us normals. #sorrynotsorry
Researchers came to this conclusion even after finding that vegetarians are more physically active, smoke and drink less, and have a lower body mass index than meat eaters.
Overall, vegetarians were found to be in a poorer state of health compared to other dietary groups. Vegetarians reported higher levels of impairment from disorders, chronic diseases, and "suffer significantly more often from anxiety/depression."
Subjects who consumed lower amounts of animal fat were also linked to poor health care practices, such as avoidance of vaccinations and a lack of preventive care.
Chronic problems associated with vegetarians and people eating carnivorous diets rich in fruits and vegetables were linked to more frequent visits to doctors, which the study authors suggest requires public health programs to reduce the health risk due to their nutritional factors.
Lest you think I'm taking too much stock in this study, researchers also caution that continuing studies need to be done to substantiate their findings. Perhaps American vegetarians somehow differ from Austrian ones thus making this study inapplicable to us.
But, whatever. Can somebody run a study that establish a relationship between vegetarianism and smugness?