The topic of Nutrition just as heated as Religion - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had noticed that the theads on Nutrition/Diet can be just as heated as Religion and Politics.
Why are we so sure in our beliefs and why do we think that our way is right?

I noticed that my Vegan friends look down on me who is a big meat eater, and yet they feel as they are constantly judged.

There is so much research outthere: on soy, dairy, meat, good fats, bad fats, you name it...

Can't we all just get along???
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#2 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 12:14 AM
 
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I don't know. I personally could care less how other people eat. I just want a place to talk to like-minded folks without being harrassed for subscribing to unconventional beliefs. :
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#3 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 12:33 AM
 
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Oh man, way more. Way more.

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#4 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 01:09 AM
 
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Yeah, it is totally bizarre how some folks can be so militant about what other people eat.
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#5 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 01:21 AM
 
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I used to be militant but, increasingly, I don't care what other people eat. And I don't mean that in a mean way (like "I don't care about you"). I just mean that most of us have the gray matter to make our own decisions. Those of us who don't usually have care providers to help us and don't post on the internet.

If someone asks my opinion, I will tell them. I sometimes post in the Veg Forum even though I've been run out a number of times. Many posts go by in which I would have something substantive to contribute because I know a lot of food research, but I guess if people really want my opinion, they will ask me.

I do need to post a thread in the vegetarian forum, so this is just a warning that it's not hostile.

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#6 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 01:33 AM
 
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I have seen the running out of folks - sometimes I think it looks a little bit like the running of the bulls in Pamplona (sp?). Part of it I think is reactionary to extremist groups on either side. And then the other part of it I think goes to the same roots as those of religion. We're talking here about something that is so very personal and so utterly important to one's survival and livelyhood.

It also, quite frankly, has to do with the fact that sometimes it's easier to focus on the things that we disagree on than the things we agree on.
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#7 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 03:25 AM
 
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LOL it is very heated over here, huh? I think that's just part of MDC...the gals here could have a discussion on which are the best socks to wear and it would get pulled by a mod for UA violations. "*&%#$^ green socks are better! *$&$&% you!"

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#8 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 05:21 AM
 
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It's all relative.

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#9 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 09:50 AM
 
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I'm pretty conflict-shy myself and wince a great deal when people get into heated discussions, let alone drive out other people. That said, I think I understand why people are so passionate about this. A) Like it or not, there is an ethical component to a lot of these discussions; it's not purely about nutrition but also about environmentalism, consumerism, how you feel about using animal products or animal flesh (and I say this as a confirmed meat-eater), etc. And B) Many, if not most of us, are in positions IRL in which we are the ones researching and determining what our families eat and defending it to people who are skeptical or worse. There's a lot at stake in such cases, and I could easily see how the tension and defensiveness from those instances bleeds into our discussions here.
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#10 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 10:00 AM
 
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It is very heated even outside of the boards from what I've seen. Vegetarians I know tend to be very neutral. Most have been vegetarian for years and just ignore the arguments. The vegans I know IRL are either old school and very laid back about others' choices or very militant. All of the meat eaters I know that know I'm a veg tend to belittle me and make fun of it. Especially dh's family.

And then there's the nutrition stuff. There's always new research out. Just about everything can be good/bad for you. There's really no need to argue. That's one of the reasons I have stopped coming to this board. It is all a debate about meat eaters are evil or vegetarians are stupid.

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#11 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 11:03 AM
 
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What I liked about Catholicism growing up is the ritual. Holidays in my home growing up were also all about ritual, especially when it came to food. I'm an agnostic at best when it comes to religion. So now all I have is food and it's rituals. Don't say can't we all just get along, what will I have left?

I'm just kidding. I do agree that nutrition and food choices are about so much more than just that. It includes ethics, environmentalism, economic, etc., etc. Not suprising, in Arabic in some areas the word for bread comes from the word for life, in other areas it's rice. It's our fuel it's what keeps us going and keeps us healthy or not healthy. It's how we come together as a community. When something runs that deep of course people are going to be passionate about it.
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#12 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 11:16 AM
 
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I think it's great that people are so passionate about their beliefs. I wish that we could all be less judgmental and preachy and defensive, but hey, we're (mostly) all hormonal, sleep-deprived mamas! We get a little bitchy.

At 27, I've come to a place in my own life where I've realized how little I know about everything. The only thing I'm sure enough to take somebody down over is circumcision. In all other aspects of life, I know there is a possibility that I could be wrong. You won't catch me arguing over food or religion any more.
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#13 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 01:00 PM
 
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Nutrition & religion are very similar issues, at least to me. I really don't have an opinion on what other people eat or worship, and I REALLY don't like it when people preach to me. If they tell me that their diet or their God is better than mine, I get extremly annoyed. If I want a change or some advice, and I want to know about someone's diet or religion, I will ASK, TYVM.
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#14 of 248 Old 11-16-2006, 01:25 PM
 
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I am actually a lot more tolerant about religion. I figure most religious beliefs don't harm anyone. But advocating some nutrition ideas might harm someone.

On the other hand, I can't really evaluate nutritional claims. It seems like they are all based on different kinds of science. This one analyzes the chemicals in food. This one does a massive population study, and says "the people who ate this way were healthiest." This one evaluates longevity, and this one other health indicators. Blah blah blah! They even look at the same studies and walk away with different conclusions! ARgh!

So I throw my hat into the ring on these discussions, sometimes. I've read a lot of books and websites on the recommendation of people here, but I never come away feeling like "well, now I KNOW THE TRUTH and it will be much easier to make lunch."

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#15 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 05:13 AM
 
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I think one of the things that can make veg*ns militant/passionate is not that they "care what other people eat" but that they care about what happens to animals.

Not that that is a license to be rude, but understanding that for some, it is a social justice issue, a matter of ethics, may help explain the strong feelings and the outspoken attitudes. Activists fighting abuses are often characterized as militant--sometimes deservedly, sometimes not.
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#16 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 05:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janelovesmax View Post
I had noticed that the theads on Nutrition/Diet can be just as heated as Religion and Politics.
It is religion. I have my own food Bible and set of beliefs. They don't always match up with what others believe.
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#17 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 06:04 AM
 
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Whenever there's a subject that's associated closely with guilt, things seem to get the most heated.
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#18 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 10:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamajama
Whenever there's a subject that's associated closely with guilt, things seem to get the most heated.
Ooh, I really like that observation, mamajama.
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#19 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Janelovesmax View Post

Can't we all just get along???
It would be nice. If we didn't get our backs up so much, we could really learn a lot from each other.
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#20 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 02:54 PM
 
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We once went out to dinner with a vegetarian, and ordered a meat dish. She felt the need to leave a menu up in between us so she couldn't see what we were eating. Makes conversation kind of hard.
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#21 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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I think one of the things that can make veg*ns militant/passionate is not that they "care what other people eat" but that they care about what happens to animals.

Not that that is a license to be rude, but understanding that for some, it is a social justice issue, a matter of ethics, may help explain the strong feelings and the outspoken attitudes. Activists fighting abuses are often characterized as militant--sometimes deservedly, sometimes not.
But then it might help if they (using a generic "they" here) didn't assume that there isn't common ground between those that do eat meat. Just because one chooses to eat meat doesn't mean that they are ignorant to what happens in a slaughterhouse or in industrial farming practices. You might actually find a bit of an ally if more time was spent listening and less time was spent accusing. Just my .02 from experience.
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#22 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 03:34 PM
 
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We once went out to dinner with a vegetarian, and ordered a meat dish. She felt the need to leave a menu up in between us so she couldn't see what we were eating. Makes conversation kind of hard.
And what exactly did she expect to accomplish by being rude? If somebody is THAT uncomfortable watching meat being consumed, she should have expressed her discomfort before the food was ordered- or gone to an entirely vegetarian establishment.

I think we can ALL agree that we need to eat less sugar and more vegetables?

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#23 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 03:55 PM
 
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One post I saw a while back, that I thought was a great recommendation, and one we might all agree on, is "Don't eat square food."

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#24 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 04:07 PM
 
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: to everything that has been said. i think we all have a lot to learn from each other. i try not to be judgemental about my beliefs because i don't want to be faced with the same judgement. i do try to share some of my knowledge with people that i know, etc, because they really do not know about these issues and are eating a lot of stuff that is bad for them like all the processed foods that comes in boxes, and as a result, have a lot of health problems. i care about them, so i want them to be informed so they can make better choices, but all i do is share the info i know and *hope* that they make better choices. i'm not gunna be a PITA to them about it, though. well, except with my dad. lol. because he knows better.

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#25 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 04:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudswinger
We once went out to dinner with a vegetarian, and ordered a meat dish. She felt the need to leave a menu up in between us so she couldn't see what we were eating. Makes conversation kind of hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
And what exactly did she expect to accomplish by being rude? If somebody is THAT uncomfortable watching meat being consumed, she should have expressed her discomfort before the food was ordered- or gone to an entirely vegetarian establishment.
I'm a vegetarian and I just have to throw it out there that it's quite possible the sight of meat was making her physically ill. Sometimes I can handle looking at meat, sometimes it makes me sick to my stomach, immediately. Perhaps you could understand the feeling by imagining it was a meat-kitten or some such. Not trying to bring heat here, just saying.
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#26 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 04:15 PM
 
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I can't. Not if it involves taking another's life. sorry.:
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#27 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 06:51 PM
 
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My family (husband and 2 year old son) is vegan and have been for 2 years and veggie before that. For us, this issue impacts us so deeply because it is our lifestyle not just a diet. We try each day to live a life that is peaceful and compassionate. We have done years of nutritional research as well as animal welfare research. We are mindful to act as humanely as possible when it comes to buying food, clothing, cleaning products as well as how we treat each other and our community. It trickles down into how we parent, act with our friends, and treat our marriage.

I am new to the boards here and I have to say that I am appalled at the lack of respect and civility towards each other. When I see posts that refer to vegans or veggies as "militant" I cringe. What exactly does that mean to the people that say that or feel that way? it all reminds me of how our society disenfranchises so many different groups of people by calling them names, creating laws against them, hurting them physically just to keep them silent.

Diet lifestyles are important to people. food is how we stay alive it is how we interact with each other it is how we nourish our soul. So when it is being attacked by name calling or false information it hurts. But what I find interesting about the whole thing is that it is usually the people in the majority that are the ones that feel as though they have been wronged or attacked and it is the people in the minority that feel like they just want to be able to talk about thier lives like everyone else and not be called names or attacked for thier beliefs.
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#28 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 07:18 PM
 
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Ooh, vgnmama, so true!

But I think it's something you cannot understand if you are not a veg*n. Know what I mean? That's where the militant comment comes in.
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#29 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 08:33 PM
 
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There are such strong feelings on both sides of the meat/non-meat issue. I think comparing it to religion is somewhat accurate. And I also think that we can learn so much from each other, that to stand and beat each other up verbally is a waste of both sides' knowlege. There are places where veg*ns will never compromise, just as there are for those who eat meat. The discussion would be helped, on every level, if everyone brought less drama/over-sensitiveness and more respect. We each have our own reasons for why we choose what we choose; if we are not willing to respect each other's choices (however we feel about those decisions), why bother posting on a combined board? Just find a group of people who never challenge your view!

This board is a wealth of knowledge; it's unfortunate that we forget how to share that knowledge peaceably sometimes.
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#30 of 248 Old 11-17-2006, 11:45 PM
 
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I'm guilty of adding fuel to the fire at times. And I don't even know what I'm talking about half the time. There's a lot of knowledgable people on this board, and I try to learn from them and reuse what they say. They often have insights that is not talked about elsewhere.

I'm an omni, and I understand how veg*ns may feel about meat-eaters because to them, it is an ethical issue. If I felt that 'meat is murder', I'd be disgusted by meat too. But I want to point out that nonetheless, the omnis on mothering are mindful about their eating. I think that's the important thing. We all have come to our place based on thoughtful consideration. We are choosy where we get our meat and meat products. We are grateful to the animal for giving of their lives. At bottom, we still eat what you abhor, but we are definitely not the enemy. Not by far.

I agree with the OP about the comparison between diet and religion. People can get recalcitrant in their positions. But if I've learned anything, it's that the right thing does not go hand in hand with fanaticism. If something is so inherently right, it will eventually come to light. Or maybe there is just no absolutes when it comes to what is the right religion or diet.
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