Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Vegetarian teens in the news...

The Hagerstown Morning Herald has a brief article for parents dealing with a teenager's recent decision to become a vegetarian. My beef with it -- if you'll pardon my use of the word -- is that it brings up the completely non-vegetarian notion of ''semi-vegetarianism''. From what I've seen in online vegetarian communities, it's tricky enough for teenagers to explain their reasons for eschewing the consumption of meat to their parents without articles suggesting that that certain types of meat eating could indeed fall under the definition of vegetarianism. (''But little Johnny, chicken is vegetarian! Now you're just being difficult!'') That being said, the article does raise the importance of educating oneself about healthier eating habits (i.e. whether or not you're a vegetarian), and it is fairly positive overall, even though it is rather fluffy and spotty reading.

Syracuse's News 10's website also included an article on dealing with a teen switching over to vegetarianism. There's a bit more information about nutrition -- the importance of eating a variety of items and ensuring that certain vitamins (e.g. B12) and minerals (e.g. iron, calcium and zinc) aren't missed. Unfortunately, when discussing iron, the writer asserts that you can get ''a whole lot of iron from eggs'' when the truth is that the iron content of an egg can be found in around 1/4 cup of cooked spinach, 1/8 cup of almonds and less than 1/4 cup of raisin bran. Eggs aren't really high in iron, so presenting them as a good part of a vegetarian diet to provide iron is misleading.

The Baltimore Sun features an article on the increase in girls (and young women) becoming vegetarian (and vegan) and is definitely the most informative and well-rounded piece of the three articles on the topic. It's entertaining and hip. It really gets into the ethical reasons that some may choose to stop consuming animal products, and, most importantly -- the writer of the piece actually interviewed three younger women who'd become vegetarians at an earlier age to get their input into the matter. In doing so, it addresses the pressure younger vegetarians can face from their peers because of their dietary choices. Thumbs up to the Baltimore Sun for a decent article!

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