In my early college years, I went through a dieting phase. Not a dieting to lose weight phase, but for a couple of years I began to focus on what I was putting into my body. I read up on more than a few articles that handled the topics of vegetarianism, animal cruelty, things like that. My family thought it was “hippie stuff,” and maybe they were right. But during that time, I shifted to a meatless diet, and felt good about both my body and my more philosophical separateness from slaughterhouses.
Since then, I’ve become a little less interested on the topic, but an article I came across the other day on the topic of athletes and vegetarianism snapped me back in time for a moment. The article identified the growing fad for athletes to take on meatless diets, and addressed the concerns some areas of the athletic and medical community had about the trend.
Utilizing a variety of sources and citing multiple facts and statistics on necessary human intake for a variety of different lifestyle, this article was an incredibly informative read and wholly credible. The article can be read here, but essentially its conclusion was this: as long as a variety of foods are eaten, a meatless diet will still supply all the necessary nutritional value that an individual leading an active lifestyle requires.
Despite the well-written argument of this article, the topic is still being discussed among athletic and medical experts as well as friends at the local gym. I am still conflicted now, but find the article to be reassuring when I look back at my decision to go a year without meat. As an athlete, I too was worried about shifting to greens-only, and listened to most of my peers and teammates insist that such a diet would limit the necessary protein and nutrient intake an active lifestyle requires. As an explorer and outdoorsman, the reaction was a bit more split down the middle.
On one side, the go-green and nature-loving argument said that ending animal cruelty was the most important part of the decision to consider. On the other side, the tough-mud and extreme-sport argument repeated what I’d already heard – meat will give you what you need, and just veggies won’t.
If anything, the article confirms both sides of the coin. If you’re looking to lead an active lifestyle, but want to do so without meat, you can. However, the article also makes clear that an active lifestyle will not be enhanced by ditching meat. So, both options look to be viable, and are really just dependent on your own beliefs, past what is considered healthy.
I’m glad I stumbled upon the article, and I’m happy to share it with you adventures and explorers. Reading through it partially rejuvenated my desire to get back into veggies only. Maybe it’ll make an impact on your life as well.