Why Do You Eat What You Eat?

Let me state right off that I truly wish to initiate conversation with this post.  I know that we humans tend to get our knickers in a twist if we feel our beliefs are being questioned.  But, really, I truly want to know your thoughts on food choices and lifestyle.

I think I have experience on both sides of the omnivore-vegetarian question.  I was vegetarian for nearly 20 years myself.  (I did give “vegan” a go, but that lasted about 20 minutes.)  Back in the late eighties/early nineties when I decided to change my diet, I had several reasons for going vegetarian.  I was competing in sports a lot and wanted to be lean-n-mean.  I had read Eat Right 4 Your Type by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, which recommended different nutrition for different blood types; according to the book, my blood type is better suited for a vegetarian diet.  And I didn’t particularly care for the way conventional farms and slaughterhouses treated livestock.

That food lifestyle served me well for a long time.  But as I began competing less, I found myself turning into a carbohydrate addict.  Every meal was either cereal or pasta.  So I knew it was time for change.  Now since I hadn’t chosen to be vegetarian because I think it’s wrong to eat animals, it was easy enough to adjust my diet to include more variety.  In addition, I’m lucky enough to live in an area where I can easily get organic/biodynamic/free range meats and dairy.

I wonder why people choose to eat (or not eat) what they do.  It seems to me that “vegan” is very fashionable now.  Now, I know that some people  adopt certain diets for religious or health reasons.  But I seem to be running into people who can’t quite articulate WHY they are eating vegan.  Personally, I do have a difficult time understanding it.  Vegans do not eat anything associated with an animal/bird/insect, including honey.  I am a big believer in the “circle of life” philosophy, so I don’t have a problem with the food chain theory.  I fully accept predator-prey as a part of life.  At the same time, I can understand and accept someone who might NOT believe in that.  But I do struggle with understanding why someone wouldn’t eat honey or milk or eggs; no harm comes to the animal if we eat those things, especially if you choose organic and free range.

I’d love it if you could chime in on this topic.  Are you vegan or vegetarian or omnivorous? Why?

Food Pyramid