Vegetarian Perspectives: Is Something Really Missing?

Vegetarian Column

Most meat eaters, and even many vegetarians, see vegetarianism as a diet lacking -- specifically, lacking in meat or sufficient proteins. Yes, eating vegetarian means excluding meat from one's diet. But is something really missing?

People transition to vegetarianism for many reasons. For some, it's doctor's orders. Others are concerned for the impact of livestock on the environment. Many just lose their appetite for meat. Animal treatment is another rallying point, for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Clearly, some vegetarians have a rough time phasing meat out, but there are many out there who don't notice anything missing.

The reality is that you can, in fact, eat a fully nutritious diet without meat. There are a wide variety of plant-based proteins out there. Fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, starches, dairy, and grains are just some of the foods that vegetarians eat. However, if meat does hold unforgettable charm but you've turned vegetarian, there are great meat-flavored substitutes available such as tempeh and seitan.

To taste the decision for yourself, try Beets and Quinoa or Horseradish and Panko Crusted Tofu.

If you're a vegetarian, why did you decide to forgo meat?