15 year old son is making a stand aginst eating meet?
My son along with his cousin and some other people have made a choice to not eat meat for one month. While I stand by his reason to do it, and the reason is because of the current Tyson meat plant abuse to the live animals. My issue is how do I provide him the the correct balance of food options during this time? Allot of people do not eat meet and I respect that but I have always good some kind of meat for dinner. And now I see my son sitting there eating boiled eggs and toast for dinner.. I am worried, any advice would be great. Thank you
Although I am not bothered by the animals, or how they are treated, I find not eating meat a very heathy lifestyle. Obviously vegetarians aren't the stereotypical, "Eat vegetables all day" people, you should know since you're living with one, that is, if you live your son. My point is, there are other, healthier foods with high protein other than meat. Almond or soy milk are both alternatives to eating beef, pork, and even natural cow milk. If you're worried about your son's health, it's fine. If you're still worried, make him try boiled or fried grasshopper, they are much more nutritious and less fat than farm meat. If you want him to stop, don't ask or request it. Teenage males are always daring and try their hardest to prove others wrong. Give him a month or two, because many people will not entirely convert unless they have a strong reason, in their opinion. Try not to bring it up, hopefully he may just get over it if the topic doesn't get too much attention.
Give him more fruits and vegetables. If he is somewhat overweight, he will dramatically lose weight fast. Probably at least 10 lbs. in a month. If he somewhat ate healthy before, he will probably still lose but not as bad.
Try to get him to eat nuts or something loaded with protein. As meat contains most of our protein, try to find a substitute. Most vegans know this due to most vegans being raised a vegan due to religious or traditional aspects.
All in all, he is at the age where he can chose what to eat and what not to eat.
I don't want to stop him, or change his mind. I support him, and the reason he is doing this. He is not over weight at all, he is very active in cross country. He burns allot of calories a day. And my fear is that he will pass out because he is not eating right. I want to provide the right stuff now, and if he chooses to never eat meat again, I will support that. We raise cattle so it is an on going joke at home because we are meat eaters lol. But 24 days is what he said he would do, but school just started and so did some of the sports my son is in.
But again I don't want to change his mind, I just want to provide the right foods so he will not pass out on his 4 and 5 mile runs in cross country. Thank you for the food advice, I always have fruit in the house.
What is stopping for a single month supposed to do? Does he feel like he'll change anything:
1. For the fact that he, a solitary person decided to not eat meat and
2. For that fact that it was only a moth?
That's a pathetic reason to go vegetarian if ever I had seen one.
To answer your question about what to feed him though, I went vegan for a month so I can only partially answer that. I first googled what my body needed to be considered a healthy diet, I then googled what non animal foods would provide me with that stuff, then I did the math for how much food I'd need to eat, how much it'd cost, and what I'd need to buy exactly, because a lot of the vitamins and minerals you need, are often grouped together in one or more foods.
Overall it'll be a lot of math, and for their cause it's probably best to just tell them to suck it up. However if you decided that it's too complicated, like I almost did, you can't go wrong with pinto beans, broccoli carrots, spinach, potatoes, and vegetable oil. As for drinks, water and fruit juice, preferably grape. It could get boring after a month obviously but do some combinations and you should be good.
Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about the lack of nutrition in a vegetarian diet… I think a lot of that hype is created by the media. My family eats very well, way better than we used to before we went vegetarian. Ultimately a person can eat healthy or unhealthy regardless of their being meat in their diet. Greasy hamburgers and fried chicken is unhealthy, but baked chicken or fish are healthier choices. A vegetarian can be just as guilty, fried mushrooms with a lemon basil cream sauce is unhealthy but baked mushrooms stuffed with low fat ricotta and green onion are a healthier alternative.
If it’s the lack of certain amino acids found in meat that has you worried, keep in mind that our body actually synthesizes many of the required amino acids already. Meat may conveniently contain many of the amino acids we don’t synthesize, but there are substitutes in vegetables, nuts, legumes, eggs, and milk. Also keep in mind that the average meat eater consumes a lot more meat then their body can process or even requires. So your son may not be eating meat at every meal, but he may not even have to to get what his body requires.
Protesting against Tyson and unsanitary/inhumane treatment of food animals is commendable. That was also one of the reasons we went vegetarian.
I had many objections to going vegetarian when my wife proposed it to me (I still won’t give it up completely, being a pescetarian myself). Being the cook in the house, I had to rethink all of my recipes (some of which were really good too), I was also paranoid at the thought of losing my precious meat which was the main course to ninety percent of the meals we ate at the time.
It’s been about 8 months now and I can honestly say the worst is over. I started out fervently clinging to the recipes I already had; substituting meat the best I could, and over the months became less and less obligated to live in a meat eater’s world. Meals I make now are no longer reminiscent of meals with a meat main course… no more veggie burgers, no more tofu “chicken” parmesan, etc.
I think it only ended up broadening my repertoire in the kitchen, now I am confident that I can cook a kick ass steak dinner if the need arises, but also equally adept at cooking up a dish that would leave meat eaters pleasantly surprised.
I would just like to add, because I read it from you in another comment, that my family lives a very active lifestyle, we exercise daily and run at least one half marathon a year. (VA beach Rock n Roll marathon coming up in a few weeks, woot!)
Even my job requires that employees stay in shape, and while a lot of my fellow workers get away with not exercising, the ones that are avid runners/cyclists are very conscious about their diet. Id say even a third of us who stay fit are vegetarian/vegan or otherwise eat significantly smaller portions of lean meat then most people in the country do.