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Margaret

Hi. There are 5 of us in our family (ages 46, 42, 18, 16, and 9). We don't eat any meat, and we are all very healthy. We are tall and our bones are strong. So, I think it is possible to stay healthy without eating meat.

Pseudonym

As Margaret has commented, you do not need meat to stay healthy. The biggest dietary problem vegetarians and vegans face is a source of iron, which does not occur in many appetizing places outside of red meat. One common alternative is to take daily iron supplement pills.

Margaret

In addition to, or instead of, iron supplement pills, vegetarians lots of choices of foods that contain iron, including: cold breakfast cereal, beans, oatmeal, grits, spinach, tofu, bread, and raisins. To get enough iron, as well as other nutrients and vitamins, it's important to eat a variety of foods--but that's true for non-vegetarians too.

cynthia

You should eat meat moderately to stay healthy. Especially if you are still growing. It is very much OK for human beings to eat meat and poultry and fish. Vegetarians have their own beliefs and preferences, but sometimes they attempt to speak from a moral platform that doesn't exist. Human beings have been given animals for food just as we have been given fruits and vegetables and grain and so on...

Mark

Each person's body, and what their body needs, is different. In my case, eating meat and other food that was high in fat contributed to me having a heart attack before I was 40 years old, and that is considered very young for having a heart attack. By carefully managing what I eat, including not eating any meat, and with moderate exercise (I walk 5 miles each day) I have become much healthier and more fit.

anniem

Hi kids! I am an anthropologist and a writer in Houston. Some people say the anthropological record (the body of knowledge from the ground) has a lot of evidence that humans might have always depended on vegetables, nuts, and fruits for nourishment, until recently (maybe around the last few thousand years here in the Americas). This is called gathering foods. Then, in years where the gatherers did not find enough food, they might have scavenged dead game to augment, or help, their diet. Eventually, this led to hunting and what we now consider normal meat eating.

Marla

Hello, class!

I have been a vegetarian and then a vegan (which means no animal products) for more than 20 years of my life and I am in excellent health. Therefore I believe that meat is not at all necessary to human health. In fact, people who have a meatless diet tend to live on average seven years longer than those who are omnivorous. There is also the fact that diabetes and obesity are increasing at alarming rates, especially affecting young people like you. This rise is not only because of animal products like meat and milk, but also because of other unhealthy choices (too much sugar, not enough exercise).

Regardless, those who eat a plant-based diet are among the healthiest in the world, with very low rates of heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. We're learning more all the time about how to maintain and strengthen our health, but one thing doctors keep returning to is the need to eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes (beans). In five years, maybe a classroom like yours will ask, Can one eat meat and stay healthy?

Thank you again for these interesting questions!

-Marla

Kelly

Humans can get all the vitamins & nutrients we need by eating a plant-based diet. :) We don't need meat, eggs or dairy products to grow strong. Actually these things lead to many diseases and sicknesses.

Eating a wide variety of veggies, fruits, grains & legumes will make you healthier and live longer!

Email me for a super yummy vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe to show you how great an animal free diet can be! :)

Kelly@shedonteatmeat.com

http://shedonteatmeat.com

Ida

I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this already, but there are great resources for kids at: http://www.petakids.com

Niki

No. You do not need to eat meat to stay healthy.

Lidza

I'm living proof that you don't need meat or any animal products for that fact to be health. I actually feel healthier and more energetic now that I don't eat animal products.

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