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From: Mark Rifkin (pool-151-196-249-249.balt.east.verizon.net)
Subject:         Re: Cool! A new board for me!
Date: December 12, 2005 at 8:00 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: Cool! A new board for me! posted by Claudine on December 12, 2005 at 1:04 pm:

Hi Claudine,

Welcome to the new board. I understand what you're saying. That was difficult for me at first as well. However, I realized several things:
1) Most of us (incl. me) were meat-eaters once, yet we weren't people to be avoided like a virus; we were simply not yet educated. More importantly, meat eaters will eat it regardless of our consent.

2) In most states, there isn't yet a sufficient market for a professional who only counsels on veg'n diets. Even if there were, should a vegetarian diet at the expense of health be the goal? Of course not. Therefore, health is the goal, and if some choose to be veg'n, great. Unfortunately, 90% will not make that choice. However, the predominance of the research data does not yet support removing ALL animal protein from the diet, although "plant-based" diets are well-supported. Therefore, healthy plant-based diets are the key.

3) Since research (and dietary guidelines) continue to support plant-based diets (and to prevent/treat more and more conditions), enterprising veg'ns who can temper their veg'n passions can ride the plant-based wave all the way to the bank.

4) Actually, many people are/will be forced to modify their diet for health reasons. And employers are starting to push as well. Even meat eaters will be forced to eat more plant foods, reducing total animal food consumption, and that saves animals. For the most part, all these forces are pushing plant-based diets.

5) Debate really hasn't entered into it. I present myself as a preventive nutrition dietitian, not a veg'n dietitian. The "preventive" aspect reduces the potential for hostile debate. If they choose not to buy my services, that's fine---I don't worry about it. There's many other potential clients out there who are interested.

Hope that answers your questions.
Mark

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