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Vegetarians Aren’t Real People, Are They?

by Val Trisler

I always like to tell people that when I met my husband I didn't know that vegetarians were real people. I thought they were something that was just made for movies. You know, like Superman or Spiderman. OK, so I was young and naive and maybe it's a bit of an exaggeration to say that I really didn't know they existed at all. But before I met my husband, I really don't think I had ever met a vegetarian. If I had, I didn't know it.

I grew up here in Waupaca back in the days before there were fast food Val Trisler restaurants all over the place and I probably ate a somewhat healthier diet than a lot of people today, but eating healthy in our house meant that you had to at least try everything on your plate and you couldn't have dessert if you didn't eat your whole meal. Although I have always considered myself a fairly open minded person, I was still like a lot of people who had never been exposed to any vegetarians: I thought it was a little weird not to eat meat. Well, that was over 18 years ago and I have learned a few things since then. Am I a vegetarian now? Pretty much so, but not 100%. I do eat fish, but haven't (knowingly) eaten any red meat, pork or poultry in over 15 years.

So you're probably wondering why. I mean meat tastes good and it gives us pleasure to eat it so why would anyone want to quit eating it? I'm going to let the people that are the experts in the field answer those types of questions in a more intelligent way than I can. They can give you the statistics on how much land it takes to raise a pound of meat versus a pound of grain. They can tell you how in mainstream farms that animals are not raised, nor slaughtered in a humane manner. They can tell you about all the bad stuff that is fed to the animals that ultimately ends up in your body. They can tell you about all the health reasons and studies that have been done that show that lot's of meat in your diet may not be the best thing for you. But hey, I'm a computer programmer, not any kind of expert on vegetarianism or health. All I can tell you is what has happened to me since I started eating a little healthier food.

As I said earlier, I grew up here in Waupaca in the old days. You remember back when we had real winters with lots of snow and lots of cold. I thought it was normal, especially in central Wisconsin, for most people to have what my mom always called "sinus" problems. Everyone caught at least a couple of colds every winter (not to mention the ones you'd catch in the summer) and had "sinus" problems between colds. And then there's the flu, which of course when it went around you would catch that too. I'm not really sure if my immune system just wasn't as good as other people's or what, but even as a young adult if a cold was going around, I would catch it when everyone else first started catching it, then it would be passed around to everyone else and then I would catch it again at the end of it's cycle. Was this my imagination? I suppose it could have been, but I really did seem to catch every one twice. Now that I eat healthier and take some vitamins and supplements, I basically don't catch colds at all. Did I outgrow the catching of colds? I don't think so. I just think that my body is better at fighting things off. So am I going to get up on my soapbox and tell you that you have to become a vegetarian? No. I just want you to know that changing my eating habits has helped me. Maybe you just want to give some thought as to what you're eating and see if without depriving yourself, that you could start to eat a little healthier too and maybe it would make you feel better and/or not get sick as often.

If I had never met my husband, I may have never been exposed to vegetarianism or organic foods. I probably would have never started taking any vitamins and I surely  would have never known anything about reflexology or reiki. I feel fortunate that I have someone in my life that knows about these things and has introduced some Stormin' Norman Trislerof them to me. But I know that not all of you have had that advantage and that's one of the reasons that this site is here. I want each and every one of you to know that there are alternatives out there, whether it's in the food you eat, the products you use to clean your house or how you are dealing with a health or emotional problem. I see so many people have the same problem year after year after year, and they continue to treat the problem the same way but it never goes away. Maybe if they would take a different approach something different would happen. So as you browse this site, keep in mind that even though you've never heard of something before, doesn't mean that it isn't something that could drastically change your life. Give it a try!

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