Originally Posted by 531Aussie
i think people often have a mis-conceived notion of vegetarianism and alternative diets, and tend to expect a "one-size fits all" approach will work. this is especially not true if you consider yourself athletic, and therefore need to be sure to have enough protein and fat intake. you can certainly be vegetarian and highly athletic (i.e. Carl Lewis: see http://www.vegsource.com/articles/lewis_intro.htm
), but it defintely takes a lot of work and commitment.
choosing to be a committed vegetarian or vegan is not for everyone, but the veg movement is much more than that. more important i think than following a strict diet is to be aware of what you put in your body, and how that affects yourself, the earth, and the other people in the world--to be mindful of the ripple effects of your personal actions, and to see the power inherent in those actions. it's important to be critical of all new fads and theories, i myself am rather critcal of the raw foods craze, but there have been numberous studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA stating the positive health benefits of vegetarian diets, especially in relation to Type II Diabetes and Heart Disease. the popularity of diets, especially atkins, and the fact that obesity has become endemic in the States, makes vegetarianism look like a very healthy lifestyle indeed.
it looks like in this case the trouble is with not enough caloric intake, and has little to do with a vegetarian vs. meat-friendly diet.
also, just to note the creator and main writer for the site beyondveg.com (Tom Billings) is a vegetarian of 30 years, and continues to follow the diet. his criticisms seem to fall most heavily on raw foods and vegan diets.