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Remember the Simpsons episode when Lisa decides to go vegetarian after petting a baby lamb at the children's zoo? Sara Schwartzman does. That half-our of television sent the Weston 16-year-old down the road toward vegetarianism five years ago.<br><br><br><br>
''See, television can positively affect children,'' jokes Sara, a junior at Cypress Bay High School who eats no meat, fish nor fowl, nor candy and gum that contains gelatin.<br><br><br><br>
Whether it's television, peer pressure, concern for animal rights or a way to distance themselves from their family, a growing number of teens and college students are following Lisa Simpson's lead and giving up meat.<br><br><br><br>
Teenagers are the fastest-growing demographic of vegetarians, says the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. One out of every four teens thinks vegetarianism is ''cool,'' reports Teenage Research Unlimited , a market research firm in Northbrook, Ill.<br><br><br><br>
Two percent of adolescents age 13 to 17 -- more than 400,000 -- consumed no meat, fish nor fowl in 2000, up from 1.4 percent in 1995, the Vegetarian Resource Group, a Baltimore-based nonprofit, reports. Moreover, 11 percent of teen girls eschew beef.<br><br><br><br>
The trend is greater on college campuses, where about 15 percent to 20 percent of the students maintain vegetarian diets.<br><br><br><br>
Restaurants and food services have started catering to this group. Burger King recently inaugurated a veggie burger. Many colleges offer vegetarian or even vegan meals -- with no animal products, including dairy or eggs -- for their students.<br><br><br><br>
While experts say health concerns usually are only a minor factor in a teen's decision to stop eating meat, the result can be a more nutritious diet than the standard teen fare of hamburgers, fries and pizza.<br><br><br><br>
''They don't do it for the same reason that a 45-year-old who's been told that he or she has high blood pressure or cholesterol would,'' says Reed Mangels, nutrition advisor with the Vegetarian Resource Group. ``That's not something your average 19-year-old is worried about.''<br><br><br><br>
ANIMAL RIGHTS<br><br><br><br>
''Kids are becoming more conscious of animal rights as a whole,'' said Patricia Trostle, an education coordinator with the Norfolk, Va.-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. ``This is something that's going to develop into a lifelong pattern.''<br><br><br><br>
That could well be the case for Julia Howe, a South Miami teen who gave up meat, originally thinking she'd try it for one week. She liked the test drive so much that five years later Julia still will eat no meat nor food that has touched meat.<br><br><br><br>
''I never liked the idea of eating meat. I never enjoyed the fact that it came from an animal and that something had to die,'' says the senior, who attends Miami's Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH). ``Now I would never forsake my decision.''<br><br><br><br>
Because Julia's family has always been health-conscious, she finds it pretty easy to stick with her family's dinner and just forgo the meat dish. Sometimes, she winds up having to cook for herself or even the whole family.<br><br><br><br>
While it has been supportive, her family hasn't adopted her lifestyle. In fact, her father's on the Atkins Diet, and he eats predominantly those foods Julia won't touch.<br><br><br><br>
Julia is so serious about her vegetarianism she's toying with the idea of opening a vegetarian restaurant one day. For spring break, she hopes to travel to Manchester, England, to attend Cordon Vert, a vegetarian cooking school.<br><br><br><br>
Parents whose teens announce they're vegetarian can often find a way to work out menus that cater to all tastes, but it may take extra juggling, nutritionists warn. Still, experts agree that a child's decision to give up meat can be cause for celebration rather than concern. While a vegetarian meal can be a Coke and fries -- especially at a place that uses vegetable oils to supply the grease for the potatoes -- many teens who go veggie wind up eating healthier diets.<br><br><br><br>
''It really changes the way you're eating and it's a healthier way,'' says Sara, the Broward teen. She studies nutrition labels to make sure she gets a full complement of vitamins.<br><br><br><br>
''I'm very supportive of teenagers taking an interest in what they eat,'' said Sheah Rarback, director of nutrition at the Mailman Center for Child Development. "What I tell parents is this is a great opportunity to talk to your child about healthier choices.''<br><br><br><br>
When teens come to her espousing vegetarianism, Rarback asks them to write down what they eat and she makes sure their choices are nutritionally sound. The teen years represent the second biggest growth period in life, right after infancy, so nutritionists recommend that adolescents who stop eating meat make sure they receive a full complement of vitamins and minerals from other parts of their diet.<br><br><br><br>
GOOD SUBSTITUTES<br><br><br><br>
Peanut butter, soy products and cheese or eggs, if the teen is not a vegan, all can substitute for meat. Because it's a time of peak bone growth, Mangels says it's critical for adolescents to make sure they receive enough calcium and vitamin D. Those who give up milk and eggs should also ensure they have an alternative source for B12, while girls who give up meat will need to fulfill their iron requirements.<br><br><br><br>
Some experts express concern that some young girls may say they're going vegetarian as a way to mask an eating disorder. A 1997 study found that four times as many teenagers who ate no meat reported self-induced vomiting as those who ate meat.<br><br><br><br>
If peculiar eating behaviors accompany a switch to vegetarianism, UM's Rarback tells parents to make sure their nonmeat-eating child takes in enough calories.<br><br><br><br>
But vegetarianism is not a surefire way to lose weight, Rarback warns.<br><br><br><br>
''You can lose weight eating animal products or not, and you can gain weight eating animal products or not,'' she says.<br><br><br><br>
Some teens opt to give up meat gradually rather than going, well, cold turkey. Kate Rosenberg of Miami Beach, a senior at DASH, stopped eating meat after her biology class dissected a frog, prompting her to explore her own feelings about animal rights.<br><br><br><br>
''I just thought meat was a frivolous thing we don't need to eat,'' the 17-year-old says.<br><br><br><br>
Recently, however, she started eating chicken and fish at home again for convenience sake after 1 ½ years of cooking her own tofu and beans. But she has every intention of giving up animal products altogether once she leaves the house for college.<br><br><br><br>
At college, she will likely find a smorgasbord of veggie options in the dining hall. School districts are also responding to the trend.<br><br><br><br>
In 1999, 69 percent of those surveyed told the American Food Services Association they had options for those on special diets, including vegetarians and those with lactose intolerance or food allergies. This year, for the first time, the Association will ask specifically about vegetarian meals.<br><br><br><br>
Broward County recently earned a B, the highest grade given for its healthy lunches to any school district from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Miami-Dade received a C. An ever-present salad bar, as well as occasional offerings of collard greens and plantains and other vegetables, helped Broward garner the praise, while the lack of vegan offerings prevented it from earning an A.<br><br><br><br>
''I take this as meaning that we are trying to please a very diversified school district where we have everything under the sun,'' says Jane Wynn, director of food and nutrition services for Broward schools.<br><br><br><br>
While the district has not received a flood of requests for meat-less meals, menu designers try to think beyond the salad bar for nonmeat-eaters.<br><br><br><br>
'CONCERTED EFFORT'<br><br><br><br>
''When I look at the menus, I say if I don't eat meat, can I still get a balanced nutritious meal?'' Wynn says. ``We've tried to make a concerted effort but it's not always easy.''<br><br><br><br>
Cheese pizzas, macaroni and cheese, egg salad, grilled cheese and the potato bar allow a child to eat a meat-free lunch in Broward schools. Other meals like chicken with black beans and rice and plantains offer students a chance to say, ``Hold the meat.''<br><br><br><br>
Still, vegetarians like Sara are not completely sold on some public school lunch offerings. She and her friends hope they can persuade administrators to include healthier vegetarian options in Cypress Bay's new cafeteria.<br><br><br><br>
Sara's no stranger to leading the way with lunch foods. When she went vegetarian, she'd often eat hummus for lunch, an unfamiliar food to many of her classmates. She'd offer a taste to anyone who asked. A few weeks later, everyone started bringing their own hummus.<br><br><br><br>
Although Sara eased meat out of her diet when she began exploring vegetarianism, she's now wedded to the decision.<br><br><br><br>
''It wasn't a snap. It took a little while,'' she says. ``But once I realized the animal cruelty and health issues involved, that made it much easier.''<br></div>
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<br><br><br><a href="http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/health/5002243.htm" target="_blank">http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald...th/5002243.htm</a>
 

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thanks michael, that made me smile <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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if it's waht makes them try it i'm not to bothered by it. As long as they start to learn the reasons behind it. Then hopefully they will continue with it after the fad fades
 

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<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by RedStarJedi</i><br><br><b>if it's waht makes them try it i'm not to bothered by it. As long as they start to learn the reasons behind it. Then hopefully they will continue with it after the fad fades</b></div>
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I agree with RSJ.<br><br><br><br>
I wonder what the meat industry will do when this becomes to popular.<br><br><br><br>
In my country, a person in a soap was beginning to turn veggie.<br><br>
This was stopped by the take-away group that advertised around and in the soap.................
 

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I totally loved that simpsons episode where abu, the indian owner of the convenience store took lisa up to his roof garden and offered her tofu pups...groenig is brilliant!!
 

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I dunno about this I am a teen and I only know one other veggie (my sister) and two was-veggies. I did *overhear* some "popular" girls discusing vegie-ism but I doubt they are.
 

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This kind of article is cool. Now the meat industry has already noticed that kids are starting to turn down meat. There's little point in telling vegetarians to eat meat, since they won't bother. So make them into meat eaters earlier, and you'll prevent vegetarianism in later life, or so the theory goes.<br><br><br><br>
And thus was born:<br><br><a href="http://www.cool-2b-real.com" target="_blank">www.cool-2b-real.com</a> The site that needs little introduction.<br><br><br><br>
And as for the soap thingy, that sucks. The only Tv show that i think is worth watching is the simpsons - And matt groening is given free reign to create the show the way he wants - Not how the corporate sponsors want. That's why it's such a good show. Oh, and it has a vegetarian character. The thing is that I expected lisa to be a vegetarian before I even saw the vegetarian episode.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/carrot.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":vebo:"><br><br>
i think its great that more and more teenagers are adopting the like best diet !!<br><br><br><br>
even if it just a fad with some at least its getting more open and in the public/media as long as its portrayed as a good thing
 

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>peacecat</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I totally loved that simpsons episode where abu, the indian owner of the convenience store took lisa up to his roof garden and offered her tofu pups...groenig is brilliant!!</div>
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lol! and he told her that she was evil because she ate dairy... that's a knee slapper!<br><br><br><br>
Anyway... I wish it was even more accepted around where I am. I never tell anyone that I'm a vegan (only a frew friends know). I did once, and people started saying that it's gross ( <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":confused:"> ), that i'll get sick and die sooner ( <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:"> ). Gosh, some people need to learn to be mature, and tolerant of something like dietary decisions... I think it's absolutely stupid that people will put vegetarians under scrutiny only because they choose not to eat something. Argh.<br><br><br><br>
Sorry, had to vent. But I'm very glad it's becoming cooler among teens. It's going to help a lot in the future! That article was great. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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That's a pretty cool article.. But what annoys me is most articles containing Teens and Veg*nism is normally they mention it to be just a fad/phase/trend..<br><br><br><br>
Which is occassionally the case, but still some adults go back to being omni again too... Yet that is hardly ever told in articles.. Nor is it compared to teen veg*nism!<br><br><br><br>
I love the simpsons!<br><br>
That episode was cool as! And really funny too.. well they are all funny...<br><br><br><br>
Ok just realised something.. that article was posted back at the beginning of the year..<br><br>
Weird...
 

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Sometime last year my family went to friends who was having a few drinks with some friends anyway two mums of some the people go up to me and say that I'll get sick and I should atleast some meat a week. I should of said "I don't think you have the right to critisize a diet when you know nothing about it" however I since I have no self-esteem I said "Uhhhhh" and looked like an idiot <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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My 15yr-old cousin is staying with me tomorrow night... my Mum forewarned her that I was a vegetarian (she comes from a country town, Mum was just preparing her for weird food LOL). Mel's response was "Cool!" LOL From the sounds of it she's much like I was at her age so maybe I can give her some food for thought... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Only if she asks of course. But she adores animals like did/do...
 

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Beware of the shewolf..........*shivers*<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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Same here Christina..... I know only one other dude and you could say I am "mentoring" one of my semi-veggie friends who is slowly making the change in her diet.
 

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I actually know a few other vegetarians, and have heard about some others. I know there's me, a vegan in my psychology class, a pollotarian (which I think is uberlame considering she's won an <b>award</b> for helping promote animal rights yet she eats chicken simply because she's lazy? wtf? at least she's heading in the right direction...), a junior guy I knew from theater, another girl in my grade who can't decide whether or not to be veggie and alternates being a veggie with being an omnivore, etc. I live in a small town, too, with only 200-400 kids in my grade. I'm considering starting some sort of animal rights/welfare club at my school to see how many people would come and to meet the other vegetarians in my school.<br><br><br><br>
I'm glad that more people are becoming veggie, though. It's never a bad thing for there to be more vegetarians. I just hope that the majority of them see it as more than a diet and actually look into nutrition and animal rights.
 

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Alyssa yeah i know other veg she is the person who helped me when i decided to go veg <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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guys, you're replying to a thread that's a year old.... about teen fads. It's over. Vegetarianism was sooo 2003ish.
 
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