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I wouldn't get too excited.

I haven't looked into this at any great depth but it seems to accept that 'meat avoiders' are vegetarians.

"More than 33 percent of the men and women in the study described themselves as vegetarians but said they ate white meat and fish."

This, obviously, renders the study mostly useless. I have a huge problem with meat-eating 'vegetarians'. Don't get me wrong - it's good that there are some animals they are not eating. But they are not vegetarians and they should stop calling themselves that. (Likewise, scholars should stop allowing people to "self-define" themselves as vegetarians. Most of the academic papers I have read do allow too much leeway on this.)

It's entirely objective: if you eat meat, you are not a vegetarian.

Nobody claims to be teetotal because they do not drink bear - but drink vodka, etc - so why should scholars allow such inconsistencies when it comes to diet?

Just over 4 percent were "strict vegetarians" and 2 percent vegans. Well, is that all? If we take 'strict vegetarians' to be ACTUAL vegetarians then obviously we're not able to conclude anything from the study.

It's conclusions should be that meat-avoiders are more intelligent etc - because it isn't actually studying real vegetarians, only fake ones.
 

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I think I wrote a little hastily.

But I don't think people should be drawing conclusions from an article or two. Track down the actual study. None the less,

Indian Summer quotes:

"There was no difference in IQ score between strict vegetarians and those who said they were vegetarian but who reported eating fish or chicken. "

This seems to be incoherent. It only stands in you accept subjective definitions that conflate meat avoidance with vegetarianism. I don't. Meat avoiders are meat eaters (meat eaters are not vegetarians). To paraphrase:

"There was no differnce in IQ between real vegetarians and fake vegetarians" - but if so, then it seems that vegetarianism is not key, rather meat avoidance is, and if that is the case then the headlines are based on the wrong comparison.

I might be missing something. It seems to me that the study causes itself unnecessary problems of interpretation by refusing an objective definition of vegetarianism (eg someone who does not eat meat, poultry, fishes). Those hundred of so people who 'called themselves vegetarians" should have been shown the door. If I was studying celebacy, I wouldn't accept subjects who "only had sex on Tuesdays" etc etc.

I agree though that the publicity is rare and welcome. Whether this study has its weaknesses or not is mostly irrelevant. The benefits of vegetarianism are well known and should receive a lot more press coverage.

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VeganClaudia, I have a few pdfs that compare a veggie diet. None of them are particularly great. Pm me your email address and I'll send you what I can.
 
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