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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,<br><br>
I just wanted to get some opinions from those who are more likely to represent my ethical views in application to career choices.<br><br>
I am thinking of pursuing a career in nutrition (still in the 'might do' phase) and wanted to ask what are your views on mentioning non-vegetarian/vegan foods to people (because I probably will have to mention meat and fish to future clients should I pursue this career)?<br><br>
I don't want to say 'You should eat more meat in your diet', or 'Increase your fish intake to get the essential omega fats'. Of course there are nutritional ways around eating meat and fish but then again most people would probably prefer the non-vegetarian/vegan option. I could say 'You would benefit from more protein in your diet, here is a list of food you could eat (meat included in that list I assume?)?<br><br>
Going further what if someone has a medical condition and needs meat in their diet? Should I recommend it to them? I guess so.....<br><br>
Just wanted to get some advice from people who share my views on animal ethics in regards to possibly choosing nutrition as a career choice.<br><br>
Thanks in advance and hope to get some thoughts on the matter.
 

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a career in nutrition is awesome!<br><br>
just a side note, a Dietitian is registered by a certifying board, nutritionists are basically nothing and require no training or certification. Consider becoming a registered dietitian rather than a nutritionist.<br><br>
there are other fields on nutrition careers other than Dietitian. i am studying to become a food scientist, where i would be working in labs and testing various ingredients, cooking methods etc.<br><br>
as for recommending people eat meat, you may not have to at all. if you market yourself as a Vegan Dietitian you will attract more vegans and plant based people.<br><br>
you might be interested in this: <a href="http://www.theveganrd.com/becoming-a-vegan-r-d" target="_blank">http://www.theveganrd.com/becoming-a-vegan-r-d</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks luvourmother. I should have written dietitian, my apologies (didn't remember the difference when I wrote the thread). Regarding recommending people to eat meat you couldn't please elaborate on being a Vegan Dietitian? Would my salary be less than if I were mainstream (if you know)? I think if I did pursue a career as a dietitian I would definitely want to specialise in veganism, maybe ethical vegetarianism (if that's even possible?). My interest in this sort of career I believe is mainly around veganism, wanting to ensure that my health isn't at risk by following my beliefs. Also I'm UK, London based.
 

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Speaking as a working Dietitian (from UK), it is imperative to remain professional at all times and to not impose your personal views on patients - this is particularly important in the healthcare setting. Whether you agree with it or not, Dietitians follow government guidelines because that's the evidence base provided and so you must follow them when advising patients on diet. There is no specialty in veganism/ethical eating at the moment and it's not really taught on the degree courses but that doesn't mean to say it will never happen in the future...I know a lot of veggie Dietitians!<br>
Having said that, (for example) I don't offer meat as the only protein option for clients, there's always opportunities to open people's mind up a bit and explain the diversity of foods and other protein sources available. People have diverse needs and diverse ideas on what constitutes a balanced diet, so as a Dietitian you need to accommodate that.<br><br>
As Luvourmother says, the way round this is to clearly advertise yourself as a private dietitian specialising in veg*n diets once you've qualified. This is a real niche but growing market so could be quite lucrative. Alternatively you could set yourself up as a Nutritionist which is risky as a Dietitian could trump you at any time and show you up with state registration and qualifications - unless you have a degree but even then you won't have the training and counselling skills a Dietitian will have.<br><br>
If you're serious about nutrition then dietetics is a great career and everyone is interested in diet so you'll never stop being asked for advice! It may be a way to change the world around you if you care about people's health.
 

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I don't think you'll have a problem if you focus on recommending things based on facts. Take protein, for example.<br><br>
Meat and vegetables both have protein in them, yes (which is information you may have to give them)- but meat generally contains saturated fat (bad), and vegetables contain fiber (good). Without consideration for taste, the nutritional winner is pretty clear <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
You can inform them with fun facts, like that the dry weight of beef and broccoli have about the same amount of protein, gram for gram.<br><br>
You should also be able to choose only clients who are interested in transitioning to a veg*n diet, if you want (but yes, you might have to charge less until you make a name for yourself to attract clients).<br><br>
Best of luck!<br><br>
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you vepurusg. I'm curious what salary range is possible (assuming I am motivated to be really successful)? I'm also new to the world of work so don't know how much is good, etc. Thanks again.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lucky_Black</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3084714"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Thank you vepurusg. I'm curious what salary range is possible (assuming I am motivated to be really successful)? I'm also new to the world of work so don't know how much is good, etc. Thanks again.</div>
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From what I've read, monetary compensation for RDs is not very high. But you can do a lot more with a degree in nutrition than simply counsel people. For example, you could write a book or create a special weight loss diet plan (suitable for most people) etc. You could hold seminars about plant-based nutrition or do a series of DVDs on the same subject. You could help formulate multivitamins or energy bars... There are lots of things you can do where being a Registered Dietician could help you encourage people to choose vegetarian and vegan options. I encourage you to pursue your career a with a bit more of an open approach. Be creative!<br><br>
Or you can always take the approach that some others have taken - where you tell your clients, "I encourage you to choose plant-based foods for the benefit of your health, the planet, and animals so I've made you a list of plant sources for the nutrients you seem to be lacking. But here's another list of animal products that also contain those nutrients."
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks ElaineV.<br><br>
So you (aimed generally) don't think I should worry about mentioning meat and fish to clients? I could just be professional and state the facts; letting the client make the decision based on what I tell them....But what if I'm not actually talking to the client, it may not happen (I don't know), but what if I get an email (being part of hospital/practice) that says a client wants a food plan that puts an emphasise on protein intake? Do I include meat and fish (assuming they expect a single approach) or not? Vegan may be healthier but including meat and fish is probably more realistic...I could do one for an omnivore and one for vegans but isn't that a bit much? Hope I'm not waffling on and thanks again in advance.
 

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Elaine's advice above on all of your options for income are excellent- I would also add that, generally speaking, as long as you're making enough to live and take care of yourself, extra income doesn't contribute very much to happiness (income to purchase so much stuff, the thrill of which wears off shortly after purchase). What does contribute to happiness is doing something with your life that you enjoy and really believe in.<br><br>
Even if you have to make a little less (as long as it's less disposable income, and doesn't cut into your necessities), you're better off following your heart (as long as you don't break any laws in the process, of course <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> ).<br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lucky_Black</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3084839"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
But what if I'm not actually talking to the client, it may not happen (I don't know), but what if I get an email (being part of hospital/practice) that says a client wants a food plan that puts an emphasise on protein intake?</div>
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A vegan diet can have an emphasis on protein intake; if they weren't specific, just send that along and explain why- that it is an emphasis on protein, with secondary considerations for other important health factors (like saturated fat).<br><br>
If they complain, well, maybe you lost a client, but as long as you aren't about to be homeless, that's not really so bad if you can do what you believe in. If your economic situation is dire, however, send them whatever you think it is they want until you're in a safe place (self preservation and all- you can't do anybody any good if you're in a gutter somewhere).<br><br>
If you know they'll reject a vegan plan (or you have a pretty good idea that they will), you could include some minimal amount of meat, but include far less than another dietician would- thereby reducing animal suffering a little by having the plan accepted as opposed to the alternative. Chances are that if you explain clearly why the protein in meat comes with undesirables, how it can potentially become carcinogenic when prepared in certain ways, etc. they will at least lean very strongly towards your preparation (while probably cheating a bit, but you can't help that).
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lucky_Black</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3084839"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
what if I get an email (being part of hospital/practice) that says a client wants a food plan that puts an emphasise on protein intake? Do I include meat and fish (assuming they expect a single approach) or not? Vegan may be healthier but including meat and fish is probably more realistic...I could do one for an omnivore and one for vegans but isn't that a bit much? Hope I'm not waffling on and thanks again in advance.</div>
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That's a personal ethical issue you will have to determine for yourself. Lots of people find themselves in situations where they have to choose exactly where they feel comfortable drawing the line between what they do for money and what they believe in. For example, waitresses deal with this issue all the time. Many vegans who take jobs serving food do it in restaurants where meat is served. They find creative ways to make the situation OK for themselves. For example, when I waited tables I would tell people "I'm vegetarian so I can't personally recommend the XYZ but a lot of customers order it." That way, I planted the seed of vegetarianism without coming off as preachy or demanding. And what I said was fine with my boss because no one ever complained about it. Whenever people asked, "What do you like?" I answered honestly without saying why. I just said, "I love the soup and salad combo with the vegetable soup." But you know, after a while it really bothered me to serve animal flesh and I decided I couldn't work in that kind of environment anymore.<br><br>
Veterinarians have these sorts of issues all the time. Presumably they got in the business because they love animals but they also have to make money. So they have to find a way to deal with all the people who ask for discounts or favors for needy or homeless animals. And they have to deal with euthanasia requests. Or even soup kitchen volunteers. Are they going to volunteer at the big homeless shelter and serve the donated food consisting of meat, dairy etc or do they start up a Food Not Bombs chapter locally?<br><br>
Obviously these are complicated ethical issues, but they're individual choices people have to make for themselves. There's not a one-size-fits-all answer. I think if you're really interested in studying nutrition and you're dedicated to veganism then I think you should go for it. The world needs more vegan RDs.
 

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If you're really keen on a career in Nutrition/Dietetics then the best way to get a real feel for it is to shadow someone for a day. If you're planning on applying for degree courses, you'll need to demonstrate experience of the field anyway so you might as well have a go now. Your local hospital should have a team of Dietitians, phone them up and ask nicely, I'm sure they'd be happy to help! It would also be a good opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have. Your perspective of the day-to-day activities of a Dietitian may be quite different once you've had a visit but that isn't necessarily a bad thing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you again to previous posts. I also wanted to say that I hope I'm not coming across as negative. The positive reasons for being a dietitian I can work out myself, it's just the aspects of uncertainty (issues) that I want to resolve and would like help in doing so.<br><br>
Another question if I may, I didn't carry on with sciences after 15/16 years old (I'm now 23), got a B grade in my science exams at that age. I wasn't really into the science however, interested in theory, but getting into it was difficult (it got a bit mundane), with all those nouns to remember and understand (ions, haemoglobin, vascular system, etc). It felt a bit dry. I know nutrition/dietetics is based on certain sciences (chemistry and biology for example), do you think this aversion can be overcome? I think if I really tried I could overcome it but it would be a challenge. Obviously something I will need to consider, but would please like your thoughts.<br><br>
Once again I'm very thankful for your advice and patience,<br><br>
Peter
 
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