Posts filed under ‘Religion’

Addressing The Misconceptions of Vegetarianism

The following are general misconceptions or stereotypes about vegetarians. These are the main ones I know about, meaning there are probably more that won’t be addressed.

1. We don’t get enough protein
This seems to be one of the most common misconceptions about vegetarians.
The list of foods is too long for me to put on here w/o going over my word limit, so [click here] for the list. Meat may be an easy source of protein, but it isn’t the only source. Just like oranges aren’t the only source of Vitamin C. There are probably those who aren’t getting enough protein, however that’s down to a bad diet, it has nothing to do with the fact they are vegetarian. If you look at the list of foods containing protein, you’ll see that vegetarians have more than enough ways to get the amount they need. Whether they choose to eat those foods or not in the right quantities is up to the individual.

2. We are pale, weak, super skinny and malnutritioned
People’s body have a certain build due to things like metabolism or genetics, it has nothing to do with whether they do or don’t eat meat. People cut out a certain item of food rather than a whole food group when not eating meat, meaning that those who become vegetarians have pretty much the same body type they had when they ate it [unless they purposely gain or lose weight]. I personally haven’t become any skinnier, my weight has remained the same. This also applies to those that I’ve seen/known to also be vegetarian.

Those who are pale, weak, super skinny etc. are like that due to not eating much/any food at all. It’s not down to cutting out a single item of food.

3. People are only vegetarian for ethical purposes (In other words, we do it as we think it’s “wrong to kill animals for food”)

You’ll find more people doing it for health, environmental and religious purposes rather than to “save the animals”. Nevertheless, ethical reasons are still an important factor for many vegetarians. Alot of people just don’t feel comfortable eating meat after realizing how it got there

4. All we eat is salad
Vegetarians [including myself] aren’t necessarily big salad fans, meaning we don’t each it much if not at all. We’re vegetarians not rabbits

5. We eat fish. If we don’t, we are no longer vegetarian, but vegan
Meat is defined as flesh that comes from an animal, making fish another subgroup of meat, those who call themselves vegetarian but still eat fish are not vegetarian.
By definition, they are Pescatarians, something that has no relation to vegetarianism. Vegans don’t eat meat [including fish] AND animal products [dairy, eggs, honey etc.] while most vegetarians still do. Calling vegetarians vegans because they don’t eat fish just shows how little people generally know about vegetarianism.

6. We are generally unhealthy
We actually have lower risks of getting heart disease, high levels of cholesterol, blocked arteries or even certain types of cancer by not eating red meat and have lower risks of getting mercury poisoning by not eating canned tuna [to name a few], so if anything we are healthier than those who do eat meat as our risks of getting the things listed above are significantly lower.
Here’s a question to those who think eating meat’s healthier:
Why are millions of doctors ordering so many of their patients to lay off things like red meat if “it’s good for you”?

Vegetarians are more health conscious. We simply don’t care about “how good it tastes” because in the long run, we know it won’t benefit us. We realize that we’re contributing to a longer healthier life rather than possibly shortening it by something like a “sudden” heart attack


January 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm Leave a comment

How Christmas has Changed Over The Years

This article was originally written for my school newspaper, so it’s longer than my normal ones

Being the 18th of December can only mean one thing…CHRISTMAS IS A WEEK AWAY!! This time of year usually means one thing for the most of us, buying the right presents, spending time with relatives and well, getting stuffed of course =). But what does Christmas mean these days? Do people see it as a chance to see relatives, or is it really just about the presents? How did people celebrate it in the past?

As most of us know, Christmas was originally celebrated to commemorate the birth of Jesus (even though he technically wasn’t born in that month, it was more around September). The word comes from the compound Cristemaesse, which translates to “Christ’s Mass” or “Mass of Christ”. It’s celebrated by Christians in many ways; the most common being a Nativity play, which retells the story of Jesus’ birth. It’s made up of Mary, Joseph, Three Kings, shepherds and random farm animals like donkeys and sheep, all happening in a barn with nothing but Jesus’ crib and a tone of straw.

Until a few years ago, I went to Catholic schools all my life, so I’ve done at least 4 or 5 Nativity plays in primary (One of my earliest memories was being a shepherd in Reception) so the whole nativity idea is normal to me like millions of other Christians.

Despite this, people have still made a few attempts in the past to make sure it wasn’t celebrated. Whether it was Oliver Cromwell and his Puritans cancelling of Christmas in 18th century England [according to HISTORY.COM], or pilgrims outlawing Christmas in Boston, a lot of extremist groups have wanted to abolish Christmas. The Puritans even put a fine on anyone found celebrating Christmas. Fortunately, these ideas failed miserably, this one you might not know about.

It turns out that during his dictatorship, Hitler literally tried to take the Christ out of Christmas. With Anti-Semitic carols and toy grenades hanging from trees, A Nazi Christmas wouldn’t be complete without glittering swastikas (…of course). He even replaced the star on Christmas trees with a sun, just in case people would get it confused with the Star of David. Though Hitler tried to weaken the power of the church, it didn’t work; neither did his aim of Nazi Christmas dominating the world].

Around the same time of those failed attempts, Charles Dickens created the tale Scrooge or a Christmas Carol, which as you probably know, is all about the importance of giving to others. It was a hit in England and America and showed some people the benefits of celebrating it. The focus was less on baby Jesus and more on general goodwill to humans. This eventually evolved into families splashing on presents for their kids without looking like they were being spoiled. (That probably explains why so many of us cared about presents when we were little) Aspects like these became part of modern day Christmas traditions that we are familiar with today.

Christmas became more commercialized soon afterwards; with Christmas now, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I mention people rushing to the shops to get those last few gifts for the family. Jesus was no longer the only figure associated with Christmas; the other one became the bearer of all gifts, Father Christmas, or Santa.

As popular as these factors are today, they don’t have a connection to everyone. Many people follow religions like Judaism, Islam or Jehovah’s Witness, so they don’t celebrate or even recognize Christmas. If people in America use the term Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas to respect that, shouldn’t more be done for people of those beliefs? If the Swiss were allowed to vote against minarets in case they “spread the influence of Islam”, should the same technically be done for Christmas in case it “spreads the influence of Christianity”?

Even for those who celebrate Christmas, originally Santa didn’t have a connection to kids or even gift bearing. On top of that, we all know he’s not real, so is it fair to associate him with Christmas when he doesn’t appeal to all kids? Is it right to make them believe in something that has no connection to the real meaning of Christmas? Is he there to up their spirits about the holiday or to make them more materialistic so that big corporate companies make more money?

I’m not saying that it should be cancelled; I just think that the commercialism should be toned down a bit. Even as someone who celebrates Christmas, I personally don’t want to be bombarded with endless ads of unnecessary things like a singing reindeer or tacky decorations.

Nevertheless, Christmas has come a long way. It’s gone from being completely banned to becoming a holiday that’s recognized almost worldwide. Although it’s originally about the birth of Jesus, even those who don’t believe in him have their own way of celebrating. While some still believe in the pagan ideas of the 17th century, thankfully it’s not enough for the influence to be spread worldwide. As commercialized and materialistic as it can be, the true meaning of Christmas hasn’t been forgotten. Each year millions of Christians celebrate his birth at the same time millions of kids patiently wait with milk and biscuits for Father Christmas to give them their gifts, even though he’ll never come (…I wonder how their parents will break it to them).

Personally, my parents didn’t have to tell me he wasn’t real. The older I got, the more I got freaked out by the idea of a fat, middle aged white man in a red suit coming into my house when I was sleeping.

December 18, 2009 at 7:02 pm Leave a comment

Let Me Guess, You’re Against It Right?

Abortion has always been a heavy topic. It raises the idea of what’s ethical, and it is illegal in some countries or states and frowned upon in certain religions, especially in the Christian Church.

You’ll find it a very controversial topic in a country like the United States where some people [especially those from the Republican] feel very strongly about it. Before people like President Obama and Sonia Sotomayor were elected to their positions, they were heavily bombarded with abortion questions by the press and other political leaders.
A lot of emphasis has been put on how Christians oppose abortion and how it is one of the worst sins…therefore when people think of those against it, it’s not unusual if they think of the person as Christian.

The title of this post was a question someone asked me after they assumed that I was against it because of my religion, which wasn’t true. As someone of Christian faith, I would like to point out how the strong views you may hear about against abortion don’t necessarily apply to everyone that is Christian. I’m not sure about the US, but in the UK such views are only present  in the most extreme of Christians. For me, out of all the Christians I know in England, only a handful have such strong views on the subject.

I personally don’t think that making abortion illegal ANYWHERE will help. The amount of newborn babies will take a sharp increase, and in a time like this where some countries are in a Recession, it’s hard for people to find the money to provide for babies when they may not even be able to provide for themselves. While I think that everyone is entitled to their opinion, I do also believe that the anti abortion extremists out there don’t take everything into consideration when they say abortion should be banned. They get the idea that every woman who gets abortions are careless and they weren’t really thinking when they got pregnant…when that’s not always the case.

They seem to forget about incidents such as rape, where in America, it is said to happen to 1 in every 6 women [according to the Rape Abuse And Incest National Network]. What if those 1 in every 6 women got pregnant from that? Is it ok to deny them an abortion just because it’s “unethical”? If we want to talk about ethics here then why not talk about how unethical it is to make ANY woman live with a child that was conceived by the person who raped them. A person they’ll be reminded of each time they look at that child. Not just with rape, but why not talk about how unethical it is for a mother to tell their child that they didn’t want them and that they were a mistake?

That’s why I think banning abortion won’t help anything. If people really wanted to reduce the abortion rate then they should get to the root of the problem: contraception. By promoting more the use of condoms etc., less people are more likely to get pregnant, which also means less people are going to need to get abortions done, meaning that it won’t be necessary to make it illegal, as the rates won’t be as high.

It’s pretty simple once you think about it: More Condoms means Less Pregnancies therefore Less Abortions. That way everyone’s happy =)

November 10, 2009 at 10:11 pm Leave a comment

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