Letter to the editor: Trying to plant the seed for vegetarians

Letter to the editor


I understand that the opinion section is just that – opinion. But Marissa Mararac’s piece against vegetarians, “Score for carnivores,” is so misinformed that I decided I needed to write in and share some facts.

First of all, yes, Vitamin B12 is not found in plants and is found in meat. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t easy to find it elsewhere. Most soy milks come fortified with Vitamin B12 and a few other vitamins and minerals.  

The second argument for iron and zinc is just misleading. If one replaces the meat they eat with leafy greens, they get all of the iron and zinc that they need – in fact you receive more iron per 100 calories. For instance, 100 calories of romaine lettuce has 5.7 milligrams of iron and 1.4 milligrams of zinc while 100 calories of steak has 0.8 milligrams and 1.2 milligrams respectively. Plus, if you actually can eat 100 calories worth of romaine lettuce, your stomach will be much more filled than with 100 calories of steak, therefore you eat fewer calories.

The argument that vegetarians gain weight because they mostly eat white grains is weak; the argument that vegetarian food is bland is just ridiculous. For the sake of space, I cannot get into these.

Studies have shown time and again that eating meat leads to higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attacks, and cancer of all kinds. Those who adopt a raw plant-based diet, no matter what age, can actually stop, and even reverse these diseases to a point where they completely disappear.

I know the college kids reading this will not stop eating pizza and chicken wings. It takes strong desire and commitment to change such socially ingrained habits. I’m just trying to plant a seed, and if even one person decides to reflect on their lifestyle for 30 seconds, it has been well worth my time.

Thank you for listening.

Amanda Cummings

Alumna Spring 2013, BS in general biological sciences