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Jan 17, 2017

Vegetarianism is growing in the U.S at a dramatic rate. It is estimated that 16 million, out of the population of 320 million people, are now vegetarian, and the number is probably much higher as not all of them have been counted. Half of those vegetarians are vegans who eat no animal products whatsoever(1). This is an unusual, counter-culture trend(2) for this country, as so much  of the general culture's diet includes meat and animal products. As you probably know, there is a health crisis here in the States. Obesity, cancer, and diabetes are accepted as normal. Most of this stems from(3) a huge consumption of sugar and a stressed and sedentary lifestyle. However, there is also more information available to people, and many are taking control and making healthier choices. Even the schools are trying to reduce the amount of sugar that they serve the children, and are also including more vegetables in their lunches. There is much work to be done and a long way to go before the young generation experiences a healthy balance of exercise and diet. A type of vegetarianism that is being adopted particularly by women and young people is veganism. Studies have shown that vegans can expect much lower rates of cancer of all types compared to the general population. Veganism has also become fashionable which, I think, is a good thing, as it exposes young people to healthier options for a longer life. My oldest son, Hudson, has been a vegan for about eight months, and is now committed to his vegetable based diet. He says that he feels so much better. He used to have migraines and gastric problems, but they have completely stopped. He has lots of energy, and his skin is perfect! He has also become a good shopper! He will go to the supermarket and buy bags and bags of vegetables, beans, grains, and fruit. Then he will rush around the kitchen like a chef, chopping, mashing, and stirring, and produce colorful, healthy dishes. I tried his vegan burrito the other day, and I was totally surprised at how it tastes like a burrito but so much better. Instead of a flour tortilla, he used Swiss chard. Instead of meat he used spiced beans and onion; and instead of rice he used finely chopped cauliflower. It was like a revolution in thinking. My son's example certainly has me thinking about my diet. I could probably give up meat and milk, but giving up eggs and butter would be very difficult. Also, I love to bake, and how can you do that without those two ingredients? I'm not quite ready for that step.

1. 'Whatsoever' is emphatic after a negative and means ' at all'.

a. The newspaper made no mention whatsoever of the charity that made a generous gift to the homeless.

b. It will be no problem whatsoever to beat the other team.

c. The hospital didn't have clean water, bandages, medicine, or any other supplies whatsoever!

2. 'Trend' is like 'fashion' or 'temporary tendency'. We also use the word 'trendy' instead of 'fashionable'.

a. She likes to follow Japanese trends in fashion.

b. Economies change their trends every few years, it seems.

3. 'To stem from' is similar to 'to come from'. When observing plants, most of a plant comes from the stem, its base. It is supported by the stem and develops from it.

a. His problems stem from a lack of communication.

b. The regrowth of forests stems from regulation that protects them.

c. The growth in industry and jobs stems from a general cut in taxes.

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