Vegetarianism: Past, Present, and Future

Life and Health recently took a field trip down to Loma Linda California. We were there to attend the 6th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition at Loma Linda University.  We had a great time listening to the speakers, networking with people, as well as enjoying some great food.

One of the speakers at the congress was Claus Leitzmann Ph.D., an internationally renowned expert on nutrition. He is the co-author of the books “Dictionary of Nutrition,” and “Vegetarian Nutrition,” as well as the winner of several prestigious awards. Although he is now retired from his professorship at Justus Liebig University in Germany, he was invited to speak at the Congress.

He gave a fascinating lecture on the history of vegetarianism that touched upon several interesting topics. We had an opportunity to catch up with him later in the weekend and ask him some questions about vegetarian nutrition.

Here are the questions and his responses (click the links below to watch the videos):

How has the perception of vegetarianism changed over the last few decades?

What are the benefits of being on a vegetarian diet?

Does someone’s reason for becoming a vegetarian have any affect on their nutrition?

Is vitamin B-12 a legitimate concern for vegetarians or vegans?

Why do vitamin B-12 intake recommendations differ so widely?

If everyone on earth became a vegetarian, how would our earth be impacted?

What does the future look like for vegetarianism?

At the end of our conversation with Claus we asked him what opportunities we had to change our culture towards a vegetarian diet. He replied that we are examples to others. Whether we want to be or not does not matter; the fact is we are examples. We should live our lives conscious of this fact and remember that others are watching.

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Jon Ewald, MD

Jon Ewald grew up in Minnesota and has a love for the outdoors. He obtained his medical degree at Loma Linda University, graduating in 2020. He is currently completing his residency in Radiology at University of Pittsburgh.

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