Vegetables are good for you, and there are some pretty cool herbivores out there. I would not want to fuck with a buffalo. Eating a meat diet without meat is bad, but that is what this thread is about. Complaining about vegetarianism being unhealthy here is kind of stupid. Yes, we know meatless diets can mess you up, but that is what we're trying to fix/avoid so get with the program already.
Regarding motive: Why be vegetarian? Opposition to killing animals. Perfectly valid reason. I am of the opinion that if you couldn't deal with killing and butchering an animal, you shouldn't eat meat.
Opposition of cruel factory farming processes. Another fine reason, since it produces lower quality, hormone laden, BSE et al breeding meat. Farmers markets are an alternative, but can be more expensive.
Opposition to wasting resources growing and feeding animals. The world has a lot of people in it, and the crops and resources spent maintaining animals could well be spent on feeding humans.
Health reasons are harder to defend and more readily contested. Thus, unless you are talking with someone who would make for an interesting/stimulating debate or you are looking for a fight, I'd avoid this one.
Inviting someone round for dinner and serving food they can't eat is a dick move whether we're talking allergies, religion, or personal preference. If you don't like them enough to make them something they will like to eat, why the hell are you inviting them into your home for food?
Regarding the original post: Mushrooms, beans, quinoa, lentils, spinach, broccoli. Lack of protein is an easy mistake and will mess you up, as is lack of iron. This has been covered, but again again again it needs to be emphasized for any one else interested and reading.
The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen is one of my favorite books and I am not even a vegetarian. Vegetarian cooking relies on spices, sauces, and interesting flavours rather than chunks of meat, making it more interesting, challenging, and delicious. Also, you can steal vegetarian ideas to make your meat better, at the very least. I feel a bit like a traitor when I make beef with my indian spices, but it is pretty darn good.
Regarding Eskimo/Inuit: Eskimo is a term applied to the Inuit by outsiders, and as such, is not the preferred term, besides the fact that it is often used as a racial slur with negative connotations. I am part Inuit and grew up in Labrador, my knowledge trumps wikipedia, at least for my area.
Regarding Axman: Dude, what the crap?
"Besides, I don't know any vegetarian converts who won't admit to getting sick more often and feeling tired all the time."
Iron, vitamin, and protein deficiency. This happens when people go vegetarian without a good diet.
"But, now armed with the knowledge that your body literally rewards your brain for gorging yourself on meat, why would you ever want to give it up?"
What? I've never experienced this.
"Oh yeah, and while my cholesterol went down, so did my red blood count."
"My weight actually went up since all I ate was pasta, and your body needs protein when breaking down fat for energy."
Bad move. Don't replace meat with carbohydrates, and eat vegetarian protein sources, as discussed in this thread.
"And meat's not fattening, fat is."
Meat can be fatty. Unless you diligently trim all your meat, it will contain fat.
"And, of course, diet without exercise is pretty pointless; if your real reason (because nobody actually feels the plight of poor widdle cows) is weight loss, man up and go jogging."
Weight loss was not the goal as stated in this thread, health was. Also, plenty of people feel the plight of the cows, or at least, they feel guilt enough to compensate.
Regarding me: Jesus fucking christ shut the hell up already dude no one's reading this far anyways.