Saturday, December 16, 2006

Those Crazy Vegetarians

This news story didn't surprise me in the least. The higher a kid's IQ, the more likely they are to become vegetarian as young adults. A new idea for why higher intelligence is related to better health.

Totally is supported by my experience, too. I can't say I've ever known a dumb vegetarian. Usually, it is the stupidest people, too, who are most appalled at the idea of giving up meat, and who can't fathom how could possibly get everything you need without eating a dead animal.

(Realize I'm making this argument as someone who is NOT a vegetarian. I have, at times, gone a month or more without meat, but am, by my own admission, too weak and lazy to go all the way. And could never, never, never go vegan. I love cheese. I mean I LOVE cheese. As in, a world without cheese makes me very, very sad. Gruyere. Bleu. Hell, sharp cheddar - I don't care. I freakin' love cheese.)

And even among the people I know who do eat meat, the more educated and intelligent the person is, the less meat they eat, the more open they are to eating meat-less meals, and the more they care, in general, about food issues.

Ha! Although we are going to the grocery store soon, where we'll be buying our "road trip" food - lots of soda, juice, Cheetos for GusGus, I want me some guacamole Doritos, and probably some lunch meat and cheese for sandwiches. Another veggie issue: how do you eat meat-less, and healthy, on road trips? Fairly certain we're not going to find a "great little vegetarian restaurant" in Guthrie, Oklahoma, or off the Kansas Turnpike. (Or we could take the Turner Turnpike north of Guthrie, to complete the namesake-filled trip. Ah, but we'll already be passing through the Turner Falls region of Oklahoma)

Curious about other people I know. Vegetarian now? Ever been? Open to meat-free meals? How does that relate to your IQ? (Yeah, I know, trusting self-assessment of IQ can be a bad idea: "I've never been tested, but my mom told me I was a genius!" does not cut it.) For myself: I'd actually have to dig up my score, which I'm not going to do, since I can't remember the exact number. I looked up a chart, though, and I fall firmly in the "gifted" range, and am heading further down the meatless path everyday. Eric is the same, although his number is higher than mine, and might be right up in the genius area.


alimum said...

Judy Judy Judy (sorry, couldn't resist)

I wish you had been at college with me, for you would have met many a stupid vegetarian. Of course, I have known a lot of smart vegetarians as well.

Vegetarian now? NO

Ever been? Never officially. One of those "I would go for long periods without eating meat, but not really as a choice, I just wanted tofu" things. I did go for years without eating red meat (pork, beef, lamb--pretty much everything that wasn't fish or fowl)

Open to meat-free meals? Yes, all the time.

How does that relate to your IQ? I don't think it does. My IQ is different on different tests so some tests would say I was a "genius", while others would say I was merely "gifted". I think exposure to vegetarianism (i.e. seeing people doing it and knowing it is a viable option) has more to do with it. However, being exposed to issues surrounding animal rights and the food industry (which, perhaps is a function of education) also plays a role, so that may be ways that IQ factor in (because people with higher IQs may be exposed to more people/experiences and/or receive more education/information).

Judy said...

I think you're largely right, with your comments about exposure being more important than IQ, and how it all actually fits together. Those with higher IQs, and their children, are more likely to be more highly educated and be more aware of the issues, and be more likely to care, and thus choose to eat less meat.

My experience has admittedly been pretty limited. I've only met a handful of vegetarians in my life, and only one vegan I can remember off the top of my head. And my, um, slightly redneck rural Midwest upbringing always clouds my views on these kinds of things - I have genuinely been accused of being almost abusive for not serving my sons beef!

Also right about IQ tests. But that's a-whole-nother discussion altogether.

And as I'm sitting at my mom's, in that redneck rural Missouri home, surrounded by kids (mine and others), I have no idea if I'm making any sense.

Anastasia said...

I've been an ovo/lacto vegetarian since I was 13. For me, it was a religious experience...I had just started to seriously study Wicca, and the ideology of "Harm None" did not mesh well with my omnivore diet. (Yes, I realize not ALL Wiccans are vegetarian, but many more of us are.) Now, I'm 26 and still a vegetarian Wiccan...though obviously better versed in both aspects.

As for IQ, depending on which test I take I'm either on the low end of "gifted" or the high end of "above average". Last time I had a professional IQ test was in college, and my score was 128...all the online ones say I'm higher, but I'll stick with the test that DOESN'T cater to the general populace.

To be honest, I don't think being vegetarian raises your IQ or makes you more intelligent. I believe that those with higher IQs are simply more willing to give different options a try. We are not (usually) so set in our ways that we refuse to accept new, logical information about our diets, religions, political beliefs, etc and make good choices based on this information.