Vegetarianism is common in my culture. Although ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine) doesn’t insist on vegetarianism, it does recommend it. The concept of ahimsa – nonviolence towards other living beings – is a core tenant of Hindu and Buddhist thought. Vegetarian food is also easier to digest and vital to colon health.
Ayurveda is an old Indian medicine system that stresses the importance of the mind-body connection and eating right for your type. Even as a kid, I understood that we eat for nutrition as much as we do for taste. Unfortunately, most of my mother’s recipes take HOURS (sometimes even days?) to recreate. Tasty vegetarian food isn’t easy to cook. And in Japan, it’s really hard to find all the ingredients I need.
I’ve been in Japan for two and a half years and I still haven’t met a Japanese vegetarian. Not saying they don’t exist – just saying it’s not common. So OBVIOUSLY – you don’t need to be a vegetarian to stay healthy and live for ages.