Saturday, October 18, 2008

Family brings vegetarianism to Orillia

The Orillia Packet & Times - Saturday, October 11, 2008

Posted by Sara Ross

Jocelyn Losole-Stinger, 11 and her 9-year old sister Natalie have never eaten meat before in their lives.

Once Jocelyn accidentally began chewing meat, believing it was something else, but she spit it out when she realized her mistake.

“It was kind of strange because I had never tasted it before,” Jocelyn said. “It wasn’t like anything I’ve tasted before.”

Natalie said when she goes to friend’s houses and they eat meat it’s sometimes hard for her, but she has a friend whose family that will cook a veggie burger for her.

“I say they taste just like hamburgers, but I don’t know that because I’ve never tasted (hamburgers) before,” she laughed. “I’m going to be a vegetarian all my life. I know what happens to animals in factories, so I don’t want to be eating that.”

Janet Losole, the mother of the two girls said she and her husband Lloyd Stringer decided to become vegetarians 14-years ago for their own personal beliefs.

“For me it was a boycott as an expression of the unfair distribution of the earth’s resources. Most grain is used to feed beef cattle and the vast majority of humans on the earth are starving as a result of not having access to those grains,” Losole said.

“For my husband it was animal rights all the way. He has a view that animals are treated unfairly and he couldn’t tolerate the cruelty.”

She said that the amount of water and acres of land required to feed about 10 head of cattle could feed thousands of people.

“I think, especially today, over consumption has gotten us into a lot of trouble,” she said. “Over consumption, no matter what it is, means that some people on the earth are not going to have enough.”

Recently the family began to be even more thankful for their decision 14-years ago as there are so many problems with the current food system.

“Look at the news all these recalls and bacteria,” she said. “I want to take control of my own health. The decision I made with my husband was ever a good one because every year the food supply gets worse.”

Losole said it’s a myth that humans require meat in their diets, adding that people can be healthy without it.

“Once the kids were born a lot changed. Not only were we going to continue eating vegetarian, we were like what else are we consuming that isn’t good not just for the earth, but (also) for our bodies. Then it became local, organic,” Losole said.

When the couple first decided to become vegetarians they were living in Barrie and found it extremely difficult to find vegetarian alternatives.

“Back then it was very basic just pasta and salad. There weren’t very many options,” she said. “We’ve come along way in 14-years.”

Losole said going out for dinner in restaurants is still hard in a small town like Orillia, however she does know a place in town that offers a wide-range of vegetarian foods.

“You can go to any restaurant and you have to get a salad, but Brewery Bay is the best restaurant in town because Steve (Clarke, the owner) is a vegetarian, so he’s got loads of options on his menu.”

In January of this year the couple decided to start the Orillia Vegetarian Club as a way to meet more people in the community they had just moved to.

The 20-person club meets once a month for a potluck dinner, where they socialize and share recipes. There are also “meat-eaters” in the club who joined to learn how to cook healthy dishes.

Losole said she would like to see the group expand and be able to host guest speakers during their monthly meals.

“I’d like to see people coming as a response to not being happy with the food supply.

(The club) is a support system and it’s nice to be with people who think the same way,” she said. “It’s all about what is on your plate, where does that come from and what’s in it.”

For more information on the Orillia Vegetarian Club visit

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