July 8, 1972
I have recently returned to a vegetarian lifestyle and I find myself always defending my choices. So many people still believe the crappy information out there. These articles are stone age thinking and attempts to dummify the masses to what is best for the planet and our health.
No posts published so far.
Thanks to your helpful information vRob, I have just sent the following email to the author:
Regarding your recent articles in the LA Times about vegetarian diet: my colleagues and I are feeling puzzled by some of your statements.
First, while it is certainly appropriate for you to refer to the ADA's recommendations, are you aware that singling out vegetarian diet as needing to be "well planned" creates a false impression of it being excessively complex?
My point is that everyone's diet need to be well planned for the sake of health, vegetarian diet no more than any other. As it is, too many people blithely assume that their meat-based diets are healthy, when the opposite may be more true.
The fact is that cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes are among the top causes of death in high income countries like Canada and the United States. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310.pdf
Interestingly, the same group of countries also have the highest per capita consumption of meat. http://earthtrends.wri.org/searchable_db/results.php?years=2002-2002&variable_ID=193&theme=8&cID=&ccID=11,13,12
In fact, the WHO strongly recommends that we reduce the intake of animal foods in favour of plant foods. http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/diet/en/index.html
Happily, one of the great strengths of vegetarian diet is that it tends to be low in saturated fat. Vegan diets have zero cholesterol and both are high in plant foods. The following statement comes from the ADA's position paper regarding vegetarian diets: http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/advocacy_933_ENU_HTML.htm
"The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease....lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians.....lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates."
Results suggest that it may actually be EASIER to eat a healthy diet when it is vegetarian or vegan than meat-based. So might we conclude that meat-eaters are the ones who are in greater need of planning their diets well?
I was also surprised to see a revival of the long-deceased concern about combining proteins. In the following report, please note the comments from ADA members: http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/protein.html
Another point of contention were the implications about feeding children a vegetarian diet as risky. The ADA's own position paper states that "Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including ...infancy, childhood, and adolescence...."
From my own personal point of view, I certainly agree! Having raised a daughter on a vegan diet, I am happy to be able to say that her health growing up was far superior to that of her father and I who were both raised on meat/dairy based diets.
So, my colleagues and I urge you to explore a more positive attitude towards plant-based diet. As part of that, you may wish to explore the work of Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Michael Greger.
Wishing you all the best,
Deborah Pageau B.Sc.
Gibsons, BC Canada
There is no doubt they're freaking out. Here in Minnesota, the mega dairy, turkey, and egg farms stand to lose big time. Hormel is based here, Land O'Lakes Dairy is based here, Cargill's headquarters are just down the road, and ConAgra markets most of its junk food from here. I grew up in Detroit, and talking about changes to agriculture here is like saying in the 60s that GM would be where it's at today, it's flat unthinkable for most people. My going vegetarian first then vegan is already affecting many people I know, and there's no need to defend it. The case for change becomes more compelling by the day. Write your lawmakers and find out their stand on the $140 Billion "Farm" Bill. Time to pull the plug on the tax dollars that perpetuate the madness.
You certainly weren't joking about the education upgrade. Excellent post!
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