Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them to Jo using this easy form. She would be happy to address your individual concerns as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy, practical applications, and living compassionately. Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or answer questions that have already been addressed in the Archives

Jo will make every attempt to answer each question personally, however, due to her schedule, this may not be possible. If a reply is forthcoming, it could take up to a few weeks, so please be patient. It is also possible that your question will be answered directly in the "Ask Jo!" column rather than an individual response.

If you'd like to view previous questions Jo has answered, visit the Ask Jo! Archives.

Meat, Dairy and Politics

question.gif - 1.4 K It seems to me that the meat and dairy industries are politically powerful these days. They parallel the tobacco industry of the Seventies. What shocked me is an ad I saw on television for a diet that consists entirely of meat, dairy, and eggs. Watching it appalled me. The actors were middle aged and older people talking about how young they felt, how healthy they were, and how much weight they had lost. They talked about how they hated eating like rabbits and how now they felt stronger and were experiencing "a happy shrinking feeling" (hah -- don't get me started there). The thought that kept running through my head was that this program was developed by the meat industry. Who else would advocate such lunacy? Could the meat producers be backlashing against the trend of good nutrition with this plan? Sure smells like it.

answer.gif - 1.3 K More and more nutrition specialists and health-care practitioners are recommending diets that include higher amounts of fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits. Consequently, it is not surprising to see those industries that would be most economically damaged by a sweeping move away from animal-based foods to react by promoting their products even more aggressively.

History has demonstrated that whenever groups of people effect lasting social change, the public passes through three stages: denial/rejection, tolerance, and, finally, acceptance. Actually, we could interpret this type of dogged advertising in a very positive way. The meat, egg, and dairy industries are no longer able to refute the healthful benefits of a vegan/vegetarian diet, so their only recourse at this point is to champion their products based on whatever premise they can devise. This also means that the general public is becoming more tolerant of vegetarianism, creating a threatening situation for the brokers of animal-derived foods. It may be a long time before society arrives at stage three, but the profusion of vegetarian commodities in the mainstream marketplace is a distinct caveat that vegetarianism has arrived.

As you pointed out, the parallels between the tobacco industry and the meat, egg, and dairy industries are compelling. From personal habit and dependence to public censure, from physician endorsement to open denouncement, from government collusion to levies and law suits, meat, eggs, and dairy products are inevitably headed down the same slippery slope as tobacco. However, all these industries are deeply entrenched in our society's economy and way of life, and it will take a long while to untangle the practices they have worked so hard to weave into the fabric of our culture.

I agree that these types of ads are shocking and infuriating. But vegans and vegetarians can, and should, take heart. View them with a smile and a grain of salt knowing that because someone felt the need to create such promotions our movement and influence have been acknowledged.




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Vegan Vittles:
Second Helpings

Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings by Jo Stepaniak

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The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

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Review by Dan Balogh

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The Food Allergy
Survival Guide

The Food Allergy Survival Guide

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