Lose Your Veganity!

Veganism’s had major play in the media this year, and many of us have faced pesky questions from friends, family and acquaintances about the vegan propaganda movie Forks Over Knives starring T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn.  This blog is for WAPF members who have asked us for comebacks and replies.

Our WAPF website, of course, is bursting with science rebutting and refuting those vegan claims, and our “Vegetarian Tour” tackles the key issues nicely.   Another good option is to encourage people to read Lierre Keith’s The Vegetarian Myth, a compelling and compassionate discussion by a well-educated and articulate ex vegan.  Yet another great resource is Denise Minger’s recent talk “How to Win An Argument with a Vegetarian” found at  http://vimeo.com/27792352    We definitely needed this one, as there are zillion hits on the internet on how to argue with a meat eater.   Minger’s perkiness and smarts could be just what’s needed for young people hopped up on vegan “science” spouted from the foul-mouthed babes who wrote Skinny Bitch.

As for me, I’ve got my own edu-taining way to set people straight.   As per the script that follows, start with a question, use mild shock techniques to leave your adversary speechless, and then quickly lay out the issues.

Think a vegan diet is the ticket to personal and planetary health?   Then it’s time to lose your veganity!

Yes,  lose your veganity.   Let go of the wishful thinking that pervades vegan myths and open up to the complex truths.  Yes, it might be painful at first, but it’s a crucial step to adult knowledge of how we really can honor animals, promote personal health and healing, sustain the environment and bring about world peace.

To start with, humans are omnivores with a mixed feeder’s teeth and digestive system.    If we were meant to be herbivores, we’d have a mouth designed to chew cud and four big stomachs to hold and process it.  Grazing all day not only wastes the time and energy omnivores need to live passionate and productive lives, but can lead to indigestion, bloated bellies, stupendous gas and prodigious poops.   Worse still, herbivores put on weight like cows, allow themselves to be herded and act like good sheeples.

The anthropological evidence is also clear.  An oft heard joke — but one with a lot of truth in it — is that the word vegetarian means “poor hunter.”    In fact, cultures from all over the world traditionally thrived on diets rich in animal fats and proteins, and not just fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains.   As omnivores, we are blessed to be able to enjoy these delicious foods, but must not rely solely on them.   Vegans who try, tend to come up deficient in vitamins A, D, K, B2, B6 and B12; the sulfur-containing amino acids, methionine, cysteine and taurine; DHA and EFA fatty acids; and calcium, zinc, carnitine and CoQ10.  Although the human body is theoretically capable of converting beta carotene into true vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acids into DHA and EPA, few people are healthy enough to do so.  Sunlight might produce sufficient vitamin D — provided we are naked and live in the topics!

As to that vegan myth that animal foods cause the diseases of modern civilization, you gotta be kidding!  The 20th century saw a decline in the consumption of meat, dairy and butter but  a sharp increase in the consumption of sugar, corn syrup, white flour, liquid and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, artificial flavorings, preservatives and other known health hazards of processed, packaged and fast foods.   All health problems associated with animal products — as well as cruelty to animals and threats to the environment – are the result of factory farming and other commercial and non-sustainable farming practices.   In other words, The Naughty Nutritionist is not recommending factory farms or supermarket products.

But what of planetary health?   Isn’t veganism the solution to world hunger and saving the environment?    Sadly, it’s not.   The true threat to our environment is not animals — which have been covering the earth with manure and emissions for tens of thousands of years — but the globalization and industrialization of agriculture with its unconscionable factory farming practices; toxic uses of pesticides, herbicides and commercial fertilizers;  plundering of natural resources; draining of aquifers;  depletion and eventual deadening of topsoil; and bankrupting of small farmers and cottage industries.

Vegan mythology to the contrary, only 11 percent of the land on earth can be farmed, a percentage that cannot be increased without severe environmental consequences.   Old-fashioned, organic, mixed-use farms, and eating locally and population control are the only real solutions.   Although vegan mythology holds we can somehow eat without killing, that’s an idea that can only be held by gardening virgins who haven’t dealt first hand with predators.   And even vegetable gardens need animals for the  manure, bone meal and other soil replenishments needed to keep soil alive and well.   Furthermore, grains, soybeans and other foods grown by Big Ag lead to the death of billions of small mammals, birds, bees and other life.

To lose your veganity is to become an adult, a grownup with a full bred understanding of our living, breathing planet and its dependence on the cycle of life and death.

And if this talk doesn’t work, let them smell bacon, the gateway meat!

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Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN, is The Naughty NutritionistTM because of her ability to outrageously and humorously debunk nutritional myths. A popular guest on radio and television, she has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, ABC's View from the Bay, NPR's People's Pharmacy and numerous other shows. Her own radio show, "Naughty Nutrition with Dr. Kaayla Daniel," launches April 2011 on World of Women Radio. Dr. Daniel is the author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food, a popular speaker at Wise Traditions and other conferences, and recipient of its 2005 Integrity in Science Award. Her website is www.naughtynutritionist.com and she can be reached at Kaayla@DrKaaylaDaniel.com.

6 Responses to Lose Your Veganity!

  1. Wenchypoo says:

    In light of all the heart-valuable nutrients missing from a vegan diet, why do vegans think their diet will save Bill Clinton…or why does Bill himself even think his heart’s going to heal in the absence of coQ10, taurine, carnitine, etc.?

    One day, they’ll all realize it was the SUGAR (from starches) that did him in, and not the meat! If you step back and take another look, aren’t they ushering him into an earlier grave with their Utopian fantasies?

    If anything, Bill Clinton is the poster child of why NOT to go vegan.

  2. Dr. Taylor says:

    My wife is a recovering vegan. She finally reintroduced raw milk and cheese to her diet and it has done a WORLD of good for her teeth, in terms of overall re-calcification and significantly decreased decay.

  3. Belmira says:

    your post is an excellent example of why i keep coming back to read your excellent quality content that is forever updated. nice post and thanks for sharing. regards.

  4. Charlie says:

    It was precisely this article’s style of triumphalist, snarky, “you’ll crumple in the face of bacon” attitude from meat eaters that made me defend being vegetarian (never vegan) for the final few years of my following that diet, despite increasing personal doubts about it – if you turn it into a contest, a game of one-upmanship, the other person is bound to defend their stance and beliefs, out of normal human self-respect.

    Vegetarians are NOT stupid, and silencing someone is not the point of any debate: educating them and giving them room to maneouvre onto your territory is the most effective strategy.

    Reading your article, with its playground taunting tone, made me want to reach for a lentil stew! And I speak as someone who is a huge fan of the WAP approach to food, and always keen to recommend this site to vegetarians I know.

  5. A proud convinced vegan says:

    This post is real sh… What if that bacon was made from your leg?

  6. McKenzie Warren says:

    If you’re living on processed vegan foods, you’ll be deficient in nutrients, but there are always ways to get everything you need from sources besides animals and supplements. I have done tons of research and there is WAY more evidence pointing to humans being herbivores than omnivores, but regardless, but I am vegan for no other reason than the fact that it is morally/ethically wrong how we treat the animals that we are eating and if you are halfway educated on what is going on in 98% of the meat industry, but STILL choose to promote that, then you’re just not a good person, I’m sorry. There’s really no arguing that. It is horrific what they are doing and every time you buy meat, you are just telling them to keep at it. Before you go throwing up your defenses, just take a deep breath, take a step back, watch Earthlings, and REALLY ask yourself, with an open mind, if you think that it is okay.

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