Vegan Betrayal: Love, Lies and Hunger in a Plants-Only World
Mara J. Kahn
Little Boat Books
The most potent argument for vegetarianism is the premise that avoiding animal foods will make you more pure, more holy, better person all round. One vegan writer, Rod Preece, compares meat eating—which he calls “flesh eating” to cannibalism, and called his book on the subject Sins of the Flesh.
Young, idealistic people find these arguments hard to resist, and author Mara Kahn was no exception. She was converted to vegetarianism by a svelt bicyclist named Linda and then tried to be a vegan while traveling in France! As she says, “Peer pressure, especially of the girlfriend variety, can be a powerfully persuasive force at this largely unverified, exploratory stage of life.”
Key fact: veganism leads to nutritional deficiencies of many nutrients. These include vitamins A, D and B12, iodine, iron, zinc, taurine, selenium, protein, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. But in the teeth of the evidence, vegan zealots continue to assert that veganism is a healthy diet for all.
Vegan Betrayal alternates chapters on nutrition, ecology, anthropology and philosophy with personal stories from ex-vegans whose health suffered a dramatic decline on an all-plants diet, despite careful planning and supplementation. This decline is verified in the book by several pro-vegan doctors who finally and reluctantly prescribed red meat to their clients and described their recovery as “miraculous.”
Kahn also discusses the concept of “Reverse Speciesism,” which favors the well-being of an animal over that of a suffering human vegan.
Kahn takes issue with the term “plant-based” to describe their diet, as that is inaccurate; many traditional diets are plant-based but only veganism is plants-only. The chapter on traditional diets describes the ground-breaking work of Dr. Weston Price and his early discovery of what has now been identified as Vitamin K2, critical for heart health and found in the organs and fat of animals that consume fast-growing green plants.
Vegan Betrayal takes us for an interesting and well-written stroll through the morass of eating philosophies, shattering myths along the way—the myth of the China Study, the myth that animals are not killed to produce plant foods, the myth that soy protein is more environmentally friendly than meat, the myth that veganism will make you into a skinny bitch irresistible to men. A big thumbs up for this important contribution to the debate on what to eat.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2016