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🖨️ Print post
Michael Sizer says
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)—a collection of 100,000 healthcare professionals, the largest in the United States—published its official position on vegetarian diets in the December issue its medical journal. “It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases,” the AND states. While the organization recognizes the benefits of vegetarian diets in general, AND finds the vegan diet is best for reducing the risk of (and treating) illness such as heart disease, hypertension, some forms of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. AND deemed vegan diets effective at promoting a lower body mass index, more environmentally friendly than other diets, and safe for people in all stages of life—including athletes, pregnant women, children, and older adults.
(Nice try though.)
Peter Cuce says
Did you read the book Michael?
Angelika WWeaver says
I just had my blood work done…all levels are perfect…blood sugars perfect…cholesterol perfect…sigh. So happy to hear you TRIED to be vegan though, it really means you are experienced and know what you are talking about.
Blood work doesn’t mean anything. Cells will starve themselves first in order to keep blood-levels regular, meaning that you won’t show any signs of deficiency, even on a blood test, until you are in serious trouble. Veganism destroyed my health. At minimum it is extremely dangerous, and I don’t give a shit what the AND thinks.
Sigma K says
I would expect the millions of vegans in India to out live the rest of the planet. But alasa dear friend of mine is suffering as is his father and several friends from their vegan diet.
These people are not junk food eaters either.
People in India eat a lot of vegetables, but the vegetables are riddled with insect matter such as stool and eggs, which help provide B12. So not technically 100% vegan.
Dexterity and Development says
Currently so few people have read Kahns book since it was written in 2015 it is hard to get a sense from the reviews if readers are actually examining the research she quotes to back up the ideas in her book.
Kahn doesn’t seem to be familiar with the research on any of the topics she addresses and unfortunately she misuses and cherry picks data to bolster her position. Many of her citations comes straight from the internet. Most citations couldn’t possibly come from the research, because it’s not at all what the research shows.
For example she cites studies on the triglyceride-elevating effects of high-carb, low-fat diets she completely ignores the more than a dozen studies showing that vegans typically have lower triglyceride levels compared with both meat eaters and lacto-ovo vegetarians (5, 8-10). Looking at book’s resources, Kahn most likely never looked at any research.
Another example is where Kahn neglects to that studies such as the NHANES data shows that many meat eaters are at risk for getting too little vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, folate, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron and are at much higher risk of cardio vascular disease, diabetes and other autoimmune diseases.
Another example is Soy is not the only dangerous plant food according to this book. There are pages of fear-mongering about wheat which Kahn alleges is an opiate due to genetic modification of its protein gliadin. Never mind that there is no genetically modified wheat on the market. Or that the digestive product gliadorphin, which has been found to have opiate-like effects in lab animals, probably can’t even be absorbed by humans. Or that there is no evidence of addiction to or withdrawal from wheat.
The bottom line is that Mara Kahn was unable to maintain good health as a vegan. She cobbles together misinformation from the internet and blends it with her own faulty interpretations of nutrition research.
There was an interesting youtube video recently released that looks at some of the research that Kahn quotes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8ob4JCETaI