|Enewsletter • January 17, 2007|
Notes from Vegan Outreach
Help Needed for Activists!
Thanks so much to those of you who have offered to house Victor Tsou and Jon Camp during their upcoming leafleting tours.
Victor still needs to find housing in or near Lafayette and Baton Rouge, LA; Mobile, Troy, Auburn, and Montgomery, AL; Hattiesburg, Starkville, and University, MS; Memphis, TN; Jonesboro, Little Rock, and Fayetteville, AR; Oklahoma City, OK; Manhattan and Hays, KS; and Reno, NV.
Jon needs just one night, anywhere between Oklahoma City, OK and Springfield, MO.
If you can help out Victor or Jon, please email tour@veganoutreach(dot)org. You would be helping reach thousands of new people in parts of the country not frequently reached with the vegetarian message.
Thanks so much!
Links of the Week: Honesty & The Health Argument
One common argument for continuing to eat meat is this: animals must be treated well on farms, or else they wouldn't "produce." This contention is very powerful, because it seems to make sense, and meat-eaters very much want to believe it.
Many vegetarians and vegans are also susceptible to wishful thinking, especially when it comes to the contention that eating meat is inherently and always unhealthy. Just like the myth that only happy animals produce, the argument that meat is unhealthy seems to make sense given that most meat eaters in the U.S. are overweight (click here for the statistics), and most die from diseases related to diet.
There is a big difference, of course, between pointing out that the standard American diet (SAD) is generally unhealthy, and proving that meat is a "deadly poison," with veganism being the only way to good health.
But just as honest research shows the "happy animals" claim to be a lie, looking at actual facts about vegans undermines the fantastic health claims of some advocates. In a 1999 meta-analysis, researchers compared morality rates of those following different diets. Although the number of vegans was too small to achieve statistical significance, the data showed vegans to have the same mortality rates as meat-eaters, while fish-eaters and lacto-ovo vegetarians had lower rates than meat-eaters and vegans.
In the introduction to VeganHealth.org, Jack Norris, RD, explains some of what accounts for the difference between the actual data and the spin some vegans present:
By no means does this mean that well-planned vegan diets are unhealthy. As pointed out by the American Dietetic Association, "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. ... Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence." The ability of an ethical diet to be optimally healthy and beneficial -- including during pregnancy and childhood -- is truly one of the great benefits we animal advocates have in making the case for choosing compassion. But to be able to use this to our advantage, we must give up our fantasies and put aside wishful thinking. The case for ethical eating is honest, straightforward, and compelling, and in no need of exaggerations or distortions.
To learn more about vegetarian
diets and the health argument --
including statistics, reviews, and
advocacy advice -- please see "Got
Products of the Week