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Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3)
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reducing the suffering of farmed animals
by promoting informed, ethical eating.

Donations to VO are fully tax-deductible.
VO’s tax identification no. is #86-0736818.

Vegan Outreach
POB 1916, Davis, CA 95617-1916



Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  Feb. 28, 2007


Notes from Vegan Outreach

Vegans, Shows, and Rock-and-Roll

Musicians around the world are using their music to promote animal welfare and vegetarianism. Two Massachusetts artists -- Kyle Vincent and inblackandwhite -- shared with us their experiences distributing Vegan Outreach materials on their recent concert tours.

You can read the article, compiled by Jenna Calabrese, here.


New Study Answers Questions about the Vegan Diet, Calcium, and Bone Health

-Jack Norris, RD

If you’ve been a vegan for long, you’ve probably heard that:

  • Too much protein, especially animal protein, is the major cause of osteoporosis.
  • Not only does dairy not protect against osteoporosis, it actually contributes to it.
  • Calcium intake isn’t very important for protecting against osteoporosis.

Finally, you might have come to the conclusion that the lower levels of protein in a vegan diet protect against osteoporosis.

For almost ten years now, Vegan Outreach has cautioned vegans that the jury was still out on these issues and that vegans should try to meet the U.S. recommended intakes for calcium. In recent years, the evidence has been mounting against the above statements. In February of 2007, a study was released, the first study of its kind, that gives us pretty good answers to these questions. (1)

The EPIC-Oxford study recruited 57,000 participants, including over 1,000 vegans and almost 10,000 lacto-ovo vegetarians (LOV), from 1993 to 2000. They were asked to fill out a questionnaire to measure what they ate. About 5 years after entering the study, they were sent a follow-up questionnaire asking if they had suffered any bone fractures.

After adjusting for age alone, the vegans had a 37% higher fracture rate than meat-eaters. After adjusting for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass, physical activity, marital status, and births and hormone replacement therapy for women, the vegans still had a 30% higher fracture rate.

That’s not good news; in fact, it’s something I’ve feared for some time now given the vegan propaganda about animal protein, calcium, and bones which has fostered complacency among vegans about calcium and vitamin D.

Yet, there is some good news in this study. When calcium intake was adjusted for, the vegans no longer had a higher rate of fractures. And among the subjects who got 525 mg of calcium a day (only 55% of the vegans compared to about 95% of the other diet groups), vegans had the same fracture rates as the other diet groups. (And if you’re wondering about how the other diet groups (meat-eaters, fish-eaters, and LOV) fared over all, none of them differed from each other in any of the analyses performed.)

Does this mean lower calcium intakes are the cause of the fractures? It could be that people who eat more calcium also eat more or less protein or get more vitamin D. The authors noted that fracture rates did not correlate with protein or vitamin D intake among the people in this study. For now, we should assume that calcium is what the vegans with higher fracture rates were lacking.

The study did not measure calcium intake from supplements. I’m not sure if this affected the results, but for now I would assume it did not.

The US recommended intake for calcium is 1,000 mg for most adults. The UK’s recommended intake is 700 mg. You can get this much calcium by having 3 servings of high calcium foods (fortified drinks, large portion of high calcium greens, and calcium tablets) each day. I drink soymilk fortified with calcium on most days and take a 500 mg calcium pill each night before bed.

More information on calcium, vitamin D, and bones can be found at on this page:


1. Appleby P, Roddam A, Allen N, Key T. Comparative fracture risk in vegetarians and nonvegetarians in EPIC-Oxford. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Feb 7; [Epub ahead of print]


Product of the Week

Pippi: For great taste -- and it's fun. You go there and find a restaurant, or menu that tempts your tastebuds and order. . .Ta Da! Food arrives at your door! They also have vegan chocolates, organic/fair trade coffee, vegan wine and other fun stuff. Check it out! It's fun and it's super YUM!

Send your nominees for Product of the Week to info (at) veganoutreach (dot) org; previous products can be found here.


Notes from All Over

Meatout 2007 Approches!

On or around March 20 -- the first day of spring -- thousands of caring people in all 50 US states and around the world will hold informative and educational events for The Great American Meatout. Events will include colorful 'lifestivals,' street theater, lectures, public dinners, cooking demos, food samplings, leafleting, information tables, and a Congressional Reception in Washington, DC. You can learn more here; if you are going to distribute Vegan Outreach booklets for your event, please order them by tomorrow, March 1.


Every Donation Prevents Suffering

Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the suffering of farmed animals by promoting informed, ethical eating.

All donations are tax-deductible.

Vegan Outreach

POB 30865, Tucson, AZ 85751-0865