"Death by Veganism" NYT opinion piece - Page 10 - Mothering Forums

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#271 of 275 Old 06-02-2007, 02:24 PM
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I've been thinking a lot about criticism in regard to Price's work being "old" and supposedly not up-to-par with recent nutrition research.

Unfortunately, it seems like the criticism comes mostly from those who haven't even read NAPD. I wish someone who has actually read the book would comment on what specifically they find outdated or objectionable by today's supposed cutting-edge research. It would be nice if that someone had a clue about nutrition, too, because then maybe I could learn something new!

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#272 of 275 Old 06-02-2007, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kallyn View Post
I have two theories on that, neither of which I know how to verify! 1) Price's modern indigenous groups were healthier compared to us, true. But were they healthier compared to their hunter-gatherer ancestors?
I have a feeling that they were. Take a look at the pre-Columbian skulls at the bottom of the page (dunno if pre-Columbian is old enough to compare with hunter-gatherers, though).

Here's a couple of pictures, comparing Australian Aboriginal skulls with that of the Peking man.

Price wrote, "The age of the Peking skulls has been variously placed from several hundred thousand to a million years. A distinguished anthropologist has stated that the Australian primitives are the only people living on the earth today that could be part of the first race of mankind. It is a matter of concern that if a scale were extended a mile long and the decades represented by inches, there would apparently be more degeneration in the last few inches than in the preceding mile. This gives some idea of the virulence of the blight contributed by our modern civilization."

The first agriculturalists had not yet figured out how to make these agricultural foods completely edible (didn't know to soak, ferment, etc) and suffered, but then later they learned how to adapt these new foodstuffs to themselves. This would only be true if the first agriculturalists remains were markedly more stunted and diseased than later agriculturalists, but I don't know of any specific data that would let us compare.
I wonder if there are data about that?

I DO know that the mummified remains of Egyptians (who ate little meat and lots of whole grains) show a lot of disease including cavities, obesity, and arthritis, so I would be inclined to suspect that this particular hypothesis might be wrong.
Didn't they eat a lot of refined grains? I thought I read that they ate the equivalent to our white bread (at least the rich Egyptians). Here's a link to a chapter called "Curse of the Mummies" from Protein Power.

The link goes to a blog because the article was taken down from its original news site and the blogger reposted it: http://wisewitch.blogspot.com/2007/0...ke-wolves.html
I love Emma's blog! I thought this was an interesting comment:

"The reason we are salicylate sensitive as a species is not because there is something terribly wrong with a small minority of us, but because we evolved to eat fresh meat, and very little else."

Anyway I'd love to talk more later but I've got to run - company's here!
Have fun!

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#273 of 275 Old 06-02-2007, 05:33 PM
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[QUOTE=magstphil;8193597] the thing is i don't care how someone gets to where ever they choose to be but i do care when the people are putting themselves in danger because they are less concerned about their health than they are not eating animal products.

absolutely, but oftentimes those who choose to eat with the 'mainstream' are putting their health at greater risk than many of those who conciously choose to eat a more well thought out diet. you can't say that it is irresponsible to raise a vegan child, only that it is irresponsible to feed your child a diet that is lacking in the nutrients that they need, which can apply to any diet, vegan or conventional, but does not have to apply to either.
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#274 of 275 Old 06-03-2007, 05:43 AM
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I'm enjoying this thread tremendously, although I'm quite sad that most (all?) of the vegans seem to have dropped out . . . it seems everyone has different views about what constitutes good nutrition as well as different visions for what a healthy, sustainable world might be - and try as I might, I've never been able to picture a completely vegan, sustainable world (although I would truly love to hear how that might work, I honestly love hearing about different perspectives!)

Just wanted to say that. Oh, and Planck's article sucks - I'm kinda glad I never bought her book, I don't wish to support such a sensationalistic militant writer.
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#275 of 275 Old 12-04-2007, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Individuation View Post
OK, since this ISN'T on the Veg*n board, I'm going to weigh in with my completely unpopular opinion. Bear in mind that what I post here is based entirely on anecdotal evidence rather than published studies (I've looked, but haven't found enough of them that didn't have an obviously pro-dairy-industry slant).

I've known a LOT of vegan children. I was raised by hippies, first of all, and then I ran a veg*n restaurant that had a really "family" clientele including lots of vegans. I've worked on organic farms alongside vegan families. I've been doing this for a long time. I've also been a private vegan chef, and studied a fair amount of nutrition. FWIW, I was ranting about processed soy several years ago and everyone told me I was CRAZY, soy was BY DEFINITION nutritious and healthy. I'm so glad there's a more reasoned view on that now.

Some more caveats here: I think veganism is the ethically ideal way to eat. I was raised Buddhist. I try to live as close to that ideal as I can. I do NOT scoff at veganism. I love and applaud people who raise their children with the ethical structure that veganism implies.

That said.

In my experience, I think it is difficult to the point of being nearly impossible to raise children with a nutritionally adequate vegan diet. (Here's where the flamethrowers start to get charged up, I'm sure.) Yes, I know some people can make a full-time job of it with supplements and perfect nutritional balance and can achieve near-adequacy. However, this is assuming a Herculean level of planning and a basically-healthy-in-all-other-ways child. Most parents do not have either.

When I ran the restaurant, it was an ongoing topic of conversation among the (almost entirely vegetarian) staff, several of whom decided they would not raise their children vegan given what they'd seen. It was scary. You could pick the vegan children out at a glance. They were shorter. They were spindly. They clutched asthma inhalers or had tremors. They were, for want of a better word, sickly. I stopped guessing ages, because I would be so wildly off with vegan kids "He's so cute, is he two?" "Actually, he's five."

I have never--not once--met a vegan child who did not have health problems, or who was not VISIBLY more unhealthy than his/her peers.

I'm assuming they exist, because parents on internet message boards are always telling me that their child is completely healthy, and is vegan. And I will not call such parents liars. But I have met many, many more vegan and vegetarian children than the average person, and based on my observations I do not consider strict veganism to be an appropriate diet for a child.

Sometimes a do see a normal-looking kid, and the parents will claim to be vegan. And this will make me very happy, as I want veganism to be healthy for children! Inevitably, it comes out that the family is vegan but the child was given raw milk until the age of eight, or the child is given fresh fish caught by the family in a stream, or the mother believes children should be able to eat eggs. SOME kind of animal protein is sneaking its way in there.

I really wish this weren't what I had observed. And hey--if you're in NYC and want to show me otherwise, please do! I'd love to see if I could transition my children to veganism. But I can't--won't--do so until I see something different than what I've seen so far.

So yes, I think this article is dealing with reality. If debate on this topic is not allowed, then this thread should be moved to the veg*n board. As I said, I would never post this there--I would consider it rude to invade veg*n space with debate. However, I do think this needed to be said.
I know this is old, but I really want to know more about this post.
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