"Death by Veganism" NYT opinion piece - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
rayo de sol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,031
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here's an interesting (but obviously controversial) op-ed piece from the New York Times:

Quote:
Death by Veganism
By NINA PLANCK
Published: May 21, 2007

I was once a vegan. But well before I became pregnant, I concluded that a vegan pregnancy was irresponsible. You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants.

Indigenous cuisines offer clues about what humans, naturally omnivorous, need to survive, reproduce and grow: traditional vegetarian diets, as in India, invariably include dairy and eggs for complete protein, essential fats and vitamins. There are no vegan societies for a simple reason: a vegan diet is not adequate in the long run.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/21/opinion/21planck.html
rayo de sol is offline  
#2 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 12:37 PM
 
AllieFaye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 703
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think that's just nonsense. Humans can thrive on a wide variety of foods. I did think the news agencies took an interesting point of view. Why play up that they were vegans? The headlines could have just as easily trumpeted that they were UC'ers, or bf'ers (if not exclusively.) It seems that the vegan issue is the one that makes it the most controversial, and incites these types of letters in response. Why not just say "irresponsible parents allow child to starve" instead of harping on their lifestyle choices? Doesn't it make it seem like only those "wacky vegans" would starve their child? Sadly, there are people of all persuasions who starve their babies; it's not because they are vegan.
AllieFaye is offline  
#3 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 12:38 PM
AJP
 
AJP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: land of the fruits and nuts
Posts: 1,877
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Again with the "fish oil is necessary for babies" thing. She said that in the bit she sent out on her email list talking about this tragic case (which was a slightly more emotional version of the above). I take cod liver oil and give it to my kids, but I'm somewhat annoyed by her insistence that babies need fish oil. "...babies are built from protein, calcium, cholesterol and fish oil" just sounds silly to me. As if fish oil in and of itself is an essential nutrient, babies must have it and will necessarily be unhealthy without it. There are other ways to get omega-3s and the other good stuff in fish oil, especially in a pasture-based agricultural system.

There is no secret ingredient.
AJP is offline  
#4 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 12:47 PM
 
eco_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 12,957
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
hogwash.

the fact that, that poor babe was starved was NOT because his parents were "vegans" it was because they obviously were extremely uneducated. (because honestly, i consider it common sense that a baby cannot live on apple juice and SOY milk--aparently it's not)

thousands of people for years around the world are vegans and have healthy vegan children as well because they are educated and know what to eat in order to get the right nutrition for their bodies. i can't stand that mentality that "you need to consume animal products or by-products in order to be healthy" : it's ridiculous.
eco_mama is offline  
#5 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 01:00 PM
 
HelloKitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Next door to the possums
Posts: 11,874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ITA with the other PPs.

This line in particular bothers me,
Quote:
This particular calamity — at least the third such conviction of vegan parents in four years — may be largely due to ignorance. But it should prompt frank discussion about nutrition.
Hmmm... and how many omni babies have died from nutritional issues? Of course that's not included because it's not controversal.

Great for nature studies! http://www.pleinairkids.com
Plein Air Kids - Handmade wooden art boxes for Budding Artists.
HelloKitty is offline  
#6 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 01:16 PM
 
mirlee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: next to the snoring bear
Posts: 3,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, she is such an idiot! That poor child was the victim of parents who were grossly undereducated and misinformed. How dare she blame that on a vegan diet!
mirlee is offline  
#7 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 03:44 PM
 
vermontgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Northern Vermont
Posts: 2,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmm who is this woman? She sure is ignorant. I THRIVE on a vegan diet and I know Harvest will as well. If he doesnt, well his health will have to come before our vegan lifestyle. I am bothered by the fact that this opinion piece was even published. Now more ignorant people will join this woman and believe this misinformation.

Living the Joyful life as a mama of three beautiful children who are just right the way they are.

I blog at www.saboss.blogspot.com chicken3.gif

vermontgirl is offline  
#8 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 03:47 PM
 
holyhelianthus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: the Southern California desert
Posts: 11,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ack! this was brought up before. ignore her. she's just trying to cash in on tragedy to sell her agenda. tactless. :Puke

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
holyhelianthus is offline  
#9 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 04:31 PM
 
Individuation's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Babymooning...
Posts: 1,975
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
Individuation is offline  
#10 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 04:53 PM
AJP
 
AJP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: land of the fruits and nuts
Posts: 1,877
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Individuation, I agree with your observations, and I don't choose veganism for my kids for health reasons based on my own observations and intuition (I was veg*n for a time, as well). I don't take issue with frankly discussing the drawbacks and benefits of any particular dietary philosophy, whether it's in an op ed piece or not. What annoys me about this particular piece is the "babies are built from fish oil" thing. I know this author is one of those promoting the findings of Dr. Price, with which I also agree, but there were plenty of healthy populations who didn't take fish oil. For instance, how about the Swiss he studied, who ate almost entirely sourdough rye bread and raw dairy, with small amounts of meat, fresh veggies in summer and preserved veggies in winter? I don't think he found they had sickly, stupid children.

I wish there was more tact and less absolutism being spread around by nutrition authors on all sides of the fence.

There is no secret ingredient.
AJP is offline  
#11 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 04:56 PM
 
Individuation's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Babymooning...
Posts: 1,975
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJP View Post
Individuation, I agree with your observations, and I don't choose veganism for my kids for health reasons based on my own observations and intuition (I was veg*n for a time, as well). I don't take issue with frankly discussing the drawbacks and benefits of any particular dietary philosophy, whether it's in an op ed piece or not. What annoys me about this particular piece is the "babies are built from fish oil" thing. I know this author is one of those promoting the findings of Dr. Price, with which I also agree, but there were plenty of healthy populations who didn't take fish oil. For instance, how about the Swiss he studied, who ate almost entirely sourdough rye bread and raw dairy, with small amounts of meat, fresh veggies in summer and preserved veggies in winter? I don't think he found they had sickly, stupid children.

I wish there was more tact and less absolutism being spread around by nutrition authors on all sides of the fence.
Fair enough with the fish oil thing... she is kind of coming off like a shill for the makers of DHA capsules, you're right.
Individuation is offline  
#12 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 05:09 PM
 
Benji'sMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4,101
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJP View Post
Again with the "fish oil is necessary for babies" thing. She said that in the bit she sent out on her email list talking about this tragic case (which was a slightly more emotional version of the above). I take cod liver oil and give it to my kids, but I'm somewhat annoyed by her insistence that babies need fish oil. "...babies are built from protein, calcium, cholesterol and fish oil" just sounds silly to me. As if fish oil in and of itself is an essential nutrient, babies must have it and will necessarily be unhealthy without it. There are other ways to get omega-3s and the other good stuff in fish oil, especially in a pasture-based agricultural system.
Yeah I don't eat fish because I don't like the smell at all, especially when pregnant since we're also talking about diet of the mother during pregnancy - she made me feel like I was stunting their brains just because it's the one healthy thing that we really don't eat.

Single mom of 2 boys
Benji'sMom is offline  
#13 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 05:16 PM
 
newmom80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think this article is ridiculously slanted. I really liked Nina Planck before she wrote this, but reading this feels like propaganda.
newmom80 is offline  
#14 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 06:52 PM
AJP
 
AJP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: land of the fruits and nuts
Posts: 1,877
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Individuation View Post
Fair enough with the fish oil thing... she is kind of coming off like a shill for the makers of DHA capsules, you're right.
I guess that's part of my irritation, statements like that seem like a hard sell for fish oil. I've grown weary of the "your child must have cod liver oil/fish oil or else they won't ever be optimally healthy or grow normally!" It's just not true, IMO. Sure, those products are a good superfood source of some important nutrients, but are not the only source.

I've been getting more concerned about pollutants in fish oils (heavy metals, flame retardants, organochlorines, etc.) which have been found in fish even from the supposedly pristine Arctic waters and would be concentrated in the oils, so I've been trying to increase my family's intake of those nutrients from other, safer, more ecological whole food sources and thinking about phasing out the fish oil supplements. I haven't found that there's any unbiased oversight or testing for the purity of fish oil products.

There is no secret ingredient.
AJP is offline  
#15 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 07:15 PM
 
holyhelianthus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: the Southern California desert
Posts: 11,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
the sad thing is that veganism is a fad. look at all the celebrities who are vegan selling their agenda to kids and adults alike. 'be animal cruelty free just like me!' big grins. most vegans (all vegans i have ever met IRL) are far from eating an adequate diet. they went in eating Big Macs every day and once they decided to be kind to the animals the went on to become junk food vegans. potato chips and coke are vegan. so when someone says they are vegan and raising vegan children i often wonder what type of vegan they really are. it's difficult being vegan in this world. when you're vegan you need to eat more and more often of whole foods. we should really be doing this anyway but for vegans especially. but we are conditioned to eat this and that at this time and this time only and don't eat more greens then this etc etc.
great on PETA for trying to help the animals but the sad truth is they are doing more harm then good. they are pushing their own propaganda making junk food, half butted vegans who turn out to be wildly unhealthy which, in turn, makes people untrusting of a vegan diet.

just FYI- i was vegan and a very happy vegan. i do prefer being "flexitarian" eating meat twice a year. i also believe in Yogurt so i'm no longer technically veg*n and definitely not vegan. but the diet can be a good one if done right. it does take work to change our preconceptions though.

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
holyhelianthus is offline  
#16 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 07:16 PM
 
UUMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9,767
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One of the reasons I am raising organic free-range hens is so that my children can have good, useable animal proteins without having to eat much meat or depend on processed food.

I was in the vegan/veg/macro community for years and years and the children of parents who 'let the kids have dairy--eggs, a little yogurt-- he likes it so much, and our friend who has the cutest hens gave us the eggs, and my MIL got this really wonderful raw cheese', were absolutely taller and more other things than those who kids who got no dairy or animal anything, ever. (I think 100% breastfed infants of careful, dedicated mothers do fine-- good breastmilk depend on the stores of the mothers. I am more talking about weaned children). Plus, food as religion has been tricky for me.

I would never comment on this if there were posted in the vegan forum. I repsect veganism.

We eat a mostly vegetarian diet, although are not vegetarians right now. My 13 yr old ds is talking about going back to being vegetarian, and I asked him if he was thinking about being vegan. He said no, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I would absolutely support him, having gone that route myself, but as a mother, I was glad I didnt have to think about making sure he got all that he needed as a growing male vegan.

I thought it was very hard, I felt hungry a lot, had heachaces etc. It was my own fault. I didn't always do/eat/pre[are as I should have. And believe me, I do not think we need as much protein as we think we do! Still, I don't want him to load up a lunch box full processed soy and such, or sugar things teens are tempted to fill up one when they are starving after an active day etc-- when he could have an incredibly nutritious egg from our beloved hens-- an easy, cheap source of some good stuff--that did not depend on trucking, tons of water to process, plastic to package, fossil fuels etc.


For me, there is a lot to consider.
UUMom is offline  
#17 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 07:22 PM
 
pixiesmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: From NC, living in IL
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I obviously read this differently. I'm not vegan, vegetarian, etc. and it doesn't affect me one way or another if someone is- totally that person's choice, IMO.

However, reading this I understood that she was saying that it's the DHA that's important and that can be provided through breastmilk, but it can be deficient even in the BM of vegan women. Having said that, I wonder if someone who eats other animal proteins but NOT fish would also have deficient DHA in BM?? I, for example, rarely eat fish whether I am pregnant, BF, or not.

I did not see that she was promoting to give a child fish oil, just touting that DHA is supposed to help with growth.... but isn't that a recent find as well? I mean, they only recently started adding it to formula, which would mean that decades of FF babies may NOT have received the benefits of DHA.

Manda

::Mommy to Pixie : 9-3-00 and Peri 11-15-07
pixiesmommy is offline  
#18 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 07:23 PM
 
UUMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9,767
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
the sad thing is that veganism is a fad. look at all the celebrities who are vegan selling their agenda to kids and adults alike. 'be animal cruelty free just like me!' big grins. most vegans (all vegans i have ever met IRL) are far from eating an adequate diet. they went in eating Big Macs every day and once they decided to be kind to the animals the went on to become junk food vegans. potato chips and coke are vegan. so when someone says they are vegan and raising vegan children i often wonder what type of vegan they really are. it's difficult being vegan in this world. when you're vegan you need to eat more and more often of whole foods. we should really be doing this anyway but for vegans especially. but we are conditioned to eat this and that at this time and this time only and don't eat more greens then this etc etc.
great on PETA for trying to help the animals but the sad truth is they are doing more harm then good. they are pushing their own propaganda making junk food, half butted vegans who turn out to be wildly unhealthy which, in turn, makes people untrusting of a vegan diet.

just FYI- i was vegan and a very happy vegan. i do prefer being "flexitarian" eating meat twice a year. i also believe in Yogurt so i'm no longer technically veg*n and definitely not vegan. but the diet can be a good one if done right. it does take work to change our preconceptions though.


As you said, people can be very healthy on vegan diets. I don't think most people choosing vegan diets do so because some celeb is vegan.

I think veganism for adults is an entirely different animal than veganism for infants and young children.
UUMom is offline  
#19 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 07:30 PM
 
tboroson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Honalee
Posts: 6,335
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Even as a non-veg*n, this article pisses me off. What those people were feeding that baby was not an appropriate vegan diet for a baby. If an omni family fed an infant something so absurdly inappropriate, the papers wouldn't be trumpeting it as the death of an omni baby. This baby didn't die of DHA deficiency, this baby died of starvation.

Just for posterity, though, I do think that DHA is critical to brain growth. And I believe fish oil is a very easily available source of DHA. No, it's not the only source in existence. Many societies got it from other animal sources. But it's a highly concentrated source, available at a time when most of our most readily available traditional sources (meat, milk, eggs) are highly compromised by vastly inappropriate animal husbandry techniques; and when most of the population's bodies are severely out of balance because of a lifetime of eating inappropriately. It's a very valuable foodstuff. But, no, ya'll are right - it's not the only source of DHA in existence.
tboroson is offline  
#20 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 07:35 PM
 
holyhelianthus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: the Southern California desert
Posts: 11,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
As you said, people can be very healthy on vegan diets. I don't think most people choosing vegan diets do so because some celeb is vegan.
i'm only saying in my IRL experience with vegans i have known short of DH and i it was because Pam Anderson or Tobey McGuire (sp?) or whomever led them to PETA and the truth about animal cruelty. 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. they might be doing it for a good cause but that is no excuse for screwing yourself up. and don't even get me started about when children are in the mix of this. :

Quote:
I think veganism for adults is an entirely different animal than veganism for infants and young children.
completely agree.

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
holyhelianthus is offline  
#21 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 07:37 PM
 
AmyLaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The First Floor
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
the sad thing is that veganism is a fad. look at all the celebrities who are vegan selling their agenda to kids and adults alike. 'be animal cruelty free just like me!' big grins. most vegans (all vegans i have ever met IRL) are far from eating an adequate diet. they went in eating Big Macs every day and once they decided to be kind to the animals the went on to become junk food vegans. potato chips and coke are vegan. so when someone says they are vegan and raising vegan children i often wonder what type of vegan they really are. it's difficult being vegan in this world. when you're vegan you need to eat more and more often of whole foods. we should really be doing this anyway but for vegans especially. but we are conditioned to eat this and that at this time and this time only and don't eat more greens then this etc etc.
great on PETA for trying to help the animals but the sad truth is they are doing more harm then good. they are pushing their own propaganda making junk food, half butted vegans who turn out to be wildly unhealthy which, in turn, makes people untrusting of a vegan diet.

just FYI- i was vegan and a very happy vegan. i do prefer being "flexitarian" eating meat twice a year. i also believe in Yogurt so i'm no longer technically veg*n and definitely not vegan. but the diet can be a good one if done right. it does take work to change our preconceptions though.
Wow, I have never heard a more ridiculous and uneducated argument against veganism. Your words are especially troubling in light of the fact that you claim to have once been a vegan yourself. Veganism is far from a fad - it has been around for quite a while. I have not found veganism to be difficult - I can eat at any restaurant, even steakhouses, and I shop in regular grocery stores. Your comment that most vegans are junk food vegans is particulary laughable. The following is a post from an online message board that sums up the issue nicely:

"Nina Planck should be ashamed that she used the neglect and eventual murder of a child to further her book sales. "I was once a vegan", she writes - as if she was led from the darkness.

Nina Plank is not a nutritionist, a doctor, or a dietician. Her expertise is in farmers' markets, local food, and writing. Once a congressional staffer and speechwriter, Nina knows the business of spin.

Could it be, that as the owner of "London Farmers' Markets", a $6 million annual business that makes much of it's money from the sales of whole milk, eggs, and meat, that Nina is protecting an income from a growing movement that focuses on plant-based foods?

One thing that Nina and many vegans do agree on is that Farmers' Markets and organic, local foods are incredibly important to support (at least as far as the fruits, veggies, and plants go). Factory farms and agribusiness are responsible for the worst in animal cruelty and Franken-foods.

The Shakur tragedy has nothing to do with veganism, per se. This is a case of horrible neglect. Any parent knows that soymilk and apple juice are not suitable as replacements for infant formula or mother's milk. And if they don’t, every box of soymilk says "this is not infant formula" on it in some form.

Nina’s unprofessional assessment that “You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants” Is simply incorrect. As a filmmaker and documentarian who has worked on a documentary about vegan parenting, I have seen the healthy, robust vegan children first-hand.

Many doctors, dieticians and nutritionists disagree with Nina, including the American Dietetic Association. According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), "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 key phrase is “well-planned” and every parent should have a “well-planned” diet for their child, as should adolescents and adults.

Plenty of cases of severe child abuse and nutritional neglect occur in non-vegan households, and likewise there are plenty of healthy, vegan children. In this case, the media and authorities are just looking for something to lay the blame on, and since Veganism is not mainstream, and has many health-myths attached to it, it is an easy target.

Nina’s complete misrepresentation and misunderstanding of Veganism is evident in her subscription to typical and antiquated myths about protein, calcium, vitamins A, D and B12, claiming that vegans are basically lucky to be surviving. There is a reason that nutritionists “used to speak of proteins as “first class” (from meat, fish, eggs and milk) and “second class” (from plants)” that has nothing to do with hurting vegetarians’ feelings. It is simply incorrect and outdated.

Americans are protein obsessed, according to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a board-certified family physician specializing in disease reversal and prevention. In his book “Disease Proof your Child”, he says the mainstream media and advertisers who profit from the meat and dairy industries perpetuate the fallacy about our need for excessive amounts of protein.

According to Dr. Fuhrman, “Humans, like other primates, are designed to consume a diet predominating in natural plant foods with their symphony of essential phytochemicals. Fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, raw nuts and seeds should form the foundation of normal nutrition.” He explains that there is protein in almost everything edible. Look at the horse, the giraffe, the hippo, the Grey-Back Gorilla with nine-inch fangs – all vegetarians. How do they get so huge and strong? Certainly not by eating a steak or fish-filet!

According to Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D., “It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein, as long as calorie intake is adequate. Strict protein combining is not necessary; it is more important to eat a varied diet throughout the day.”
(http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm)

The myth that fish are the only source of ‘complete’ amino acids is also totally false, according to Dr. Mangels.

Just because you avoid animal products, however, does not automatically mean you’re healthy. If you include seaweed, nutritional yeast (tastes like cheese!), fortified soymilk, green leafy veggies (kale, collards, spinach) and other fresh fruits and veggies as well as healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, nuts and seeds in your diet, you have nothing to worry about.

I addition to being healthy, veganism can be the greenest lifestyle for those concerned with their ecological or carbon footprint. In a groundbreaking 2006 report, the United Nations (U.N.) said that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. Senior U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization official Henning Steinfeld reported that the meat industry is “one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems.”

Veganism can be one of the healthiest diets. Vegetarian and vegan athletes are everywhere. From Hank Aaron (pro baseball player), to Steve Berra (pro skateboarder), to Andreas Cahling (champion bodybuilder), to Debbie Lawrence (5k record holder), to Martina Navratilova (champion tennis player), to Robert Parnish (pro basketball player), these athletes show that the stereotype of vegetarians and vegans being weak and frail is total nonsense."
AmyLaz is offline  
#22 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 07:40 PM
 
holyhelianthus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: the Southern California desert
Posts: 11,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Wow, I have never heard a more ridiculous and uneducated argument against veganism.
Amy- i got past your first sentence and had to stop and ask if you actually read what i posted. i was defedning veganism. i wholeheartdly believe veaginsm can be healthy when done right. that is the key like anything else when done right. please go back and read my post! i am far from saying veganism is a fad for everyone and therefore should be dismissed. what i am saying is that it is becoming popular and people aren't really looking at it but instead diving into a vegan diet without any real education and harming themselves. this is from real life observations i have had of friends and their friends who are vegans for the fad. needless to say most of them are no longer vegan.

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
holyhelianthus is offline  
#23 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 07:43 PM
 
holyhelianthus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: the Southern California desert
Posts: 11,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
and i was also stating that the vegans i have come across IRL short of DH and i, oh yes and i forgot to add my MW, are junk food vegans. not saying all vegans everywhere are. they're not looking at health but rather if it has animal products in it. so they go out and grab a coke and that's what they have for breakfast. no lie. they are out there. i have heard stuff like this IRL and in boards. at least on the boards they got flamed until there was nothing left.

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
holyhelianthus is offline  
#24 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 08:14 PM
 
AmyLaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The First Floor
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, I read your post in its entirety. I understood that you think that veganism, "when done right," is a healthy diet. But this comment in particular was troubling:
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
great on PETA for trying to help the animals but the sad truth is they are doing more harm then good. they are pushing their own propaganda making junk food, half butted vegans who turn out to be wildly unhealthy which, in turn, makes people untrusting of a vegan diet.
You seem to be using your personal experiences with vegans you know and your personal opinions of PETA to color all vegans. This is irresponsible. I would venture to say that most vegans are not, as you put it, "half-butted." Rather, they are thoughtful people who are doing what they (and countless nutritionist and doctors) believe is best for their health, as well as the health of animals and the planet.
AmyLaz is offline  
#25 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 08:20 PM
 
HelloKitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Next door to the possums
Posts: 11,874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There's a good response to this Op-Ed by John McDougall, MD:
http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007other/nytimes.html

Great for nature studies! http://www.pleinairkids.com
Plein Air Kids - Handmade wooden art boxes for Budding Artists.
HelloKitty is offline  
#26 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 08:25 PM
 
holyhelianthus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: the Southern California desert
Posts: 11,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyLaz View Post
Yes, I read your post in its entirety. I understood that you think that veganism, "when done right," is a healthy diet. But this comment in particular was troubling:

You seem to be using your personal experiences with vegans you know and your personal opinions of PETA to color all vegans. This is irresponsible. I would venture to say that most vegans are not, as you put it, "half-butted." Rather, they are thoughtful people who are doing what they (and countless nutritionist and doctors) believe is best for their health, as well as the health of animals and the planet.
yes, which i have stated several times that this is all my personal IRL observances. not once have i said or even implied that *all* vegans are like this. as a matter of fact i have said that vegans who are like this are giving the majority of vegans a bad name. what i am trying to convey is the "fad" vegans who are not taking care of themselves are making veganism as a whole look irresponsible and coloring it for non vegans and vegans alike. 'oh i knew a vegan once. all she could eat was rice and beans and she got really unhealthy so she had to eat meat to regain her health' how often have i heard something like that? : the truth is some are focusing far too much on AR and leaving themselves in the dirt. you can have both. i just wish that organizations like PETA, who put themselves out there far more than any other, would be a bit more... wise in their marketing and stress the importance of health. they haven't. this is very upsetting to me. it has consequences for the entire vegan community- those with the common sense and those without. someone could know 10 healthy vegans but as soon as that one who had no idea what proper nutrition comes along and says her veganism made her ill it discredits veganism to that someone with 10 other healthy happy vegan friends. veganism is already on thin ice because it's so 'off' to our meat and potato society.

you're taking what i'm saying as blanketed for all vegans which is far from what i'm trying to convey. what i am saying is there are "fad" vegans and vegans and "fad" vegans, although in the minority, are the news makers because they embody what society wants to believe about veganism. they are doing far more harm then good for veganism as a whole.

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
holyhelianthus is offline  
#27 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 08:42 PM
 
ChattyCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Between the pig farms and a swamp!
Posts: 3,986
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Really, this article is ridiculous. The baby died of starvation not veganism.

And, for those of you who think that a vegan diet is unhealthy for children, I think that most vegan babies aren't actually. I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that most vegans would breastfeed their babies/toddlers/preschoolers/kindergartners/etc. This assures that the 'vegan' child is getting many of these animal proteins that the author is so concerned about.
ChattyCat is offline  
#28 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 09:05 PM
 
catnip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: California
Posts: 2,659
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma2emerson View Post
Really, this article is ridiculous. The baby died of starvation not veganism.

And, for those of you who think that a vegan diet is unhealthy for children, I think that most vegan babies aren't actually. I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that most vegans would breastfeed their babies/toddlers/preschoolers/kindergartners/etc. This assures that the 'vegan' child is getting many of these animal proteins that the author is so concerned about.
Yeah, uh, cows milk is produced by vegan moms ! I think that if a mom, for whatever reason, stops breastfeeding before the age of 2 or 3, she needs to be sure that the child is getting adequate amounts of saturated fat- milk, butter and yogurt being the easiest source, but not the only one. Babies who are not breastfed need an adequate substitute.


FWIW, I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I eat exclusively vegan 2-3 days a week, and limit my animal products to one meal a day on the days I do eat them (Though not usually a single serving in the meal), almost always organic/free range. My daughter does eat eggs, cheese, yogurt and milk almost every day.

I think that both Weston A. Price and PETA are seriously deluded, though it amuses me to see them using the same arguments against factory-monoculture-agribusiness to support opposite positions. Sustainable agriculture that will feed dense populations requires some animal waste as fertilizer, chickens and geese are great pest control, and bees are very efficient pollinators, but the planet can't support the kind of daily consumtion of animal products that it could when we had smaller numbers.
catnip is offline  
#29 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 09:16 PM
 
FreeRangeMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,310
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think it is important to examine what we are feeding our kids, vegan or not. I can't say the typical fast food fed child is better of than the typical vegan, both are probably lacking a whole lot when it comes to essential, body building nutrients. The problems with vegan diets is that some nutrients are harder to assimilate from veggies and it is unrealistic to expect kids to eat the variety of foods necessary to get all the nutrients that are required. And then try to avoid soy (like PROCESSED soy milk) and it becomes that much harder.

Real nutrients come from real (as in non-processed) foods. Artificial nutrient are not the same. Processed foods are junk foods and not ideal for anyone, especially developing children.

I learned these things the hard way. I was veggie for over half my life, vegan for 10 years of that time. I raised my eldest vegan for the first several years of his life and started out my 2nd and 3 children vegetarian. I really believed in it, I supported PETA (before their campaigns got completely off the wall.....). I had pages of proper menu plans with lists of well-balanced meals on my wall with neat little checklists to be SURE they were getting well balanced meals. It didn't work. Maybe it *can* work, but for all the hours and efforts I put into it, it didn't. And because I believed it should (just like all the scores of books, websites, etc claim it should) I felt so much guilt when all my efforts produced the problems we had with nutrient deficiency. I couldn't admit our shortcomings for far too long and the kids suffered. Finally I had to make the changes we needed to be healthy as a family. It was the hardest choice I have had to make.

The problems we had specifically were mostly allergy related in combination with my eldest being on the spectrum and having sensory issues with most food. Interestingly, the more I researched how diet could help him the more I realized so many of the little health issues we were all having were nutritional deficiency related. I now see how we had negatively affected our children with our choice to raise them vegan. It took almost a year of special diet restrictions and concentrated efforts to get them back on track.

I believe it is no coincidence that my oldest has the most health problems, followed by my middle child. DD was primarily breastfed when we made the change back to (organic, ethically raised) meat and dairy, but even her health increased as mine did (likely because of what she was receiving through my breastmilk). And this pregnancy has clearly been my easiest, healthiest of the 4.

I wish that this hasn't been our experience. Perhaps others have had a different path. Perhaps our needs are just different than other families because we sure didn't suffer from a lack of knowledge or effort on my part! But it is what it is. And were we any worse off than the families we know who are raising their kids on hotdogs and mac'n'cheese? Hard to say. Neither contain the stuff kids need for optimal development.

Either way, it is ridiculous that the media is so quick to crucify one diet while showing ads for the other.


 

FreeRangeMama is offline  
#30 of 275 Old 05-22-2007, 09:30 PM
 
AmyLaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The First Floor
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloKitty View Post
There's a good response to this Op-Ed by John McDougall, MD:
http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007other/nytimes.html
Thank you so much for finding and posting this - it should clear up alot of issues for those who decide to read it!
AmyLaz is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off