You’re Vegan? And Healthy?

I’ve recently had quite a constructive, speaking from my point of view at least, back and forth, concerning veganism, with an old friend. And yesterday the subject of health and the merits of how I eat came up.

All Starting with said friend forwarding me a link to a blog post — that I found fairly problematic and somewhat short sighted — of an ex-vegan intent on bashing veganism for its supposed poor health consequences. With absolutely no valid arguments toward the reasons for his alleged feeling bad, other than a few horrible pictures of himself. I digress.

This was largely my response to his forward — to which I’ve added since sending…

To be fair, I do think concerns over not feeling right as a vegan are a fair criticism. Albeit a tad misguided. I don’t know for sure, but I could guess anyone’s gripe with veganism isn’t with the lifestyle, per se, but rather with its implementation. Nutrition, in regard to feeling good at the very least, has to be taken seriously to be effective. And veganism isn’t different than any other mode of consuming food. You need to pay attention to, not only what you don’t put into your mouth as a vegan, but, and more importantly, what you do. Being vegan is irrelevant. Vigilance must always be provided. A variety of whole foods, and not that processed garbage, are the key.

It’s like Brendan Brazier, a professional vegan Iron Man, says you are what you eat. Put healthy, live food into your mouth, all the time, your body and mind will reflect it. Which is so true.

With all due respect, not all vegans are skinny and run down looking. Do I look run down? Aside from my looking like I need more sleep — which is related to my jaw (TMJ), not my diet — I like to think I don’t. But, seriously, veganism isn’t to blame for anyone’s failure to feel right on it. Its implementation is. Everything we need to be abundantly heathy can be found in the soil and in plants. That’s where the animals “we” feed on get it, somewhere along the line. So anyone who tries to tell you veganism is, not only not healthier than any animal flesh or secretion based diet, but less adequate for human health is terribly mistaken.

Ignoring all the physiological and anthropological suggestions we have, I’ll merely cite, both, positions of The American Dietetic Association and The Dieticians of Canada, toward veganism.

“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.”

Now it’s not so much what they said, but who said what they said, that I find most compelling. This is from two government’s, I believe — or, at least, they have a say in their government’s policy directions, according to each organization website’s, as far as I can tell — who heavily subsidize the animal agriculture industries to insure animals, as food, are so easily accessible (read: affordable) to it’s citizens? Yet these are still their positions on the subject? All in spite of the strong animal agriculture lobby’s in each respective country? That says way more than the above statement ever could.

But what is most interesting is the last bullet point on the pdf from the American Dietetic Association’s website, and the “vegan/vegetarian” reference, specifically. That is the only instance they mention both — I assume as to highlight there is no difference, nutritionally, between the two — in the entire document. And for what is the most important instance on the list. That being pregnancy. If veganism was a problem, scratch that, even if it was a mild concern, they wouldn’t have went to the effort of naming veganism with vegetarianism, for that one and only point, right? They most likely would have put a disclaimer, at least. But no such disclaimer is present. Why? Because any claims that a “well planned”, well implemented (read: varied) vegan diet is nutritionally deficient are baseless.

But don’t listen to me, if health on vegan diet is a concern, read Dr. T. Colin Cambell’s book The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health. If you doubt it, read the results of it being studied.

After all, when all is said and done, veganism isn’t a new thing — well stemming from ethics maybe, in the span of time that represents human history, veganism is only a couple hundred years old. But it’s how people, mainly poor demographics, and civilizations have ate and survived for millennia…