Final Thoughts on Nina Planck
This isn’t going to win me any popularity contests, but I feel terrible for Nina Planck.
I’ll wait for you to stop screaming, or get up from the floor, or otherwise recover.
Imagine you tell the world, in writing, about what you genuinely believe is fact, and then perfect strangers spend the subsequent 48 hours writing you personally and writing about you to others, all with the intention of telling you you’re wrong, and chastising you for your beliefs.
Oh, wait, that happens to me every week.
And I bet it happens in some form or another to every vegan, writer or not, at least once a week (more like once a day for some). For this very reason, we should be compassionate and give the woman a chance to perhaps alter how she does things, or at least how she presents her opinions.
Several people have asked me whether Planck gets paid by the meat and dairy industries, and I think that’s a reasonable question. So does she, and she responds, on her website:
I [do] not. I’m an independent food writer and I study the work of scientists and nutritionists. After much study, I’ve concluded that evidence in favor of diverse, omnivorous diets of traditional foods is overwhelming. I was a skeptic myself – until I did some homework about human nutrition.
However, part of what she does with her company, Real Food, is "operate outdoor markets for local and traditional foods in American cities." In addition (and from the same page), she "writes, speaks, and consults on best practice in farmers’ market management and how to develop the market for local and traditional food beyond farmers’ markets. She is an investor in Farm to Chef Express, which delivers local food to top New York City chefs."
In other words, she is intimately involved and invested in the success of animal agriculture, although not intensive agriculture such as factory farming.
Finally, if you were on the dark side, you probably would’ve congratulated whomever came up with the title, "Death by Veganism." Though it’s irresponsible for the NYT as a headline, as it’s clearly incorrect, it would have been great for The Enquirer and its ilk. Planck’s articles are listed on her site, and she titled the one in question, "Vegan Babies at Risk." There’s plenty to be angry about in her piece, but the headline, as I mentioned previously, probably wasn’t her doing.
As for the NYT, let me say that I’m baffled as to why they published Planck’s opinion. Here’s some factual information about pregnancy and the vegan diet, in case the Times, or Planck, want even more of an education than they’ve been getting over the last 48 hours.