On “Why Vegan is the New Atkins”
Call me crazy, but the title "Why Vegan is the New Atkins" (a post by Kathy Freston at The Huffington Post) tells me that vegan, whatever that is, is a way to lose weight quickly that will spread, as a trend, like wildfire, only to be proven unhealthy and fade away.
But that’s not the point.
Freston rehashes a handful of basics about why low-carb diets aren’t healthy and why eating animals, in general, isn’t good for you. There are links in the article, and for people for whom this is all news, I’m sure that’s helpful (until you get to the several links to PeTA pages. The pages themselves might not be a problem, but if they persuade someone to give money, not realizing the scope of the activities of PeTA, such as promoting animal products, that’s a problem).
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Freston uses "animal flesh" rather than "meat," here and there, and that in the penultimate paragraph she does say that veganism "is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle transition." Yeah, "transition" is odd, but I think I understand what she’s saying. Then again, the final paragraph says "it’s worth reading up a bit on how to maximize the health advantages of a vegan diet." So now it’s a diet.
I’m happy that Kathy Freston is able to reach millions of people and get some of them, including Oprah, to consider veganism. But comparing it to Atkins screams Look here! A strategy for quick weight loss! And that’s in addition to the post being ambiguous about whether veganism is a diet.
Finally, when you provide links in your posts, there’s an unspoken approval of the content and the host of the links, at least in my mind, unless you specifically provide a disclaimer. For instance, "I don’t agree with the way PeTA exploits women in their campaigns, and I certainly don’t agree that people interested in animal rights should promote animal products, which PeTA does, but they do have some helpful material on cooking" (or whatever. Cooking is actually a terrible example due to the many cooking sites that at no point endorse animal products, but you get my point, I hope.) So Freston’s links, including PCRM, which I don’t have a problem with, and PeTA, which I do, tell you about her and what she approves of (and whom she might give to), so the links aren’t just harmless suggestions (depending on how you feel about the hosts of the links).
Unfortunately, the subsequent comments include all the usual banter
about proponents of veganism distorting science; judgments that vegans
are lanky and not muscular; and of course, that humans were meant to eat animals. And what’s
a comment section without a vegetarian who thinks vegans are
superheroes? TheBlackCat says:
I have been a
vegetarian for most of my life and have tried to go vegan several
times, but I just can’t do it. I love cheese and dairy and the
substitutes for it just aren’t good tasting to me. I also live part
time in Holland, which is cheese capital of the world, and for a lover
of cheese to be SURROUNDED by cheese and not indulge is, for me,
impossible! Also I travel internationally all the time, often to remote
and undeveloped locales, and there are many places in the world where
it is plain IMPOSSIBLE, no matter how hard you try, to eat vegan.
vegetarian is one thing, but veganism is a whole other level of
difficulty that’s not even comparable to lacto-vegetarianism!
I do limit my dairy to one serving a day, however, and I only buy locally produced, free range dairy products.
Hats off to you vegans! I sure as heck couldn’t do it!
it is, written by a vegetarian, the real reason why most people won’t
stop eating animals: the taste is too important to give up for any
reason. Only superheroes have the will to dispense with the consumption
of animal products. And evidently, only superheroes can plan ahead and
buy some Raw Revolution organic, live food bars (or insert your favorite) to travel with.
It’s a tough road when people who largely agree with you are your biggest PR obstacle.