|Enewsletter • May 11, 2005|
Notes from Vegan Outreach
This Week Only: Free Book with Donation to Vegan Outreach!
If you donate $50 or more to Vegan Outreach or sign up for a recurring donation before next Wednesday (May 18), you will receive an autographed, hard-cover, limited advanced edition copy of Erik Marcus' latest book, Meat Market: Animals, Ethics and Money. You can sign up for recurring donations via givedirect.org (the recurring option is on the second page). (For those itemizing deductions, $22 of this donation will not be deductible.)
Link of the Week: Honesty and Advocacy
In pursuing our goal of preventing and alleviating as much suffering as possible, helping people stay vegetarian is every bit as important as persuading people to try vegetarianism. For better or worse, not eating animal products does have health implications, and that is why Vegan Outreach spends so much time and effort addressing nutrition.
Many vegans and vegetarians find the transition quite easy. In fact, many lose unwanted pounds, improve their cholesterol levels, and experience other health benefits from changing their diet. Other people are not so lucky. For example, during his latest weekly leafleting, Jack Norris met an ex-vegan who now eats organic chicken. She said that after 2 months of being a vegan, she became anemic, her hair was falling out, and she felt weak all the time. Clearly, she wasn't getting proper nutrition. We don’t know why this was happening -- it could simply be that she was not eating enough calories, or perhaps she has iron absorption issues. But it does show the importance of fully educating yourself on all aspects of plant-based nutrition.
It would, of course, be easier to promote a vegan diet if it was unquestionably the healthiest, easiest, and most natural diet of all, with no possible use for any sort of supplementation ever, or need to pay attention to nutrition in any way. And some vegans actually don't pay attention to nutrition in any way and seem to do fine! But in addition to the number of people who have a bad, short-term experience with the vegan diet, studies show that there are issues in the average vegan diet that need attention if you want to optimize your long-term health.
Ensuring a regular and reliable source of vitamin B12 is one issue that Vegan Outreach often highlights. Maximizing omega-3 status is another that gets mentioned less. Not getting enough omega-3s can possibly lead to depression, contribute to heart disease, and increase symptoms of inflammatory diseases (such as allergies). Calcium and vitamin D also need attention.
Vegan Outreach's President, Jack Norris, RD, has compiled a list of the most common issues regarding plant-based nutrition in his article Staying a Healthy Vegan. If you have not read this article, please make sure you take the time to do so -- the animals’ future depends on our being fully aware and educated.
We cannot simply advocate cutting out meat, eggs, and dairy and expect people to be able to maintain optimal health. Because most people know failed vegetarians (both famous and not) as well as healthy non-vegans, we can't make claims that animal products are deadly poison. If we don't want people to simply dismiss us, we can't argue that it is impossible to be truly healthy unless you are a vegan.
In short -- if we want to do what is best for the animals, we must be honest and credible in our advocacy.
Products of the Week: Juice & Chocolate
Looking to get more antioxidant-rich berries in your life? Check out Northland Cranberry juices -- the Cranberry-Blueberry is especially good!
And don't forget how high in antioxidants dark chocolate is! Irene RIndos writes: "Scharffenberger dark chocolate is the best dark chocolate ever! The best is their Nibby Bar, dark chocolate with cacao nibs."
Send your nominees for Product of the Week to firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes from All Over
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
On Veganism (22 pages): "Animal products are found in a bizarre range of items, from food to cosmetics to cars, and often in the least obvious places.... We can't live entirely animal-product-free existences in our culture, but we can strive to live up to our principles and ideals. And that includes being compassionate towards ourselves. Unless you have a serious food intolerance or allergy, which will cause a medical emergency, it is OK to slip up now and then. Beating yourself up over not noticing the cheese in a burger is not productive - just accept it as a lesson."
"...7:30 a.m. Put PETA 'I am not a nugget' T-shirt on under work polo. I know I've made a small difference...."
Notes from Our Members
I became vegan
as a result of your work over a
year ago and would like to say "Thank
you." My whole family now eats
less meat and three of my classmates
are now vegan. Keep up the great
Action for Animals
distributed approximately 1200 Why
Vegans during our vegan food
giveaway at the University of Minnesota
this past Wednesday (at right).
While we are still trying to figure
out how many people stopped by to
sample vegan food, initial estimates
are around 1500.
I'm one of those
who swore they'd never quit eating
the meat. However, my best friend
convinced me to read your pamphlet,
rightly pointing out that as a philosopher
I should not shy away from the truth
of the matter, especially if my
motivation for remaining blissfully
ignorant was a simple matter of
"I like the taste." Logic
won out -- I read the pamphlet,
and I was thoroughly disgusted.
Well, my outreach
in Newark has
made an impact. Today I drove in
to see a sign that read, "Welcome
to Newark! Meat-free since April
25, 2005." And just like we
were told would happen
if such a measure were implemented,
farm animals were running all over
the city and reproducing with reckless
At the University of
Iowa, we recently
spent an afternoon leafleting on
campus. The next week, we were hosting
a veg info table at a college spring
festival and a woman came up to
us. She said she had been handed
an EIYLM brochure last
week while she was walking to class,
that it had made her mad and she
had thrown it away. She told us
that she came to our table to get
another copy. She said, "This
is so horrible. I've got to show
this to my friends."
My husband and I want
to support Vegan Outreach every
month. We feel your philosophy and
outreach program the most worthy
and worthwhile informative program
we have seen.
We had a peanut
lunch today at work (everything
had to have some sort of peanut
in it). I gave my coworkers that
peanut pie recipe from
your web site, and EVERYONE loved
ate more of that than any of the
other kinds of desserts.