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Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization dedicated to
reducing the suffering of farmed animals
by promoting informed, ethical eating.

Donations to VO are fully tax-deductible.
VO’s tax identification no. is #86-0736818.

Vegan Outreach
POB 1916, Davis, CA 95617-1916



Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  January 17, 2007


Notes from Vegan Outreach

Help Needed for Activists!

Thanks so much to those of you who have offered to house Victor Tsou and Jon Camp during their upcoming leafleting tours.

Victor still needs to find housing in or near Lafayette and Baton Rouge, LA; Mobile, Troy, Auburn, and Montgomery, AL; Hattiesburg, Starkville, and University, MS; Memphis, TN; Jonesboro, Little Rock, and Fayetteville, AR; Oklahoma City, OK; Manhattan and Hays, KS; and Reno, NV.

Jon needs just one night, anywhere between Oklahoma City, OK and Springfield, MO.

If you can help out Victor or Jon, please email info @ veganoutreach (dot) org. You would be helping reach thousands of new people in parts of the country not frequently reached with the vegetarian message.

Thanks so much!


Links of the Week: Honesty & The Health Argument

One common argument for continuing to eat meat is this: animals must be treated well on farms, or else they wouldn't "produce." This contention is very powerful, because it seems to make sense, and meat-eaters very much want to believe it.

Many vegetarians and vegans are also susceptible to wishful thinking, especially when it comes to the contention that eating meat is inherently and always unhealthy. Just like the myth that only happy animals produce, the argument that meat is unhealthy seems to make sense given that most meat eaters in the U.S. are overweight, and most die from diseases related to diet.

There is a big difference, of course, between pointing out that the standard American diet (SAD) is generally unhealthy, and proving that meat is a "deadly poison," with veganism being the only way to good health.

But just as honest research shows the "happy animals" claim to be a lie, looking at actual facts about vegans undermines the fantastic health claims of some advocates. In a 1999 meta-analysis, researchers compared morality rates of those following different diets. Although the number of vegans was too small to achieve statistical significance, the data showed vegans to have the same mortality rates as meat-eaters, while fish-eaters and lacto-ovo vegetarians had lower rates than meat-eaters and vegans.

In the introduction to, Jack Norris, RD, explains some of what accounts for the difference between the actual data and the spin some vegans present:

  • Popular vegan literature has often extrapolated rates of heart disease and some cancers in cultures that eat little meat or among people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, as indications of the health status of vegans. This cannot substitute for studying true vegans.
  • Risk factors such as cholesterol levels have been used to make projections about the health of vegans, but these do not necessarily tell the whole story. For example, while vegans' cholesterol levels are on average lower than meat-eaters, vegans who neglect vitamin B12 and omega- 3 fatty acids are possibly counteracting their low cholesterol levels.
  • Many groups promoting veganism do not want to bring attention to any nutritional concerns. While this might initially attract more people, getting people to stay vegan is the harder and more important task and addressing concerns is a more sustainable way to promote the diet.

By no means does this mean that well-planned vegan diets are unhealthy. As pointed out by the American Dietetic Association, "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. ... 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 ability of an ethical diet to be optimally healthy and beneficial -- including during pregnancy and childhood -- is truly one of the great benefits we animal advocates have in making the case for choosing compassion. But to be able to use this to our advantage, we must give up our fantasies and put aside wishful thinking. The case for ethical eating is honest, straightforward, and compelling, and in no need of exaggerations or distortions.

To review plans for a healthful diet, please see “Staying Healthy on a Plant-Based Diet.”
To read more about the importance of getting good information, please see "Selecting Information for Advocacy."


Products of the Week

The two best books about vegan nutrition currently available are Plant Based Health and Nutrition and Becoming Vegan. These are available at (1, 2) or via the VO Catalog.

Send your nominees for Product of the Week to info (at) veganoutreach (dot) org; previous products can be found here.


Every Donation Prevents Suffering

Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the suffering of farmed animals by promoting informed, ethical eating.

All donations are tax-deductible.

Vegan Outreach

POB 30865, Tucson, AZ 85751-0865