|Enewsletter • May 30, 2007|
Notes from Vegan Outreach
More on Veganism, Parents, and Children
Last week's link to the New York Times' publishing criticism against all vegan parents, and the responses, elicited quite a bit of response. Via Vegan.com, Erik Marcus has compiled letters he's received. See also "Why a False Story Has Legs," by Sherry Colb.
Below, we reproduce excerpts from a few of the comments and other unpublished letters to the editor. We've also added them to last week's page, which we hope will be a one-stop answer to people citing the article.
Jack Norris will be speaking and Jon Camp & Jenna Calabrese tabling at Animal Rights 2007, July 19-23 in Los Angeles. Matt Ball will be speaking and Jon & Jenna tabling at Taking Action for Animals, July 28-30 in Washington, DC.
Product of the Week
Mikael and Lindsey: Krunchers Spicy Fresh Salsa tortilla chips are a great vegan alternative to Doritos! These crispy triangles are so perfectly seasoned with just a hint of spiciness that you would never know they aren't Cheesy Doritos. They're so good it's hard not to eat the whole thing in one sitting!!
I'm a little suspicious
of the timing of Ms.
Planck's op-ed, since she stands
to profit from this "free publicity"
when her book goes on sale at Amazon
on June 12th! In light of this op-ed,
some of my fellow vegans are receiving
emails recirculating this "Hallelujah,
what happened?" claim from
non-vegans they know. I guess the
anti-vegans are all trying to jump
on the bandwagon.
I wrote a letter to
their editor (not
published of course) pointing out
that Nina Planck is a disciple of
the Weston Price Foundation, a lobbying
group notoriously anti-soy, anti-vegan,
pro-meat and pro-dairy. To allow
someone with this type of personal
agenda to be the only op-ed contributor
regarding the Crown Shakur tragedy
is absolutely biased and imbalanced.
I've always noticed the Times
to traditionally be less-than
veg-friendly, so this really is
no suprise. We just have to keep
fighting even harder to inform the
masses, and expose the bias of those
the media allows on their pages.
Most people have never even heard
of the Weston Price Foundation,
these people are the ones who were
instrumental in spreading all the
anti-soy propaganda a few years
back that placed much confusion
in the minds of the public and scared
many away from tofu, soymilk, [see
page -- Editor.] etc.
Though people are finally starting
to slowly trickle back again. Thank
you for all that VO does for the
To the Editor:
As a registered dietitian and the
parent of two healthy vegan children,
I join thousands of other vegan
parents in taking issue with recent
comments on vegan diets. I'd like
to share some up-to-date information
on sources of key nutrients for
vegan babies and children. In early
infancy, babies, whether vegan or
not, thrive on breast milk, with
infant formula an option when breastfeeding
is impossible. Vegan toddlers get
adequate protein from a variety
of foods including dried beans,
whole grains, nut butters, and soy
products. Vitamin B12 sources include
fortified foods and supplements.
Calcium comes from greens and from
fortified foods like orange juice
and soymilk. Interested readers
can learn more about vegan diets
from reputable organizations like
The Vegetarian Resource Group. Yes,
it's important to be aware of what
you're feeding your vegan child;
but this awareness is not limited
to vegan parents. In view of the
epidemic of childhood obesity, perhaps
more parents should be focusing
on the quality of their children's
A healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby are possible when eating vegetarian. For years, the official position of the American Dietetic Association, the largest association of nutritional professionals in the world, has asserted that "[w]ell-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." This is based on research dating back 20 years showing that vegetarian and vegan diets can support healthy pregnancies and healthy children. In fact, Dr. Benjamin Spock, who was perhaps the world's most esteemed pediatrician, embraced vegan diets in his final edition of Baby and Child Care -- described as the best-selling book in history (second only to the Bible). Dr. Spock wrote, "Children who grow up getting their nutrition from plant foods rather than meats have a tremendous health advantage. They are less likely to develop weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and some forms of cancer." For more information on raising healthy children on plant-based diets from birth to adolescence, see:
-Michael Greger, M.D., 5/22/07
This case was
not an appropriate case
to discuss the merits of feeding
infants a vegan diet. According
to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
this child never saw a doctor in
his life and was born in a bath
tub. His parents did not send him
to a doctor because they had some
phobia of hospitals. There is much
more to this case than feeding children
a vegan diet. It is inappropriate
to use this child’s short life as
an indictment of vegan diets for
infants. Many non-vegan children
would face the same fate if they
did not see a doctor.
Ms. Planck ...
bolsters her faith-based science
with anecdotal feelings and a massive
syllogistic fallacy: "Vegan
parents commit grossly ignorant
act, therefore Veganism is grossly
ignorant and deadly." Yikes,
life for us vegans can be tough!
As a group, we have to be perfect,
because our compassion-based diet
must bear the burden of all our
potential character flaws. If one
of us is stupid or tells a fib,
it's conclusive evidence that our
diet is a big dumb pack of lies.
If a vegan kills someone, well,
then, Soy is Murder. If only non-vegans
were held to similar standards!
("Carnivore Mugs Old Lady in
Doorway: FDA Nutritional Scientists
Perplexed." Or better yet:
"Carnivore Op-Ed Writer Logically
Impaired: Egg-and-Cheese Intake