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reducing the suffering of farmed animals
by promoting informed, ethical eating.

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Vegan Outreach 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, 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Below, we reproduce excerpts from a few of the comments and other unpublished letters to the editor.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.


Summer Conferences

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!!

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


Feedback from Our Members

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.
-KO, Katy, TX, 5/23/07

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 this page -- Editor.] etc. Though people are finally starting to slowly trickle back again. Thank you for all that VO does for the voiceless.
-TW, Bangor, ME, 5/24/07

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 diets.
-Reed Mangels, PhD, RD
Vegetarian Resource Group

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.
-PW, Atlanta, GA, 5/23/07

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 Questioned.")
-CB, Beijing, China, 5/24/07


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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.

All donations are tax-deductible.

Vegan Outreach

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