Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vegan Diets - Unhealthy and Bad for the Environment

Do you eat a vegan diet and use vegan products? If so, you may be harming your health and the environment in ways you are unaware. Consider the vast amount of products consumers use and demand that are necessary for the vegan lifestyle - foods containing grains, corn, and soy such as food, personal care products, and household items - and you begin to get an idea of just how widespread the use and consumption of vegan foods and products really is.

Proponents of the vegan diet claim these studies are invalid and that vegans are often healthier than meat eaters, but these suppositions fail to take into account the following factors:
  1. The majority of soy eaten in developed countries such as the U.S. is processed, altered, and highly toxic to our bodies and the earth. The same is true for many grains and corn.
  2. Claims are continually made that Asian people have consumed soy for centuries and enjoy robust health. What is seldom mentioned is the fact that Asian people consume fermented soy (miso and tempeh, for example), and in much smaller quantities than people in developed countries (such as the U.S.).
  3. The fact that most meat consumed by citizens in developed societies is the conventional, factory-farmed variety - the very type of meat which directly contributes to poor state of health in humans. Animals from these operations are given feed that promotes disease - grains, corn, and soy (and much of this feed is also genetically-altered). Then, farmers administer antibiotics to counteract illness. These animals are also given hormones to speed up growth and maximize profits. All of these substances are in the meat you eat - and cause your health to decline. Not only does conventionally meat wreak havoc directly on human health, but the methods used in farming are also exceedingly damaging to the environment.
Human beings need healthy meat to obtain proper nutrition from a clean source - sustainable-raised, pasture and grass-fed meat from animals that are allowed to roam and eat proper types of feed - not commercially-produced meat coming from abused animals in the worst possible conditions. Unfortunately, the factory-farmed meat represents the bulk of what is available on the market, is consumed by the majority of meat eaters, and is the culprit of those very illnesses and diseases which vegans blame on eating meat in the first place.

Traditionally, vegans rely heavily on soy foods to supplement protein in the diet. Research reveals that soy consumption has a negative impact both on human health and the ecosystem. The majority of soy produced is grown with farming methods which use genetic modification, chemical fertilizers, and toxic pesticides. Soy farming is also responsible for the destruction of important pristine lands such as rainforest area in the Amazon.

Another commonly used food in vegan diets is grains. Like soy, the majority of grains produced use farming methods which have a negative impact on the environment. Since the market explosion over the last several decades of vegan and vegetarian foods in food stores, a proliferation of processed soy and grain products requiring packaging materials are now available which also contribute to more garbage and toxins in the environment. Corn is in the same category, and is found in many vegan foods as well as thousands and thousands of other food, household, and personal care products on the market.

It could even be construed that anyone not supporting sustainable farming agriculture for production of food, even those who don't eat meat, are directly contributing to the increase of more pollution and destruction to our environment.

Diets void of meat proteins and replete with plant variety proteins are lacking in many nutrients necessary for optimal health. Soy can inhibit absorption of vital nutrients in the body, and can cause or contribute to deficiencies such as Vitamin B. Parents who impose a vegan diet on their growing children are also believed to commit a gross disservice to the health of their offspring. Professor Lindsay Allen of the U.S. Agricultural Research Service stated, "There have been sufficient studies clearly showing that when women avoid all animal foods, their babies are born small, they grow very slowly, and they are developmentally retarded - possibly permanently." Lindsay is particularly pointed toward those who eliminate fats from children's diets such as meat and dairy foods. "If you are talking about feeding young children, pregnant women, and lactating women, I would go so far as to say it is unethical to withhold these foods [animal source foods] during that period of life. There's absolutely no question that it's unethical for parents to bring up their children as strict vegan."

For more information about the health risks associated with eating a vegan diet, read Death by Veganism by Nina Planck from the New York Times.

For more information on the dangers of eating soy, visit the Weston A. Price Foundation.


Aragorn23 said...

*sigh* More unscientific propaganda from the Weston Price Foundation.

Firstly, a vegan diet can be produced without industrial, fertilizer-and-pesticide-dense monocropped agriculture (I mean, you've heard of organic farming and permaculture, right?)

Secondly, the major reason soy contributes to rainforest destruction is because over 80% of it is grown to feed livestock!

Third, soy is far from the only source of protein for vegans. You might have heard of strange things like rice and quinoa. Complete protein is available from countless sources - do some research!

I'm sure there are countless other points to be challenged in this pathetically weak article, but frankly I couldn't be bothered. I'm sure people are capable of researching the facts for themselves...and I'm pretty sure they'll come to the same conclusions as the FAO (UN) and all the world's major health organisations: that a balanced vegan diet is suitable for all people at all ages of life and has less ecological impact than any other diet.

Joel said...

Thanks aragorn. You said it. This is not an attack on veganism, it's an attack on processed foods and soy. I eat organic tofu about once a week. The rest of the week I eat lentils, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds for protein. Veganism isn't the problem. It's a sensational title with weak argument.

Joel said...

I read the linked article, "Death by Veganism". It's sobering and sad that these parents didn't know that infants cannot survive on soy milk. While veganism may not be appropriate for infants who cannot drink their mother's milk or small children (and it may be if done correctly)a well planned vegan diet can be life saving for some adults.

59a3b67c-79e2-11e0-9f57-000f20980440 said...

"Firstly, a vegan diet can be produced without industrial, fertilizer-and-pesticide-dense monocropped agriculture (I mean, you've heard of organic farming and permaculture, right?)"

. . . which still depend on fertilizer and pesticide, as much as unthinking sheep like yourselves try to wish the fact away.

"Secondly, the major reason soy contributes to rainforest destruction is because over 80% of it is grown to feed livestock!"

I'd ask you to cite this, but I don't have to, seeing as it's clear you're pulling this misinformation straight out of your ass.
Most cattle and livestock are fed on grass and leftover grains that humans don't eat, which actually makes the meat process quite "green" in that it converts unusable nutrients into usable ones.

For someone who wants to lecture everybody else on unscientific propaganda and a lack of research, your pathetic argument boils down to nothing but unsceintific propaganda that clearly hasn't been bolstered with an iota of research outside of Animal Rights cult chick tracts.

Unknown said...

Veganism is unhealthy actually, it will kill you faster than people who eat meat. Makes you more skinny and makes you have less energy than people who eat meat. Also the fact that you would be fed with one serving of meat than a Vegan who would have to eat a large amount of vegetables and soy plus beans just to compensate for what they don't get in meat. I think vegansim is plainly just idiotic and a waste of effort to try to not eat meat. There is a billion of us and a million of them. Seriously... whose going to win here? If vegans know whats good for them then they would eat meat... they would last longer and have a more energetic lifestyle. Seriously, cattles are meant to be eaten for meat along with chicken and pigs... its nothing morally wrong. Whats wrong is the way they are treated but when it comes to killing... its a natural way of life... I mean if a vegan is killed out in the wilderness, you think an animal will be like "ohhh its a vegan, its against eating our kind so I won't eat him/her" no the animal will be like "Oh Boy! FOOD!" and it will eat your body nonetheless. Even God told Noah that humans are allowed to eat meat and most sacrifices made to God is animal meat... particularly bulls, rams, sheeps, or goats. So don't pull up any crap saying ohhh well animals need to live out their lives. Yeah if we did they would eat all our crops and over populate... then what?

Cosmic Machine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neal Bedwell said...

"I'd ask you to cite this, but I don't have to, seeing as it's clear you're pulling this misinformation straight out of your ass"

Here you.go buddy..., if anyone asks, you can pull it out of your ass as well :)

59a3b67c-79e2-11e0-9f57-000f20980440 said...

Oh, how cute. Unscientific propaganda from a Greenpeace front, the entirety of whose citations of non-peer reviewed observational studies link back to themselves as their own source. Gee.

Guess you can safely tuck that back up your ass where ya found it, buddy. ;)

But let's pretend for a second that your asinine, unscientific vegan propaganda were true: doesn;t it stand to reason, for those of us who aren't indoctrinated past the point of common sense, that if you were to convert the world's population to an unhealthy vegan diet, you'd be using FAR GREATER land and resources to cover all those extra crops?

Ka D said...

Veganism in unnatural and unhealthy. There is NO native culture anywhere in the world that is vegan. It is the ultimate act of denying your place in the cycle of LIFE.

Fiction for Fiction's Sake said...

Okay, let's break this down now:

( From the beginning of the article up to the human beings need healthy meat to get nutrients) : Humans are stupidly gluttonous and there is no way that farm raised, "properly" grass fed animals would EVER even REMOTELY sustain our demand for meat. Factory Farming, while extremely cruel and dangerous for us in all aspects of our lives, is the ONLY way that the supply can keep up with the ridiculously overwhelming demand for it. Asking people to cut back to be able to sustain this kind of idyllic home farm shit would never happen. Not to mention it takes more land for cows and pigs etc to "properly pasture" than it does to shove them into a concentration camp and send them on a killing assembly line. It's more environmentally sustainable to keep the factory farms in that case.

( The paragraph about soy production cutting down the rain forest) as a mater of fact, animal agriculture is the culprit for cutting down the rain forest to make more grazing land. And the "harmful" methods of growing so are no better than those used on factory farms.

Most of the feed animals eat on farms DOES NOT in fact come from "Scraps" but instead comes from farms that are owned by places like Monsanto and all of those grains and all of that corn goes directly to animal feed. Watch Cowspiracy and see for yourself.

Animal agriculture is literally responsible for over eighty percent of the damage done to the environment.

Every single professional athlete who is vegan is proof positive tht you don't need animal products to be healthy or get all of your vitamins and nutrients. There are many B Vitamin fortified foods, and there are countless sources of cleaner proteins than those found in animals. As a matter of fact, the animals are getting their protein from the plants they eat. And by the time humans get to the animal, the plant protein they absorbed is more easily digested by us. That's not to say we can't get our protein elsewhere, as mentioned above we can.

This is an hysterical and obviously not well researched piece and seriously? You're taking the word of someone paid by the animal agriculture industry to be unbiased? Haha...give me a fucking break. And as for mothers and lactating women etc etc etc a well planned, whole foods plant based diet has ACTUALLY been shown to help children, not harm them. I guess you can't fix stupid.