Las Vegan

Vegans: Live and Let Leave

Posted in Uncategorized by karoumy on November 30, 2010

Ginny at the is argueing in this piece that health arguments do the vegan diet an injustice. While I respect her opinion as a Dietician and she often has great insights, I stongly disagree with her.

This argument has been brewing recently in the vegan community. The strong animal rights branch of veganism is arguing that the one true reason to become vegan is for the animals. It’s nice that humans may derive health benefits as well as the planet but that’s really secondary for them.

I’ve always viewed the vegan diet as good for humans (who are animals as well by the way), animals and the planet.

Ginny seems to be siding with them, if there are sides to this discussion. She’s arguing that people who become vegan for health reasons are less likely to stick to it when they either get the results they’re looking for and feel no need to continue. She also argues that these are also the vegans who add additional restrictions to their diets like no oil, or going raw.

I don’t believe that the animal rights vegans are more “sticky”. They also fall off and quit for very silly reasons including pepperoni pizza while drunk or their mom’s homemade chicken when sick. Both are true stories from 2 people who care about animals.

Or how about my neighbour who laments every roadkill on our street yet has no problem eating at McDonald’s at least a couple of times a week?

Doctors Ornish, McDougall and Esselstyn make strong health cases for a vegan diet including near-miraculous testimonies including Bill Clinton. Of course vegans are themselves skeptic since there aren’t any definitive studies for some of their claims. But skeptic vegans are still vegans. Vegans have been around longer than the science has been there to support any claims, including that it’s a safe diet.

Also, I find it strange that vegans who are so militant Animal Rights activists would reject any other reason for becoming vegan. The results are nearly identical. The absolute idea that if someone buys leather boots they are not helping the cause is so misguided. Would they rather a vegan who wears leather or an omnivore who wears leather. This type of absolute thinking is plain dumb. Any move in the right direction is good. Most vegans can’t completely avoid animal products anyways. The point of veganism is to try as much as possible.

Having more vegans in the world is a good thing. It raises awareness, puts more products of shelves, more options in restaurants and creates more choices. They may not all be good choices but at least we can have choices.

I say bring them in to the fold, whatever  their reasons are, some will stay around and some won’t. Veganism, while I’m passionate about it and have been for a long time, is no different than anything else out there. To expect everyone to have the same experience, to start for the same reasons, to continue for the same reasons, is extremely close-minded.

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