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Become vegan, eat junk food! August 2, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , ,

Silence Dogood here. Having been a vegetarian all my adult life, I’ve seen a lot of slings and arrows flung at vegetarians and vegans over the years, and been hit with more than a few myself. I really thought I’d seen/heard it all. but this morning, the Yahoo! home page linked to a post titled “Is the world’s healthiest diet making you sick?” Wondering if some flaw had been discovered in the Mediterranean diet, or if doctors were saying the Japanese penchant for pickled vegetables was giving them stomach cancer, I clicked on the link.

Instead of either the Mediterranean or Japanese diets—arguably the two healthiest diets on earth—it was an article on the vegan diet, and from such a reputable source as Marie Claire, the fashion magazine, no less. Doubtless a step up from The National Enquirer but quite a few down from The Lancet.

I’ve never heard anyone claim that a vegan diet is provably healthier than any other diet on earth. But I have read many nutritionists’ legitimate concerns that teens who give up their burgers because they don’t want to be eating Bambi or Thumper aren’t usually well-schooled in nutrition and can become deficient in any number of vitamins and minerals, not to mention protein, unless they and/or their parents make a study of protein complementarity and really start adding a wide variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains and beans (not to mention nuts, avocadoes, and other healthy sources of oil) to their kids’ meals. Vegans need to make sure they’re getting B12, D3, and omega-3 in supplement form as well, and pre-menopausal women need to take a supplement that includes iron.

But I digress. Getting back to the article, Marie Claire had managed to dig up a certified nutritionist who announced that lots of people became vegans so they could eat junk food! Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never encountered a single human being who felt it was necessary to justify eating junk food, much less make a drastic dietary change in order to do so. Picture it:

“French fries are made from potatoes, and potatoes are vegetables!”

“Eating this huge blob of cotton candy has not harmed other life forms… oh, wait, what about cotton?!”

“I keep reading that popcorn is good for you, so that’s why I’m gorging on this gigantic bucket of movie popcorn loaded with rancid, chemical-laced oil and washing it down with a giant soda!”

“I feel great about wolfing down an entire loaf of white balloon bread slathered with peanut butter and jelly!”

No, people, no. Nobody—despite the cards and cartoons, despite everything we read or hear—thinks this way. There is junk food that’s hidden, like sports drinks and power or breakfast bars, not to mention children’s cereals like Lucky Charms. And there’s junk food that’s overt, the chips, the sodas, the candy, the desserts, the deep-fried everything. But eating or not eating them has nothing to do with being a vegan. Either you choose to eat them, whatever your dietary persuasion, or you don’t.

For a supposedly reputable nutritionist to say that vegans choose to become vegans in order to justify eating junk food is disgraceful. But I suppose it’s no more than one can expect from a fashion magazine that promotes wearing fur.

              ‘Til next time,




1. William - August 3, 2012

As a non-vegan, all organic matter is fair game to me, I have noticed the vast majority of non-meat eaters I meet are over weight. I wonder if this is where the justifcation comes from? I think the younger group is more overweight than the older. There is one gentleman I know well that is not over weight but could be under. I’ve never considered this subject to be a justification to eat junk food. My only belief in this is eat for energy and what makes you happy. 60 to 90 years is still too short to be concerned about what we eat.

Yikes, William! I live in such isolation from any other vegetarians/vegans that I can’t even comment on the weight issue, but that’s pretty staggering. I’d always assumed the opposite was true, and even read a complaint from one “plus-size” vegan about how much abuse she took from her fellow vegans because they couldn’t believe someone could be overweight if they really were a vegan. I guess I ought to get out more!

2. William - August 4, 2012

The whole problem is likely in the term processed. I imagine it is difficult being a vegan these days if you’re a working individual. Apply it to a family and it is worse. This should apply to non-vegans too! It is far easier to consume processed foods and snack foods than keep fresh fruits and veggies at one’s home 24/7.
My experience has shown me that vegan families (w/ children) are heavier than singles or couples. To me, beef or the related friends do not increase weight. It is our eating habits and lifestyle that contribute. Not sure how this applies to your post.

3. silver account - August 8, 2012

You may agree that humans aren’t designed to be carnivores, but we are DEFININTELY not designed to be chemical storage plants either. I was a vegetarian for many years and like many vegetarians and vegans, as long as there was no meat in it, I’d eat it, which made my diet full of junk food when I was deciding what to eat.

Actually, I think that humans are designed to be omnivores, but have the knowledge available to choose to be vegetarians or vegans if they wish. And I totally agree that we’re not designed to be “chemical storage plants” (great phrase!). It takes more than a commitment not to eat meat to be healthy as a vegetarian and even more so as a vegan, it takes a lot of research and planning.

4. narf77 - August 10, 2012

I don’t know any fat vegans. On the contrary…they tend to be thinner than the norm…are you sure you are not looking at meat eaters and THINKING that they are vegans William? (might need glasses). I think that obesity is a result of crap food production, mass advertising and our general human malaise and unrest at how far we have come from our original reason for being on this planet in the first place! I think vegan, pescitarian, fruitarian whateveratarian can be enormous if they choose to, there are plenty of junk foods in every regime and raw foodists can be the unhealthiest of them all if they stick to only eating raw desserts made with nuts, avocados and sweeteners. It’s not so hard to be a vegan. You don’t really need to combine proteins as long as you eat some grain and some legumes and have them with some green leafy veggies and something with vitamin C. I have been a vegetarian and vegan for 22 years now and I am still alive, healthy, functioning and not particularly fat William! My daughter was 56kg as a vegan…stopped being vegan and is now 77kg. I would go so far as to say that her diet is MUCH poorer now that she has so much more to choose from. Before we bandy about “studies” (that are usually funded by the company most likely to benefit from the swing away from the food villain sited in the study…) we need to know that human beings were designed to eat unprocessed, natural vitamin rich food. Not the garbage that we are exposed to today. THAT is what is making us fat!

And let’s not forget that we were designed to be constantly on the go, not sitting at a desk all day or standing behind a counter. That coupled with fat-, sugar-, empty-calorie, and chemical-laden foods and a tremendously inflated sense of how much we need to eat, given our level of inactivity, is what’s really making us fat!

5. Cara - January 10, 2013

I’m a female fitness model and an omnivore 😉 I avoid most processed foods and eat plenty of protein and vegetables.Everyone I know in the fitness world eats animal protein, although I know there are exceptions and you may know a few who don’t. It seems to me that most of the vegans I know are not very healthy or physically fit. I know just ONE vegan (a coworker) who doesn’t look pasty, overweight and tired, but she pays careful attention not to eat junk. Although she isn’t overweight, she definitely isn’t physically fit and I have way more energy, healthier hair, skin and I look younger than her, although I’m actually about 10 years her senior :/

Hi Cara! Your comment brings to mind the pale, sickly folks who typically work in health food stores—not exactly an advertisement for their place of employment! You’re quite right, anyone who opts for a vegan lifestyle had damned well better be up on their nutrition and make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need for optimal health. And we all, whatever our food choices, need to exercise daily, hit the treadmill, lift weights, and etc. There are some stellar vegan athletes out there, but you can bet that they make healthy living their priority. It’s a lot easier to maintain optimal health as an omnivore like yourself! And wow, congrats on being a fitness model! That’s hugely impressive.

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