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Become vegan, eat junk food! August 2, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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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,