Vegan blogger Rena Reich was surprised when I asked her for an interview, because I had just written about the bad experiences of well-known vegan blogger Tasha. Her interview will appear on Monday, but in the meantime she responded to my post, Dangers of a Vegan Diet.
I feel very badly for Tasha. I can only imagine how she feels. No one, at least no one that I know, would choose a vegan diet unless they were dedicated to the reasons for becoming vegan in the first place. I totally respect her for leaving veganism. Although she now eats meat, she is still doing it in a very responsible way.
Instead of just going out and chowing down on whatever steak she can find, she is being careful about what she puts in her mouth. She knows where her meat is coming from; something that I believe few other people can say.
I actually have no problem with people eating meat, my problem is the way that animals are factory farmed. Industrial farms around the world are keen about keeping us in the dark. What’s more surprising is that people want it that way. They don’t want to know things like the majority of antibiotics being sold in the US goes to livestock or what happens to all the male laying chicks. People want to be removed from the process, and be able to pick up their meat ready to stick in the pot. Most people know more about where the shoes on their feet come from than the food that they stick in their mouth.
That’s all true, without even mentioning how unfriendly for the environment factory farming is. Factory farming is responsible for more green house gases than all the transportation mechanisms in the world combined. A person does more harm to the environment by eating a burger than the gas used in their car to drive out to the fast food restaurant of their choice.
My family and I range in our degree of animal product consumption. I’m vegan. My kids have free-range chicken from a reputable breeder once a week. My son prepares it and the rest of the family digs in while I eat my tofu or some other concoction that I’ve thrown together. Other than that one weekly piece of free-range chicken, my children (ages 18, 17, and 14) are all vegetarian. My eldest also doesn’t eat eggs. My husband still eats everything (and feels guilty about it).
Tasha proved that there are health risks for some people. Most people do very well on a vegan diet. Vegans have a lower incidence of diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and a slew of other ailments. Some people can’t eat gluten. They shouldn’t eat gluten. Some people can’t eat peanuts. They shouldn’t eat peanuts. Some people can’t absorb nutrients without eating meat. They should eat meat responsibly.
What do I do to make sure that I’m getting all the nutrients that I need? I take vitamin and iron supplements and I go for blood tests to make sure that everything is the way that it should be. Since I have become vegan, I have not had any ill effects from my diet. If I found that I did, I would do what Tasha does and add a bit of free-range chicken to supplement the nutrients that I need.