Monday, June 25, 2007

The Left and Health

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Veganism Kills

(maybe not cows... but infants)

There is a lot of B.S. out in the world, both from left and right. I have yet though, to see the amount of life threatening views from the right of American culture as I do from the left of American culture. Environmentalism and the crazy theories (anthropogenic global warming for instance) and diets (veganism) that follow it are one example of the death that follows lefty thinking. I say lefty because most often the conservative and religious-conservatives in our nation tend towards a diet that includes meat. Usually vegans tend to be religious adherents to the New Age, or have some Eastern Philosophy running through them.

Then there are the Peter Singers of the world, who are primarily atheist and put humans and chickens in the same volitional category. This is why he advocates allowing babies to be euthanized up to 30-days outside the womb just in case they have some problem that would require the parents to decide to not want their child. (But even Peter Singer advises against a Vegan diet, but would advocate a vegetarian diet as the healthy choice.)

A book that puts the debate between vegetarians and meat eaters into perspective is a book entitled Food for Thought: The Debate over Eating Meat, which has people from both sides of this debate dialogue about the ethical and dietary reasons behind the two choices. The book does speak to the dangers of a vegan diet though. Which is a good thing.

So, what about it? What are some of the downsides to veganism? Is the diet really healthy?

I want to start this convo by quoting a guy who has had many discussions with vegans over the years, he says that usually the “healthy” vegans are the ones who periodically “fall off the wagon:”

Let me say before we jump into the heart of this matter that I believe most people who claim to do well long-term on vegan diets do so because they don't follow their diets strictly. I believe most of those who claim to thrive long-term on vegan diets occasionally consume animal foods containing essential nutritive factors. I have come to this conclusion based on almost ten years of extensive postal and e-mail correspondence sent to me by individuals who have tried to live on various vegan programs, everything from 100% raw food to fruitarianism to Natural Hygiene to the Hallelujah Diet preached by George Malkmus to Arnold Ehret's Mucusless Diet.

Nina Planck, and ex-vegan and author of the wonderful book, Real Food: What to Eat and Why, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times shortly after an infant died due to the parents misunderstanding about nutrition. She writes:

WHEN Crown Shakur died of starvation, he was 6 weeks old and weighed 3.5 pounds. His vegan parents, who fed him mainly soy milk and apple juice, were convicted in Atlanta recently of murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty.

This particular calamity — at least the third such conviction of vegan parents in four years — may be largely due to ignorance. But it should prompt frank discussion about nutrition.

I was once a vegan. But well before I became pregnant, I concluded that a vegan pregnancy was irresponsible. You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants.

Indigenous cuisines offer clues about what humans, naturally omnivorous, need to survive, reproduce and grow: traditional vegetarian diets, as in India, invariably include dairy … for complete protein, essential fats and vitamins [these diets tend to be “lacto-vegetarian,” dairy is included but not eggs]. There are no vegan societies for a simple reason: a vegan diet is not adequate in the long run.

Protein deficiency is one danger of a vegan diet for babies. Nutritionists used to speak of proteins as “first class” (from meat, fish, eggs and milk) and “second class” (from plants), but today this is considered denigrating to vegetarians.

The fact remains, though, that humans prefer animal proteins and fats to cereals and tubers, because they contain all the essential amino acids needed for life in the right ratio. This is not true of plant proteins, which are inferior in quantity and quality — even soy.

A vegan diet may lack vitamin B12, found only in animal foods; usable vitamins A and D, found in meat, fish, eggs and butter; and necessary minerals like calcium and zinc. When babies are deprived of all these nutrients, they will suffer from retarded growth, rickets and nerve damage.

Responsible vegan parents know that breast milk is ideal. It contains many necessary components, including cholesterol (which babies use to make nerve cells) and countless immune and growth factors. When breastfeeding isn’t possible, soy milk and fruit juice, even in seemingly sufficient quantities, are not safe substitutes for a quality infant formula.

Yet even a breast-fed baby is at risk. Studies show that vegan breast milk lacks enough docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, the omega-3 fat found in fatty fish. It is difficult to overstate the importance of DHA, vital as it is for eye and brain development.

A vegan diet is equally dangerous for weaned babies and toddlers, who need plenty of protein and calcium. Too often, vegans turn to soy, which actually inhibits growth and reduces absorption of protein and minerals. That’s why health officials in Britain, Canada and other countries express caution about soy for babies. (Not here, though — perhaps because our farm policy is so soy-friendly.)

Historically, diet honored tradition: we ate the foods that our mothers, and their mothers, ate. Now, your neighbor or sibling may be a meat-eater or vegetarian, may ferment his foods or eat them raw. This fragmentation of the American menu reflects admirable diversity and tolerance, but food is more important than fashion. Though it’s not politically correct to say so, all diets are not created equal.

An adult who was well-nourished in utero and in infancy may choose to get by on a vegan diet, but babies are built from protein, calcium, cholesterol and fish oil. Children fed only plants will not get the precious things they need to live and grow.

Nina Planck’s Article

Of course, as one would expect, she got lots of mail from vegans because of her article, so she responds to them at this link.

Most people do not just happen upon these diets; usually there is some influence in their lives, a co-worker, a friend, an acquaintance. And often times these people are involved with or support P.E.T.A., People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I have to say that if there ever was an organization that was taken over by the extremists in our country, this is one of them. I want to quote Patrick Moore, the co-founder of Green Peace, to glean from his insight what drives not only his old-organization, but others as well:

“I now find that many environmental groups have drifted into self-serving cliques with narrow vision and rigid ideology…. many environmentalists are showing signs of elitism, left-wingism, and downright eco-fascism. The once politically centrist, science-based vision of environmentalism has been largely replaced with extremist rhetoric. Science and logic have been abandoned and the movement is often used to promote other causes such as class struggle and anti-corporatism. The public is left trying to figure out what is reasonable and what is not.”

Which is why I want to post this article from the web-site, PETA Kills Animals, and I want the reader to see where most of the organizations money goes, it isn’t to providing a home for the animals they rescue!

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% Killed

% Adopted


















































* 1998














* figures represent the second half of 1998 only
† other than spay/neuter animals
» skeptical? click here to see the proof

PETA's Dirty Secret

Hypocrisy is the mother of all credibility problems, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has it in spades. While loudly complaining about the "unethical" treatment of animals by restaurant owners, grocers, farmers, scientists, anglers, and countless other Americans, the group has its own dirty little secret.

PETA kills animals. By the thousands.

From July 1998 through the end of 2005, PETA killed over 14,400 dogs, cats, and other "companion animals" -- at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. That's more than five defenseless animals every day. Not counting the dogs and cats PETA spayed and neutered, the group put to death over 90 percent of the animals it took in during 2005 alone. And its angel-of-death pattern shows no sign of changing.

On its 2002 federal income-tax return, PETA claimed a $9,370 write-off for a giant walk-in freezer, the kind most people use as a meat locker or for ice-cream storage. But animal-rights activists don't eat meat or dairy foods. So far, the group hasn't confirmed the obvious -- that it's using the appliance to store the bodies of its victims.

In 2000, when the Associated Press first noted PETA's Kervorkian-esque tendencies, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk complained that actually taking care of animals costs more than killing them. "We could become a no-kill shelter immediately," she admitted.

PETA kills animals. Because it has other financial priorities.

PETA raked in nearly $29 million last year in income, much of it raised from pet owners who think their donations actually help animals. Instead, the group spends huge sums on programs equating people who eat chicken with Nazis, scaring young children away from drinking milk, recruiting children into the radical animal-rights lifestyle, and intimidating businessmen and their families in their own neighborhoods. PETA has also spent tens of thousands of dollars defending arsonists and other violent extremists.

PETA claims it engages in outrageous media-seeking stunts "for the animals." But which animals? Carping about the value of future two-piece dinners while administering lethal injections to puppies and kittens isn't ethical. It's hypocritical -- with a death toll that PETA would protest if it weren't their own doing.

PETA kills animals. And its leaders dare lecture the rest of us.

Link to Article

In reality, they are pushing politics over compassion. But I would even state that their passions/compassion are ill-placed. Ill-placed unto death.