Sunday, March 31, 2013

Why Vegan? part two - for the earth

When people talk about food, it’s called “having a conversation.”  Unless you’re vegan ... then you may be accused of promoting a cult, or labelled “radical” or “holier-than-thou.”  But don’t let that curb your enthusiasm … you’re in good company!
Vegetarianism is harmless enough, though it is apt to fill a man [sic] with wind and self-righteousness.        ~ Robert Hutchison, to the British Medical Association, 1930
In March I offered evidence to prove that a plant-based lifestyle is a much healthier option for each human’s health. This month I want to explain how being vegan is the best option for the planet, offering solutions to the global hunger and climate crises.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why Vegan? part one - for human health

The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of “real food for real people,” you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.

—Neal D. Barnard, MD, President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

I was raised on a meat and potatoes diet, by WWII era parents who knew how to stretch a dollar and waste-not-want-not.  We ate meat daily: pot roast, liver and onions, steak and kidney pies and puddings, the occasional sweetbreads (brains) and tongues, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, traditional holiday turkeys and hams.  Preparing for rural Alberta winters we stocked the freezer with cows and sheep and baby pigs from the neighbouring Hutterites.  We didn’t indulge in junk food or sodapop, our “food” was always fresh, never processed, and it was all considered very normal.  When we talked about it we were never accused of preaching, or trying to convert anyone, it was just conversation.

At college, with perpetual acne and with weight that fluctuated by 10 lbs (which I’d heard is unhealthy), I began to question this tradition.  I was studying (among other things) human health, and I was active in the Green Future Club. We had organized a Rainforest Awareness Week and one of our guests spoke about the benefits of a plant based diet.