I read an article in the University of Missouri-St. Louis' The Current this morning that left me shaking my head. It's no medical journal, I know; it's a student paper. It still frustrates me to see veganism maligned and misrepresented in any publication, though, given people's too-often tendency to believe most of what they read without either assessing it critically or doing some background research of their own. I always figure that the best sign that a piece is pretty decent is when it leaves you with as many questions as answers; I always worry when I walk away from reading something thinking that presented me with all of the answers I needed.
The article that appeared in today's online version of The Current is called "Be Careful Before You Jump on the Vegan Bandwagon" and it presents a lot of information that seems, at best, to have been lifted from vague recollections of blogged posts of news snippets that may or may not have been heard on the radio at some point by someone getting ready for school or work. What does this piece tell us?
1. Veganism will make you sick:
Many people that attempt to convert to a vegan lifestyle without the right help end up malnourished, fatigued, and hungry. I feel that this lifestyle is extreme and anyone wanting to indulge should seek professional medical help.2. No, really--it'll make you sick:
I am not convinced at all that everyone can be healthy without any animal flesh or animal byproducts in their diet. There are simply not enough long term studies on the effects of veganism to convince me otherwise.3. Veganism kills babies (and children):
I do see, however, the mounds of ethical debates on people being brought to suit for killing babies and children by limiting their diets to vegan foods only. This is even more inhumane than killing an animal for consumption in my opinion.4. Since supplementation is abnormal, Vitamin B-12 deficiency "is a common deficiency in vegans".
I do appreciate the writer's emphasis on needing to research a vegan diet, but then again, I'm all for everyone reading up on nutrition regardless of whether or not they consume animal products. It bothers me, though, that the article seems to be a bit more about scaremongering than it is about dispensing soundly-based advice.