Monday, October 26, 2009

Veganism and Moral Confusion in Mainstream Media This Week

In an interview in Springfield, Missouri's today, Registered Dietician Adam Pruett, describes veganism as a class of vegetarianism and when asked how children fare on vegetarian or vegan diets, he states that

[t]ypically, children following a vegan diet if they are under 5 years of age can obtain enough nutrition to maintain growth, but it will be slower and in the low-normal category.
I'd like to find some more information on this since the anecdotal evidence I've received over the years from vegan parents generally shows that there isn't much difference, or, that the overemphasis on fitting kids into very rigid growth ranges to assess how they're doing has become less of a focus over recent years. Since he cites no sources, I'll have to guess that his own evidence is anecdotal or a guesstimate and since the sample of vegan kids in that age range is probably small (particularly in Missouri) that he may very well just be perpetuating a myth about veganism more than anything. Furthermore, even if the statement were true, I'm not even sure it's relevant; it may amount to some scaremongering, though. In the interim, if someone can find some stats on this, feel free to share them in the comments.

ETA: After a brief exchange on Twitter, Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, had this to say about the article ("Vegan Issues in the News: Meeting Nutrient Needs and Growth of Vegan Kids").


The New York Times had an article in its "Fashion & Style" section on Friday about the rising trend of DIY butchering classes. According to the article:
DIY butchering [...] allows self-conscious carnivores — who in the past were candidates for vegetarianism — to justify their flesh-laden dinners. By learning to slaughter and butcher, they say, they can honor their pigs and eat them, too.
Also, according to PETA's 2004 Proggy Award winner, Temple Grandin,
[p]eople who slaughter their own animals can spare the animals the horrors of the factory killing floor, where animals often meet their end in a state of panic.
So, then, the best way to deal with an urge to dis-involve oneself from animal exploitation and the cruelty inherent in it is to slaughter an animal yourself? And by getting your own hands bloody, you're not only saving the animal from a frightening and grizzly slaughterhouse death, but are purportedly "honoring" this animal whose life you've taken to prove that you can "face the ugly realities of eating meat"? This is nonsensical and disturbing, at the very least.


Speaking of PETA...

We've become used to single-issue campaigns by animal welfare groups such as PETA targeting designers who incorporate fur into their fashion shows or fashion lines, this will surely be getting a bit of attention from animal people (and even squeamish ordinary folks) on the interwebs this week. The only thing that sets this apart from other forms of animal exploitation is that the juxtaposition is a little out of the ordinary.

We're used to seeing people wearing leather, wool, feathers and fur; we're used to seeing raw animal flesh on little styrofoam trays or in big frozen chunks at the supermarket. The general population doesn't react to this. Let the two overlap and there'll surely be a fair amount of indignation (or even outrage) voiced concerning this over coming days, by vegans and (somewhat ironically) non-vegans, alike.


Valerie said...

Adam Pruett doesn't know what he's talking about or has no experience with kids. ALL kids grow like wildfire until they are about 4-5 years old and then they slow down a little. Think about the difference developmentally between a newborn and a 5 year old versus a 5 year old and a 10 year old.

I have 3 vegan kids and know several more. They all grown on their own schedule.

Cool photo blog said...

Our vagan baby is 7 months and is 95th percentile for size. No health issues in mum or bub. No type 3 diabetes.

Anonymous said...

jeez. meat purses?? and i thought wearing skins and furs made people look like cavemen :P gross!

x said...

All the vegan parents I know have healthy, happy vegan kids that don't look short or scrawny! If he has no source then I'm sure it is an assumption of his.

Canberra vegan said...

This paper suggests dairy does promote additional height growth in girls. Height is known to be a risk factor for breast cancer.

Cavall de Quer said...

"Eating meat could become as socially unacceptable as drink-driving because of the impact it has on global warming, according to a senior authority on climate change. Lord Stern of Brentford, former adviser to the government on the economics of climate change, said people will have to consider turning vegetarian to help reduce global carbon emissions. "Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world's resources. A vegetarian diet is better," Stern said."

In other words, give your tall children meat, but take away the world they could enjoy their tallness in......even if it were true, it's not much of a bargain.

Vanilla Rose said...

The guy from Springfield sounds only marginally better than the dodgy doctor from Springfield who gave Marge Simpson a boob job when she wanted liposuction ...

(Sorry. I'm sure the good people of the many Springfields in the USA are tired of Simpsons jokes about their respective home towns.)