Monday, February 21, 2005
Anywhom, a US Agricultural Research Service representative told a meeting of the AAAS that parents who force a vegan lifesyle on young children are harming their development. Now, I agree in concept, but the evidence she gave is rather lacking. Comparing vegan Americans (who are, by and large, rich and white) to starving Africans living on "starchy, low-nutrition corn and bean staples" is, to be blunt, totally fucking stupid. You can get *almost* all the nutrients a kid needs from eating a wide variety of vegan foods. Almost. Vegan advocates talk about taking vitamin supplements to get the rest; this is kinda stupid - I mean, first off, that's not real nutrition, and second, if you have to supplement your diet with pills, it's clearly not complete! Also, you're denying your kids exposure to all sorts of things - antigens, proteins, allergens, etc - that could lead to problems down the road. You may be denying your kid the chance to decide for him/herself whether to be vegan or not: if you don't get it as a kid, often your body 'forgets' how to digest things.
It's women who remain vegan while pregnant that are really awful, in my mind. There are so many things that are so dependent on proper nutrition during pregnancy, and well, taking pills just doesn't seem like a good answer for real health.