Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson

Posted November 7, 2009

Published in Food, Health

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Is Big Biz Freaking Out That People Are Going Veg?

Read More: ada, american dietetic association, jeff nelson, los angeles times

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There is a lot in the media these days about why it's important that people reject meat and dairy for the obvious reasons. 

Some examples:

So I open my LA Times today (in a browser), and what do I find? Not one but THREE articles raising outdated notions and fantasy fears about vegetarian diets.

First, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) trots out the old canard that vegetarian diets must be "well planned!" In an article called Nutritional Guidelines for Vegetarian Children, they go through a ridiculous list of basic scaremongering about how much "thought and planning" must go into eating as a vegetarian.

Well, as a vegan family, we DO "plan" our diet; each day we plan to eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Beyond that, we have a diet focused on fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and grains. We don't think a lot past that, because you don't have to.

The idea that you have to look for "replacements" for meat  -- as the article suggests -- is silly.  Animals are not food anymore than humans are food. Both can be eaten; that doesn't mean we should.  We're not looking to replace something that we don't consider food. 

The article repeats disproven notions like you have to "food combine" to be a healthy vegetarian, and other outright false information, such as that meat and eggs are ideal proteins. (Well, they ARE ideal proteins -- for feeding tumors.)

The underlying message in this article is: if you're looking to raise your kids veg, watch out!

The second article in today's LA Times is called Don't make food a conflict for a vegetarian child. The article features another ADA member, this time warning about the social and psychological dangers of raising your kids veg.  Watch out, you may be scarring them for life, creating decades of your kid having to go on the shrink's couch, if you "deny" them meat!  The article gives helpfup suggestions like: compromise with your vegetarian kids, let them eat meat when they're at a friend's house!  "Resentment can build up in your child if certain foods are forbidden completely!"

Are you sh*tting me??

Does the writer here even have kids?

She certainly doesn't have any vegetarian ones, and I doubt they even spoke to any vegetarian parents. We've lived 16 years with vegan kids, and this has never been an issue.  In fact several of out kids' friends have turned vegan. And parents of their friends have often gone out of their way to accommodate our kids' dietary choices.

This second LA Times article is a subtle attempt to undermine your decision to raise your kids vegatarian, but it's couched in a way as to make it seem like they're being helpful. 

As a parent of vegetarian kids, I can tell you you're not consigning your son or daugther to a childhood of miserable "difference," as the article asserts. Quite the contrary. Our kids are very happy, they're confident and secure about who they are. Their dietary choice is something they're glad about, and always have been. And if anyone did say something to them disrespectful, our kids would just think, "Hey, that's your problem, not mine."

The third article is called When teens announce they're vegetarian, and it basically says: "If you're kid goes veg -- watch out!  They probably have an eating disorder!"

Of course, if a kid goes vegetarian because they have an eating disorder, it is most likely because they have been eating the ADA-recommended crap American diet, that makes people fat, sick and depressed, and so they are compensating for that awful diet.  In other words, for those kids who go veg because they have an eating disorder, the vegetarian diet isn't their problem, it's the standard American Diet that's helped get them to a bad space in the first place.

If your kid went veg because they had an eating disorder (which from my experience represents a small number of kids going veg), you as a parent could help your child by 1) getting the kid professional help, and 2) maybe joining your kid in going veg so as to try to set a good example of eating a healthy diet, and being supportive.

Three articles on the same day in a major media outlet, raising largely ridiculous fears about going veg.  This makes me wonder: where is this coming from? 

It's well-known that the ADA receives much of its funding from the meat, dairy, and processed junk food industries. They have a long and ignoble history of promoting some of the worst foods on the planet. The ADA's corporate-lackey mantra has always been: "There are no bad foods."

Unfortunately the ADA's funding relies on heavily taking these pro-Big Food, unhealthy positions.

So what do you think is the reason articles like these are starting to show up these days?