Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I said something smart

A lot of people I know ask me why I'm vegan when they get the chance. And I've found the best answer is as follows.

"I'm vegan for three main reasons. For my health, for the environment because factory farms are horrible for the environment, and for compassion for animals."

This is the best way to go because it's simple, concise, says it all and it's hard to argue with. Well, maybe it isn't so hard to argue with. But it almost always creates a long pause before I hear the usual questions and/or statements about lack of protein, calcium, no cheese, etc. I attribute that pause to realizing being vegan makes sense.

Well, a few days ago, a couple good co-worker friends of mine and I had a couple beers and it came up. I gave my usual answer, but got very thoughtful replies.

I'm getting closer to where I say something smart.

My one friend, I'll call him "Pablo", said he admired what I was doing. He wanted to do it but wasn't disciplined enough. I said it doesn't have to be all or nothing, and that he could just try eating vegetarian here and there and see how he feels. It felt good to be admired though.

And then, I heard something new. This guy, I'll call him "Jerry", said that vegans eventually lose bone density from lack of calcium and nutrients, and were likely to have arthritis and other chronic problems. On the topic of veganism, being combative doesn't work out well.

I'm getting even closer to where I said something smart.

I instead said to Jerry that what he said is surely true in some cases, but that The American Dietetic Association concluded well planned vegan diets are healthful for all people, young, old or pregnant. To belabor the point: Read their statement here.

OK, here's where I said the smart thing. And it was totally freestyle, dude. I said most people don't eat balanced diets, and usually they don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. I don't think vegans are automatically worse off. We eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Who's to say which possible deficiency is worse? And research shows vegans live longer and have less disease.

The reply was "good point, good point." And that was that. Confrontation avoided. Conversation civil. Points communicated reasonably. Time not wasted. A smart thing was said. More beers ordered. Done.


  1. Well said :)

    Also good to know, according to Dr. Joel Fuhrmans's book "Eat to Live" Pages 84-87
    Dietary factors that induce calcium loss in the urine:

    animal protein
    refined sugar
    aluminum-containing antacids
    drugs such as antibiotics, steroids, thyroid hormone and vitamin A supplements.

    Studies have shown that Americans have higher rates of oteoporosis. Despite the fact that we Americans consume more than twice the calcium. The problem? Our diet causes calcium excretion.

    If you haven't read the book, I think you would enjoy it. Not only does the book tell you diets rich in animal protein are a huge contributor to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. It also explains how to consume enough highly nutrient dense plant foods, to protect from defiencies, and therefore disease. As you know, defiencies cause disease.

    I picked up his book a little over 2 months ago. I was your typical SAD diet American at that time. I haven't touched meat, dairy, or highly processed foods since. If I get a thought to consume some dairy etc... I pick up his book and refresh my memory on all the negatives. I am convinced these foods are killing us!

    My only regret is not finding this information sooner. I am 48, my husband 49. I honestly thought I ate a healthy diet. I am shocked to find I raised my children with toxic foods daily! Sadly, they don't want to hear the truth now. :(

  2. Hi there :)

    I came across a great quote of yours on "Eating Animals" forum and would love to use it as part of a tribute to veg authors to be aired globally on television. I was wondering if you'd like to do the honor of recording the quote in your own voice? We can assign a voiceover to read it, but I think when read by the author, it is more sincere and impactful :)

    Please let me know what you think >>

    ~ Linda

  3. Sorry to post this as a comment, but I couldn't find a "contact me" link or any way to send you a direct message.

    I just wanted to let you know that it's difficult to post a comment to your blog because it requires that you select a "profile" from one of the pull-down selections, which many people don't have.

    The reason I'm mentioning this is because I have a friend who wanted to post a comment, but emailed me asking how to post to your site without a url.

    I've also had difficulty posting comments to your site and just ended up posting comments with my no-longer-used blogger url because that was the only account I could fill out the details for to allow me to post. There is no option for "no account" or to just enter any random url that is not hosted by blogger or wordpress, etc.

    So, anyways, I just wanted to let you know!

  4. Thanks Powered By Produce! I changed my settings so anyone can easily post comments. And My email is in my profile.

  5. Such a good way to handle things. I think explaining my choices to people is the hardest part.

    For me, the issue is not the discipline in my dietary choices, that's just food. It's the discipline in choosing to have a civil conversation with the people who start out with the preception that I'm wrong and to help them to understand my feelings,even if they don't agree with them. I'd usually rather just hide under the table.

    Good for you. I will keep your post in mind next time I'd rather avoid the subject!

  6. I'll take weakened bones over a non-functioning heart anyday.