Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vegan Myths

For the first time in a week I was exercising on March 19, pneumonia being an impediment to that sort of thing. My daughter likes to watch Ellen so that was on while I was doing some weight lifting. I don't recall a lot of details about celebrities. Most of them are of no interest to me. Nonetheless, I wasn't surprised to find Ellen is a vegan. This came up because she had guest on hawking a book of easy steps to convert us all to vegans.

I'm not going to argue with Ellen or her guest whether being a vegan actually provides them with more energy. That's subjective, so it's their own opinion.

I also don't know what's in the book, but their discussion sets up a false dichotomy that seems to me is common with the vegan crowd, small as it is. They did this with a "typical" American family by going to their house to start them on a vegan diet. The house has lots of junk food, which is not healthy. To Ellen and her guest, the alternative, and the only viable one, is being a vegan. That's not so.

For one thing, plenty of junk food is vegan. There's nothing animal product in it. Doesn't mean it's good for you.

For another, a balanced diet is what's good for you. Vegan is just another extreme. Eating no animal products is simply not consistent with the evolution of the species. We're omnivores, not herbivores. Eating meat is one of the things that fostered our brain growth. We wouldn't be human without our ancestors having been meat eaters. Just eat it in moderation and don't eat the junk with no nutritional value at all or at a minimum. The occasional junk isn't going to kill anyone. It's junk as staple that's a problem.

To paraphrase Barry Goldwater, extremism in the defense of health is a vice.

Mmm... Cheese.

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