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Death by Misinformation on the Op/Ed Page

Planck's non-vegan baby mobile. I sure wouldn't give it to my kid.

Planck’s non-vegan baby mobile. I sure wouldn’t give it to my kid.

In her “Death by Veganism” piece in the New York Times today, Nina Planck lambastes the validity of vegan pregnancy and parenting: not just by convicted baby killers Jade Sanders and Lamont Thomas, but by everyone. With few exceptions, the coverage of Sanders and Thomas has read like “Death by Vegans” but with little to no facts on the health issues involved in vegan pregnancy and breastfeeding. Planck does nothing to shed light on these issues, though she purports to be an objective presenter of the facts: that a vegan diet during pregnancy is devoid of dozens of nutrients vital to in utero health, and that vegan breastmilk is just as lacking after birth. She all but blames veganism for “retarded growth, rickets and nerve damage” in children. Maybe because she’s neither a physician nor a nutritionist.

As a former vegan and current parent working on a new meat and dairy-heavy book Baby Food, Planck is the perfect person to present(/create) this side of the argument. But I do agree with her on one point: “Though it’s not politically correct to say so, all diets are not created equal.” Some rely on exploitation at the expense of animals and the environment.

This is the number one most e-mailed story on the New York Times‘ website right now. Please let them know that it’s a shitty one: write a letter to the editor, and one to Nina Planck. Maybe she’ll include them in her new book. And check out responses to the piece by some of our favorite vegans: Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Mary Martin.

Update: The Times published a smattering of letters on Planck’s idiocy.

7 Comments

  1. Comment by

    hunnypot

    on #

    Speaking as a pregnant vegan, this is infuriating. I wrote and sent my letter, even though I found it impossible to limit to 150 words.

  2. Comment by

    Canaduck

    on #

    Thank goodness you’re covering this. My mother sent it to me and I sent HER a response, but I have yet to send one to the NYT. I do plan to–right now I think I might be too angry to come up with anything coherent.

  3. Comment by

    Canaduck

    on #

    Oh, and you guys might find this link useful: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/realveganchildren . I sent it to my mother as proof that there are plenty of beautiful, healthy vegan kids.

  4. Comment by

    blip

    on #

    Just sent an email to both the author and the Times (and, like hunnypot, it was well over 150 words). As a hopeful father-to-be, I was enraged. Bigotry is such a bitch. Could the Times not even vet her basic claims?!?!

  5. Comment by

    emilie

    on #

    I wrote a lengthy blog response to this article here but need to whittle it down to send to the Times. This article is just infuriating. Hopefully we can all work to redress its wrongs…it’s sad that we have to, but at least this misinformed anti-vegan crap opens up some space for people who actually know what they’re talking about to talk about veganism.

  6. Comment by

    gzuckier

    on #

    Good grief; for thousands of years human women have been having babies just fine, and for the majority of them the amount of meat in their diet was down at the contaminant level.

  7. Comment by

    Canaduck

    on #

    (“Carnivore Mugs Old
    Lady in Doorway: FDA Nutritional Scientists Perplexed.” Or better yet:
    “Carnivore Op-Ed Writer Logically Impaired: Egg-and-Cheese Intake
    Questioned.”)

    Haha, awesome!

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