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The Myth That Vegans are Committing Suicide Left and Right (Whilst Carnivores Grow at Alarming Rates)

never trust an ex-vegan

(photo credit: foodfightgrocery.com)

So, I’m browsing books on Amazon.com when The Vegetarian Myth catches my eye. I immediately begin to wonder how someone filled an entire book discrediting the fallacy that a plant-based diet is devoid of sufficient protein. To my dismay, this isn’t what this book is about at all.

Instead, it seems that the author, Lierre Keith, who claims to have been a vegan for twenty years and is now suffering the consequences, wants to warn other vegans, vegetarians, and the sixteen-year-old girls she claims PETA preys upon against the same dangerous path.

Keith largely blames her veganism for her degenerative joint disease, hypoglycemia, irregular menstruation, exhaustion, ever-present cold, gastro-paresis, depression, and anxiety. She even goes so far as to prematurely blame soy should she ever contract cancer. She further warns of the increased susceptibility vegans/vegetarians supposedly have of suffering fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, fertility problems, endometriosis, anorexia, heart disease, and mental and neurological disease. But not to worry: she has a doctor that works with her and other “recovering vegans.”

To add insult to misinformation, all of the communication she relates having had with vegans depicts them as childish, uninformed, ignorant, inarticulate, unhealthy people. And she hopes to capitalize on our cult mentality by swaying us towards hers:

After a few meals of real food and the flood of well-being they release in you … you’ll have to start telling–confessing–to your friends. And some of them will hate you. Remember this: you can get new friends. You can’t get a new body … There are also people who will be relieved. Your mother, for instance … you can tell your mom she was right.

She goes so far as to tell readers that vegans should consider rice grains, almonds, and soybeans “plant babies” in an effort to get those who generally oppose killing to consider why these deaths don’t matter.

Of her own return to the carnivorous lifestyle, she says,

The first bite of meat after my twenty year hiatus marks the end of my youth, the moment when I assumed the responsibilities of adulthood … for someone to live, someone has to die … All they ask is that I take my place, a predator … until I am prey.

Ultimately, the myth she speaks of is based entirely in vegetarians’ ignorance. She blames the vegetarians’ soy, wheat, and corn fields for desecrating the natural landscape and suggests that by abandoning them we can “let the world come back to life.” However, she doesn’t mention that these countless acres of soy, wheat, and corn don’t sustain a vast population of insatiable vegans and vegetarians, but rather the innumerable factory farmed animals that fulfill greed and carnivorous appetites.

Although she summarily denounces the veg lifestyle on many merits, the purpose of the book is actually to outline her own personal brand of environmentalism and her recipe to save the world. But because she gets so wrapped up in discrediting vegetarians, her message is lost: it serves only to perpetuate and validate misinformation, as exemplified in the some of the corresponding customer reviews:

“…yes, my adult-onset diabetes is likely directly related to my decades of vegetarian eating, with its necessary high carbohydrate content.”

“Vegans do have a reputation for being rather difficult and high-strung…”

“I have a [vegan] friend who says he thought about killing himself four times a day at one point in his life; I was lucky if I merely placated [sic] taking my life four times an hour…I decided by eating meat once, I had nothing to lose. And just as Keith describes in her book, my brain felt absolutely overwhelmed by this experience—and free from thoughts of death…(Incidentally, I grew an inch at the age of 23 after starting to eat meat).”

So we see what happens when you use the word “vegetarian” in the title of your environmental treatise merely to sell books: vegetarians are not duped into buying it, and non-vegetarians that do are simply looking for an excuse to continue being unhealthy; they have no interest in saving the world.

41 Comments

  1. Comment by

    L

    on #

    The predator-prey argument is flimsy at best. With factory farming there is no such thing as a predator-prey dynamic between humans and animals. Instead there is only confinement, abuse, and misery. In more developed nations, like North America, hunting is considered a “sport,” and not for mere survival. I’m rather certain I’ve never had to defend myself against a cow or pig in a dark alley.

    I also wonder if she believes that Leo Tolstoy or Leonardo Da Vinci were “childish, uninformed, ignorant, inarticulate, unhealthy people.” It’s interesting how one who works against generalities and over-arching assumptions as a *feminist* should make such claims. I sense a glaring amount of contradiction here.

  2. Comment by

    vegangel

    on #

    Let’s see…. I became vegan almost 22 years ago and lost 100 pounds (down from an unhealthy 260); my blood pressure and heart rate normalized; my gastrointestinal disorders disappeared; my eyesight improved (the corrective lens restriction was removed from my drivers license); and I felt?and continue to feel?better physically, emotionally & spiritually. Hmmm… So now if I start eating meat again I can feel even better? And grow up too? Naaaah!

  3. Comment by

    turtledog

    on #

    I saw this book in the window of a bookstore in the Village and it made me go inside just to see what it was about. There it was, on the shelf, next to Food, Inc. and other books about veganism. Flipping through it and looking at its contents just made me sad, angry and frustrated.

    The copy on the shelf was the only one left besides the one in the window. That scared me a bit more.

  4. Comment by

    Joselle

    on #

    Hmm, well, the only way I could ever rationalize abandoning 22 years of veganism would be to write a book about it, tear down other vegans, and overgeneralize like there’s no tomorrow. Here’s to mental gymnastics! Without them, we’d all have to do the right thing instead of the easy thing! Woohoo!

  5. Comment by

    Laura

    on #

    You know who has a growth spurt around their early 20s? Plenty of people. I had one, and plenty of my veg or omni friends did too. Ugh, anecdotal evidence.

  6. Comment by

    susie

    on #

    Goddamn I hate that fucking shirt, it just makes us all look like hivemind morons. I guess it’s appropriate that it’s in black and white. “Don’t trust anyone who’s left the cult!” Not. Helping.

    Sure, I see the application here, and yes this loudly proclaimed “ex-vegan” woman seems narcissistic and narrow-minded in her world view and application of fuzzy science, all for the benefit, it seems, of selling her meat memoir. I get it. Just, ugh.

  7. Comment by

    susie

    on #

    Oh, and don’t discount the rather well-proven link between B12 and mood. Lots of unhealthy vegans get depressed because they aren’t taking the necessary supplements — that’s pretty legit.

  8. Comment by

    LiL T

    on #

    I have been considering becoming a vegetarian and going vegan for some time now, I actually stopped eating meat last week, and dang…I feel great! All I can say about what I’ve read of this book is that it is pure self serving ignorance!! Anyone with any margin of inteligence and ability to use a search engine can dispute this woman’s so called facts. Trust me, this is coming from a recent meat eater, I’ve done my research.

  9. Comment by

    Jane

    on #

    I was a vegan for years and I can tell you that the vegan diet is not healthy. We need Vitamin B12 from a natural source. I now drink milk from free reared cattle and eat free range eggs. I don’t even like milk or eggs and would prefer not to eat them. Especially milk, because calves get killed in this process. But I’m not going to get ill about it. I still don’t eat meat – that’s not necessary.

  10. Comment by

    hexalm

    on #

    #9: No animal produces vitamin B12, so you’re just getting a supplement by proxy–most cows and such are supplemented in their feeds since they usually don’t have access to their natural food sources.

    Even when they do eat normally, they get it from bacteria like all other animals. So what’s the different between siphoning it off a cow instead of B12-producing bacteria–which is where cows get it to start with? As far as I can tell, only the suffering and deaths of living creatures.

    You lament the deaths of calves (not to mention the milk cows themselves), which you deem necessary based on the notion that you can’t just supplement B12? That’s contradicted by the evidence that’s out there–vegans have plenty of B12 if they supplement, and a low incidence of B12 deficiency.

    I would urge you to do a little more research and reconsider your stance on this.

  11. Comment by

    hexalm

    on #

    This sort of tripe is rather dismaying. Perhaps this lady was a very unhealthy vegan who wants to project it all on her vegan diet. Surely she couldn’t have developed the same conditions on an omnivorous diet?[/sarcasm]

    Maybe she was surrounded by jackasses (since like every other group of humans, some vegans are jackasses).

    But it’s sad to see ignorant people flock to a book like this, which just reinforces the stereotypes and misinformation out there.

  12. Comment by

    Sasha Lopes

    on #

    The main thing I’ve noticed about vegans is they seem to be terrified of death. They want to participate in life but don’t want to step on any other living thing. But that’s just not how it works.

    I thought the book was fair and makes good arguments. It should be noted, Li

  13. Comment by

    Marie

    on #

    This book is misnamed, and this article grossly misrepresents the book, focusing solely on the anti-vegetarian/veganisms which, I admit, are fairly common. Since many of you have obviously not bothered to familiarize yourself with the book you are so adamantly denouncing, I will give you what I feel is the bottom line: civilization is unsustainable and is destroying the planet; agriculture, an element of civilization, is destroying the planet. and this means destroying everything that lives on it. she is proposing ways to sustainably live here and to be conscious of the source of our food. At it’s very core, this is an anti-civ book with a wealth of information about modern agriculture and it’s copious and undisputable ills (water consumption, top soil death, etc.) At the very least, it’s worth reading without getting offended to glean the important (and fascinating) information from to make better decisions for yourself, whatever dietary path you choose.

    Also, I want to say how disgusted I am by the accusations and assumptions made of the author in this discussion. That’s just ugly.

    This is a pretty balanced review of it: http://www.pressaction.com/news/weblog/full_article/vegetarianmyth05102009/

  14. Comment by

    lindsay

    on #

    preditor-prey argument? really? alight then, Keith. Lets see you go out into the wild and catch a gazelle with your sad two legs. Then kill it with your bare hands and eat it raw. Oh wait, you’d never catch it and a lion would probably think you look tasty in the meantime. While the lion is nearby, why don’t you compare your nails and teeth to it’s nails… and if you DO catch a gazelle or the lion leaves you some leftovers. Lets see how well your stomach fares with raw meat.

  15. Comment by

    skeptical_vegan

    on #

    I think it’s fairly obvious that veganism is the number 1 terror to the health of our country. That’s why the National Institute of Health is trying desperately to get the vastly overweight US populous to cut back on all those dangerous veggies and load up good ol’ American beef and dairy – so they can stop dying from heart disease, cancers, stroke and diabetes, some of the nations top killers.

    Get real people – eating healthy isn’t rocket science! Eat a balanced diet, take your B12 (or eat your B12 fortified foods), exercise, and you’ll be a healthy vegan – the consensus of doctor’s won’t tell you otherwise. Of course there are unhealthy vegans – if you don’t know how to eat healthy as a carnivore, that’s not going to change if you just go vegan and wing it, so of course there are vegans who aren’t healthy! But guess, what? The vast majority are, which is more than can be said for the literal epidemic of obesity in this country caused primarily by an excess of fatty animal products, sugar, salt, and lack of exercise. Not by a balanced veggie diet.

    Vegan, vegetarian, or carnivore, you CAN be healthy, so for pete’s sake debate should focus on ethics. (And by that I don’t mean here in this comment thread… I don’t recommend comment threads to anyone looking for reasoned intelligent debate.)

  16. Comment by

    skeptical_vegan

    on #

    *and by carnivore, I meant omnivore*…PS

  17. Comment by

    KiDharma

    on #

    I became a Vegan 2 years ago. Since then, I’ve lost 45 pounds and my metabolic panels come back with some very good numbers. Yes, deficiencies can be responsible for changes in serotonin levels, but I feel that it is a leap to think that eating meat will release those necessary endorphins. To each his own, but I feel very comfortable with my choice.

  18. Comment by

    Jo

    on #

    Let’s see here…

    I went vegan and have had less problems since. My allergies/sinus issues are less severe. I hardly ever get menstrual cramps anymore. I feel clean. I bloat less.

    What crazy propaganda!

    Congrats to veganangel on the 100 pound weight loss.

  19. Comment by

    peter

    on #

    When people bring in animal rights to the discussion about the virtues of going vegan I cringe! Either there is benifit to us and our bodies or there is not – plain and simple. I am 49 male and enjoyed meat for 49 years and do not care about the animals well being and yet went vegan 10 weeks ago and feel great. I think you all got it right about her justification book on why she changed – at least she will feel better about eating what she once abhorred.

  20. Comment by

    preventingdeath

    on #

    unfortunately it is nearly impossible to grow vertically after the age of 21. your bones have fused, so you can really only ‘grow’ via muscle or fat. just on the basis of that reader testimonial, this book is complete bullshit. though it’s not as if the rest isn’t bullshit already…

    marie, so much more water and resources and crops are used in turning animals into ‘food’ that any discussion of sustainability has to include eliminating animals from people’s diets.

  21. Comment by

    Candy@VeganBride.com

    on #

    W-O-W what a disgusting, irritating, harmful outlook! It really makes me sad to see that someone would seek fame/wealth/a platform based on putting down a lifestyle that seeks to end suffering to the defenseless, better the planet, AND improve our health! Wow. I truly hope her book does not sell a single further copy. Perhaps we EVEN should stop talking about it now!
    Good discussion everyone though. Thank you for your insights!!! :) Candy aka”veganbride”

  22. Comment by

    Sasha Lopes

    on #

    What truly is “…disgusting, irritating, harmful” is a bunch of people completely bashing a book they have never read. Lierre is against factory farming, OF COURSE! And she’s trying to make the point that veganism does nothing to “better the planet” – and if you don’t understand that there is a HUGE difference between factory farming and eating meat then you’re just plain ignorant. Ask this question: what does your food eat? ANSWER: animals. You can’t separate yourself from the circle of life. It just doesn’t work. Agriculture turns land into wastelands. Lierre asks an important question: “Where do you draw the line?” In other words: everything is alive – but you choose to draw the line with “anything that has a face and has parents.” The underlying fact is this: something dies for you to eat. And someday YOU will be eaten. If veganism works for you (in a health sense) – that’s fine. Eat whatever you want. But don’t act like it’s saving the planet because it’s doing the opposite.

    And to “preventingdeath” (a name which says more about the vegan cult than I ever could – Ponce de Leon, anyone?): you can’t live forever. Your body will be eaten eventually.

    To the original reviewer: Ms Bean: where you say:

    “However, she doesn’t mention that these countless acres of soy, wheat, and corn don’t sustain a vast population of insatiable vegans and vegetarians, but rather the innumerable factory farmed animals that fulfill greed and carnivorous appetites.”

    She goes over and over and over this point. Cows shouldn’t be eating corn. Did YOU even read the book?

    Go read the book so you can form a logical response.

  23. Comment by

    Roxie

    on #

    It is possible to eat unhealthily and be unhealthily on any diet – but it’s up to you to do your research and make sure you get your nutrition!

    All anyone needs to do is read the book Thrive by pro Ironman triatlete to know that you can definitely get all your nutrition in, maintain a healthy weight, and look and feel great on a vegan diet. It’s important to eat more raw than cooked foods, as well, especially for healing, something this author doesn’t seem to understand.

    Why raw? Check it out:

    http://www.living-foods.com/articles/

    The WhySwitch, TenAdvantages, and commentary articles with Clement and the Nature’s First Law authors, as well as the scientific literature piece, are good. Overall a good page of informative articles!

    If anyone has any doubt about the health and nutrient-density of a vegan diet, here are five resources to clear that up, and you can refer them to these and to countless others:

    Interview with Karyn Calabrese, age 62, vegan for 30+ years, raw for 20+ years. AMAZING!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJOzg_kvVRE&feature=PlayList&p=174450BD56FE4AB8&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4

    (*Note: There are 4 PARTS to this interview, they can be seen at left, or if not, searched for easily. There’s also another 10-part interview there – the AlphaWomen interview – and that’s even better, definitely worth checking out!)

    http://www.veganbodybuilding.com ? absorb the home page, then I highly recommend you click profiles, and prepare to be amazed!

    http://www.veganathlete.com ? clearly these people know how/are learning how to get their nutrition.

    http://www.vrg.org ? great online resource. I especially like the protein page (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm). There are also pages on calcium, iron, etc.

    And finally, the book “Thrive” (aka “The Thrive Diet”), as mentioned above, by professional ironman triathlete ? and vegan ? Brendan Brazier. He explains how to get your nutrition thoroughly, and most definitely eliminates any doubt that it is possible. It?s an incredibly informative book on nutrition, and I?ve read that even non-vegans learn from it in that regard? I bought it when I decided to go vegan!

  24. Comment by

    Huxley

    on #

    Thank you Sasha Lopes, sincerely. Could not have said it better myself. It’s a wise idea to read what you criticize before criticizing it. And the personal attacks on Lierre’s assumed character need to cease right now. I know Lierre and she’s awesome and I’m sure she does more for this earth we all inhabit than the lot of you, combined. I’m glad the vegan “movement” (a laughable concept at best) is so open-minded and accepting to other views on something as personal as a diet. I’d like to see you go marching into indigenous land and slap their food out of their hand if it doesn’t fit into your moral landscape.

  25. Comment by

    xanx

    on #

    Another example of idiotic rabid militant veganist comments. “I lost many pounds”
    lol you lost many pounds because you ate unhealthy animal products before–versus healthy animal products. I eat everything (organic only) and i eat meat per se once a month. i’m in perfect health, look 10-13 years younger than i am, not a gram of extra fat, and an athlete and a fitness model, extremely active/high energy.
    Just don’t eat fried meats (or fried eggs, fish)–eating gently sauteed fish and meat, boiled eggs is the way to go; don’t eat non-organic milk or cheese, don’t eat fat meats like bacon, don’t eat cured/smoked meats like ham, smoked sausage and anything with nitrites in it and you’ll lose weight without going vegan. omg, entire world laughs at Americans….
    As to “calves” lol. The only calves I care about are at the bottom of my legs and those calf muscles like some balanced protein that comes from milk. I grew up overseas where we starved some… i have no problem killing any animal–it makes it only tastier to actually kill it yourself before you eat it. I do like animals… just some animals happen to be tasty :)) just like nature intended. As to eating a raw gaselle… lol, if you starved enough trust me you’d eat it raw. I knew of people eating dogs and worse who’d never think they’d do that…

  26. Comment by

    sopgame

    on #

    Oh, and don’t discount the rather well-proven link between B12 and mood. Lots of unhealthy vegans get depressed because they aren’t taking the necessary supplements — that’s pretty legit.

  27. Comment by

    Melissa Bastian

    on #

    I have not read this book, but I’ll just mention a few things regarding nutrition and health because there is so much nonsense being thrown about in these comments. I’ve spoken to a number of nutritionists who agree that there’s no reason that a well balanced vegan diet can’t be perfectly healthy. Like every other diet, the key is moderation and diversity of foods. Could you eat terribly and make yourself sick on a vegan diet? Sure, just like you could on a vegetarian or omnivorous diet.

    I’ve been vegan for three and a half years, and it’s the best thing I’ve done yet to TREAT the fibromyalgia that has made me ill for the past fourteen years. It’s pretty simple – animal foods tend to contain toxins that my body is sensitive to, and by cutting out animal products I no longer have to filter out those poisons.

    B12? Couldn’t be easier to obtain. Sublingual supplements can be found cheap at any drugstore. Many, many foods are fortified with it. And your doc can give you a painless subcutaneous shot if you’re really concerned.

    EVERYONE needs to eat a balanced diet to maintain health. If you eat crap, your health will suffer – whether it’s vegan crap or animal crap. Focus on whole foods and balanced nutrition, and stay away from too many fats and sugars and processed junk, and you’ll be just fine. Period.

  28. Comment by

    Mischa

    on #

    Melissa,

    This book lays out in great detail why the notion of avoiding “fats” is a dangerous notion. It’s not so much that all vegans are unhealthy – more so that eating “good” meat is such a simple dietary way of getting so much needed nutrition. The book explains how cows that eat corn have meat that lacks nutrients and essential vitamins. But free-grazing, grass eating cows have vitamins/mineral rich meat (not to mention, better tasting). So we really ARE what we EAT. But problems arise with a pure vegan diet because of things like lack of fat. One story in the book that really stuck with me was about some prisoners of war and their first meal when they were released. They ate all the fat-rich, creamy foods first before anything. I think the Cosmos and Vanity Fair mags of the world have done a number on people telling them to avoid fats. Cuz, to them, fats make you fat… and ugly. Which isn’t true either way. I’d be interested to read your comments after reading the book.

  29. Comment by

    NIKKI

    on #

    As reading through the comments and hearing the very strong statements in regards to cruelty, mistreatment, calves being killed etc, I have to question…have any of the people who posted ever actually set foot on traditional dairy operation, production feedlot, row crop farm? Or tried visiting with the men and women who produce feed for livestock and livestock for food?

  30. Comment by

    maria-sofia

    on #

    nikki, your post is very ambiguous. what is your point?

  31. Comment by

    nikki

    on #

    maria, my point was to have the people posting on here stop and ask themselves if they maybe don’t have correct information. I don’t doubt that have information or knowledge, I’m questioning whether the information is accurate. I have intimate knowledge of farming and livestock production and the perception that the posters have of the industry isn’t a true one.

  32. Comment by

    PK

    on #

    Nikki, I have visited multiple dairy farms, beef lots, stockyards, and slaughter facilities, have read textbooks on animal science, and I read industry journals as well. They all agree with the posters here. No sensible person could consider these practices sanitary or environmentally sustainable or humane (for workers or for animals).

    Animal agriculture is a business. Its goal, like that of any other business, is to make profit. PR is a major tool in business management, and it can involve blatant lies in book form or in online forums. I speculate that the book reviewed here may be an industry PR effort disguised as one person’s “true story.”

    Regardless of how little some posters here care about animal suffering, I find their callousness toward human suffering shocking. Humans who are hurt by the industry (the workers, the global hungry, those exposed to the industry’s pollution, and the millions who suffer from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type II diabetes, and animal-origin viruses and bacteria) matter. Misinformation about a plant-based diet ultimately harms these people.

  33. Comment by

    M-S

    on #

    PK

    yeah, a book published by independent press written by a woman who was a vegan for 20 years and is vehemently against agricultural and factory farming practices and advocates local, sustainable food sources MUST be a PR effort by the “industry.” obviously. if you weren’t so GODDAMN STUPID i would suggest reading the book and learning a lot about the agricultural industry and the devastating impact it has on humans, animals, and the planet; not to mention the general capitalist greed associated with the whole thing. and the real point i want to make is that we’re all on the same goddamn page. FUCK.

    i will admit, i think the title of the book sucks.

  34. Comment by

    Jeanette

    on #

    1) Read the book before making a judgment on the title or the content of the book. Making any sort of personal judgment on the author is incredibly disrespectful. She has done amazing work for women, humanity, and all beings living on earth. Go to http://www.stoppornculture.org to see one of her major projects.
    2) As Marie noted, this book is primarily about one of the destructive aspects of civilization known as “agriculture.” Lierre is adamantly against agriculture in all forms, whether it is factory farming or monocropping of soy for tofu. She in no way condones the atrocities that go on in factory farm systems. She advocates taking your place as an animal that eats and is eaten by other animals, in a diverse and complex natural system. Soymilk is not part of this system.
    3) Another main point of this book is the fact that a vegan diet is unhealthy. I was vegetarian for seven years and of that three was spent as a vegan, also on an almost entirely raw diet. Like most vegans, I read tons of literature to back up my stance, and I knew, really knew, that my conviction as a vegan was water-tight. Then I read her book, and understood the connections – we are animals. We need certain nutrients to live. Being a vegan isn’t doing anyone any favors. As human animals we have thrived on traditional, indigenous diets for generations, and only recently has the concept of veganism taken hold of a larger population. Our bodies need the fat, the protein, the high concentration of vitamins. If being vegan is so perfect, then why do you feel the need to supplement B12? Read this book, then do your own research. Go to http://www.westonaprice.org and learn about the diets that sustained people for millenia. Soy is not a health food – is grossly interferes with your body’s hormonal and nervous systems. Cut out the sugar, the grains, the processed foods and bring in pastured meats, eggs, raw dairy and fermented foods. Then work to tear down the monstrosity that is industrial agriculture. That is something we can all agree on.

  35. Comment by

    MaxWilbert

    on #

    Amen Jeanette.

  36. Comment by

    TdavidR

    on #

    I have tried a naturopath’s recommended and guided vegan diet and nearly died of starvation, with soy and nuts as my protein, I built up fat cells around my breasts and stank like a rotten egg most of the time. I tried vegetarianism under a nutritionist’s watch and felt slightly better, but couldn’t ride my bike to work for lack of energy. I went to eating natural, local meat at least once a day, plenty of veggies and very little carbs and felt like a million bucks. The real change happened when I STARTED GETTING EXERCISE. Not going for a walk type exercise, but kung fu, four days a week; heart rate up for at least an hour each time and pushing my physical limits as much as possible.
    My theory is that we were designed to be physical creatures, not just mental creatures. Evolved to push through our physical limitations and process toxins by encouraging the natural bodily cycles through rigorous activity. It doesn’t seem like veganism or vegetarianism becomes present in a culture until life becomes more stagnant and easy.
    Not a scientific study, by any means, but my honest personal experience.

  37. Comment by

    Melissa Bastian

    on #

    Five months later (ha!) I just want to say thanks to Mischa for responding to my comment evenly and reasonably. I still haven’t read this book. I will say this though: I have *never* had a problem with getting enough fat! Or retaining it for that matter – I keep a good twenty or so extra pounds around at all times, and that’s after four years of being vegan. Maybe my body is just really REALLY good at converting extra calories into fat?

    So let me just throw something out there. Maybe for *some people* a vegan diet isn’t the most healthy thing, for others it’s just as healthy as anything else, and for some it is optimal? Each of us has a unique physiology, and very minor differences in body chemistry and function can have a radical impact on how our bodies process food… Something to think about no? What I disagree most strongly with, no matter what side it’s coming from, is the stance that “this diet was healthy/unhealthy for me, therefore it is healthy/unhealthy for everyone.” Bodies simply don’t work that way.

    At least everyone here does agree that the industrial production of food is a major problem, and that no food that comes out of it can be good or healthy – for us, for the planet, for anything.

  38. Comment by

    Melissa Bastian

    on #

    Jeanette, I’m confused that one minute you’re talking about how ALL agriculture is bad, and the next minute referencing indigenous peoples, and then just a few sentences later telling us to cut out grains. Can you please tell us what indigenous people these are who a) did not use agriculture and b) did not depend on grains? Because other than the Inuit, to whom very few of us can trace a bloodline, I really don’t know who you could be referencing.

    Also, I have a question. If the idea is to eliminate all agriculture, does the book also propose a drastic reduction in the quantity of meat, dairy, and eggs eaten by us Westerners? I ask because there is no way to sustain the number of food animals we currently use without monocropping grains – not even if all that land somehow became lush pasture.

    Just for a bit of reference on where I’m coming from: I’m not a vegan who tries to tell everyone they need to be vegan. I just try to encourage everyone to be more conscious about where their food is coming from and what its ramifications really are. But I must say, I really don’t understand this stance that veganism is harmful beyond someone’s personal dietary choices…?

  39. Comment by

    house

    on #

    That’s horrible, when I was 20 years, in my mother’s house lived a girl who has the same symptons like one girl I read on a comment and I can say that’s horrible.

  40. Comment by

    Sharon jackson

    on #

    After just a few months of being a fairly strict vegan, I have recovered from asthma after a lifetime of wheezing, panting and too much inhalent, my joints no longer ache, and my blood glucose levels have evened out. I not longer nap once or twice a day, and have returned to daily activites with renewed joy. The author of this book is just out of her mind! Sharon

  41. Comment by

    arbitrage theory

    on #

    Hi Abigail, I totally agree with you that Keith largely blames her veganism for her degenerative joint disease, hypoglycemia, irregular menstruation, exhaustion, ever-present cold, gastro-paresis, depression, and anxiety. This will help to clear this things up.

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