The doctor, who was kind and very understanding, was surprisingly knowledgeable about vegan diets and had a career long specialization in nutrition. After ruling out any other possible medical condition, she patiently spoke over my tears and my hitching sobs and explained that yes, humans are healthiest when eating a large amount of varied plant foods, but that we would be wrong to ignore the small amounts of animal products that many of us so essentially need. “Most human bodies run optimally on the occasional animal product. Eggs and bits of meat every so often are small but very important parts of a healthy diet.” she said, a look of sorrow on her face. She could see how hard this was for me.
She told me that while there are people who can be quite healthy on a vegan, or predominantly vegan, diet, there were many people who simply could not. After all, every human is biologically and physiologically different, she explained. I listened patiently, refuting her claims with the knowledge I’ve gleaned over the years. After all, I wasn’t just a regular vegan, I was a hardcore, self-righteous and oh so judgmental vegangelical. I never passed up an opportunity for some preaching. She was prepared. Just as patiently she explained how many of the ‘facts’ I was quoting were just plain wrong, or had been presented in a way that distorted the truth. It was horrifying and I almost passed out in her office because I was so worked up.
Wow. This is an epic article. Very much worth reading.
When I started out reading I was just enjoying a quiet laugh at anyone who would take food to ideological lengths. I mean, I personally am pretty well convinced that the primal/paleo diet is more human-normal than most, but I’m not going to send anyone hate male for eating cornbread made from a box. The fact that leaving a diet resulted in this much angst – and a violent backlash from some of her readers – is crazy.
But as I continued I became more and more impressed with just how thoroughly the author was thinking through the implications of her food choices. I think there’s a lesson here for anyone, whatever your diet, about being intentional and conscientious about your most basic daily actions.
It’s a long read, but I found it rewarding.
EDIT: Also enjoyable is her followup, in which we learn that a small but vocal minority of vegans are just plain batshit crazy.