Never Mind the Carnivores, Here’s the Vegans


To me, “going vegan” is not about being trendy or better-than-thou, showing anyone up, or guilting anyone into doing what I have come to believe is the right thing. It’s just what my wife and I have done in our household after our younger daughter introduced us to it two years ago. I’m thrilled to see this new nutritional path increasingly going mainstream, including stories in major media venues.

I also laugh or cringe at some media “findings” about plant-based nutrition.

One editor wrote about quick-eats-and-treats for Super Bowl parties. To me his one token vegan entry was unappetizing in print and after trying it, his taste buds agreed. So, to him, that was it. Case closed. Settled science. Forget anything vegan for your next party! You and your guests should keep chowing down on hamburgers and wings and hot dogs, and pizzas drowning in meat. Jam as much animal product down your throats as possible.

Not that I am bitter.

Another writer dug deep to find out that one of the popular new plant-based burgers had, she said, “similar levels of sodium to a regular beef hamburger.”

This feels like two other glaring examples of hypocrisy, of people who otherwise worship at the altar of “choice” shooting down new choices:

#1 – Big Tobacco tricking everyone into attacking e-cigarette makers…as it rolls its own e-cigs.
Big Tobacco’s big money has learned media types blathering on about the health impacts of e-cigarettes (vaping). [Cue Dave Barry describing “a highly trained TV journalist making a frowny face” to let us know we should worry.]|a| I don’t deny the danger! A number of deaths have been attributed to people buying vaping products — “on the street,” not through licensed vendors — and any needless death is a tragedy. But let’s light up a little perspective here: the tobacco industry has been poisoning children and adults since 1602. Cigarettes are on track to kill 10 million humans per year by 2020.|b| But, by God, we must protect the public from vaping! And here’s the kicker: as the tobacco companies continue to stoke the media fire to kill the small independents in the market, they are quietly launching their own vaping products. See the “pmi” in the link? It stands for the world’s largest tobacco company, Philip Morris International.|c|d|

#2 – Music critics attacking and marginalizing Christian rockers.
In the mid-1990s, Christian rockers started being signed by major mainstream music labels. Virgin Records signed dc Talk and the Newsboys; Jars of Clay were doing Letterman and soft drink commercials; dc Talk’s Jesus Freak elbowed its way into the #4 slot on Billboard between Kiss and Marilyn Manson. Music critics born and bred on sex-drugs-rock-and-roll, satanic lyrics, and wasted singers falling off stages suddenly got all scholarly about things like song structures. They penned headlines such as one in Rolling Stone that I paraphrase from memory: “Christian rockers are hitting the charts and the stage; but how’s the music, and what’s the message?”

Media aside, I also marvel at some of my non-media fellow humans who stop wolfing down steroid-laden, processed meats, Cheez-its, and Mountain Dew just long enough to shoot down positive vegan stories with scattered concerns and cheap shots, such as:

Q: “If you vegans don’t want to eat meat, why do you want something that tastes like meat?”
A: Um…why would Tesla and others make EVs that drive like gas-powered cars (or way better)?

No one ever said they didn’t like the TASTE of meat and dairy products. We’re eating differently for three main reasons: [1] We are no longer willing to contribute to the demand for meat and dairy that causes “humans” to torture and kill animals for food.|e| [2] We want no part of the human health issues around eating red and processed meat, which is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. [3] We will no longer contribute to the demand for meat that accelerates climate change and drains natural resources to raise livestock for food.|f||g|

Point: “These plant-based foods are too processed.”
 Counterpoint: As laid out here, and paraphrased in this post, Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger have better nutritional profiles than beef burgers: fewer calories, more protein, and less fat.|h|

Compared to a four-ounce beef burger with 20% fat content, a Beyond Burger has 20 fewer calories, three fewer grams of fat, and one MORE gram of protein. An Impossible Burger has 50 fewer calories, eight fewer grams of fat, and the same amount of protein. Both plant-based burgers have zero cholesterol, compared to 80 milligrams in a beef burger. And both have more fiber, another essential to good health.|i|

Statement: “You can’t get protein unless you eat meat.”
 Fact Check: WRONG.

We get plenty of protein every day at every meal in things like soy milk, oatmeal, nuts, chia seeds, tofu, beans, chickpeas, nutritional yeast, whole-grain breads, green peas, quinoa, wild rice, and high-protein fruits and vegetables. One thing we don’t get is vitamin B12, and we take that as a supplement. |j|

Often Heard Locally: “I’d like to try vegan, but my husband’s a meat-and-potatoes man and he works hard and he needs his meat.”
Speaking Truth to Carnivores: a growing number of the world’s top athletes in the most demanding physical sports are vegan, so…whatever your job may be, I’ll bet it can work for you.

Who are they? NFL players including DeAndre Hopkins, Malcolm Jenkins, Matthew Stafford, and Marcus Mariota. NBA players including nine-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Wilson Chandler, Al Jefferson, Garrett Temple, Enes Kanter, JaVale McGee, and Jahlil Okafor. Pro soccer players in the British Premier and other leagues including Jermain Defoe, Chris Smalling, Fabian Delph, and Jack Wilshere. World-class athletes across the most demanding physical sports such as tennis icons Novak Djokovic and Venus Williams, boxer David Haye, UFC mixed martial arts fighters Nate Diaz and Abel “Killa” Trujillo, bodybuilder Barny du Plessis, snowboarder Hannah Teter, skater Meagan Duhamel, Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, ultramarathoner Scott Jurek, and more. NFL living legends Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are not fully vegan, but their diets are reportedly 80% plant-based.|k|l|m|n|o|

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