VEGANISM IS NOT FOR WIMPS
In The China Study, Cornell researcher Colin Campbell
presents a mountain of evidence showing that a diet based on animal foods is
responsible for all of the diseases of affluence with which we are all so
familiar. Heart disease, obesity,
cancer, diabetes, and many others occur at high rates among people who eat
animals. Study after study shows that a
whole-food, plant-based diet results in healthier people, and actually slows or
reverses the disease process in former meat-eaters. For example, Dr. Dean Ornish demonstrated
that cardiac patients treated with lifestyle changes including a very lowfat
vegetarian diet fared better than those treated with conventional medicine.
Scouting around the web, I found a site called BeyondVeg
that critiques Campbell’s
China Project as being insufficient evidence for pro-vegan claims. However, the article refers only to that one
study, while Campbell’s
book uses that and many more studies to support the argument.
So, is TR going vegan?
If I were single or at least childless I would give it a shot, for
sure. However, since I am responsible
for feeding several other individuals, none of whom would take kindly to
veganism, it would be exceedingly difficult for me to follow those rules. (The rules, according to Campbell, are really very simple. Eat all you want of whole plant foods,
including all vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Minimize added oils, refined grains, sugar,
and fish. Avoid meat, poultry, dairy,
and eggs.) Left to my own devices, I
would happily eat brown rice, beans, and tofu.
I like that stuff, and was an “ovo-lacto” vegetarian for many years
before I was corrupted by my carnivorous husband and my own pregnancy-related
My kids, however, would not be so quick to give up pizza and
So here’s my plan: cut the animal products in my own diet
way, way down. Get some vegan cookbooks
and feed the kids some new stuff. Couldn’t
UPDATE ON MY NEW VEGAN LIFESTYLE
The first thing I did this morning was break the
rules by putting a splash of half and half in my coffee. I’m
taking baby steps, ok?
On my way to work I stopped at Starbucks for a
<gasp> soy mocha. I did have them put on my usual “light on
the whipped cream” topping, just so the first sip wouldn’t be such a
shock. Actually, the drink was better than I thought it would
be. I’ll get used to it. Won’t I?
After work I hit the grocery store to buy a
sampling of the many vegan convenience products now available,
including veggie hot dogs, which I planned to sneakily feed my children.
Dinner time: I told kids we were trying a
“different brand” of hot dog. I didn’t tell them that the new
brand lacked the snouts and hooves they were accustomed to in their
Verdict: Both kids said they like the old brand
better, though they did eat the one I gave them. On a whole wheat
bun. With a fresh vegetable on the side. Good enough.
Evening: As soon as the kids go to bed, I’m having a cookie with my red tea. So there.