The op-ed piece by food writer, Nina Planck, titled Death By Veganism from Monday's NY Times made my blood boil. It boiled more as I went on her website to read her write about vegan diets being an aberration in dietary history because they are inadequate. Her facts are inadequate. I consider factory farming, mass slaughterhouses also an aberration in history beginning only in the 1920's and I think the vegan movement is growing in response.
I was going to post about it when I was feeling more level-headed. Urban Vegan posted & urged us all to write letters -150 words or less to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Write those letters! Here is mine:
Accepting an op-ed by Nina Planck on veganism is comparable to asking Rick Berman’s opinion on anti-smoking, her piece is deliberate misinformation fueled by financial agenda.
Nina Planck is so biased, peddling her book & lobbying for her dairy & meat interests that it’s more than a concerned citizen’s opinion. It is propaganda & advertising and should be labeled as such and placed in the “special advertising” section.
There are definitive positive facts & statistics on veganism not mentioned. Instead, she mentions that she was once a vegan, supposedly giving her more credibility to make dubious remarks?
Tragically, many parents, non-vegan alike, have been held accountable for their babies’deaths through malnourishment. Crown Shakur died of malnutrition, not because his parents were vegan, but because they were ignorant. As ignorant as Nina Planck thinks that the readers of her op-ed piece should be.
If you ever decide to read her whole book, Real Food: What to Eat and Why, you will see that she actually decries factory farms for both their inhumane conditions as well as for what the animals are forced to eat. She explains that it is unnatural for cows to subsist on grain and not be able to move freely and eat grass, unnatural for pigs to be raised on concrete slabs and not be able to live out their instinct to root, and that it is unnatural for chickens to be fed vegetarian diets while forced to live in giant, crowded, closed up coups. She explains that these conditions are abhorrible at best and that it also makes for crappy, far-from-nutritious food.
What she does endorse are local, family-owned farms where the animals raised for meat, dairy, or eggs are free to roam, eat what nature intended (grain makes cow's stomachs sour), and perform the actions that come instinctually to them. The more omnivores realize that this is the way animals used for food are supposed to be raised, the better the chance that factory farms will eventually become a thing of the past. That's good for the animals, the earth, and humanity.