HALP!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Liberation BC’s newly liberated, man-size duck needs a name!
 


 
He – well, I’m assuming he’s a he, due to the aforementioned manly stature – is Canadian and a former prisoner of a foie gras operation, so perhaps that will give you some ideas.

Me? I positively suck at this sort of thing. My first, last and only decent suggestion was “Heart-Shaped Box” for the name of a vegan bakery. I forget who ran that contest. (PETA, probably.)

(More below the fold…)

Liberation BC & PCRM: Vegan Diet Doesn’t Cause Birth Defects

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Sigh. Almost two years after “vegan” parents Lamont Thomas and Jade Sanders were convicted of involuntary manslaughter for starving their son, Crown Shakur, to death (hence Nina Planck’s oh-so-clever – and, not to mention, compassionate – “Death by Veganism” column title), non-vegans *still* refer to this case as proof that vegan diets are inherently unhealthy and unsuitable for infants and children. (And, in more extreme cases, that vegan diets constitute child abuse and warrant state intervention.) Even though, as I explain at over at Bitch, these “death by veganism” cases could be more accurately described as “death by starvation.” With proper knowledge and planning, vegan diets are actually healthier than diets which involve animals and animal by-products. For infants, breast milk and soy formula – rather than the soy milk and apple juice Crown Shakur received – are part of a healthy vegan diet.

Anyhow, cue the latest bit of anti-vegan scare-mongering: “Vegan diet tied to birth defects,” which PCRM and Liberation BC critique below. Please consider contacting the newspapers that ran the story, and politely correct their shoddy science “reporting.”

Mary Martin at Animal Person also offers an interesting deconstruction of PCRM’s press release from a radical vegan perspective. I’m embarassed to say that I didn’t pick up on PCRM’s odd choice of wording at first!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Liberation BC
Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 4:10 PM
Subject: Vegan Diet Doesn’t Cause Birth Defects

Liberation BC has had a few people write to us asking about an article in several newspapers, “Vegan diet tied to birth defects”, so we thought we’d send out an Action Alert with a little more information.

The article claims that a study shows that “…vegans and women who eat little or no meat, fish, eggs, milk or cheese are at the highest risk, as well as women with stomach or intestinal problems…that keep them from absorbing enough B12.”

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has issued a press release in response, stating that what the article doesn’t mention is that “…the study is based on analysis of stored blood samples originally collected during pregnancy from three groups of Irish women between 1983 and 1990. It’s not clear if any of the women were vegan, but the study clearly states that this population was deliberately chosen because vitamin supplementation and food fortification were rare at that time. The women lived in a region of traditionally high neural tube defects prevalence, suggesting a moderately high genetic predisposition.” (Doctors endorse vegan and vegetarian diets for healthy pregnancies, 2 Mar 2009)

Of course, it is absolutely true that everyone needs to get B12. It is the only vitamin or mineral that one cannot get on a totally vegan diet. An incredibly small amount of it is necessary–less than 10 micrograms a day–and yet it is so important that without it, we can become very ill indeed. Fortunately, however, it is also a very easy vitamin to get.

It is also worth noting that the experts wholly endorse a vegan diet. The Dieticians of Canada and the American Dietetic Association have stated that:

“Well-planned vegan diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy and lactation. Appropriately planned vegan diets satisfy nutrient needs of infants, children, and adolescents and promote normal growth.”

(More below the fold…)