On My Soapbox…Sep 26 2011 by
I recently got an email from a friend (let’s call her Lucy) who had serious concerns about me and my family being vegans. Here’s my rant.
Lucy was concerned that we will be lacking B12, protein, iron, zinc and calcium. First of all, eating meat and dairy doesn’t not mean that all your nutritional needs will be meet. In fact I’m pretty sure that most of the overweight and obese population are lacking in WAY more areas than most vegetarians and vegans. Why is it that so many people worry whether or not vegans get enough protein and calcium but no one seems that least bit worried about “carnivores” and if they are getting enough fiber and water soluble vitamins, among other things. Let’s not even talk about the fact that nuts, seeds and legumes provide just as much protein as animal meats or that there are dozens of other sources for calcium that contain MORE calcium per serving with less calories than milk or dairy products. I also think it’s outrageous that people who eat a diet of fruit and vegetables receive criticism yet those who eat french fries as a vegetable source and drink OJ as their only fruit don’t have judgement passed on them as long as they eat a steak and drink some milk.
On top of receiving the email on that same day I had an encounter at a ‘kitchen gadget’ store that practically sent me over the edge. My kids have been asking me to make some vegan doughnuts for them so this weekend the hubby and I headed out to a local Williams Sonoma to pick up a doughnut pan. Upon entering the store we were asked by the sales associate if the kids would like to try a sample of the sausage in pasta sauce that they had just made. Knowing that WS doesn’t carry any organic products or clean ones that I know of we kindly said no thanks and explained that we were vegans who eat a strictly plant based diet without added sugars and preservatives. The sales associate looked at our kids as though they were deprived orphans who had never had a decent meal and said “Oh a little meat won’t hurt them”. WTF?
Is this what we need to teach our kids? A little meat won’t hurt you. A tiny bit of sugar won’t kill you. A little white lie is ok. One puff of the cigarette is fine.
You’re right, a little meat won’t hurt them. But it won’t make them strong and healthy either. I’d rather teach my children about the foods that will benefit their bodies and show them that making good food choices are easy and fun. Instead of popping them down in front of the TV where they are shown over and over again that ‘Milk does a body good’ and ‘Fruity Pebbles is part of a nutritional breakfast’, I’ll spend time with them and show them how their bodies work, what foods make it strong and healthy and what steps we can take to grow up knowing that we eat to live, not live to eat.
Ok, my rant is over. BTW, I got the doughnut pan. My first attempt at doughnuts produced an AWESOME tasting doughnut but the texture wasn’t right. Tomorrow I will try again and I’m crossing my fingers that the adjustments I have in mind with reward me with the perfect vegan doughnut!