2. Following a vegan diet can make a person sick
Soy is a popular component of vegan diets. It is particularly useful because while most people get their protein from meat this is not an available source for vegans. While proteins are available from vegetable products many of them do not provide the full range of amino acids (the building blocks for proteins) needed for a healthy diet. Soy is different, it is a complete protein source and therefore it has become a staple of big business with health food producers turning it into a $4billion industry. What many vegans do not realize, however, is that soy, when eaten in excess, can make them sick. Unprocessed soy is extremely toxic to humans; indeed it is so toxic that soy bean fields typically do not need to be treated with pesticides as insects avoid them like the plague!
Asian diets, that traditionally incorporate soy products, have been shown to have health benefits but they typically consume no more than 9g (0.3oz) a day, compared with the health food snacks on sale in the US and other western countries that can contain up to 20g (0.7oz) in a single serving. It is easy for western vegans to eat huge amounts of soy in one day. Too much soy can play havoc with the human endocrine system leading to hormone imbalances that impact on sex drive and can cause certain cancers; soy consumption might even be linked to an increased risk of miscarriage. For this reason vegan parents are advised to either breastfeed their babies (although breastmilk is, of course, an animal product), or if that is not possible, feed them cow’s milk based formula instead of soy formula.
Soy is a useful source of protein for vegans but they should not seek to rely on it too heavily.
1. Vegans are destroying the rainforests
Many people turn to a vegan diet in order to live a sustainable, ecologically friendly life. They believe it is one of many ways that they can help to save plant earth from the depredations of evil humans. Vegans have been sold a pup! Many vegans rely on soy protein to help them eat a complete diet. This can have health problems (see 2 above). The problems of soy, however, go even further. Not only can soy harm our health but it is also bad for the environment.
Brazil is of the largest producers of soy beans in the world. The Brazilian rainforest is one of the most ecologically diverse locations in the world, full of many species that have not yet been discovered and one of the vital natural carbon sinks of our world, this rainforest is a precious resource. Soy farms, however, are, in many parts of Brazil, replacing rainforest. For the Brazilian farmers this makes a lot of sense, bigger farms give economy of scale and brings prosperity to the farmers and their workers. These huge farms, however, destroy the rainforests and pollute the nearby river systems.
The hypocrisy of vegans is clear as environmental organizations like to accuse the meat industry of destroying the rainforests (much of the soybean crop is used to feed cattle reared for slaughter) but fail to acknowledge that a significant percentage of this production ends up in vegan friendly soy products, a percentage that will only grow as a vegan diet becomes ever more popular.
As a vegan lifestyle becomes more common it will become important to know how to cater for vegan guests – we hope that this list will help you.
Being a vegan is not a diet that you follow, it is a lifestyle choice that restricts so much more than whether or not you can eat eggs and drink milk. While a vegan lifestyle was a niche choice for many years it has become more and more mainstream. Vegan societies around the world tout the health benefits of a plant based diet and the ethical superiority of refusing to wear leather and many people in our weight and eco obsessed society are flirting with the idea of turning to veganism as a way to solve what they perceive as problems in their life. The statements are nothing more than hype, however. A vegan diet is bad for your health with the overreliance on soy products leading to hormone imbalances. Not only that but it is bad for your teeth and bones, can make you fat and is bad for the rainforests to boot!
A vegan lifestyle must be pretty miserable as it forces its adherents to cut out a lot of really lovely tasty foods and some of life’s real pleasures. If your son announces that he is going to marry a vegan do not buy your new daughter in law a string of pearls to welcome her to the family and don’t even think of serving food garnished with honey. Not only that but you can bet your bottom dollar that her wedding dress won’t be made of silk and leather shoes will be a no-no.
If you are a vegan and manage to make the diet and lifestyle work for you, well done! All power to you! We are off to eat a cheeseburger and get the benefit of all those lovely amino acids and fat soluble minerals that help to keep us healthy!