When I order a vegan meal on a plane, it invariably comes with fat-free salad dressing. This annoys me more than I can say. It’s not just because I think fat-free salad dressing is basically inedible (which it is IMHO), but because somehow, vegan diets have become synonymous with low-fat eating. That’s not good for vegans or for the animals we want to help.
Given the fact that vegan eating is well outside the mainstream and very different from the way most Americans eat, it’s not surprising that many people view it as difficult and restrictive. (Most people view any dietary change as difficult and restrictive.) Making vegan diets as accessible as possible is an important part of activism.
I take some flak for my stance on raw foods and low-fat-vegan diets. But that’s okay; I stand by my opinion that neither is a good idea. I’m bothered as a dietitian because I don’t think these diets are the most healthful way to eat. But it bugs me way more as an activist since I don’t think either approach helps animals. In fact, I think it hurts them.
If our goal is to put an end to the inhumane treatment on factory farms, we need to encourage as many people as possible to embrace vegan diets. To do that, we need to show them that this way of eating is healthful and practical and appealing. Promoting additional restrictions that have no known health ... Read More >
An acquaintance mentioned to me the other day that she first went vegan for ethical reasons and then a raw foods diet just seemed the “next logical step.” I can’t imagine why. To me, there is nothing especially logical or beneficial about eating only raw foods.
True, raw foods are packed with all kinds of things that are good for you—tons of fiber and all of the nutrients and phytochemicals that are found in plants. Although nuts and dried fruits are calorie-dense, a raw foods diet is usually much lower in calories than many other ways of eating and can be an effective route to weight loss.
But cooking has some important benefits. Although some foods taste great in the raw state, cooking ... Read More >