Be An Effective Vegan Advocate: Take a Calcium Supplement

Some recent research has shown that vegans have lower calcium intakes than omnivores and that they have a higher risk for bone fractures.

That’s bad news for vegans. It’s also bad news for farm animals. Anything that makes a vegan diet look inferior is likely to convince more people to eat animal foods.

So what can you do about that? Some vegans choose denial. They say a vegan diet is better for bone health and they cite old—usually outdated—research to prove it. Many vegans cling to the unproven belief that those who eat plant diets need less calcium. Theirs is a misguided effort to prove that vegan diets are better—and in the long run it risks health and creates bad PR for vegan ... Read More >

My Vegan Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite meal of the year. I love stuffing and gravy, all those winter root veggies, and the coziness of a festive dinner served late on a dark November afternoon. I don’t miss turkey one bit; it was never my favorite part of the meal, anyway. I’m convinced that, as long as the Thanksgiving table holds lots of yummy traditional dishes, others don’t miss the bird that much either.

With the help of a couple of friends, I’m having Thanksgiving dinner at my house this year. We’ll be mostly vegetarians, a few vegans, and a few meat eaters. The menu is a combination of traditional dishes along with a few gourmet twists on tradition. (My mom always served turnips for Thanksgiving, ... Read More >

Vegan Food: Deliciously Different

I have no problem with the fact that some people don’t like tofu or beans. There are plenty of foods that I don’t like. It bugs me, though, when people make fun of vegetarian dishes just because the ingredients are foreign to them.

When I was growing up in the 1960s in West Orange, NJ, we had a wonderful neighbor, Mrs D’Atrolio, who was a fantastic Italian cook. We ate Italian food at my house, of course—mostly spaghetti and meatballs—but the dishes that came out of Mrs D’Atrolio’s kitchen were well beyond anything my mom knew how to make.

Every once in a while, as suppertime approached, Mrs D’Atrolio would cross the narrow walkway separating our houses and knock on the door. “I thought you’d ... Read More >

How I Became a Vegan Dietitian

When I first decided to be a dietitian, I had no particular interest in vegetarian diets. Rather, I was simply interested in food and nutrition. I liked the puzzle of creating diets. I was also deeply interested in public health nutrition and issues of food insecurity. Vegetarianism wasn’t even a blip on my radar screen as I went through my dietetics program and then graduate school as an omnivore.

At the same time, I was very much an advocate for animals and was sensitive to some aspects of animal rights. But, I knew absolutely nothing about factory farming and had yet to make the connection between my concern for animals and my food choices.

I was 28, recently married, and had just obtained my RD ... Read More >