Why Does The Vegan Diet Confuse Everybody Else?

confused by Vegan Diet?
Why does the Vegan Diet confuse everyone else?

Well when you sit back and look at the whole picture it is no surprise really.

Firstly, and most importantly, there is no such thing as a ‘Vegan Diet’. 

How can that be you may ask, it is constantly being examined in the media, people are all a buzz about following it and recommending it; of course, it is there. 

Highly respected doctors and researchers are espousing the seemingly miraculous wellbeing outcomes from adopting a ‘Vegan Diet’.  Surely it has to be a thing?

Let’s explore what a diet is, once it has been defined and put out there as a regime to follow.

In a diet, there will be a bunch of foods that are excluded, some core foods seen as essential and maybe a few foods seen as occasional treats or replacements for treats. 

You can see this structural approach to all of the biggies; Atkins, Keto, Blood Type, Wholefood Plant Based, Mediterranean, Low carb …. Plus the rest of the really long list of diets that exist, that all follow the above structure or similarly prescriptive.

People are used to this and expect to be able to find a singular description of what their next fad diet is when Dr Google is consulted.

So, these people hear and read what is hitting the media outlets as news, watch documentaries, see opinions arriving in their news feed as Google and Facebook start presenting more material based on the data they have collected about the above exposures. 

This barrage of information provides a full continuum of the benefits and pitfalls of a ‘Vegan Diet’.  Massive health benefits all the way to parents being charged with neglect; after headlines scream a child is underdeveloped because of the ‘Vegan Diet’ the parents forced on it.

Then we have a wealth of credible science being reported from journals exploring the amazing results reversing chronic disease all the way to headlines screaming dietary deficiency in a ‘Vegan Diet’ may lead to intellectual development problems and a higher risk of stroke.

This is all occurring because there is actually no well-defined singular description of a ‘Vegan Diet’ or ‘Vegetarian Diet’ because there is no such thing. Making it impossible to measure and accurately compare to another diet. However, making it possible to make it look bad when compared to another diet.

The decision to be Vegan is a decision of exclusion only and doesn’t even expect a focus on food or nutrition.

It is not and never has been a diet plan to lose weight, resolve health issues or to build muscle mass.

It is only a decision to no longer use, consume or support the exploitation of animals and other living creatures for human use or profit. To as best possible avoid causing harm or suffering to any living being.  There is no such thing as Vegan food; just food that is suitable for Vegan people.

Which by definition means, as long as there is no exploited being or part thereof in the food and no being is knowingly subjected to collateral suffering while sourcing the food; it is good to go, for the Vegan, with a clear conscience.  This creates a huge range of possible diet and lifestyle choices; and an equally huge range of positive and negative health outcomes.

Which is great for those wishing to confuse the public with deliberately created controversy around Veganism as a choice. Dodgy industry sponsored research making headline news about Vegans and Vegetarians having a higher risk of stroke being a recent example.  The manipulation of author conclusions and no mention of the overall positive message of the significant benefits from excluding animal foods.  Further investigation does show predictable funding linked to agricultural interests. 

But it gets traction and has the desired effect; confuses a generally lazy minded public into doubting a Vegan choice as a potentially dangerous risk factor, for one of the most feared health issues. Lots of money is invested in making sure such study comments get good press time worldwide.

Business is business and the growth of the Vegan movement and science-based Plant Based eating is having a financial impact. They were always going to fight dirty for their market share and will continue to do so. 

Which is unfortunately made easy by people saying they are on a ‘Vegan Diet’ and people in white coats being able to legitimately select the worst version of ‘Vegan Diet’ to study and comment on, at the bequest of whatever industry group is hitting out this week.

What is next then, how do we stem the flow of negative evidence for sale?

I get the “only Vegan for the Animals” statement and admire the 100%ers for their conviction.  Can I offer something important though?  You being healthy and living long is extremely important to the whole success of the Vegan movement and to you personally.

We need you to live long and continue your quest into the future; you will be no good for the animals if you die young or present a version of you which is suffering ill health as a result of poor food choices; a version of you that turns others off the idea of joining in.

Staying out of medical care also helps animals and the environment by you avoiding treatment that inevitably uses animal tested medicines, animal sourced ingredients and filling the planet with more medical waste. 

It also will sway the statistics collected and used in studies to show the definite and indisputable human benefit in avoiding animal products and to eat a healthy plant strong diet.

The Vegan movement is in the box seat right now, everyone is watching and talking about Vegans; thanks to industry millions spent, it is not all positive. I believe it is time we all came together and worked on putting the choice to eat plants only, to look for alternative materials, to reduce waste and to shop with a consciousness about environmental impact; into the media spotlight for all the right reason.

Not only will the animal suffering be reduced, but the decision to be Vegan, for those watching from the sidelines wondering about how they might join in; will see a benefit for all of Earth’s inhabitants and themselves link to joining in.

Plus, we really need all the young and enthusiastic Vegans of 2019 to have the longevity and energy to keep up this momentum for decades to come; if they really want to be the positive change catalyst they dream to be.  Social movements need this to succeed and junk food is not the fuel of success or a healthy long life of changing the world for the better.

People are Vegans, there is no such thing as a Vegan Diet or Vegan food. You can’t be ‘Vegan’ most of the time and just have bacon and eggs on the weekends; anymore than you can be a Christian most of the time with a little devil worship on Tuesdays.

© 2019 Andrew Fenwick visit www.foodphyte.net to subscribe