I love the stories about former diehard vegans who turned away from their strict lifestyle and resumed eating animal foods.
Purely for physical reasons, it’s typically framed—they always have a heart-wrenching backstory about deteriorating health conditions that finally force them to abandon the holier-than-thou lifestyle they convinced themselves would make the world a veritable Garden of Eden, for people as well as animals.
One such case is Alex Jamieson, a self-styled nutritional expert and life coach, who touts her books, videos, her personal coaching sessions, recipes and especially her Cravings Cure Detox Program (just say, “Yes! I am beyond ready to get control of my cravings and learn how to give my body what it really needs”—and it’s all yours for the low, low price of only $1,187.50!) as the road map to better health.
She ought to know, seeing as how she pretty much ruined hers by trying to subsist on a pure vegan diet for more than a decade.
Jamieson claimed that she adopted the vegan diet as a way to “reboot her body” from years of eating unhealthy foods. She said she was “concerned about our food culture, how animals are raised in such horrifying conditions and how animal protein adds so significantly to global warming.”
(Really? Seeing as how the UN’s “Livestock’s Long Shadow” report didn’t come out until 2006—when the issue of meat production as a source of greenhouse gas emissions first got serious traction—her claim to have been concerned about that six years earlier sounds a little too after-the-fact to be believable).
She continued: “I resonated deeply with the vegan way. We could end hunger if we fed grain to people instead of animals; we could end global warming if we reduced the fertilizer, trucking and refrigeration required to produce meat; and we could end the obesity epidemic.”
That’s a nice summary of the talking points that everybody pushing an anti-meat industry agenda rolls out—not just vegans.
And all of it’s absolutely wrong-headed.
The idea that the world’s neediest people are “hungry” for a big ol’ bowl of cornmeal mush, instead of meat, milk or eggs, represents the height of elitist arrogance. As if the solution to food shortages is shipping sacks of grain to countries where people are starving for a whole variety of socio-economic, geographic and political issues—principally war, poverty and economic inequality—would solve the problem.