Can My Recommendations Prevent Failure to Thrive?
A couple weeks ago, I was made aware of the website and blog, Let Them Eat Meat, written by Rhys Southan. He had mentioned me in a post and someone forwarded it to me. I spent a few minutes looking around the site and found it very interesting. Rhys is an ex-vegan and the site is basically a criticism of many aspects of the vegan movement, some of which I can’t say I disagree with. He was vegan for many years, didn’t feel healthy, mentally or physically, and went back to eating meat and felt a lot better.
There was a point when I was lazy about B12 pills and relied on supplemented nutritional yeast and soy milk (the vegan health argument at that time downplayed the need for B12, which convinced me this was adequate), but I got into taking B12 more regularly after enduring Restless Legs Syndrome for a few months.
Still, I didn’t follow Norris’ exact recommendations. For one thing, I didn’t know who the hell he was. And even if I had, Norris is constantly revising his recommendations in response to new research, and the B12 dosage Norris now stands behind was posted in March of this year, so that wouldn’t have helped anyway.
I would like to clarify some of this:
1. Though my recommendations have helped many people (who were not coming even close to following them), I do not think that following them insures that someone will have no trouble being vegan.
2. My recommendations do not need to be followed exactly to get most of the benefit. If you followed my pre-March vitamin B12 recommendations, you should not feel any different in the short term than following the new recommendations. Tweaking my B12 recommendations is for preventing long-term, chronic disease, not for daily feelings of well-being.
3. For the main nutrients I focus on (B12, omega-3s, vitamin D, calcium, iodine, vitamin A), I probably change my recommendations for any given nutrient no more than once every 5 years, and I rarely change them by much. My vitamin B12 recommendations change in March was the first I’ve made since about 2003.
4. If new evidence shows me that my recommendations need to be changed, I change them.
5. Restless leg syndrome could very well be from a vitamin B12 deficiency and my recommendations now or at the time might have helped this aspect of Rhys’ health; and it’s possible they could have even improved his mental issues as well. But, that said, see #1 above.
I am interested in reading more of Rhys’ site and possibly responding to things I find of interest, such as the below. Perhaps this is a good place for me to state for any new readers that I am a vegan to prevent animal suffering. There are some worthwhile health benefits, but those are side-benefits for me.
Rhys states in his post linked above:
In my case, when I grocery shop, I buy mostly organ meats. And when I go to a restaurant, I look for the organ option the way a vegan looks for the vegan option. I do this because I think fewer animals will need to be raised and killed if more of the animal parts are used. In that sense, I am accomplishing exactly what vegans are — fewer animals are being born. (But I recognize that my consumer choices are almost totally insignificant in this regard; like veganism, this is a symbolic gesture).
That’s probably true – just like in voting, your vote is unlikely to make a difference. But if enough vegans create a critical mass such that less animals are raised, it is probably in proportion to how many vegans there are and, at that point, one vegan could make a real difference to some animals.
Please note that I don’t allow comments through that are impolite or disrespectful.