Did you know that your version of Internet Explorer is out of date?
To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend downloading one of the browsers below.

Internet Explorer 10, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

No, Animal Products are not being removed from the Canadian Food Guide

Like us on Facebook:

Vegans shouldn’t be quick to share excitement for a new and improved Health Canada food guide.

The Globe and Mail shared this week’s announcement of updates coming to the national nutrition outline in early 2018, by way of a “guiding principles” mission statement that–like the mystery of what constitutes a serving–is being blown out of proportion. Having stayed stagnant in it’s recommendations since 2007 (and arguably since 1985), they’ve decided to shift away from outdated themes of malnutrition and wartime rationing in favour of modern problems like preventing obesity and chronic illness. It’ll take a lot more meetings than just redesigning the angles of the food pyramid or finding a new way to divide those dinner plate diagrams into trendier, colour coded sections. No, the powers that be are going to attempt to give us new eating “rules” that take the environment, cultural diversity, and alternative diets into account. How buzzworthy!

But lest we forget that the guide has spent 75 years promoting the animal agriculture industries to cultivate profit, Hasan Hutchinson, director general of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion at Health Canada confirms my suspicions. He says “Some of what’s out there is taking it as saying: ‘No animal products whatsoever. What we’re talking about is going more plant-based, without necessarily eliminating animal products.”

Indeed, many have taken too quickly to Facebook to share their Canadian pride without realizing that the simple mention of wanting to add plant-based proteins to the list of recommended foods doesn’t mean a) that it’ll be part of the final guide and b) that it’ll eliminate animal products from the thumbs-up list. No matter what, animals will still be thrown under the bus.

I mean, tofu and beans were already listed as “meat alternatives,” will renaming those “plant-proteins” help? And do we really foresee all of the Canadian meat and dairy farmers welcoming finger wagging at their livelihoods graciously because they’ve watched What The Health, too? It all reads like a bit of a fairytale–something our Government doesn’t deal in unless it’s the fabrication of stories on calcium, protein, and how bad boys and girls who don’t comply to their “rules” aren’t truly Canadian.

Environmental sustainability and animal welfare are also rumoured to make an appearance in the booklet, but rooting for that is like rooting for reducetarianism; morally confusing. I for one will never promote what’s “better” for the environment when we know what’s best, or more “kind” to animals when we know what’s fair, or any perceived baby steps towards the health of my country when it still includes meat and dairy as healthful options. Veganism is the real solution that is still being avoided for profit.

Taking nutrition advice from the governing bodies that controls the creation and promotion of the very products that use animals, hurt ourselves, and damage the environment is laughable. With all the major health organizations in agreement that humans of all ages can be healthy on a vegan diet, any adaption to the food guide that doesn’t promote veganism is frivolous.

Like us on Facebook:
  • Kat

    Yes, you are right, the government is not removing animal products from the food guidelines. Vegans are painfully aware. However, you can’t blame us for being a little optimistic for once. If even the government promotes a focus on plant-based protein saying they have looked at all the current medical research and it is indeed healthier, that will empower a lot of (aspiring) vegans who are struggling to justify their choices to anybody who feels the need to have an opinion about what they eat.
    Also, I hope you do take the chance and participate in the public consultation that is still ongoing. It would have been nice to mention this in your article and let your readers know that they can still have a say. The deadline for the public consultation has actually been extended to Aug 14th. Even if you personally believe that our government should not have a say in what you eat, know that in reality, the new food guidelines will have an enormous influence on schools, hospitals, other public institutions and inevitably, everyone in this country.

    • Well said, Kat! It’s not entirely clear what the final version of the guide will say regarding dairy, but I hope that the decision to name water the “beverage of choice” will be extended to school-aged kids as well. It’s scandalous that our tax dollars subsidize dairy programmes in public schools. I, for one, would love to see that change. Putting dairy in public school is indoctrination as far as I’m concerned, and I think vegans (even ones that generally hate single issue campaigns) should support removing milk cards from public schools.

      • La Végétalienne

        I couldn’t agree more with you both. It would be naive to think that our government will publish a complete vegan guide. We can’t ask everybody to make the switch at the same pace, but I think we should at least be a little optomistic that some changes will be made in the right path…Rome wasn’t build in a day!

        • Exactly. Sometimes I feel like the writers at Ecorazzi just want us to sit and wring our hands in despair until the whole world is vegan. I don’t think celebrating small victories makes us traitors to the vegan cause. As long as we don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, I think it’s important to be happy for small wins.

  • Gerald Landry

    Meat is a conversion of grasses to muscle. A Value Added product that benefits from the Sunshine, Rainfall Grassland Cycle. Ruminants are Self Propelled and can do quite well on hay for the winter months. We wouldn’t want more Grassland Wildfires scorching the earth because pastures are left dormant to Rot and emit Co2 and methane.
    What are the Full Cycle Costs from Iron Mine, Smelter, Tractor factory, Oil Well, Pipeline, Refinery etc to power the Pharm Tractors needed for a Plant based Diet. What are the total Carbon Inputs Vs Free Range Ruminants? What are the Road Miles needed to Collect all the ingredients needed to make a Faux Substitute, water hydrated imitation Dairy Drink? How many thousands of Food Miles to deliver Almond Milk to Toronto from California?
    The Vegan Diet also relies on Air Transportation in the Off Season, along with fruit and oils shipped by Ocean Going Vessels, that pollute more than all the cars on the planet.
    Ruminants also provide dairy, fibre and hides for footwear. Wool is demonized by Vegans which is highly flame resistant and still keeps you warm if wet, Vs Oil Based Fabrics, Bamboo and Rayon cloth need the Clear Cutting of forests with the Neurotoxin Carbon Disulphide used in the Pulp Mill Process. Google “Toxic Silk” for the ill affects to the Mill and fabric plant workers.
    The life of a sheep for wool or Silkworm trumps human life and health in my opinion.

France’s ban of faux-meat branding won’t stop veganism

I’ll take “mycoproteinous food tube” over a tube of dead pig any day.

Concerned about endangered animals? Stop eating them

Methods of animal conservation that support the exploitation of animals don’t exist for the animals, they exist for human profit.

What you can do if live exports disturb you

The outcry should go further than importation and should be directed at the fact that the animals in question were on their way to slaughter in the first place.