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The Vegan Nightmare for Quartz is my Vegan Dream

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You might think that a vegan nightmare revolves around the sudden scarcity of nutritional yeast or forgetting the recommended daily allowance of protein when quizzed by a non-vegan. But for Quartz, the vegan nightmare is actually what non-vegans might describe around a fire pit with a flashlight pointed up at the underside of their chins; a world without animal products. OooOooooo!

No hooks for hands, no phantom entanglements, just the suggestion of the United States food system shifting to support people eating nothing but plants is enough to TERRIFY the liberal storytellers. Thirty-six news media bullshit weavers like Quartz (to be exact) have taken a National Academy of Sciences fable of death-by-deficiencies and have run with it. Yup, in this week’s instalment of How to take the piss out of veganism, it’s a new attempt to validate animal use by predicting nationwide veggie-munching as the rise of the apocalypse. I wish I were exaggerating, but they literally say the ‘vegan dream’ (more accurately, it would be a plant-based dream) would be catastrophic for public health and the environment. Not since the fear mongering of the Zika virus have we had a reason to be so tightly tucked into our beds at night, with our blankets and the word of biased scientists as the only things to shield us from the horrors of the world.

Here are the circumstances the study purposed would come into play if animals were removed from the dinner table; available food would increase by 23% thanks to all that animal feed (mostly corn and soy) we’d have kicking around, we’d have an excess of some key nutrients (carbohydrates, magnesium, copper, and cysteine) thanks to all that grain, and in exchange for that carb-happy buffet, we’d face a decreased (not non-existent) supply of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, B12, arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic fatty acids.

Yes, those scary sounding scientific names for fatty acids that create Omega-3’s in our bodies and the more easily pronounced vitamins that we usually steal from the flesh of animals would no longer be blindly ingested and shriek!–“Americans would be forced to more carefully consider their diets to ensure they did not become deficient.” I mean, I’d argue that cancer, heart-disease, diabetes, and those without enough to eat is more catastrophic than having to supplement, but fatty acids, guys. Instead of downing the non-vegan recommended 12 to 16 ounces of “cold-water fatty fish” that we know most people are not eating (or even vaguely aware of), they’d probably want to source a vegan algae based DHA to meet their needs. There are enough infographics in existence that would help solve the the others queries, surely, along with the continuing existence of I dunno, calcium and vitamin A rich broccoli. But it would take a whole cup of broccoli with our meals and it’s my understanding that the general public still fears greens are the devil. But they ignore that the demand of 323 (or so) million now-vegan Americans would no doubt breed widespread supplement availability and affordability, and they stick with the whole “better to get nutrients from a rotting corpse than a chewable gummy” confusion. The author also sits not-so-patiently on their hands, waiting for the release of “bio-mimic” meat (what a solution) because lab made tablets are SO GROSS and lab made meat is SO AWESOME.

Before I upchuck my hard-earned reserves of B12, I better move on to the bit about how animal agriculture is somehow better for our planet than opting out. Contrary to the whole evil-vegan-agenda undertone of the Quartz piece, the study found agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would drop by a whopping 28%. Before we get too excited, that figure is quickly diminished by insisting that’s just 2.6% of the total GHG emissions the US creates. But even THAT is then circled around again by the admission that a single study can’t lock it down (what this author considers “slippery” to discuss) asprevious studies have ball-parked the same animal husbandry caused degradation to be closer to the 18% mark worldwide. Now, if like me you’re not a mathematician, and if you’re still stuck on GHG = cow farts equation, this probably doesn’t mean much when you’re deciding what to pack for lunch. Shouting mixed measurements for invisible gases is much more scary than education, and fear is the almighty motivator here. Exact figures aside, it’s clearly understood that raising animals causes GHG and that without it, we’d drop our impact. To dwell on that fact it’s not enough is to look around at a fire and insist one fire extinguisher is worse than none. It also does what this study and Quartz are famously good at doing; it ignores the victims (the animals) entirely.

Are you wondering why a seemingly irrelevant study was published by the National Academy of Science, or why it’s predictions are being dry-heaved by so many news media outlets? I’ll give you a hint: it starts with a ‘P’ and rhymes with giant panda. Yes, this particularly gleaming piece of propaganda is brought to you by Robin R. White of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at Virginia Tech and Mary Beth Hall of the US Dairy Forage Research Centre at the US Department of Agriculture. The study is done by two people who make bank by promoting the use of animals, and in this case, get paid to further deter people from veganism. So although the National Academy of Sciences included a “the authors declare no conflict of interest” line at the bottom to try to reassure us of the cleanliness of this ‘shocking’ new info, this couldn’t be more of a conflict unless it was published on the discarded wrapper of a Whopper. They even snuck in to the abstract summary of the study that the US livestock industry is responsible for $31.8 billion in exports. SO?! They could have just have easily said “we’d rather everyone continued on eating animals so we can continue on with our great paycheques.”

But this is so much bigger than the salaries of Mary Beth and Robin R. This is the $138 billion US dollars the Federal Government funds agriculture with, and the literal bread and butter of the industry. They’d like us to believe that the socioeconomic status of the public is the driving force for many to not adopt a healthier diet, but it’s the wealth of the governing bodies that stands to face deficiency if the people accept change. We need to keep the status quo, and all veganism is doing is challenging it. These studies have never been about how a plant-based diet will affect Joe or Joe’s lawn, its about convincing Joe and his neighbours that this vegan “hooey” will make them sick, broke, or off the winning team.

Want to know what the real vegan nightmare is? Seeing time and time again that money wins out over justice. The nightmare is knowing that even science can fail us when the message is pre-determine and purchased before a single thought is conceptualized. It’s a nightmare knowing that for every piece of support for veganism that’s shared, there’s two published against it. The nightmare is 56 billion land animals and trillions of sea life being killed for human use each year, all to the detriment of our health and our planet.

But the silver lining is that we’ve scared them into theorizing a vegan future. Going vegan and helping others to do the same is the only way to afford animals the fundamental justice they are due. The ripple of that ethical practice is better health and less damage to our home. We need not continue to pass around horror stories of malnourished vegans when the real perpetrators of fear are the same ones telling us non-violence hurts more than it helps. This vegan can’t wait to see this ‘vegan nightmare’ become part of the new American dream.

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