46 Million

46 million turkeys are eaten every Thanksgiving. My friend Chloe told me this statistic and showed me this awesome art campaign that wants to create a remembrance of those turkeys and bring awareness to the fate they have during the holiday season.


Compassion

When I brought this information to one of my classmates, they told me that they feel badly, but eating turkey is part of their family’s tradition. I think a lot of people feel this way.

I grew up eating turkey on Thanksgiving, as well as mashed potatoes that had milk and butter in them and non-vegan pumpkin pie. But for me, the tradition isn’t made by the food. Thanksgiving at my house is really just an excuse to get together with all of my extended family. We have those poppers, where one person takes one end and the other takes the other end and you pull, and it pops and inside is a paper crown and a little toy. It seems like there are always at least 10 little kids running around, and we take lots of pictures and love being with each other.

I know other people have different experiences and traditions, and maybe the turkey dinner really is a large part of that. But when it comes down to it, on a day I am supposed to be giving thanks, I want to be appreciative of all of Earth and its creatures. I want to show respect to my fellow beings and know that my dinner table does not contribute to the 46 million lives that are taken on Thanksgiving.

Here are some links to websites that can give you ideas and recipes for your vegan Thanksgiving!


Vegan Thanksgiving dinner table

http://www.meettheshannons.com/the-procrastinators-guide-to-a-vegan-thanksgiving/

http://gentleworld.org/vegan-menu-for-a-gentle-thanksgiving/

http://www.ourbodybook.com/eat/vegan-thanksgiving-meal-guide/

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More Vegan Myths?!

Your Blood Type Determines Your Diet

Recently, I was talking to a friend and he told me that his blood type requires him to eat a lot of meat in his diet. I was intrigued by this concept–that your blood type could determine your diet. Clearly, I had never heard of Peter J. D’Adamo and his book Eat Right For Your Type (1996). All my research as to why my friend thought he had to adhere to pointed to D’Adamo, so I did some further research on him.

eat right for your type

His book is all about how a person’s blood type affects how their body responds to certain food. For example, he said that people with blood type O require a lot of meat in their diet, but little to no dairy. Blood type A make the best vegetarians, and blood type B are good omnivores. D’Adamo says these dietary needs are traced back to hunter-gatherer times. Who your ancestors are determines your blood type and therefore the food you should eat.

Turns out, there isn’t much scientific evidence to back this up. Many websites I visited made it clear that science does not support D’Adamo’s theory. Dr. David L. Katz of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center wrote, “the idea that we have the exact same dietary needs as ancestors who walked the savannas in 50,000 B.C. is extremely far-fetched, and helps explain why most respected medical experts do not support this approach. Worry about your blood type when you need a transfusion, not a meal.”

If you want to find out more about the blood type diet, you can visit this website, which lays it out very nicely: http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=214387. However, even this supportive website includes the statement: “The theory that our blood type determines what we should eat or what kind of exercise we should do is not supported by scientific evidence.”

 http://www.oprah.com/health/Blood-Type-Diet-Fact-vs-Fiction-Nutrition

Being Vegan = Being Healthy

I have heard some people recently get upset over people saying they are vegan because they think that by saying you are vegan, you are claiming you are healthier than everyone else. Not only is it not true that this is what vegans are implying, but it’s not even necessarily true that vegans are healthy.

Let me just start off by saying that by avoiding meat and animal products, vegans are less susceptible to many foodborne illnesses, such as E. Coli and salmonella. Eliminating our consumption of milk also helps combat allergies and many everyday complaints such as cramps and stomach aches. While this all is true*, it does not necessarily mean vegans are healthier.

Not all vegans only eat “healthy” foods. Take me for example. I eat lots of unhealthy food: almond milk ice cream, cookies and brownies, and lots and lots of chocolate. My choice in snack foods could probably use a little work, as I usually go for the sweet and salty foods rather than carrots and hummus or something else healthy. I also don’t like cooked leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, and I’m really not a fan of rice or tofu. I am not under the impression that just because I’m vegan, I’m super healthy, and neither are other vegans.

dream bites

*Fuhrman, Joel. Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. New York: Little, Brown, 2011. Print.

“Foodborne Illness: What Consumers Need to Know.” Foodborne Illness: What Consumers Need to Know. USDA, 07 Aug. 2013. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/foodborne-illness-and-disease/foodborne-illness-what-consumers-need-to-know/ct_index

http://nutritionstudies.org/mystique-of-protein-implications/

Back to Protein

The myth that vegans cannot get enough protein without strictly monitoring their diet was discussed, and hopefully debunked, in my first post: Vegan 101. Recently, I came across this great article that outlines exactly why you don’t need to eat meat to get plenty of protein. It discusses the misconceptions about protein–especially protein derived from meat and animal products–and also talks about how consuming animal products can greatly increase a person’s risk of cancer. Check it out (it’s long but worth it):

center for nutrition studies

http://nutritionstudies.org/mystique-of-protein-implications/

In Other News

New York was recently titled as the most vegan friendly state in America! Congratulations to those of you who live in New York. To you vegans who do not, I would suggest packing up your stuff and getting on a train right now.

new york

Okay, maybe don’t do that. But you can check out this rather humorous article that will surely make you feel proud to be part of the group that built a vegetable skyline of New York (no sarcasm intended).

http://www.usnews.com/news/entertainment/articles/2014/09/17/nyc-praised-as-most-vegan-friendly-in-us