Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition Blog

Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition

The Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about topics related to sports and sports fitness, general fitness, bodybuilding, nutrition, weight loss, and human health. Here, you'll find everything from nutritional information and advice about healthy eating to training and exercise tips for improving your overall well-being.

Previous in Blog: Hydration Tech for Hikers   Next in Blog: Olympic Sharpshooting Eyewear
Close
Close
Close
24 comments

Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

Posted August 16, 2016 1:11 PM by Hannes
Pathfinder Tags: italy vegan

I have a Facebook “friend” who’s recently crossed over to the Dark Side of constant activism. It seems he’s now an unofficial spokesperson for PETA, anti-horse-racing organizations, the Humane Society...the list goes on. His sudden online (and, I presume, in-person) behavior change directly followed his conversion to veganism, a relatively small group anecdotally known for their outspokenness about their lifestyle. (An old joke—Q: How can you spot a vegan at a dinner party? A: Don’t worry, he’ll let you know.)

Veganism—the increasingly popular diet forbidding consumption of any animal-related product—made the news this month when Italian lawmaker Elvira Savino introduced a bill to hold parents legally responsible for feeding their children “a diet devoid of elements essential for healthy and balanced growth.” Specifically, the bill proposes jailing a parent for a year for raising a child on a vegan diet, and up to seven if the child dies as a result of the diet. The bill seems like the culmination of a few unfortunate incidents in Italy, including the July 2016 hospitalization of a one-year-old vegan-fed boy who weighed as much as an average three-month-old.

It’s difficult to be completely objective about diet and nutrition. Each and every person has a unique metabolism and nutritional needs, so food is never a “one size fits all” proposition. Unfortunately, diet adherents who find amazing success tend to become fanatical about extending their beliefs to others, including their own children. One doesn’t have to look far to find stories of individuals who committed to a vegan commune, got very sick and malnourished, then have fellow vegans tell them they weren’t successful because they’re doing it wrong or not working hard enough. In reality, some people can’t maintain healthy blood chemistry without meat or eggs.

Veganism is also tricky from a scientific standpoint. The Vegan Society and other advocators talk a big game, claiming that vegans have a 33% reduced risk of premature death, lower BMIs, and lower risk of a host of diseases than those on a traditional Western diet. Adherents often point to The China Study, a bestselling 2006 book arguing that an animal-product-rich diet leads to health problems as varied as heart disease, diabetes, and various types of cancer. Based on a 20-year observational study of the diets, lifestyles, and disease rates of 6,500 people in rural China, the book advocates a whole-food, vegan, plant-based, no-cholesterol diet. The China Study has inspired millions of people to adopt veganism, often with excellent results.

Those interested in digging a little deeper into the statistics behind these claims find some holes. The China Study was purely observational and was therefore unable to prove a solid causality, and the data indicated that wheat intake had a stronger correlation than animal protein intake; the authors left this fact out of the bestselling book. Critics of the study also point out that the data was collected during the relative starvation following the end of Chairman Mao’s rule, so veganism and lower calorie intake—the latter of which also results in the reduction of disease and early death—was probably not a choice but a necessity. Advocating a zero-cholesterol diet is somewhat extreme and potentially dangerous: science has been largely unable to prove that the lipid is directly related to heart disease, and it’s an essential nutrient for brain development and makes up 30% of all animal cell membranes. Just about the only objective truth stated in the book is the recommendation to trade processed foods and refined sugars for whole foods. The study cited as supporting the 33% reduced risk of death was not specific to veganism, but rather compared the mortality of people who ate seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day (like good vegans do) with those who ate less than one portion; animal protein consumption is completely absent.

People don’t go vegan solely because of perceived health benefits. It’s hard to argue with an ethical vegan altering their diet to protest factory farming or killing of other sentient life forms. Environmental vegans believe that the livestock industry is environmentally unsustainable and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and accordingly avoid animal products to break the cycle. Doing a little more active critical thinking about the state of our food system can, and maybe should, be horrifying.

Figuring out how to effectively feed dependent children is even more complex and difficult than eating right and maintain personal health. If passed, the Italian bill would likely cause a stir among the passionate vegans of the world. But it might be a step closer to a good solid maxim to live by: Freely hold and share your beliefs and values, but also incorporate a little common sense.

Image credit: Takver from Australia (Its Time to Evolve - Go Vegan) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 30951
Good Answers: 1727
#1

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 1:19 PM

Too bad smugness isn't a fatal disease....

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22636
Good Answers: 409
#2

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 1:58 PM

Smug Alert!

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22636
Good Answers: 409
#3
In reply to #2

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 2:02 PM

But seriously, ok,.... semi-seriously

a few years back,... don't recall when time flies faster as you get older.

The representative of PETA, also can't recall her name... (memory fails too as you get older) was ordered by her doctor to begin eating red meat because she was so anemic.

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 30951
Good Answers: 1727
#4
In reply to #3

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 2:35 PM

Don't keep us in suspense, did she comply or succumb....?...I mean after all if she's not willing to die for her cause, then is she really a true believer?

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22636
Good Answers: 409
#5
In reply to #4

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 2:48 PM

Sorry to leave you sitting on edge like that....It has been a while.... and frankly I was googling it to get more information to fill in the memory blanks I have about it. just to reinforce my post.

No, she didn't die, but was prompted it is that she had fainted. it was quite embarrassing for her. The doctor suggested, prescribed???? of her eating red meat.

The only other thing I have to go on, is that PETA at the same time was running ads to college campus's, that was basically that its better to drink beer then eat meat.

And at all places, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Where you need no excuse to drink beer.

After the back lash, they pulled the ad.

I'll look some more.

As far as dying for the cause, one time.... PETA tie a calf out in Washington DC to protest how inhumanely the farmer treat their animal. It was out in the open so people would be able to pet the baby cow.

Unfortunately, the temperature was in the high 90's, the calf had no shade or water and PETA knows absolutely Jack CHIT of animal husbandry the calf died of dehydration.

I heard this on the farm reports on the radio AND I TRIED LOOKING FOR THIS ON GOOGLE AND I CAN'T FIND CHIT.

I just wonder if they (PETA) scrubbed the internet of this bad PR.

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Caerdydd, Cymru
Posts: 155
Good Answers: 11
#14
In reply to #5

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/17/2016 2:54 AM

...... or (more likely) it simply never happened.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Earth - I think.
Posts: 2143
Good Answers: 165
#6

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 3:55 PM

"His sudden online (and, I presume, in-person) behavior change directly followed his conversion to veganism"

Let me guess: Shortly before he converted to veganism, he met a new girlfriend.

__________________
TANSTAAFL (If you don't know what that means, Google it - yourself)
Reply
Power-User
Hobbies - Musician - New Member Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 437
Good Answers: 6
#7
In reply to #6

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 3:56 PM

I'll do you one better--he married one.

__________________
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. -Camus
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Hobbies - Musician - New Member Hobbies - Car Customizing - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Engineering Fields - Power Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: FL Space Coast
Posts: 536
Good Answers: 14
#16
In reply to #6

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/17/2016 6:48 AM

Ah yes, the fairer sex. Likely responsible for more than 50 percent of man's questionable decisions.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 7959
Good Answers: 284
#23
In reply to #6

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/19/2016 2:06 AM

__________________
Eternal vigilance is the price of knowledge. - George Santayana
Reply
2
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South of Minot North Dakota
Posts: 8378
Good Answers: 774
#8

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 4:03 PM

If only us meat eaters acted like they do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0O_VYcsIk8

Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Power-User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 413
Good Answers: 23
#19
In reply to #8

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/17/2016 9:49 AM

That's hilarious.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: About 4000 miles from the center of the earth (+/-100 mi)
Posts: 9046
Good Answers: 1031
#9

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 4:55 PM

As a vegan you can't eat animal protein, and they have removed wheat protein from everything (gluten-free). That just leaves beans, I guess.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 30951
Good Answers: 1727
#10
In reply to #9

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 5:10 PM

Beans are Babies!! Don't eat the Babies!!!

A Dingoman ate my babies!!!

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 1680
Good Answers: 33
#11

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 8:00 PM

Human beings are pickers and hunters, meaning that our ancestors ate what the found on the ground or on a plant or were able to hunt / fish.... but trying to get a vegan to understand this is nearly imposible, as they are fundamentalists. So, let´s them eat beans and leaves and mother nature to do her natural selection.

__________________
the more I move, the deeper I get stuck !
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 30951
Good Answers: 1727
#12
In reply to #11

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/16/2016 8:23 PM

Vegan grazers...?

Hey, there was a dog just , ah ,,, nevermind....

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Reply
6
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 7192
Good Answers: 416
#13

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/17/2016 1:48 AM

While I have no particular fondness for people who wish to force their views and practices on others, I also abhor the idea that the government (Italy or whoever) will dictate to parents what they should and should not feed their children. I believe most developed countries have laws against child neglect, and malnutrition (regardless of the cause) would be one form of child neglect. A malnourished child would then become a ward of the state and cared for under their laws. Singling out vegans is not appropriate. After all, Bubba is or was at one time a vegan.

Reply Good Answer (Score 6)
4
Guru
Engineering Fields - Instrumentation Engineering - EE from the the Wilds of Pa.

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2603
Good Answers: 63
#18
In reply to #13

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/17/2016 8:47 AM

We're not so different in the USA. Our government is trying to force us to eat what they deem proper. Did you know that vending machine operators are now required by law to label ALL food sold with nutritional labels, even sandwiches, so we know how many calories we are consuming, and how much fat and sodium? We have a law to attempt to force us to see what we are eating and adjust appropriately.

So, the story here - we had a local restaurant selling their deli sandwiches in a vending machine in my work place. They quit because it would have cost a small fortune to have the hundred or so different sandwiches rated by a lab, and the fines for not complying were worse. We had food made just like at home, or in many cases, much better, for several years. Nice oven cooked turkey sandwiches. Burgers that weren't shriveled and hard, and were from hand shaped patties of fresh ground beef. Oven roasted beef sandwiches, and so on. Not store bought mass produced overly salted processed meats. So what do we have now? A vendor who complies and has the food improved as hoped for by the idiots who penned that law? No! Now we have the mass produced crap with lots of sodium added and added chemicals to preserve freshness, and, yes, the burgers are shriveled and hard. But, if I want to eat them, and I don't, I know exactly how much fat and sodium I am getting. Nice try Big Brother, but, you blew it big time. Now it is better for me to eat the potato chips and cheese curls. Great dietary improvement here.

Government sticks their noses into daily personal choices, and things always go amuck.

__________________
Remember when reading my post: (-1)^½ m (2)^½
Reply Good Answer (Score 4)
2
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: About 4000 miles from the center of the earth (+/-100 mi)
Posts: 9046
Good Answers: 1031
#22
In reply to #18

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/17/2016 9:13 PM

“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”
Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/205.Robert_A_Heinlein

Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member Technical Fields - Education - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 1194
Good Answers: 24
#21
In reply to #13

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/17/2016 11:07 AM

My husband's niece, who's a vegetarian, lives in Italy with her husband and their two (very healthy) children. I'll have to ask her about this cockamamie -- to me at least -- policy. I know she and her husband would be scofflaws.

I remember stories here and there of children who died because their parent or parents followed extremely restrictive diets for whatever reason. None of the stories I remember were about vegan diets. I've known people who grew up in vegetarian (but not vegan) families and who were perfectly fine. And kids who grew up with parents who fed them whatever junk food they wanted, without a thought for nutrition, who also were apparently fine. Seems to me that nutritious diets can be achieved in any number of ways as long as the eater takes care to get the correct nutrients.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Commentator

Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: England
Posts: 86
Good Answers: 1
#15

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/17/2016 5:23 AM

Being from the UK where People Eating tasty Animals is the norm I'm aware that public proclamation of being a Vegan is seen more as 'virtue signalling' by the smug middle classes than anything else. If they want not to use or consume animal products that up to them, but don't try forcing your ideology on me, I'm an omnivore like most of nature.

The italian law may seem extreme, but no more than a lot of Vegans are in their application of their lifestyle choice to their children, and pets, funnily enough the animal protection charities here don't seem to want to pursue malnourished pet cases when Vegans are involved.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22636
Good Answers: 409
#17
In reply to #15

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/17/2016 7:46 AM

What I understand, Vegan is more of a dietary choice than animal rights. As far as animal rights such as PETA. I don't fully believe they understand, what products come from animals go into everyday items everyone uses.... or refuse to understand.

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Reply
3
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Madison, WI.
Posts: 2093
Good Answers: 80
#20

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/17/2016 9:56 AM

HOW COULD YOU!!!! Don't you know those vegetables were inhumanely raised, selectively bred, genetically altered, and packed tightly together on gigantic factory farms, fed a diet of constant chemicals and sprayed with poisons while being deprived of enough space to spread their roots or allowed to mingle with other plants. They are cruelly slaughtered by the acre at the peak of their lives often ripped apart with only the children being kept and used and the rest discarded in the field, left to rot in the sun. These offspring are then starved to death in lightless warehouses while they await being ground, mashed, boiled, and irradiated. Often suffering in silence because vegans dont care about plants. PLANTS HAVE FEELING TOO!

__________________
Knowing is the end result of learning, not believing.
Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain. Kettle's on.
Posts: 30310
Good Answers: 817
#24

Re: Go to Jail for Raising a Vegan?

08/21/2016 8:41 AM
  • Does this thing go as far as not putting animal manure on the fields as fertiliser (rhetorical question - NNTR)? If animals were not eaten, there wouldn't be so many of them around!

This whole matter is one of personal taste, and decisions about it are personal to the individual. To legislate around it is quite abstruse.

<unsubscribes>

__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 24 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

BestInShow (1); Brave Sir Robin (1); evanmjones (1); Hannes (1); IanR (1); Kilowatt0 (1); Neiljohn (1); phoenix911 (4); Phys (1); PWSlack (1); r&ddoc (1); rashavarek (1); Rixter (2); SolarEagle (4); tcmtech (1); truth is not a compromise (1); wrenchtwirler (1)

Previous in Blog: Hydration Tech for Hikers   Next in Blog: Olympic Sharpshooting Eyewear

Advertisement