Health

An Open Letter to Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson on vegans

Dear Mr. Peterson,

I discovered your persona a while ago and was amazed by your intellectualism, eloquence, and remarkable degree of intelligence. Full of admiration, I listened for hours to your reflections on the human condition, the inevitability of suffering, and your propositions to minimize it. Until I saw a Youtube video in which you urged people who suffer from depression, to eat bacon and eggs, or in other words, to eat suffering, for breakfast. Words do not suffice to explain my level of disappointment to realize that you, an internationally recognized, respected and highly knowledgeable professor, are simultaneously utterly clueless about one of the most agonizing problematics in human history, that has become particularly alarming in postmodernity: the abominable treatment of our fellow earthlings and the devastating effects this treatment generates on the environment, our fellow humans, and the wellbeing of animals.

You tell your audience that the meaning of life is to give life a meaning and that we should try to reduce our suffering by becoming meaningful to our surroundings, yet you advise it to increase its own suffering by consuming acidic carcinogens, to increase the suffering of 56 billion non-human animals that are violently killed for food on a yearly basis, and to increase the suffering of the common habitat, that is on the verge of annihilation due to climatological catastrophes majorly resulting from extreme pollution caused by animal agriculture. You tell your followers, many of which are highly influenceable youngsters, that animals do not have rights because they can not shoulder obligations. In that line of thinking, handicapped people and infants shouldn’t be granted any rights, since they too, are incapable of shouldering obligations. And, are these animals not obliged to undergo rape, abuse, isolation, mutilation, torture and a violent death because humans force them to? Regardless of whether animals do or don’t have rights, we, as superior humans, have the moral obligation to not exploit and kill those who can not defend themselves.

You accuse people who identify with any group of tribalism, but you are guilty of it yourself, since you choose to be part of a tribe. Today, this tribe is the oldest and has the largest amount of members of all tribes that existed throughout the history of mankind. It in fact comprises the majority of the earth's population, and sternly believes that humans are superior to animals, that animals are beings devoid of rights and can therefore be treated as the members of the tribe wish. The tribe you, perhaps unconsciously, take sides with, totally disregards the ability of animals to feel pain, fear, and all the other emotions you so eagerly ascribe to the only beings who truly have rights in your eyes. Well guess what, Mr. Peterson, despite your intelligence and brilliant rhetoric, you lack the very thing that is an absolute necessity for the survival and ethical evolution of mankind: compassion, a trait you mention pejoratively as ‘pity’, but which is the most sophisticated form of altruism, and of which the opposite, egoism, has been the major cause of all the tragedy this world has known. It is impossible to find an antidote to our own pain by making choices that increase the pain of others. “Do to others as you would have them do to you”, because ultimately, harming others will harm yourself. To diminish our own suffering is a great accomplishment, but to diminish the suffering of others is the highest moral good.

I sincerely hope you will take the time to profoundly research how exactly the bacon and eggs you recommend arrived on our plates, change your mind, and reformulate your message in which you extend your sympathy to not only the members of your tribe, but to the animals and to the compassionate who dedicate their lives to open the eyes and hearts of those who trivialise non-human animal suffering. Many of the most brilliant figures in the history of humanity understood that the self-proclaimed dominion of humans over animals is counterproductive to our prosperity, and the time is ripe for you to join them. After all, we should never stop striving to evolve and transcend our lesser selves… At least, that’s what I once heard a Canadian professor say.

Alexandra Villers
Vegr Contributor, Political Commentator, Pianist, Animal Rights Activist

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Why All Parents Should Feed Their Kids a Vegan Diet

vegan diet for children

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT OR SO THE SAYING GOES. 

An array of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes is a super boost of vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, carbohydrates amino acids, and everything in between to help your body succeed. No one seems to dispute that, but what about meat, dairy, and eggs?

What about children with their differing diet needs than adults? Don’t they need milk for strong bones and teeth?  What about protein for their growing bodies? If the other parents are frying bacon and eggs for breakfast, packing meat sandwiches for school lunch, and ordering out pizzas for dinner, how is my child ever going to survive?

Eating habits are set early in life.  Do we want to set the stage for our children to grow up eating cancer inducing meats, inflammation causing dairy, and cholesterol loaded eggs from sentient beings who don’t want to be included on our plates?  Or do we want our children to grow up with compassion for others, consuming a vegan diet which includes a rainbow of plants, beans, and grains?

The answer is simple: A vegan diet is the only way to live, thrive, and reduce our negative impact on Earth. 

You see too many children in all age ranges that are obese.  You see too many children on antidepressants, miserable with multiple allergies, and diagnosed with all sorts of ailments.   Is veganism for your family a cure-all?  Of course not, but veganism creates many health opportunities for people of all ages. 

Raising healthy children is challenging, but teaching them early about nutrition and including them in food preparation is the key to lifelong habits.  Introducing a variety of foods encompassing fruits and vegetables at a young age is a positive step for their future. 

But aren’t they missing out on the health benefits of consuming animal products? By introducing them from the start to veganism, they won’t crave cheeseburgers, bacon, and pizza.   They WILL be missing nitrates, antibiotics, growth hormones, and the horror of animal agriculture. 

Maybe you’re worried about your kids fitting in. What about school, birthday celebrations, and their peers?  Isn’t being a teenager hard enough?

The meat, dairy, and egg industries have spent a fortune on false advertisements since forever. 

“Beef, It’s What's For Dinner!” 

“The Incredible Edible Egg!”

“Milk Does a Body Good!”

These were all hugely successful financial campaigns for the industry.  Remember all the celebrity milk mustaches?

Animal agriculture lobbyists have bought Congress hook, line, and sinker.  That’s the reason behind that Food Pyramids and the more recent My Plate food diagram from the government politely pushing their agenda on what people should eat and what they shouldn’t eat.  It has to be ok if the government tells you it is, right?

Not exactly.

Old school thinking is slowly but surely eroding away. 

More people are turning to plant-based meals for a multitude of reasons.  Health, compassion, and our environment are just a few.

Meatless Mondays are popular.   Schools all over the world are either adopting vegan meals or at least offering more vegan choices for their students. 

Vegan bakeries are popping up everywhere producing amazing cakes, cookies, and all sorts of sweets for every occasion.  At the rate veganism is growing, vegan options are too. 

As the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stated in 2016, “ Vegan diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and athletics. 

As you can see, veganism is a win-win for everyone, especially children, as it will lead to a “forever”  lifestyle encouraging future generations of healthy and physically wealthy people! 

Monica Hewitt
Vegr Contributor
www.veganbitchcancook.com


Do you believe the plant-based community derserves more? So do we! Join us today and let's take things to the next level!

 

I Hated the Numbers on the Scale Looking Back At Me: The last straw that finally made me change my diet

I was used to being lazy after getting home from work, diving on the couch, and eating some processed junk before I ate my crappy dinner. So the first step wasn’t to start using a meal plan, or even finding one. The first step was…

Is Veganism Healthy? Here's What Most People Don't Know

vegan health benefits

One huge mistake people make when thinking of veganism is that all vegans are healthy, which couldn't be any further from the truth. I've seen a lot of vegans live off of processed snacks and empty calories, with very few vegetables or whole foods in their everyday diet. I used to make sure I drank at least 8 cups of water every day. I'd only have red meat a few times a month. I’d make sure I ate fish 2-3 times a week – of course, combined with vegetable sides. I wouldn't ever drink milk, and my post-workout meals usually consisted of eggs or a shake – cause, ya know, protein. I was the healthiest I'd ever been in my life. Or so I thought. I look back on those days and can only shake my head at what I actually thought was the picture of health looked like. I was admittedly ignorant and wouldn't find out what being truly healthy really was until I committed to going vegan. And as I dived deeper into the world of healthy vegan eating, I discovered a few health benefits I either didn’t know or hadn’t considered.

Disease Reduction

I know many vegans state vitality and enthusiasm as a major vegan benefit, but I think because it usually takes years of misuse before things (especially our bodies) start to break down, we take the pitfalls that a bad diet brings and don’t take it seriously. We forget about the reduction and reversal from potential diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and high blood pressure – to name a few – and keep doing what we’ve been doing – because it’s comfortable. But for anyone reading this, I implore you to go further with your research and learn all you can about. This is a great place to start: www.nutritionfacts.org

More Energy

You’ve got to take it easy on your digestive system – which of course, is all about what you eat. It makes all the difference when it comes to your energy levels. Especially since animal foods are much more difficult for your body to digest.

An overworked digestive system can make you feel lethargic and constantly tired. A plant-based diet can eliminate all of that and get your energy levels back to where they naturally should be. Which means no more mid-afternoon fatigue and coffee binging. And a better, more productive you – every day.

Stronger Bones

Cows milk does not give anyone strong bones, except for baby calves whom it’s genetically made for. And it really is insanity to think anything different.

But another reality that many people don’t know it that calcium also isn’t the end-all be-all in terms of keeping your bones strong. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important, but not the ONLY way to have strong bones. Eating a wide-ranging and balanced diet will aid you in meeting your requirements for other nutrients needed for bone health – most notably, vitamin K. Staying active and challenging your body is also ideal. Activities that require weight-bearing movements is definitely the way to go if keeping your bones strong is something you want as you grow older.

Stay Young Forever

Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little by saying you’ll stay young forever by eating vegan.  But there’s still some validity to it. Many vegans point to veganism as the reason for their healthier, clearer, less zitty skin. Myself being one of them. Because I have oily skin, blackheads used to frequently visit the area around my nostrils. And that all cleared up when I ditched animal products. Come to think of it,  don’t know any vegans with bad skin. I’m not saying they’re all models or anything, they just don’t have bad skin. Which makes sense because eating a plant-based diet means they're injecting more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and water than most people do.

A plant-based diet also promotes collagen production, which is important since collagen is naturally lost collagen as we age, and makes skin look thinner, saggier and more wrinkled.

Better Sleep

When you go vegan, it’s undeniable (for many) that you’ll notice that you have improved sleep. And that has everything to do with the food you consume.

Not only are vegan foods light, but they also are rich in nutrients that aid sleep and, basically, you being able to sleep peacefully. Plant-based foods are usually high in vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium, which help in your body producing serotonin – which relaxes the body and mind.

 

Are we biased?

 

Yes! A million times over. But that’s because we not only read study after study backing veganism, we’ve FELT the results too. So, of course, we’re going to be a little biased. That being said, I implore you to do your own research and see for yourselves if veganism is all that we say it is.

 

–Gerry Warren
Vegr Co-Founder

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