The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly known as the American Dietetic Association, are the largest organization of health and nutrition professionals in the world. Although many people don’t realize this, they have maintained since 2009 that vegan diets are healthful and appropriate for all.
Now, they have updated their position, and vegans might not like it very much…
They’ll love it!
In addition to the many previously noted health benefits, the organization has now updated their position to add the dramatic ecological benefits of a vegan diet, stating:
“Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage.”
Not just less environmental damage, much less.
(Maybe in their next update, they’ll include the fact that vegan diets are also beneficial to the trillions of land and sea animals either bred or removed from their habitats annually and globally specifically to be exploited and slaughtered by humans for no vital reason. Just habit, tradition, and apathy. But, hey, we'll take this for now!)
The AND’s international counterparts actually have similar positions stating that vegan diets are appropriate for humanity. These groups include:
Dietitians of Canada
The British National Health Service
The British Nutrition Foundation
The Dietitians Association of Australia
Other organizations with similar positions that vegan diets are appropriate for human beings include:
The United States Department of Agriculture
The National Health and Medical Research Council
The Mayo Clinic
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Harvard Medical School
(Those not hyperlinked above have all been painstakingly summarized and hyperlinked here.)
This professional consensus flies in the face of the antiquated belief that human diets must include the flesh and reproductive secretions of our finned, feathered, or furry friends in order to meet our nutritional needs and allow us to thrive.
In fact, with multiple professional athletes including Olympians having adopted this diet with flying colors, the only people who still seem to claim vegan diets aren’t healthy enough are those with personal and/or vested interests in continuing the animal-based status quo, your Uncle Bill at the last family holiday, or your run of the mill internet troll.
So I have a question for you. Why continue to insist on animal exploitation and slaughter when there are readily available alternatives?
No, really guys, why?
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease. Vegans need reliable sources of vitamin B-12, such as fortified foods or supplements.
Inching closer to joining the vegan fold? Still don't understand how animals are harmed in egg and dairy production, or have other questions? Learn more at Why Veganism. <3
By Lorelei Plotczyk
A 2016 winner of the Lisa Shapiro Award for Unsung Vegan Heroes