Friday, September 24, 2010

The Con Side Of A Plant-Based Diet

Harry posted started this this thread the other day.  Barefoot Ted's Huaraches group regularly veers onto topics other than the stated one, and diet is one of the most frequent tangents.

Harry got a bunch of pro-vegan/vegetarian info in the thread.  We've had a ton of paleo diet threads in the group lately, and, since it's all off-topic anyway, the vegetarians are certainly entitled to make their case. ;)  I didn't weigh in, because I didn't want to turn it into a vegetarian-bashing thread.  They should feel as welcome in the group as anyone else, IMHO.

I did send Harry an email off-thread, and I wanted to repost that here, since I thought it had some useful info:

It sounds like you've gotten a bunch of suggestions for the pro side from other folks.  I would add to that that you should study what the Jains eat, since, as I've mentioned, they're the only society to be vegetarian long-term.

For the con side, I would suggest Lierre Kieth's The Vegetarian Myth.  She was vegan for 20 years.  There's a pretty good interview with her here:

Since all the vegetarians will suggest you read The China Study, I would agree that you should.  I did.  What was most interesting for me was seeing how he dealt with the known shortcomings of a vegan diet: the answer is, aside from B12, he doesn't mention them.

For a good overview of the nutritional shortcomings of a vegetarian diet, see Chris Masterjohn's article here:

Complete with a load of footnotes.

For an excellent review of the problems with the book The China Study, and a good review of what the data behind the book actually says, see here:

Link goes to the short version (!), but there's a link from there to the long version, which I don't have the time to go through.

Good luck!