Thursday, May 24, 2007

Biased op-ed writer tries to justify work

Vegan hater Nina Planck, author of the completely unsourced, undocumented op-ed "Death by Veganism" that somehow slipped by the editors of The New York Times, is now trying to justify her complete bypassing of journalistic standards in the work. On her Web site, she says she does have a source for her work, anecdotal information from a single family practitioner. She says she had many sources, but the only one she lists is the family practitioner. First of all, we all know that Planck does not have a nutrition degree of any kind, so we can not trust the declarative statements she makes about nutrition. We also know that medical doctors get little if any nutrition training in medical school. This family doctor, who was unnamed, could talk about tests he has performed and demonstrated the results of those, but he can not actually talk about nutrition. He does, however, make a serious accusation: "I have seen cases of severe anemia and protein deficiency in vegan infants resulting in hospitalization and blood transfusion." Now, if this is true, it speaks poorly of those particular vegan parents, but because one doctor may have seen something that he is assuming has to do with veganism doesn't mean he can extrapolate that to make assumptions about all vegans. Why isn't this doctor (I hope he is basing his information on actual tests he performed.) documenting these cases and presenting his findings in a peer reviewed journal if he is so concerned about what veganism can mean for all vegan infants? I'm guessing he doesn't have the evidence to back him up. There is plenty of information out there about raising vegan children and plenty of documented evidence that infants can be raised in a healthy manner on a vegan diet, but any person (including meat-eaters) who gets pregnant needs to become informed about the child's nutrition needs. I'd say a vegan has the advantage over the average person because she has read up on nutrition for herself and is always checking out labels in grocery stores. Anyone who wants to find out more about vegan parenting can visit Veg Source, which has actual nutritionists commenting on veganism using actual scientific studies. I'd trust them any day over a lady who says children are made of "fish oil." Need I say more?

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