Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Giving veganism a bad name

Veganism has once again been given a black eye. The media continues to sensationalize the word "vegan" and to use it out of context. We've all probably heard by now about the couple sentenced to life in prison for starving their 6-week-old child to death in Georgia. The primary food the child received was apple juice and soy milk. Is the story not sensational enough that a couple starved their child to death? Oh no. The word "vegan" is mentioned over and over. The headline for The Associated Press story dated May 10 was: "Vegan couple sentenced in baby's starvation death." The lead sentence of the story was: "A vegan couple were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for the death of their malnourished 6-week-old baby boy, who was fed a diet consisting largely of soy milk and apple juice." If it was a case of a meat-eating family starving their child to death, I'm guessing there would be no mention that they were "meat-eaters." The crime is starving a child to death and doing harm to another human. Veganism has nothing to do with the crime. The truth is the media was excited to put "vegan" in a bad light. The first word used in the headline and the second in the lead sentence was "vegan." You should have seen cable news drool over "vegan" and twist and distort the story. Being a vegan can be as healthy or more so than any other diet, and I take offence with the media saying special care must be taken for people on vegan diets. This is nonsense. Anyone who eats needs to eat a varied diet or runs the risk of developing certain diseases. If all you eat is steak, you will die. If all you eat is apples, you die. As a journalist myself, I'm telling the rest of my irresponsible profession to bite me.

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