Practical Issues > Health - Index > Vegan Index

Vegan Rerun
More meat missives

By Anthony Pignataro

Ew, who left this here?
Ew, who left this here?

I�ve been to a lot of Vegetarian Society of Hawai�i lectures. I�ve seen lifelong cattle rancher Howard Lyman denounce meat eating. I�ve seen 73-year-old medical doctor William Harris attack the famed Atkins Diet for saying �good things about bad foods.� I�ve even seen actress Alicia Silverstone talk about her vegan conversion and the absurdity of drinking cow�s milk.

On May 12, I saw health consultant Kerrie Saunders speak at the Cameron Center as part of the latest Vegetarian Society lecture. Though not a medical doctor, she does hold a doctorate in natural health. She works as a food and fitness consultant at the McIntyre Health Center in Port Huron, Michigan.

�One of the biggest myths out there about disease is that Americans are living much longer,� Saunders, wearing a purple blouse and pants, told the 30 or so attendees. �At our clinic, when we say �Let�s lay off the pop,� we literally have people say, �What else is there to drink?��

Though interesting, Saunders� message that a plant-based diet is far healthier than one based on beef, dairy and those tacos they sell at Jack-in-the-Box that are really tasty but made of some indeterminate meat was virtually identical to past Vegetarian Society of Hawai�i lecturers. In fact, Saunders actually poked fun at the notion that no vegetarian speaker will ever give an audience new information by talking about a 1927 experiment by a Dr. S. Sweeney that showed test subjects� blood �spiked into the diabetic range� after a couple days on a high-fat diet.

Still, the idea that eating meat exposes people to fats and cholesterol which don�t exist in plants is old news. Won�t people tune out after hearing the same message month after month?

�I worry more that the experts will give differing advice,� Laurelee Blanchard, the Farm Sanctuary campaign coordinator who hosts each monthly lecture, told me after last week�s meeting. �The redundancy is probably a good thing. People need to be reminded to eat their vegetables.�

Saunders did provide some new information. She sarcastically noted that the American Heart Association continues to serve chicken, meat and eggs at its annual dinners and fundraisers. �In a way,� she said, �this is like job security.�

She also spoke of the disease Kwashiorkor, which is caused by eating too little protein. �No one knows anyone in the United States who has Kwashiorkor,� Saunders said.

Yes, we Americans are well acquainted with protein�fruits and vegetables, not so much.

�There are 13,000 types of legumes,� she said. �It�s hard to get bored.�

Saunders also listed the reasons people get osteoporosis, one of which was �animal protein intake.� She also said, amazingly enough, that the six nations sporting the highest osteoporosis rates�the U.S. is among them�are also the top six consumers of cow�s milk.

�You never hear about that in the media,� she said.

At times her talk became technical, focusing on �high LDL,� �calcium absorption rates� and the �Omega 6/Omega 3� balance. But at other times she was quite earthy�especially when she gave what she called �the poop talk.�

Rather than go into detail about such matters, I�ll just quote her as saying that for vegetarians, �the days of reading a novel in the bathroom should be over.� MTW

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,