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Recently, the historic city of Berlin in Germany has been invaded by a sinister, insidious wave of what many believe are the most despicable people on Earth (besides fitness bloggers). I’m referring, of course, to vegans.
Perhaps nowhere is the embrace of a vegetarian diet more on display than in Berlin, Germany, dubbed a global vegan mecca for its growing array of restaurants (think: vegan kebabs, pizza and ice cream) as well as vegan street festivals — and even a vegan butcher. One pro-vegan group estimates about 80,000 people in Berlin are following a vegan diet.
However, the Germans are not one to take this lying down. Scientists and policymakers at the German Nutrition Society have struck back against the vegan threat by issuing a new paper denouncing the vegan diet:
“With a pure plant-based diet, it is difficult or impossible to attain an adequate supply of some nutrients,” states the German Nutrition Society’s new position on the vegan diet. “The most critical nutrient is B-12,” which is found in eggs and meat. The group says if you follow a vegan diet, you should take supplements to protect against deficiencies.
The nutritionists went on to highlight many other critical nutrients that are lacking from the vegan diet including Omega 3, as well as vital minerals like calcium, iron, iodine, zinc, and selenium. The group advised against engaging in a vegan diet without “serious supplements” and “regular physician monitoring” essentially classifying veganism in the same vein as a dangerous, chronic disease. They also forbade children, teenagers, and pregnant mothers from going vegan due to considerable health concerns. So you can pass the message on to your little sister in high school and tell her to stop being so dramatic at the table and eat her damn steak.
Predictably, the world’s vegan community objected to the report, saying that with the proper planning and supplements it is entirely possible to get all the nutrients you need to live a healthy life as a vegan.
My take on veganism is that it’s fine if that’s a choice you make for yourself and you can support it. But it can become potentially harmful and overly controlling if forced on other people (especially children). The majority of American nutritionists agree with the Germans that a vegan diet can be damaging if applied too zealously without the proper nutritional support. These vitamins and supplements are usually vastly more expensive than the form that appears naturally in food, leaving veganism only truly accessible to the wealthy, which is why it is so prevalent in trendy hotspots like NYC, LA, London, and Berlin.
Thus, you can tell an overly-evangelical vegan in your life that they are promoting a discriminatory and classist lifestyle that can be dangerous for the poor and those without access to healthcare. That should turn them on their heels..
Image via Shutterstock