The US Department of Agriculture has claimed that if the nation went vegan, it would be a ‘public health disaster’.
Animal agriculture contributes towards 51% of greenhouse gas emissions, and currently over 35% of American adults are obese.
Mary Beth Hall, one of the researchers, claims “very simply, there are some nutrient requirements that we cannot get just consuming plant-derived foods”, however this is very rarely the case.
She goes on to list nutrients such as Vitamin A, D, B12 and Calcium. As someone who takes no nutritional supplements, a recent blood test showed that I was only deficient in B12.
However, 40% of Americans (who are not vegan), are also in the low range for B12. Therefore, for Hall to scaremonger people away from seeking a healthy plant based diet because of a ‘lack of nutrients’, is irresponsible and untrue.
The research also claimed: “If the US were to go 100% vegan, Americans would be forced to more carefully consider their diets to ensure they did not become deficient in these important nutrients.”
“Given the difficulties many face in eating healthy already—some of which are socioeconomic—this wouldn’t bode well for public health at large.”
The fact of the matter is, that Americans should already be being forced to carefully consider their diets, their potential (and slim chance) of lacking in nutrients is a minor threat compared to their cuttent potential of dying from diet related diseases.
With obesity comes diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, which are some of the leading causes of preventable death.
A slightly higher chance of B12 deficiency won’t lead you to an early grave, however continuing to consume meat and dairy could. It’s irresponsible and appalling that the US Department of Agriculture is painting a vegan diet in this light.