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Veganuary Madness

As we head into the month where most of us plan to exercise more and lose those holiday pounds, a popular movement has developed and about 600,000 people, in January, will adopt a vegan diet to save the planet and improve their health.

Tim Sheiff, an ex parkour champion and a one-time vegan social media influencer, and vegan chef on Jamie Oliver’s YouTube channel, has made somewhat of a U-Turn recently on attributing these joint virtues to veganism….and the vegan community has reacted pretty badly to his change of direction.

The article (below) from The Sunday Times explains how Shieff, a one time competitor on Ninja Warrior as “The Vegan Prince” was actually suffering from a number of diet-related physical issues such as join pain, chronic fatigue and depression.

“In a desperate move that went against everything he believed, Shieff bought and ate some fish and eggs” the article noted.

Shieff’s response was that he “felt almost a veil of depression lift from my mind” and “all the niggling injuries started to recover in a short space of time”.

However, the fact that he essentially lost his vocation as a vegan chef, and received death threats from the vegan community as a consequence of his dietary change, has left him somewhat troubled by his change in dietary practice.

The article goes on to share details from other nutrition and environmental authors that debunk the common myth that veganism is inherently good for the planet and good for our health.

Jayne Buxton, the author of soon to be released The Meat Plant-Based Con” says “people believe they have made an entirely positive choice when they give up meat, but the reality is they have been conditioned to believe this by the narrative being promoted by a whole range of vested interests”.

Annual revenues for non-meat products doubled to £1.2 billion between 2017 and 2021.

“The perception that plant-based means healthy just doesn’t hold true”. Says Sarah Berry, senior lecturer in nutritional sciences at Kings College, London.

Apparently nearly a quarter of those signing-up for Veganuary say that saving the planet is their main motivation, but are unaware of the simple facts relating to the environmental impacts of plant-based foods.

A few examples of this are highlighted in the article.

For example, mushrooms, a staple ingredient in meat-alternative foods, are grown indoors at high temperatures and emit significant CO2. Analysis by Michigan University found that they emit 3kg of CO2 per Kg of mushrooms!!

Other examples given are almond milk, which is incredibly water-intensive, and soy, grown on plantations which contribute to deforestation.

A kilo of soy produces 13 pints of soy milk…..and comparison is made to the relative efficiency of obtaining 150 pints of cow’s milk, which would also provide significantly greater nutrition.

A study by Nottingham University and the Sustainable Food Trust stated “We would do better to switch from soy milk to milk from cows traditionally grazed on grass, if we want to help create a more sustainable planet”.

Recently, Lord Deben, the chairman of the governments climate change committee stated “If everybody were a vegan, we wouldn’t have the healthy soil we need..” To grow crops. This is because mono crop industrial farming destroys soil and wildlife habitats, and permanently interrupts the circle of natural life.

Overall Sheiff seems now to accept that his old habits of buying mangos, avocados and coconut oil from all over the world was obviously less environmentally friendly than buying eggs from his local farm shop, where the chickens roam free and eat worms rather than grain.

“How can this be worse for me or the environment”. He says.

Full article here.

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