Vegan make you deaf Can a vegan diet make you deaf? The truth behind the ridiculous claim - Media Credit:

Could Going Vegan Make You Go Deaf In One Ear?

Can going vegan make you deaf in one ear? That's what one journalist claimed. But a closer look at her vegan diet suggests there's more to it

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4 Minutes Read

Well here’s a new one to start the year with: could going vegan could make you deaf in one ear?

That’s the warning journalist Kate Mulvey issued, writing in the Telegraph this week. Her story begins with her search for a cure for her crippling migraines.

A friend suggested a plant-based diet. So she went to Google and of course found all manner of articles saying how a vegan diet could help. Google will tell you anything you want to hear if you look hard enough. I would have expected a seasoned journalist to know how to do proper research.

A half-hearted attempt

From her story, it’s obvious her heart was never in it.

As a self-confirmed meat-eater, Mulvey said ‘sitting down to a plate of grass is more like a prison sentence than a pleasurable experience’. She admits how her mood imploded ‘like an egg-free soufflé’.

Can going vegan make you deaf??

It’s a shame she couldn’t embrace the positive experience and really feel the benefits. She talked about nut rissoles (I don’t think anyone has eaten them since the 1970s) and birch juice. Whatever that is.

She says she was the awkward guest at dinner parties – where was she eating, the 1980s? Vegan food is now commonplace and most people know how to cater for vegans. Supermarkets are packed with vegan food. This includes falafels, hummus, soya mince for spaghetti Bolognaise and chilli, vegan curries. And more – noodles, tofu sausages, burgers, tempeh, hot dogs, pesto, vegan cheeses and so on.

Many dishes, such as Moroccan tagines, curries, stir-fries etc can easily be made vegan. Chefs are experimenting and creating amazing, tasty vegan food – better for us and the planet.

A poor diet

After five months, Mulvey said she lost loads of weight and nearly fainted on the bus. She went for a blood test and was found to be low in iron. Hardly surprising if she was living on birch juice and grass. Low iron is easy to remedy on a healthy vegan diet. Just look at the millions of people globally who don’t eat meat, they are not all anaemic!

Plant foods (such as lentils, tofu, dried fruit, peas and kale) are packed with iron. As is usually the case with these silly sensational stories, she just wasn’t eating properly.

A few weeks later, she lost hearing in one ear. Her doctor said the cause was unlikely to be a lack of nutrients and described it as idiopathic (unknown cause). A previous infection with the Epstein Barr virus, that can stay in the body, may have caused it. However, Mulvey preferred to blame her poor dietary choices.

Bad food choices

A vegan diet is not a silver bullet for all ailments, but neither should it be blamed for anything that happens to you while you are a vegan.

It certainly sounds like Mulvey was malnourished. But this is not because what she was eating happened to be vegan. It was because she wasn’t eating enough nutritious vegan food. I get the feeling if she’d had a skiing accident it would have been blamed on tofu.

Vegan diet
Maria Chiorando | Plant Based News There is plenty of tasty, healthy, vegan food available – and no need to make yourself ill on a vegan diet

Veganuary

Over half a million people have signed up for Veganuary this year, but an article saying how extreme and dangerous vegan diets are is bound to get more attention than one describing how healthy a vegan diet is.

The article opens with Mulvey describing how the Health and Food Supplements Information Service, funded by companies that make vitamin supplements, suggesting that people adopting a plant-based diet will miss out on vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fats – go figure!

Well-planned vegan diet

At the foot of the article it says “Have you tried a vegan diet and struggled? Tell us in the comments section below”. It’s heartening to see vegans commenting how they have had good health for years without meat and dairy. 

All major health bodies agree, a well-planned vegan diet can provide all the nutrients you need at all stages of life and protects you against all the big killers; heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. This is just another sorry attempt at taking a swipe at a much healthier way of eating – if you are trying vegan this January don’t be put off!

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This article was originally published by Viva!

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The Author

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the former editor for Plant Based News. She has been a newspaper reporter and features writer. Her work has been published by The Guardian and The Huffington Post, among others

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Nancy
Nancy
1 year ago

Vegan for me is great. You need to make sure you are getting supplements for the vitamins you cannot
get thru vegan food. Plus, enough protein also. Then you will be good to go.

Lal
Lal
1 year ago

I was about to send this exact article to plant based news! They actually turned off the comments on the article so I didn’t get to post all my science. Is there any way to mount a unified angry response to the Telegram?

BoiseDave
BoiseDave
1 year ago

Grass? Is that a sarcastic reference to lettuce? Or do people really eat grass? Probably a great way to lose weight!

snowbu
snowbu
1 year ago

After reading both articles it’s easy to see that the problem is how people approach going vegan. I am sure the journalist is not the only person who just opened some website (if any) and started trying new recipes. From your post it’s clear that to be a responsible vegan you have to give it thought, time, and energy: find appropriate resources, plan your diet, consult your doctor, find shopping places, warn party hosts. I highly doubt it’s possible to do that if you decided to take part in Veganuary on the 31 of December. And I partly blame our culture that with constant checking of Instagram and info overload, with burnouts and overworking leaves no time or makes us too tired to really slow down and care about our bodies and planet, and partly media who can spread wrong info, create hype without necessary warning, and make it all look just too simple.

Andy Swarbrick
1 year ago

Most omnivores are deaf in both ears. Just try saying the word “slaughterhouse” to them and they instantly go totally deaf.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Swarbrick

I agree! It’s a bit like discussing vitamin B12 with a vegan.

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