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Matilda Martin’s article in the Independent on vegan aggression and hypocrisy damaging the movement only served to reinforce incorrect negative ideas about veganism.

She says getting the right nutrients can take more time, energy, and sometimes money and cites vitamin B12 as an example. But, B12 deficiency in the UK is not uncommon among meat-eaters.

In the US, everyone aged over 50 is advised to take a supplement as absorption from food declines with age. Farmed animals in the UK are given B12 supplements as levels in their food are insufficient. Yes, vegans should take B12, but it’s cheap and easy and sets up a good habit for when we age.

‘Vegan hypocrisy’

Martin talks about vegan hypocrisy and says ‘soy-based products (poster foods of the vegan diet) are hugely damaging to the environment and have a massive carbon footprint’.

She quotes the WWF voicing concerns over global soya expansion but misses the entire point. WWF says only “six percent of soybeans are eaten directly [by people].” The vast majority of soya produced is used for animal feed so that people can eat meat.

The big players in the global soya market, according to the non-profit, are: Cargill, JBS, Tyson Foods, Kraft Foods, Unilever, and Nestle – get the picture?

Protect the planet, eat less meat

Failing to notice this and blaming vegans eating tofu is lazy journalism. If you want to see less soya expansion, less deforestation, less biodiversity loss, and less global warming, you should eat less meat.

Research from Oxford University found that meat, farmed fish, eggs and dairy use 83 percent of the world’s farmland and contribute more than 50 percent of food’s greenhouse gas emissions, but provide only 37 percent of our protein and 18 percent of our calories.

Going vegan, they found, would cut your food emissions by half. So convinced was the author of this report, environmental researcher Joseph Poore, that he went vegan himself.

The future of the planet is at stake and scientists agree, substantial dietary change is needed.

Plant Based News has contacted the Independent for comment

This article was republished with permission from Viva! You can read the original piece here

Dr. Justine Butler of Viva!

Dr. Butler graduated from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology and a BSc First Class (hons) in Biochemistry from UWE before joining Viva! in 2005. She currently researches, writes and campaigns for Viva!Health.