Categories Health Fitness and NutritionVegetarianism

Responding To Bad Anti-Vegan Arguments I Heard The Other Day

So I had a discussion with a coworker yesterday, and needless to say a lot of pseudoscientific hogswash was spewed. I hate to say this, but I am not surprised that a person who believes Evolution is false and that Global Warming is a governmental lie used to make money, also has awfully ignorant ideas about health and nutrition.

“Soy is Man Made”

Both him and another coworker tried to tell me that soy is man made. Sure, Tofu is man made, Soymilk is man made, but Soybeans have existed since the 11th century BCE. Tofu itself is simply Edamame (soy) curdles and was created in 179 BCE in China, not that anything being man-made makes things bad or good, and not as if I want to hear that argument from a guy who eats cheese, but OK.

There are many people talking about the supposed “dangers” of soy, but none really exist. Soy is good for you, an unlike dairy, which contains literal estrogen that our body can absorb, soy won’t give you a higher risk of prostate or ovarian cancer like dairy does.

“Mercury is a Necessary Nutrient, like Iron and Calcium”

No, honey… no, Mercury is NOT a necessary nutrient. There is a reason the FDA only recommends 8-12 ounces of fish a WEEK, or about 3 servings a fish AT MOST a week, for safe level consumption. I personally would recommend NO mercury in one’s diet.

But isn’t their gold in your body? Yeah, there are trace amounts of many nutrients in your body, doesn’t mean we should consume more gold powder, or Mercury. There are numerous case studies of people who consume lots of fish and get mercury poisoning. It’s not a necessary nutrient.

“Farm Raised Beef Is A Health Food”

Cooked beef is a possible carcinogen, regardless of whether or not the cow ate corn or grass. Beef also contain high levels of both saturated fats, and trans-fats, both of which cause inflammation in the body. Also, heme-iron, the iron found exclusively in meat, is possibly linked to colon cancer and higher rates of type 2 diabetes. So take this “health food” with a grain of salt.

You can get plenty of non-heme iron from plant foods, and while vegetarians and vegans have lower stores of iron, they are not more likely than  meat eaters to get Anemia.

“But you can’t get protein from plants, do you know how much beans you have to eat to meet protein requirements?”

As a vegetarian and former vegan, and possibly vegan again soon, I know full well how much beans you need to consume to get enough protein… if beans were all I ate for my protein. Other foods that contain protein include:

  • Wheat Bread – 2 grams a slice
  • 2 oz of pasta – 7 grams
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter – 7 grams
  • Half Cup Green Peas – 4 grams
  • 1 Cup Oatmeal – 6 grams
  • 1 Cup Rice – 4 grams

Your body only needs 0.38 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Meaning that I as a 165 pound woman only needs 62 grams of protein a day. You can easily get that when eating 2000 calories a day, even without consuming any beans. If you did consume beans, it is far easier. That said, if you want more protein in your diet, Boca and Gardein make awesome meat replacements full of protein, or you can just buy TVP, which is dried soybeans.

There are no benefits of a high protein diet, and in fact there may be plenty of negative effects associated with that. So unless you are an athlete, don’t worry about protein. Your chances of getting protein deficiency as a vegan who eats whole foods is extremely low.

Only one of these arguments is new, and that’s the one talking about how beneficial Mercury is for you somehow magically. I have talked about the “man made” argument before in an article about artificial sweeteners. The protein from plants argument, and the argument that beef is good for you, have both been highly overdone, and debunked so often it barely should garner a reply.