Vegans love to claim that their “movement” is growing by leaps and bounds. They say that this time, the “logic” of veganism—which may kill more animals than eating a diet of grass-finished beef—will break through and that finally Americans will give up meat, dairy, eggs, and the rest. Today, a report stands up against data showing near-record cheese consumption and rising sales of sausage (bacon’s less trendy breakfast cousin) to proclaim that “Feeding children a vegan diet is growing in popularity.”
The article even claims that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Association of Pediatrics endorse veganism for kids. They don’t — they actually say a vegan diet can work if properly planned — and they refrain from endorsing it for very good reason. Without Vitamin B12, found almost exclusively in foods of animal origin, kids can suffer severe nutrient deficiencies. In some cases, nutrient deficiencies in vegan-raised kids were reportedly fatal.
The article’s errors go on. The reporter attempts to cite polling by the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) — an advocacy organization for vegetarian eating — as evidence that more kids are turning vegan. However, the article doesn’t get the numbers right. While the paper states that 3 percent of kids in a 2010 survey were vegan, VRG’s website states the actual number was 2 percent. Additionally, the paper claimed that in a 2012 survey, VRG found that 5 percent of U.S. adults were vegan. Not true: VRG’s website says the true value was 1 percent.
And, in a lesson from 4th grade geometry, you have no evidence of a trend in kids without two data points. So the claim of “growing popularity” is simply asserted without evidence — the lame attempt at justifying it is quoting a VRG spokesman who says he “suspects” there’s a higher number of vegan kids.
Putting aside the errors, let’s remember that we’re still talking about 1 or 2 percent of the population being vegan. Whoop-tee-doo. We see stories all the time about celebs who “went veg” giving it up and going back into the meaty fold. (In recent weeks, Ozzy Osbourne and R&B singer Ne-Yo have rejoined the 99 percent after a vegan experiment.) Maybe the real question should be, after all the years of propaganda from PETA, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and other vegan animal liberation activists, has the public concluded that it just doesn’t agree?