The Edgy Vegan vs. the Protein Myth

In her recent “Edgy Mama” column, Anne Fitten Glenn says of her daughter, “I respect her desire to be a vegetarian — but when she refuses to eat enough soy, vegetable and dairy proteins, I’m going to push a little bit of meat at her.” ["Feeding Kids Meat Does Not Equal Child Abuse," May 25 Xpress.] Glenn’s concern is to make sure her child gets enough “complete protein.” Readers of Edgy Mama know that she has the best intentions when it comes to parenting, but, in this instance, she is relying on misinformation.

What does the largest group of food and nutrition professionals in the world have to say? “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence." Their 16 page, peer-reviewed position paper is available at

We've been sold the protein myth by the animal agriculture industry's multibillion dollar advertising campaign. It’s hard not to fall for this ubiquitous propaganda; kids are taught it beginning in kindergarten. But science tells us that, unless one eats a junk-food diet, not getting enough protein is of little concern. Americans get too much protein, consuming, on average, twice the amount needed. Excess protein has been linked with osteoporosis, kidney disease, calcium stones in the urinary tract and some cancers. To learn more, read “The Protein Myth” at

If your child is leaning toward vegetarianism or veganism for ethical reasons, congratulations on raising a kid who values and respects our fellow earthlings. It’s also a healthy choice, so please try to honor and support their compassionate decision.

— Stewart David

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14 thoughts on “The Edgy Vegan vs. the Protein Myth

  1. bill smith

    He’s right. It’s not protein so much as it is assimilable FATS, which can be quite difficult to obtain from non-animal sources without industrial agriculture.

  2. JWTJr

    “We’ve been sold the protein myth by the animal agriculture industry’s multibillion dollar advertising campaign.”

    Wow, were the cave people ahead of the curve or what? Their love for meat started at least 100,000 years ago and lives until this day. It may be the new “oldest” profession.

  3. twinkie223

    I love the smell of bacon in the morning … it smells like victory.

  4. bill smith

    We’ve been sold the vegan agenda by the for-profit animal rights industry’s multibillion dollar advertising campaign.

  5. Ashevegasjoe

    That’s right Edgy, how dare you tell your kid what to eat! Kids stand up!! Buy your own food!

  6. travelah

    I am getting ready to have a really good lean hamburger on a whole wheat bun with a salad on the side. I will enjoy every bite as I ponder your latest propaganda, Stewart.

  7. cloudydeb

    Mr. David, not everyone is cut out to be a vegetarian. Please stop bashing us over the head with your personal agenda.

  8. Betty Cloer Wallace

    As a parent responsible for young teenagers, especially of middle school age, the overriding concern for me would be how and why and by whom my child was influenced to join any kind of out-of-the-mainstream group or to engage in any lifestyle practice contrary to the norm of the family.

    There are so many cultish influences out there, and young people are so susceptible. Many such interactions and subsequent practices are harmless fads and will soon pass, but many such influences are scary and dangerous.

  9. entopticon

    When is the Mountain XPress finally going to give in and just rename itself the Official Stewart David Vegan Newsletter? It is almost inconceivable that they would publish letters on the same topic over and over and over again, by anyone else other than Mr. David, because it would be wildly inappropriate.

    We get it Mr. David… you think meat is bad, and veganism is good. We get it every time the mountain XPress publishes yet another one of your letters saying the same thing over and over again.

    We get it when we see the FBI’s number one domestic terrorist threat, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) featuring you and the propaganda that you write here on their website!

    As pointy elbowed as I may be on occasion, you will not likely be seeing my writing being used as propaganda by the nation’s number one domestic terrorist threat any time soon. If it were, I would certainly expect to be held accountable.

    We get it when in the comment section here, you express your explicit approval of the ALF attacking the livelihood of small, local, multi-generational farms, as you said in the comments section on the article about the latest vandalism at Sunburst Trout Farms, when you said,

    “But if it was the ALF, and the fish are alive somewhere, that would be fine by me.”

    There is only one way to interpret that.

    We get it when you target small, local businesses, such as Malaprops, as you did because they sold an independently produced BBQ cookbook.

    We get it when you represent and defend PeTA, the organization that has been caught red-handed funneling money into the ALF on numerous occasions, openly supports the ALF’s terrorism, and has even publicly offered to pay the legal fees of anyone arrested for committing a terrorist act for the ALF.

    “Perhaps the mere idea of receiving a nasty missive will allow animal researchers to empathize with their victims for the first time in their lousy careers. I find it small wonder that the laboratories aren’t all burning to the ground. If I had more guts, I’d light a match.”
    -Ingrid Newkirk, founder and President of PeTA

    We get it when you incessantly equate our local farmers and omnivores murderers, slave owners, and your favorite, Nazis. We get that that puts them in harms way, because after all, who would feel bad about attacking murderers, slave owners, and Nazis?

    Yes Mr. David, we get it already.

  10. entopticon

    Ahhh, the ADA say that a vegan diet can be okay for some people, if they are extremely careful and get special nutritional counseling (according to their report) because of a paper written by vegan activist Winston Craig, so that must mean that vegetarianism is a good choice for everybody? The very same ADA that pushed the health virtues of hydrogenated oil on the public for decades.

    Sure, just ignore the fact that studies have shown that more than half of all vegans have severe B12 deficiencies, which is a health nightmare. And ignore the fact that an alarming percentage of vegan children and babies breastfed by vegan mothers have been shown to have lasting neurological damage due to B12 deficiencies. Which is not at all surprising, because there are no reliable plant sources of B12, so it all has to come from supplements.

    And you can ignore the evidence of vitamin D (a fat soluble vitamin metabolized from cholesterol) deficiency in vegan children. An acquaintance of mine, a former vegan for 20 years, is now disabled with spinal degeneration, and she wishes she could go back in time and change her diet, but cases like this 12 year old vegan girl with the spine of an 80 year old are particularly sad:

    There has never been a single vegan culture in the history of humanity, so no matter how you slice it, raising kids according to the obscure edicts of that dietary fad makes them human guinea pigs. That may be a parent’s choice, but it is certainly not something that I would choose for my child.

  11. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Me, too, entopticon (what Johnny said). Well put.

    Thanks for your continual sharing of expertise on a wide range of pertinent topics from global maintenance and renewal of our planet’s resources to plant/animal relationships to personal health regarding nutrition.

    I really think you should consider developing a series of 800-1000 word columns on all your insightful information and perspective regarding food/earth/human/animal/etc. interrelationships.

    There really is a market out there for your kind of expertise, and we readers are hungry for it.

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