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  • notmilk2002
    Picture yourself in a body of water filled with hungry predators. Your chances of survival hover between slim and none. That s when you scrape your leg on
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2002
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      Picture yourself in a body of water
      filled with hungry predators. Your
      chances of survival hover between slim
      and none. That's when you scrape your
      leg on coral, and begin to bleed. Your
      scent fills their environment with the
      most inviting message: feeding time.

      The past few days, the New York media
      has participated in a feeding frenzy
      on all things named VEGAN, and those
      eating a plant-based diet have lacked
      the teeth to bite back.

      A New York couple nearly starved their
      20-month-old daughter to death. Headlines
      in New York newspapers called the diet
      VEGAN. Radio talk shows criticized plant
      based diets. Television news shows and talk
      shows provided their own commmentary on the
      tragedy that was billed as "A VEGAN Diet
      Gone Wrong."

      I was fortunate enough to be given the
      opportunity to set the record straight.
      I accepted an invitation from a New York
      organization called Vegetarian Vision
      (H.K. Shah and Harshad Parekh) to appear
      as their television spokesperson on

      WABC television interviewed me for five
      minutes, and asked questions like:

      "Is VEGANISM a religion?
      "What are examples of VEGAN foods?"

      I was happy to set the record straight.

      I recognized that all I would get was a 15-20
      second snippet. When doing telivision interviews,
      heavily edited segment include mere sound bites.
      One has no control over what occurs during
      post-production, and the final edited version
      is rarely satisfying to the person who was
      interviewed. My five minutes became 15 seconds,
      and I wish that more of the important things
      that I said had been included, but one must
      be thankful for little things.

      The ABC segment began by casting a shadow over
      the VEGAN lifestyle, but fairly presented my
      position, and difused much of the negative
      bad press. Unlike other shows that I have done
      in the past, I was satisfied after watching
      the news segment as it aired on 4/30/02 at 5:10 PM.



      "The Swintons were vegan, a stricter form
      of vegetarianism that often excludes all
      animal products including dairy, but an
      author on the lifestyle says the couple's
      behavior is not typical."


      "The child was not eating a vegan diet.
      This child was fed every day rancid
      cod liver oil, and I say rancid because
      it's taken out of a cod's liver and put
      into a bottle. This is not a vegan diet."


      "Both Cohen and doctors agree, healthy
      babies can be raised follwoing vegetarian,
      even vegan diets, but doing so requires
      vigilence by the parents."

      According to a complaint filed with the court,
      the child had:

      "...decreased muscle bulk, no teeth,
      de-mineralized bones and multiple healing
      fracture of the left radius...and no ability
      to verbalize other than through soft crying."

      This tragic story was about one couple and their
      child, Joseph and Sylvia Swinton and little Ice.
      Their ignorance led to a severely injured child.
      The media's ignorance led to a culturally
      injured understanding of the VEGAN lifestyle.
      The headlines should never have called her diet

      ABC news set the record straight.

      Robert Cohen
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