The fact that millions of people are victims of animal products is simply accepted as “normal” – it generates no outcry from the media. However, if one person dies because his irresponsible parents fed him a diet that people could only wrongly allege was vegan, the incident sparks a huge public outcry and outrages uninformed consumers and meat-industry representatives. The findings of scientists and the statements of renowned nutritionists and physicians strongly contravene the lyrical rhapsodies of journalists and animal-industry lobbyists. For example, in 2003, in a joint position paper, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, or A.N.D. (formerly the American Dietetic Association), and Dietitians of Canada commented on the health advantages of vegan diets. Some of the most renowned dieticians in the US and Canada belong to these organisations. The A.N.D. alone has approximately 70,000 members. The position paper states, in part:

“Well-planned vegan diets and other forms of vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence.”

In addition, Dr Claus Leitzmann, one of the most renowned dieticians in Germany, has said:

“Studies on vegans, which have been done worldwide, and also by us, show clearly that vegans on the average are healthier than the general population. Bodyweight, blood pressure, blood fats and cholesterol, kidney function and general health status are more often normal.”

In 2009, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, or A.N.D. (formerly the American Dietetic Association) published an updated position paper on vegetarian and vegan diets and confirmed its support of them. This is outstanding, especially since the connections between the A.N.D. and the animal industry are well known – however, it is simply impossible to ignore the scientific data supporting a vegan diet. The A.N.D. concludes that well-planned vegetarian diets – including vegan diets – are healthful and nutritious for adults, infants, children and adolescents and can even help prevent and treat chronic health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes. Published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in July 2009, the paper outlines A.N.D.’s official position on vegetarian diets, including a vegan diet:  

“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association (currently, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) 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, and for athletes.”

The medical organisation PCRM (Physicians‘ Committee for Responsible Medicine) is a nonprofit organisation that supports preventive medicine, conducts clinical research and supports higher standards in research concerning ethics and efficiency. PCRM recommends a vegan diet as the healthiest diet and presents logical reasons for this:

“Vegan diets, which contain no animal products are even healthier than vegetarian diets. Vegan diets contain no cholesterol and even less fat, saturated fat, and calories than vegetarian diets do because they exclude dairy products and eggs. Scientific research shows that health benefits increase as the amount of food from animal sources in the diet decreases, making vegan diets the healthiest overall.”

Dr T Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, defends the benefits of a plant-based diet:

“In fact, these findings indicate that the vast majority perhaps 80 to 90 % of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other forms of degenerative illness can be prevented, at least until very old age, simply by adopting a plant-based diet.”

“Additionally, impressive evidence now exists to show that advanced heart disease, relatively advanced cancers of certain types, diabetes and few other degenerative diseases can be reversed by diet.”

Campbell, professor emeritus at Cornell University, has been one of the leading and most renowned scientists of nutrition research worldwide for more than 40 years. He has published more than 300 research papers, and his outstanding survey, The China Study, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever published. It was financed by governmental research funds from the US and China and therefore closely monitored by the authorities.