A SOBER VEGAN, the Ross Sea and a silly doctor. What do all these things have in common? Mainly, they all caught my attention in the past week when I had one ear tuned to the television set. Mike Tyson we’ve learnt, is now a sober vegan. Well, good for him! Frankly though, I think his promoter was a little misguided in thinking that this admission could be a selling point for allowing him into the country and more people wanting to listen to him talk; nobody seems interested in listening to me talk about being a vegan and I’m not even asking for money. I’ve just checked the precise definition of ‘sober’ in the Oxford dictionary and am proud to say, I too am a sober vegan – as the first definition simply states ‘not drunk’. While I’m talking about drinking, a challenge to Gary Steel – would you please keep researching vegan- friendly wines available in NZ? I’m currently enjoying a nice little Pinot Gris from ‘Crush Pad’ (produced by Moana Park) and available for a reasonable price at my local supermarket. Would love to be certain it qualifies as being vegan friendly?
As far as the Ross Sea goes, it seems that as many people know where the Ross Sea is, as know what a sober vegan is (or any type of vegan for that matter)! There’s another very strong correlation: if everyone was vegan, then there wouldn’t be money to be made from plundering our last ocean, as the very convincing documentary shown last week explained to be the case. No matter how much you enjoy eating fish, I would challenge anyone who watched that documentary to disagree that it wasn’t a deeply disturbing sight watching those huge fishing boats barging through the ice in that otherwise pristine and stunningly beautiful environment.
What about the silly doctor? Sometimes I just can’t believe my ears when I hear some of the hogwash that’s spouted so freely and disparagingly against a vegetarian diet. If you didn’t see the programme I’m referring to (I won’t name it, but suffice to say I’d re-title it “Is Your Diet Killing You?”) a vegetarian was asked by the doctor assessing her if she would consider eating meat? I couldn’t believe my ears and hubby had to cover his to block out my loud ranting and raving. I can only presume that the practitioner felt that the patient’s protein intake was too low; I’ll accept that might be the case if she’s a lettuce leaf vegetarian who hasn’t discovered whole grains, beans, legumes and nuts. However, to even suggest that the only way she could get enough protein was to return to eating meat is just an insult to anyone’s intelligence. I guess this just backs up something I’ve come to accept over the last year, which is that a lot of doctors know and understand very little about how food choices affect our health. They are still looking at the same old food triangle that’s been sold to all of us and have little interest in learning the results of the powerful research that has been done which strongly points to the western diet being our biggest problem.
As long as the balance is so heavily weighted towards those who are happy to continue with their usual diet heavily loaded with animal proteins, I guess practitioners have to fall into line and go along with it, as otherwise they would risk having no patients choose to see them. In that respect, they are probably deserving of my compassion. We all know that when most of us go to a doctor we just want to be prescribed a pill. We don’t want to do anything that seems too hard. Even if the doctor mentions that losing a few pounds, or eating less sugary foods or getting some regular exercise would all go some way towards improving whatever the problem is, most of us aren’t interested in hearing about those things. We leave with our prescriptions to fill and by the time we hop back into the car we’ve conveniently forgotten any other stuff that might have been mentioned that required us to take an active role. And the next time out to dinner, the very same foods will be chomped through; while extolling the virtues of the latest prescription drug as a means of eating whatever the hell one likes.
I’m proud to be a sober vegan. CARRIE STEELE