Cardiologist chooses vegan diet, lowers his cholesterol and garners mad haters »
As reported by the NYT Well blog, Dr. Kim A. Williams, president-elect of the American College of Cardiology, wrote a post encouraging people to go adopt a plant-based diet for heart health—so of course everyone freaked out. Because why listen to science when someone is trying to deny you your god-given right to eat dead cow! And when I say deny your right, I mean dare to suggest it might not be healthy.
He was inspired to make the change when he got a cholesterol test and found out his LDL cholesterol level was 170. From his post:
I thought I had a healthy diet — no red meat, no fried foods, little dairy, just chicken breast and fish. But a simple Web search informed me that my chicken-breast meals had more cholesterol content (84 mg/100 g) than pork (62 mg/100 g). So I changed that day to a cholesterol-free diet, using “meat substitutes” commonly available in stores and restaurants for protein. Within 6 weeks my LDL cholesterol level was down to 90.
I don’t totally know what all this LDL stuff means but 170 to 90 in six weeks seems pretty amazing! If you read his post, it’s pretty benign. Not too preachy, just mostly about his personal journey to a plant-based diet and how it’s helped him. But people still got all heated, as per usual when any hint of veganism comes up. This screen cap of the site he wrote the post on can give you an idea of the calamity:
Yeah, 74 comments. Seems a bit above their average. I skimmed through some, and as expected: VOM. People are so annoying sometimes. Sigh.
The doctor responds to some of the criticism in the NYT post. I especially like this part:
Some critics suggested that Dr. Williams and the college were “unduly influenced by industry,” which baffled him.
“Who is the industry that promotes vegan dieting?” he asked.
AND HOW. That is always the silliest criticism to me when someone promotes vegan eating! There is no special agenda to make people go vegan because that’s not where the money is! The money is in A. the meat and dairy lobby, and B. the pharma lobby. Those people do not want you do eat vegan. Obvisiously non-vegan food industries don’t but pharma doesn’t either because if no one was sick, how would they make money?! You would hope a doctor, however, would have entirely different motivation, and it seems Dr. Williams does. As he says:
"Wouldn’t it be a laudable goal of the American College of Cardiology to put ourselves out of business within a generation or two?"
Note: Save yourself the trouble, I’ve heard the reasoning against and I’m still going to keep saying “vegan diet.” We all understand what someone means when they say “vegan diet,” it says you adopt the diet of the vegan lifestyle but not the rest of it. Plus I find “plant-based diet” a confusing term. Plant-BASED doesn’t connote to me that you don’t eat some meat or something.
Elle Macpherson ingests rhino horns, sucks »
Elle Macpherson is attractive, sure, but she looks a lot less beautiful to me after reading about this Twitter interview she recently did with The Times Online, where she discussed her use of rhino horn, saying “it works for me.”
That’s just delightful that it works for her—it probably doesn’t!—but unfortunately it definitely does not work for rhinos.
There are five species and 11 subspecies of rhinos; three of the five species are critically endangered, while white rhinos are “near threatened” and Indian rhinos are “vulnerable.” There are thought to be only about 60 Javan rhinos left in the entire world. Despite their endangered status, poaching of rhinos continues and is growing — fueled by the high prices that can be fetched for their horns, which are used in Chinese medicine. Rhino horn is worth about 50 percent more, per kilogram, than gold, which only contributes further poaching. When you get celebrities like Elle Macpherson talking about how awesome rhino horn powder is — even if it’s also illegal for her to use it — the appeal of the product is only heightened.
IFAW quickly denounced Macpherson’s statements, but you can help as well: Talk to people about rhinos and why their poaching for horns is such a problem, donate to a group working towards their conservation, and maybe consider sending a reasonable and informed tweet to Ms. Macpherson to let her know that what she’s supporting is dangerous and wrong, and why.