Which facts are wrong here?

The BBC has been accused by vegans of failing to challenge “fatuous propaganda” from an author whom they claim misrepresented plant-based diets on air.

The broadcaster was hit by a barrage of complaints after Kirsty Wark interviewed Joanna Blythman, a food writer, on Radio 4’s Start the Week programme on Monday.

She made claims including that a vegan diet “cannot compare in nutrient density” to a meat-based diet and vegans would have to take supplements to get enough vitamins.

Furious listeners accused Ms Wark of lacking impartiality in her handling of the issue, while others suggested the BBC had given airtime to “fatuous propaganda on behalf of the meat industry”.

The nutrient density but is obvious. The cool thing about meat is that concentration of proteins etc. And supplements? Well, unless you’re very, very, careful indeed that’s true too. Certainly more likely than omnivores to need supplements.

The complaint therefore is? You disagree with reality perhaps?

34 thoughts on “Which facts are wrong here?”

  1. If surviving is the aim, a pound of beef has more of what you need than a pound of lettuce.
    Hardly rocket science is it?
    (Pun intended)

  2. Since vegan has become a thing in the last year or two then the usual suspects have jumped on that bandwagon to fart in everyone’s face. Narcissists all

  3. TG, been like that for decades.

    How can you tell if somebody is a vegan? No need , they’ll tell you!

  4. Yes about the nutrient density.

    No, you don’t need to be “very careful” with supplements – this is simply untrue. And there is nothing magical about fourteen year old beef which negates its environmental impact.

    Calling veganism a fad is just a matter of opinion. Linking it to the Seventh Day Adventists is irrelevant and misleading.

    So some truths, some lies, some insults and some clumsy attempts at guilt by association.

  5. Because we are all unique and wonderful, it’s understandable that we should be militant in promoting our unique wonderfulness in reaction to any suggestion that we are not uniquely wonderful or that anything about us might be open to challenge.

  6. This is an attempt to change the game so the media accept veganism as the thing and think twice about anything that challenges it. Just the same as the BBC has an actual policy that it doesn’t have to give the opposition to climate change alarmists any time at all. Apolicy agreed by the BBC in consultation with climate scientists of all persuasions excpet those not in agreement. Several activist organisations were invited to contribute, however, with their perfectly fair perspectives untroubled by scientific method.

  7. I think a vegan diet would make me more left wing authoritarian murder-y too….

    Did Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot Mussolini or Tojo ever visit Hitler and share a vegan meal?

    Does veganism cause genocide? Or is it just a common cause?

  8. A vegan with a suitable diet can avoid supplements and avoid additional methods of gaining more nutrients.
    They may not be quite as healthy as they want you to believe if they do have a shortfall in something. But the human body can exist quite well without a perfect blend of nutrients.
    Our ancestors did.

    Of course our ancestors may also have had stunted growth and a short life because of among other things, not the right nutrients in the right quantity…
    But survived. To have descendents anyway.

  9. I understand it’s possible to live on a strictly Vegan diet without the use of supplements (but not advisable for anyone aged under ~15), though you need some fairly exotic foods* to fill in the gaps.

    * which, of course, will be unavailable after Brexit when furriners will cease to sell us anything, because reasons

  10. It would be excellent if some kind of Sealed Knot organised a pitched battle between the Soldiers of Vegan and the Trans Forces of Freak. Or maybe a short film on YouTube to make them all go even more insane.

    @Steve – or at Nüremberg, Liturgy Hitler?

  11. This nonsense about meat eating being bad for the planet needs to be challenged at every opportunity as well, especially the part that says methane from cows is a major cause of global warming. Methane is produced by rotting vegetation and whether the vegies rot in cows, elephants, termite mounds or, most prolifically, in swamps, lakes or oceans, the vegetation is going to rot and the methane is going to be produced.

    The planet is not in danger from people eating meat, but civilisation is in grave danger from fanatics who want to tear it all down and who use veganism. and environmentalism, as a shield to mask their misanthropic ideology.

  12. About ten years ago I noticed that I wasn’t eating very much meat, so did an experiment to see if I could cut it out entirely. The human body cannot manufacture vitamin B which normally comes into the diet through meat – or bits of animal residue stuck to your vegatables – but the normal consumption of most bread is fortified with sufficient vitamin B. Plus mushrooms, while not plants, are veggy classed as not-meat, and are a source of vitamin B and D, and mushroom foraging is one of my hobbies.

    I managed about six months while I was unemployed, and it was wonderful getting a load of weight off, but I’m a milky-tea, cheese-sandwich and fish’n’chips man, and couldn’t do it forever.

  13. Vegans get enough protein and vit B12 if they eat the weavils infesting their jars of pulses. It’s the squeamish ones that get megaloblastic anaemia , degeneration of the posterior column of the spinal chord and kwashiorkor.

  14. Vegans get enough protein and vit B12 if they eat the weavils

    So it’s not always wise to choose the lesser of two weevils?

    Ha ha! Over to Dictionary Corner.

  15. ‘This nonsense about meat eating being bad for the planet’

    Fvck the planet. I’ll eat what I want. I don’t give a sh|+ about “the planet.”

    This big ol’ dirt ball doesn’t care what we do. It will keep flying around the sun NO MATTER WHAT WE DO!

    “For the planet” is right there with “for the children” as a reason.

  16. @jgh: do you like chutney in your cheese sandwich? You can probably buy vegan chutney and you could always cross your fingers on the subject of the cheese.

    I used to know a “vegetarian” who ate fish. There’s no end to the madness of these buggers.

  17. “I used to know a “vegetarian” who ate fish.”

    I’ve known a couple, too.

    I detest moral vegetarians. Their sanctimony shouts ignorance and speciesism. Killing baby peas so you can claim you don’t kill cows is just stupid.

    We are animals. We can’t create our food; we must kill other living things to survive. Eating tofu changes nothing.

    ‘The broadcaster was hit by a barrage of complaints after Kirsty Wark interviewed Joanna Blythman, a food writer, on Radio 4’s Start the Week programme on Monday.’

    Barrage. How many complaints to make a barrage? H/T Chamfort

    ‘Furious listeners accused Ms Wark of lacking impartiality in her handling of the issue, while others suggested the BBC had given airtime to “fatuous propaganda on behalf of the meat industry”.’

    Is ‘industry’ the problem? People have been eating meat since time immemorial; what does ‘industry’ have to do with it? Does ‘industry’ taint all?

  18. Bloke in North Dorset

    Fact: 100% of Adolf Hitlers were vegan

    And using the sort of lefty logic that they apply to the rest of us that means that all vegans are Nazis.

    I used to know a “vegetarian” who ate fish. There’s no end to the madness of these buggers.

    I know quite a few pescatarians.

  19. @TobyP October 26, 2019 at 9:19 am

    No, you don’t need to be “very careful” with supplements – this is simply untrue

    It’s not untrue. Rather easy to overdose on Iron, Vits A & D supplements to name a few; have deficiency of B Vits, Iodine etc

    Many Vegans & Vegetarians are B12 deficient, some diagnosed and having injections at taxpayers’ cost – a 99p McD is much cheaper than visit to GP and B12 ampoule, needle, syringe, plaster & waste incineration

  20. “Where does the Vitamin B12 come from in a vegan diet?”

    In a “natural” diet, from the insect residue stuck to the food. Half a dozen ants a day is enough. In a modern ideologically pure vegan diet, from supplements. Typically fortified soy milk or fortified bread, unless you’re also avoiding Big Food, and then you have to go for medicine supplements, putting you in the pocket of Big Pharma.

  21. Steve said:
    “Fact: 100% of Adolf Hitlers were vegan”

    There’s a minor Indian politician called Adolf Hitler (as given names; he’s Adolf Hitler Gupta, or whatever; presumably his parents were fans), but since he’s Indian you might still be correct.

    But weren’t there some others as well, who changed their name later? Unlikely they were all vegan.

  22. @Pcar – from the NHS website:

    “With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs. If you do not plan your diet properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12.”

    Some marmite or coconut milk or soy products – all popular with vegans – and job done. I’m not denying that B12 deficiency is a potential problem – just that saying the statement “you have to be very careful with supplements” is exaggerating and misleading.

    Oh and militant vegans are a complete pain in the arse, just like anybody else trying to impose their lifestyle on others. I trust we can agree on that.

  23. @TobyP

    With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet

    Rules out 9 out 10 human herbivores

    Oh and militant vegans are a complete pain in the arse, just like anybody else trying to impose their lifestyle on others. I trust we can agree on that.

    Yes, very much so. State schools imposing vegan meals only being a PITA example

    .
    Global Warming – Veganism needed to halt it
    Everywhere is Warming Twice as Fast As Everywhere Else
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-CxkCtSnLU

  24. @ TobyP
    With careful planning *including artificial vitamin supplements*
    And a relatively high-protein (for vegans) diet – and vast amounts of exercise to burn up the excess calories (unless you want to be obese or muscle-deficient)
    I don’t know of (let alone know) any healthy vegans my own age – that is just anecdata but it is data. Can *you* produce any dta to balance it?

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