I do have one complaint though, from a long time ago. The reason I stopped wanting to read your books or visit your site is because a loooong time ago you refused to call yourself a "vegetarian". You said "we eat turkey once a year so we don't call ourselves vegetarian"...as IF being veg is a bad
Now, THAT offended me. I am veg mostly for ethnical reasons. IMO, it's a beautiful and noble ideal to care about the fellow creatures on the planet. We should not be embarrassed about it even though many in the world want to condemn us because they lack the same sensitivities. I think the health benefits are GREAT....however, the most NOBLE reasons for being veg are not wanting to harm other feeling beings. I hope you feel the same now after being in the biz for so long.
I think this is why I connect more with ethical vegetarians more than health vegetarians...because health vegetarians are doing it for themselves, ONLY...while the ethical folk have a deep concern for animals and the planet. The ethical ones are more passionate.
Onetime I met a health vegan...he was explaining to me that he does it for health mostly and not all are "animal rights activists". Okay, fine. I told him for me, it's a passion, I LOVE my diet. He could not understand this...he felt it was about feeling denied and deprived. I told him I love the creativity, the color, the taste, and the fact it's a cruelty free diet. Suffice to say, I was not attracted to this man!
I am glad I finally got to express this. I hope you have considered the beauty of being an ethical vegetarian.
Speaking for myself, this kind of moral superiority is what drives me from "vegetarian" and "vegan" communities. You've said "health" vegs are insensitive, lack passion, do not care about their fellow creatures and lack noble instincts. Amazing that any of us could possibly not want to align ourselves with you.
In a "real" vegetarian community, if two people behave in exactly the same way and eat exactly the same things but one does it for "animal welfare" and the other for "personal health" then the latter is seen as a selfish excuse for a human being and almost worse than people who eat meat (in the "they know not what they do" vein). I know this doesn't describe every ethical vegetarian, but it's an overwhelming undercurrent that is frequently verbalised on every vegetarian community I've ever visited over the last 15 years. I finally left another online community because I couldn't stand this condescending superiority. Also I got tired of the philosophy of animal rights excusing the ignorance about nutrition and science.
I think the reason McDougall doesn't call himself vegetarian is that simply cutting out animal products does not necessarily create a healthier diet and that's all vegan means at the dietary level.
Vegetarian is far worse with the dairy and eggs. A vegetarian, even a vegan, can have a diet that's just as bad or worse as someone who isn't vegetarian. I'm sure you also know many vegetarians and vegans who eat any old junk as long as it didn't come from an animal. And that's why McDougall doesn't classify himself into this very large group. His diet is based on health principles.
I respect your right to your beliefs. Just don't try to tell me that you're a better human being than I am and that I just need to see the light.
This board is a refuge for me from the religious fervor of ethical veganism. There are many ethical vegetarian and vegan communities - you are well catered for. There is only one McDougall board. Long may it continue to be secular.