Monday, April 20, 2009

Vegans last longer

The Princeton Animal Welfaore Society (PAWS) hosted its first annual VegFest, featuring chipotle burritos, vegan desserts, music, free t-shirts and a presentation by scientist T. Colin Campbell.

Author of the "China Study"--one of the most comprehensive examinations of the relationship between the consumption of animal products and illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis--Campbell gave a powerpoint presentation on nutritional misconceptions and studies that have provided evidence to the contrary. The China Project took place over the course of twenty years and surveyed the death rates from cancer in 2,400 counties and 880 million citizens in China. Campbell was featured in a new documentary about vegan health, A Delicate Balance, which PAWS showed to a small group of students and community members last week.

Campbell is among many emerging nutritionists and scientists who are trying to undo public understanding of health, which among other things attributes milk consumption to strong bones and considers animal products the only source of a "complete protein." Though Campbell has received peer-reviewed research funding, he still faces stiff opposition from the public and even at Cornell, where his class was banned (perhaps attributable to Cornell's very large school of agriculture and their vested interest in meat consumption).

The theme of PAWS' "blitz week" was vegan health, which we summed up in the slogan written on our American Apparel giveaway shirts: Vegans Last Longer. (subtext intended)

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