Part 2: Interview with a Vegan

Drinking three glasses of whole milk packs enough saturated fat in your bloodstream as eating 12 strips of bacon or a Big Mac and fries.

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This is my second day of my Week of Vegetarianism, and I really enjoyed choosing foods with a higher level of consciousness than before. I thought I had certain things in the pantry and freezer, but turns out the black beans were M.I.A. So instead of a black bean burrito for lunch, I had fab omelet with red and green bell peppers, onions and cheese, and some grapes. Again, the cheese makes me ineligible for the vegan club. (And by the way, thanks to fellow Anne Rice fans who “get” the headline.)

I had a mixture of collards and black-eyed peas for dinner, and a roll with some Smart Balance spread, because the meal otherwise would have no fat.  I did buy some black beans for lunch today, so we’ll see what happens. Meanwhile, here’s the second part of my Q & A with Tracye Lynn McQuirter, author of By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Look Phat. Her book is filled with disturbing, yet fact-based information on what really happens to animals before they reach the supermarket as food, all that is wrong with meats, chicken and even fish.

Question: How can anyone say anything bad about fish?

Answer: You mean how can anyone say eating a smelly chunk of decomposing flesh from polluted waters is bad?  The nerve!

The fact is that fish is one of the most contaminated foods on the market – from mercury, arsenic, PCBs, dioxin, DDT, lead, aluminum and radioactive waste dumped into our oceans and rivers by the ton every day.  A recent study in the American Journal of Cardiology shows that eating fish does not improve heart health or prevent heart disease. 

Ah, but what about the omega oils?  Well, if you get it from fish, the oils are contaminated with those industrial toxins.  Fish oil has also been shown to inhibit the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin, which spells trouble if you have diabetes – as do one in four black women over 50.  You can take these risks or get your omega-3 oils from plant algae (where the fish get theirs) or your omega-6 oils from walnuts and flax seeds.

Q: Your “Milk is for Heifers” chapter was unsettling. What are the top five reasons we shouldn’t drink cow’s milk?

A:  1. We’re not newborn calves trying to grow from about 60 pounds to 600 pounds in six weeks on nothing but high-fat cow’s milk.

2.  Drinking three glasses of whole milk packs enough saturated fat in your bloodstream as eating 12 strips of bacon or a Big Mac and fries.