Updated: Feb 13
I had my bone density checked, this was before I went vegan, and the result was low, this isn't good. Low bone density means that your bones aren't strong enough and could break more easily. When my doctor saw my result she asked me:
"Do you drink milk?"
"No." I said, I've never liked cow's milk, it makes me feel sick.
"You need to increase the dairy in your diet." She said.
"No." I said.
I explained that I didn't like milk and I would not drink it. She didn't like it, but I'm glad that I didn't listen, my bones are fine, they didn't break and now I make sure that I eat my greens to get all of the calcium that I need.
Doctors are the people that we go to when we’re sick. They give us advice, the give us medicine and they make us feel better, when they can. But, why don’t doctors like vegan diets? It seems that all vegans know that being vegan is great for your health, you look amazing, you feel amazing, you are amazing, but doctors think it’s bad. There are people that work in health and medicine that know about how unhealthy it is to eat animals and drink milk, but they are often told that they are wrong. A report from 2013 by Tuso et al looked at the benefits of a vegan diet and said that physicians (doctors) “should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients.” So why is this ignored?
When doctors go to medical school if they are not studying to become a dietician or nutritionist they get very little education about diet and nutrition beyond fat bad, thin good. They are not taught about how to get a balanced diet or how to change what someone eats to help whatever illness they may have. Most doctors say that they only got a couple of days of teaching about food and no training about how food can make you ill or make you well. Because of this a lot of doctors believe that what we eat isn’t all that important.
When doctors see their patients they often have only 15 minutes, sometimes less, to sit with them. During this time they have to talk about how their patient has been, examine them and decide what to do next. This is a lot to cover and doctors feel that they don’t have time to talk to people and explain that a change in what they eat would help them, so they don’t; they give more medicine because it’s faster.
It can be hard to talk to someone who is ill and in pain about changing what they eat. To tell someone that not eating the foods that they enjoy will actually make them feel better than any medicine isn’t easy, especially when you’re talking to someone that knows nothing about nutrition. They will argue, maybe they think that what they’re eating is healthy, maybe they like their food so much that they won’t give it up, they might ignore anything that is said to them because the think its nonsense. Some patients simply want to take a tablet instead of making changes, it’s easier, but it doesn’t work.
So what do we do about it? The best thing to do is to be an example of what living a vegan life is, how easy it is, how fun it is and how well it works. Tell me in the comments about what has happened when you've talked to people about being vegan. What was their response?