Vegan RD extraordinaire Ginny Messina was interviewed over on The Thinking Vegan and it’s well worth a read. Ginny talks the standard nutrition talk, but unlike many RDs, she also discusses the ethical side of veganism. This section is particularly striking (emphasis mine):
No one knows what the exact “ideal” diet for humans is, or if there is any single diet that fits that definition. I talk with my colleagues frequently about new research and whether we need to reassess some of our recommendations or advice based on the latest findings – because ideas about the best way to eat are forever changing. Who knows what the research will be showing 40 years from now? But an ethic of justice doesn’t change. The argument in favor of animal rights today will be the same in 40 years. So why not stick with the argument that is 100 percent unassailable, the one that we never have to scramble to defend in light of new findings?
In addition, I think there is a real problem in shifting the focus of veganism away from an ethic of justice for animals toward more anthropocentric concerns. It actually reinforces the idea that our food and lifestyle choices should be all about us – a belief that lies at the center of animal exploitation.
I used to feel that people that came to veganism solely through a desire to eat healthier couldn’t be counted on to be in it for the long-haul. Natala proved me wrong. However, I do still think that at some point during a person’s transition to veganism, the ethical side of it should come into play to help reinforce one’s resolve.
(ETA the link to the interview. Oops.)