Is It ‘Un-American’ to Avoid Meat? WWYD Tackles Vegan-Bashing

By Tami Sheheri

Feb 8, 2012 9:46am

When a couple forces a hot dog on a young girl in a New Jersey restaurant, neighboring diners are confused and surprised; the girl’s mother had clearly said that the family does not eat meat, dairy or animal by-products.

“Everyone eats hamburgers, it’s un-American not to eat meat,” said the man, urging the girl to enjoy the hot dog.

“So she gets no protein,” added his companion.

In this case, the meat-eating duo and the vegan family actually are actors playing roles in a scenario for ABC News’ “What Would You Do?” filmed at the Mason Jar Grill, in Mahwah, N.J.  But in reality, some worry that a meat-and-dairy-free diet could be dangerous for children.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, an organization of registered dieticians and other nutrition professionals, vegan meals can be good for children as long as certain nutritional guidelines are followed.

“[A]ppropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases,” the organization says on its website. “Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

Tofu, nuts, grains and legumes are all examples of plant-based forms of protein. The association also recommends taking care to ensure that vegan children are given foods that are good sources of vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc and fiber.

Catch a sneak peek of our carnivores’ aggressive antics below and then vote to tell us how you would react. Watch the whole scenario unfold Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

 

 

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