A leading doctor has suggested that bodybuilder Jon Venus ditched veganism because doing so may have opened the door to more business opportunities.
Venus revealed that he ditched his plant-based diet in a video released on YouTube last, titled I am not longer vegan.
The video led to a significant amount of commentary within the vegan community about the decision - including from top plant-based doctor Dr. Garth Davis, a weight loss surgeon, who discussed the move, and suggested that people shouldn't take it too seriously.
I am not longer vegan
In the video, Venus says he started changing his general philosophical perspective two years ago when he and his partner were expecting their child. He said that looking at nutritional papers was confusing, and that people could draw different conclusions from looking at the same research.
He added: "A lot of times when you're vegan, especially for me, you are in this bubble. You are in the mindset of 'we are doing something that is ethical, we're doing this because it feels right in every single way...and because this is my perspective, I'm only going to listen to other people with the same perspective that have the same mission'."
He said that people with this perspective cannot approach evidence with a neutral mindset. He says that he now 'as a father' feels a duty to 'get the full picture' instead of looking at evidence through a pro-vegan lens. He said it is 'easy not to question' whether a vegan diet is optimum for human health as that is the ideology that is pushed, and that there is very little science to suggest plant-based diets are optimal for adults and children.
He alluded to 'nutritional deficiencies' in people close to him, but said he would not discuss that any further, then added that if his child was not on a vegan diet, he would not follow one either, but would continue to do his best for animals and the planet.
Why are people freaking out?
Now leading plant-based doctor Dr. Garth Davis has suggested that people should avoid 'freaking out' just because 'one guy who's a social media influencer has dropped veganism'.
Dr. Davis added: "He's not a nutrition expert, he's not a doctor. Maybe freak out if [Dr.] McDougall says he's no longer vegan, or if Dr. Greger comes out with a video of with a whole bunch of references, or if I say 'boy, I was wrong about protein, you better be getting a whole bunch of protein right now and it better be coming from meat'.
"I find it weird that he isn't vegan anymore because of nutrient deficiencies...I see a lot of nutrient deficiencies in a lot of people, not just vegans. In fact, I see very few nutrient deficiencies in vegans, and it's easy to treat if I do find it, vitamin D, and things like that."
Veganism and health
Dr. Davis added that 'veganism is not [something you do] for health reasons' - and while there is a huge amount of data showing how healthy a plant-based diet can be, he isn't vegan for his health - he is plant-based for his health.
"Occasionally I go out and get a beer, that's not necessarily healthy," he said. "Or I will drink a glass of wine. I have been known at times to smoke a cigar. These aren't healthy things, I do them once in a blue moon. But if I was doing veganism for health reasons, then once in a blue moon I'd have a cheeseburger. But I'm not doing that because I'm vegan for an ethic. And if you're vegan for an ethic the idea of leaving that - because of a nutrient deficiency - seems a little bit strange to me because it means you no longer have that ethic.
"These nutrient deficiencies are rare and when people have them it's extremely easy to supplement...to each their own. If you don't want to be vegan you don't have to. If he's going to go on a predominantly plant-based diet, I'm sure he'll be very healthy that way...I really don't think he has any nutrient deficiencies, I think there may be more business opportunities elsewhere or he simply is nervous about raising a kid. I'm sure he'll stay predominantly plant-based unless there's a lot of fame in some other areas."
Plant Based News has contacted Jon Venus for comment and will update this article in due course.