06/10/08 Denial of Article "Vegetarianism can be Dangerous for Health"
Dr. Marko Lukic
Clinical Hospital Osijek
Department of Nutrition
Josipa Huttlera 4
June 10, 2008
Dear Dr. Lukic,
Animal Friends is a non-profit organization that promotes vegetarianism, considering it a healthy, ethical, and ecologically acceptable lifestyle.
We address you in regard to your statement published in Glas Slavonije on June 10, 2008, page 13, in which you state that conventional medicine does not consider vegetarianism to be an adequate diet.
We request that you to gather more information on the vegetarian diet in order to avoid giving incorrect information on the vegetarian diet and misleading the public, which could damage your reputation.
The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada have done a very detailed and lengthy research which concluded that a "well-planned vegan and other vegetarian diet is suitable for any stage in life, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy and adolescence." Furthermore, the research states "that a properly planned vegetarian diet is healthy, sufficient in nutrients, and ensures health benefits in prevention and treatment of certain diseases." We are sending you the entire study in the attachment.
We would also like to use this opportunity to turn your attention to the Decision on the Standard of Diet of Patients in Hospitals issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Care (Official Gazette, no. 121, November 26, 2007), which includes both vegan and lactoovovegetarian diets (table 1, num. 39 and 40). We consider it necessary for you, as the dietitian of the Department of Nutrition of the Clinical Hospital Osijek, to be acquainted with the afore-mentioned decision in order to ensure a suitable diet which will satisfy all nutritive needs by using plant-based foods for patients who are vegetarians or vegans. The decision is also attached.
According to an independent research done by the SPEM Communication Group in 2007, 3.7 per cent of Croatian citizens are vegetarians, meaning that there are over 150,000 people in Croatia who are following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Since a vegetarian and vegan diet is accepted in the world by all public institutions and confirmed by physicians, dietitians and scientists, we expect Croatian experts in the field of nutrition to invest some time into further training on vegetarian and vegan diets in order to objectively inform the public.
We invite you to visit the web-site of our organization, www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr, and read scientific articles on veg(etari)an diet. You can also obtain literature on the vegetarian diet, and we strongly recommend a book by dr. Stephen Walsh, Plant Based Nutrition and Health.
- I. Kukic, Glas Slavonije