Regular readers know that I am a strong supporter of the rights of individuals to live their lives as is best for them, without interfering with the rights of others to do things their way. Thus, whilst I do not personally follow it, I have no issue with anyone who wants to be on a vegan diet.

Sadly, there is an extremist element in the vegan movement and this was on display recently in Melbourne with protestors disrupting Monday morning commuters seeking to go about their lawful business. Vegans, like other members of society have a right to protest but not to disrupt city streets.

Far worse is the harassment of farmers and their families. The Gippy Goat Café in Victoria has closed its doors. Its Facebook page noted “Our staff and customers have been subjected to nearly four months of constant harassment, vile statements and threats from the abusive vegan activists. We have personally been subjected to an appalling stream of threats of extreme violence against ourselves, our family, our staff and even their families. Our staff have been subjected to daily threats and harassment by phone, and we cannot in good conscience ask them to continue working under such a condition”.

It continued “…eight good people are now without a job, families no longer can enjoy the good food and open space, and children can no longer interact with our animals”.

There is a massive difference between wanting humane treatment of animals and not accepting that there is a food chain and that humans sit at its top. Sharks, lions and a host of other animals eat other animals. This is as the late Steve Irwin said “nature’s way”.

Memo vegans – threats, violence and disruption will not help one solitary animal. It will actually harm your cause.

There is absolutely a need for better animal husbandry. We can be a part of this by paying a few cents more to support good farming practices rather than seeking the lowest price. Where possible we should choose free range eggs, and free range meats from farms where the animals can roam. We can support small farms and farmers markets.

We can be selective in what we buy. Retailers  and producers will respond to this as it is in their commercial interests to do so. As against big public health which gets taxpayer dollars come what may, private industry relies on its ability to provide what consumers want to buy.

We are already seeing the food industry and retailers responding with more shelf space being devoted to lower carb foods and free range and organic products.

It was interesting then, that in the same week as the protests, the WA parliamentary Education and health standing committee tabled its report on “The food fix– the role of diet in type two diabetes prevention”. Like most of these reports it is long and has multiple recommendations and findings.

I must declare an interest here having made a submission and being quoted in the final document. The executive summary quotes UK GP David Unwin who has successfully revered type two diabetes in some of his patients through a low carbohydrate diet.

“This is the message from UK low carbohydrate diet advocate, Dr David Unwin: not one of deprivation but one of replacement, rebalancing and flourishing through food choices that ensure blood sugar levels remain stable, putting consumers in control”.

Finding five and recommendation three are as follows;

Finding 5

There is convincing evidence to support the use of dietary interventions such as the very low calorie diet and the low carbohydrate diet in the treatment of people with type 2 diabetes.

Recommendation 3

The Department of Health ensure that guidelines for the management of type 2 diabetes reflect the success of dietary interventions – such as the very low calorie diet and the low carbohydrate diet – in treating the disease. These approaches should be formally offered as management options.

In a nutshell they are saying what heretics like Gary Fettke and Tim Noakes been saying for years. We need to offer a low carb diet to those with type two diabetes. Indeed, we need to be advising everyone that this is a worthwhile dietary option.

Contrast this with the efforts of big public health to silence Noakes and Fettke for daring to advise people to eat less refined carbs.

It remains to be seen what action is taken off the back of this report. I doubt that there will be much as there is too much vested interest in the status quo.

However, there is no need for you to wait for any government to do anything. You can educate yourself and make changes to what you eat today. The information and evidence is there – and not hard to find.