This morning, we received the following email from a dietitian, who asked to remain anonymous:
“I recently spoke at a state dietetic meeting on vegetarian nutrition, which went terrifically except for one small, odd experience. The very kind, helpful organizers asked me beforehand if my talk would ‘disparage meat’ because the beef group sponsor of the meeting had it in their contract that no speaker could talk negatively about their product. It seemed that they were almost embarrassed to have to ask me this.
I told them no, but of course I’d be speaking about the benefits of eating more plant foods. This is a scientific conference and I have the evidence to back up my statements! What if I wanted to talk in detail about the Livestock’s Long Shadow UN report? Or any of the evidence that excess meat consumption has negative health consequences?
This is an example of the power some of these companies have. They’ve had it for so long that many RDs no longer see it and falsely assume this is how things should be.
But, take a second and imagine if a vegetarian group had a contract with a dietetic conference that no speaker could talk bad about vegetarianism. Everyone would claim it is an unfair and goes against the spirit of science- which it does. I would never want such a stipulation. And any RD who is interested in furthering our field should not want these limitations on our conferences- by any group.”