To the editor:
In the March 14 article regarding fad diets, vegan Sylvester Graham was mistakenly labeled as "the originator of food fads." It also was stated that "graham crackers are his contribution to healthy eating." Actually his contributions to society are far more vast than a simple cracker. He and many other "universal reformers," as they were called, worked passionately to end slavery, oppression of women, cruelty to animals and many other issues of the 1800s.
Out of respect for the rights of animals to live free of human oppression, they ate no animal products.
Also, veganism is, strictly speaking, not a diet, so it cannot be considered a "fad diet." Veganism is a way of living based on nonviolence and respect for all life. In an effort to do no harm (or the least possible harm), vegans do not wear, eat, experiment on or use animals. Every possible attempt is made not to support industries that do so.
Although some think vegans are giving up a lot of pleasure, that is definitely not the case. The risks of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and many other diseases are greatly diminished, so one generally enjoys better health. Also vegan food is varied, beautiful and delicious. Best of all, one's heart is filled with an inner joy and peace. However, health, tasty food and joy are not the goals of vegan living, for the goal is to end the suffering of others. Instead, they are the side benefits of it.