Ah, vegan…the beginning and end of vegetarian, and a term coined by Donald Watson in 1944 (I’m fascinated by people like Donald, who had enough time on their hands to spearhead a new food movement amidst a calamitous world war). Please note, he was a man. Recently, Brendan Brazier wrote several best-selling books about his success as a triathlete on a vegan diet, with opportunities to use his line of vegan nutrition bars and products to enhance one own’s athleticism, meanwhile decreasing the size of one’s ecological foot print. Note, he is also a man. Matt Amsten, who incidentally became a vegan overnight, and has written an excellent raw vegan cookbook, Rawvolution, is…I think you get the point now…a man. Now, please, don’t take me wrong, I am a very strong advocate for conscientious eating, and believe that the vegan diet is actually the most easily digested, most accepted form of food for our bodies, as well as environmentally sound, IF FOLLOWED CORRECTLY. So, what is my beef? Natural selection. Specifically, what allows men to lead a vegan diet and become successful enough to write about it is the absence of iron deficiency anemia. Although all vegan diets are deficient in iron (among other vitamins and minerals) because the best absorbable source of this metal is meat, men’s iron requirements are substantially below (8mg/d) those for women of childbearing age (18mg/d). This unfair advantage can really cost women as chronic fatigue sets in, a major symptom of iron deficiency anemia, hindering cognitive and immune function, as well as physical energy level. In turn, women may be held back from excelling to their full potential, what ever that may look like, because they are just too darn tired. This saddens me, because for literally pennies a day, iron deficiency anemia can be prevented and managed through supplementation. Let’s hope all vegan women all over the world do it right, and rise to the occasion.