Michael Klaper, M.D.
Born on July 19, 1947. He's an American physician and
author. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine
in 1972. He has written the books
Pregnancy, Children, and the Vegan Diet
Vegan Nutrition : Pure and Simple.
He also made a DVD called
A Diet for All Reasons.
He is the Director of the Institute of Nutrition Education and Research
and a member of the Nutrition Task Force of the American Medical Student
Association. He has also served as an advisor to the N.A.S.A. project on
nutrition for long-term space colonists on the moon and on Mars. You can
find his website at
|Dr. Klaper spent sixteen of
childhood summers on his uncle's dairy farm in Wisconsin. He
shared a memory from those summers:
|"The very saddest sound in
all my memory was burned into my awareness at age five on my
uncle's dairy farm in Wisconsin. A cow had given birth to a
beautiful male calf. The mother was allowed to nurse her calf
but for a single night. On the second day after birth, my uncle
took the calf from the mother and placed him in the veal pen in
the barn - only ten yards away, in plain view of the mother. The
mother cow could see her infant, smell him, hear him, but could
not touch him, comfort him, or nurse him. The heartrending
bellows that she poured forth - minute after minute, hour after
hour, for five long days - were excruciating to listen to. They
are the most poignant and painful auditory memories I carry in
Since that age, whenever I hear anyone
postulate that animals cannot feel emotions, I need only to
replay that torturous sound in my memory of that mother cow
crying her bovine heart out to her infant. Mother's love knows
no species barriers, and I believe that all people who are
vegans in their hearts and souls know that to be true."
Other quotes by Dr. Klaper:
|When asked how he had become interested in
veganism, he answered:
|"Early 1980s, ... my nights were spent in
the emergency and trauma units, seeing the terrible results of
violence: shot gun blasts, knifings, and I saw the terrible
devastations that violence brings to people’s lives, and not
just physical violence, but emotional, sexual, mental violence
and I knew I wanted to reduce violence in all forms in my own
life - in my thoughts in my words, in my deeds.
Within weeks I
really looked at the entire web of the connection of our
exploitation of animals, - not only meat eating, but leather
wearing and dairy eating."
|"A vegan diet and lifestyle makes a
statement to all that “killing is not part of my problem-solving
kit. I won’t use extermination of any sentient
creature--including humans--as a solution to a given problem,
even involving my food, water, or other vital matters.” Such a
stance of non-violent intent emanates feelings of safety towards
those around you and will make any situation better."
|"It all starts with the self, to find that
quiet place in the self that, no matter what is happening
around, I know that I’m going to maintain my centre of
non-violence, and no matter what anyone else is eating at the
table, "no thank you. I’m not going to have any today."...
Growing into your own power as a person is when you realize you
don’t have to answer to anybody - only to the truth, and your
own heart. You realize that you’re responsible only to yourself
and to your own conscience."
|"We’ve been conducting our Vegan Health
Study for several years now and we see most people do quite well
on vegan diets. But, there are some folks who will lose muscle
mass, experience lower energy levels and not feel at their best
eating a vegan diet. ... When we do blood tests on them, we
often find that they are low in important trace minerals like
zinc, magnesium and copper. Part of that is attributable to the
high fiber content of a whole-foods vegan diet. ...
If the calcium or zinc or copper is bound
tightly within the plant fibers and then passes through the
intestinal tract quickly, as happens on a vegan diet, we may not
have a chance to absorb the nutrients we need, and as the years
go by, mineral deficiencies may develop. ...
It is essential to chew your food! Chewing your food "to a
cream" breaks down the cell walls of the plant and allows the
nutrients to be absorbed. ...
I’m a big fan of
soups and stews and smoothies that have plant fibers that are
well broken down to facilitate nutrient absorption. I think that
a diet should be at least 50% raw, 50% cooked, and if necessary
I’m certainly not averse to taking a vitamin/mineral supplement
tablet once or twice a week, to top up your supplies of these
essential trace minerals."
|"Vitamin B12 is a real issue. Plant foods
don’t have B12, and if one follows a pure vegan diet for many
months or years, the B12 stores in the body will become depleted
If a severe B12 deficiency is left untreated, severe damage to
the brain, spinal cord and nerves can result, so this is a
subject that vegans cannot ignore. I recommend that, at least
once weekly, vegans have some food that is fortified with
vitamin B12. Fortunately, today, many soy milks and rice milks
and other foods are so fortified. To be even more sure, I suggest that they take
a vitamin B12 supplement. The most effective form is to buy from
the chemist or health shop, the little 500 mcg or 1000 mcg
vitamin B12 sublingual (under the tongue) "microdots." They are
quickly absorbed and, taken once or twice monthly, produce
excellent B12 levels. Vitamin B12 taken as part of an oral
multivitamin is less reliably absorbed, so if a long-term vegan
has any question – especially if they feel that their brain or
nerve function is not what they would like – they should have
their B12 level checked by their health care practitioner."
|"Certainly milk drinking does not seem to
confer any protection against osteoporosis. The countries with
the highest dairy consumption – the U.S., the U.K., the
Scandinavian countries, etc. have the highest rates of
|"If you want to keep your bones strong,
the most important thing to do is to use them – all of your
life! Never miss a chance to walk up stairs, to ride your
bicycle, to walk as much as you can. Walk holding light weights
in your hands, carry packages from the store, stay active!
Equally important, don’t do things that promote the dissolving
of your bone structure, like cigarette smoking, drinking
alcohol, consuming too much sugar, salt, caffeine, and protein
in your diet. All these things conspire against good bone health
and promote dissolution of your bone structure – paving the way
|"If one is concerned about
calcium intake, and assuming you are dropping the dairy from
your diet, make sure you have plenty of dark, green leafy
vegetables in your diet – and chew them well! There are also
plenty of calcium-fortified foods available – from soymilks to
orange juice to breakfast cereals. Finally, one can always take
a liquid or tablet calcium supplement – so to say that you must
drink the lactation secretions of a large bovine to protect your
bones is just silly."
|"A vegan pregnancy is a beautiful thing,
and statistics show it is much lower in medical risk."
|"If the child is drinking mother’s breast
milk, there is no better food. I think that, if possible, women
should breast feed for the first two years of the child’s life.
During the first 6 months of life, they should be exclusively
breast fed, and after six months, simple foods like mashed
fruits and pureed vegetables should be introduced, all the
while, the background flow of breast milk is assuring
nutritional adequacy. Today, there are many wonderful books
available on raising vegan infants and children, such as
Raising Vegetarian Children by vegan dieticians Vesanto
Melina, R.D, and Brenda Davis, R.D."
|"After one year of age, more complex foods
like grains and legumes can be added, but there is no hurry to
do this. Waiting until at least one year of age will let the
intestinal lining mature and reduce the incidence of food
allergies. By the end of the second year, the child is eating
what is on the parents’ table, and getting the same nutrition
they are. One of the best allies parents of vegan infants can
have is a baby food maker. After 18 months of age or so,
whatever the parents are having for dinner is put through the
baby food maker and out comes a nutritious puree that will
nourish the child as they learn to chew and enjoy solid foods."
|"The connections between global
meat consumption and the environmental problems we face on this
planet are becoming ever more clear."
|"It is becoming ever more evident that the
world’s diet needs to become substantially more vegan – soon!"
Quotes are from his
with Northwest Veg and his
interview with David Horton from Abolitionist-online.
|Image of Michael
Michael Klaper, M.D.
Copyright © 2011 by Wanda Embar and its licensors. All Rights