From a Newsweek interview with Rachel McAdams (August 22, 2005) - she of "Wedding Crashers" and "The Notebook" movie fame.
Newsweek: But aren't you a vegetarian?
Rachel: No. I was for a couple years, but I just got so tired. I fell asleep during a Chris Rock concert once - I was, like, front row, center - and after that I said, "I've got to go back on meat." I need some iron. But I try to stay away from the baby animals.
I put this in the Not A Vegan Yet section to illustrate the misconceptions that new vegans and non-vegans may have. If we dissect this answer we can see the misunderstandings clearly.
First - I got so tired. Hmmmm, omnivores never get tired? What WERE you eating, not what were you NOT eating would have been my question. Were you trying to survive on junk food, sugar, white flour, salad?
Second - I fell asleep during a concert. Hey, I fell asleep on dates back in my 20's when I was working and going to college. Meat didn't seem to keep me awake. I am sure most/many people who fall asleep in public are omnivores.
Third - I need some iron. What about plant sources or supplements (which many menstruating women are advised to take regardless of diet). I am a vegan who donates blood 3-4 times per year as well as menstruating. I also lift weights 6 days a week and bike. Obviously you don't need meat for iron.
Fourth - I try to stay away from the baby animals. You TRY? Why not just stay away? What's wrong with the babies - not enough iron? Or is it the age thing? A cow at slaughter is the equivalent of an 8 to 9 year old human child (7.5 to 10% of its natural lifespan). Would we consider that child to have lived a long enough life and not get upset if she dies? Or is it only animals that don't deserve to live past childhood?
These are invalid points that Rachel gives. She does all vegetarians and vegans a disservice by blaming lack of meat for her problems. These are the same uneducated arguements that new vegans hear from omnivores all the time.
Anyone new to veganism should learn more about nutrition; not because veganism is nutritionally lacking but because an omnivore diet masks bad eating habits in the short run, allowing people to eat poorly and only pay the price in later years. If you go vegan and have problems then look at what is missing from your diet (whole grains, beans, legumes?) or what needs to be cut out (white flour, sugar, junk food?). What's missing is not meat. If we truly needed to eat meat then this forum wouldn't exist. We are all living proof that a plant based diet is healthy if it is balanced.