Since last Thursday, four people have perished on Mount Everest. One victim, Maria Strydom, 34, was a vegan who was attempting the "seven summits" (climbing the highest peaks in the world) in a campaign to prove that vegans are equal to carnivores in their athletic capabilities. Strydom summited the 29,035-foot peak, but succumbed on the descent to high-altitude pulmonary edema.
In an interview, Strydom said "It seems that people have this warped idea of vegans being malnourished and weak. By climbing the seven summits we want to prove that vegans can do anything and more." Her husband, also a vegan, survived. The couple had already climbed four of the seven continents' highest summits before their Everest attempt, including Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro and Denali in Alaska.
Many are criticizing the now-deceased Strydom, saying she should've eaten meat or shouldn't have made her dietary choices into a dangerous crusade in the first place. Since she was climbing to proselytize for veganism, criticizing her dietary choices (and whether they may have contributed to her death) are fair game, they say. Her defenders argue Strydom's death had nothing to do with being vegan, and that reports linking the two (and even ridiculing her) are abhorrent.
What do you think?