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Guest Post: Lorette C. Luzajic

As I wrote in my last post announcing my imminent vacation, I don't do guest posts here (and I get at least a request per week). I'm not sure why I don't. I suppose because it's a blog and I think blogs ought to be written by their owners / creators. But I guess every rule has an exception now and then, especially when the writing is of the quality you're going to see and the content, edge & style is so right up my alley. Also, she follows this blog and references it in the article. So there.

Here's the author's introduction:

Lorette C. Luzajic writes from Toronto, Ontario. A former vegetarian, she’d been a reluctant carnivore for several years. In early 2008 she found true health after removing gluten from her diet, nullifying a lifetime of mysterious ailments and diseases. She scaled back on other grains, lost her fear of animal fat and protein, and is now a proponent of nature’s heritage diet. Lorette is also a self-taught artist and a widely published poet. She is the author of four books- the acclaimed Astronaut’s Wife: Poems of Eros and Thanatos, Weird Monologues for a Rainy Life (irreverent ramblings from the end of the world), Dendrite Pandemonium: hits, misses and random b-sides, and goodbye, Billy Jean: the meaning of Michael Jackson. Lorette writes about meat, life as a bipolar artist, and interesting people. Visit her at thegirlcanwrite.net, fascinatingpeople.wordpress.com, and thepaleogarden.com, or click here to see all of her books.

Life and Death and the Garden of Eden

by Lorette C. Luzajic

We’ve been told so frequently that vegetarians are healthier and live longer than shameless carnivores that even Paleo diet proponents may be surprised by new headlines refuting this common “wisdom.” Because we’ve had to dig deeply for truth under the monocrop and animal liberation propaganda. When Sally Fallon suggested that saturated fat is “good for you,” her outrageous assertions spawned websites bickering about how some people also think the world is flat. The idea that shunning animal foods is the ticket to paradise is widespread today. It is considered common knowledge that vegetarians enjoy better health benefits, a miraculous life span, and shining skin, along with a squeaky clean conscience. But the truth is that behind all these glowing good intentions 0and nutrition “facts” is that vegetarianism is not a diet- it is a fundamentalist religion.

When the 1950s Lipids Hypothesis guessed that animal fat in the western diet was responsible for our growing rates of death and disease, it was good news for the vegetable oil industries to glom onto. Where for millennia, we had used lard and butter, now we used corn and soy oils. That these same oils and white sugar and flour might be the guilty party in the deadly western diet wasn’t given the time of day. Forever after, animal fat was vilified as a vicious foe.

But before that, the monocrop monolith took our meat away for moral motivations, not merely monetary ones. In the 1800s, Doctors Graham and Kellogg came onto the scene, pushing their corn and wheat fibre snake oil. Avoiding constipation with fibre, you see, would keep us pure and save us from our sins. Meat had to be avoided at all costs, not because of compassion for our fuzzy friends, but because it incited lust. Leo Tolstoy’s “peaceful” lifestyle was mainly about how meat inflamed lust. Early waves of western vegetarianism were totally based on the religious ideal of avoiding meat to avoid sexuality. (Yes, monastic practices avoid meat to avoid killing, but also to make celibacy easier. Monks knew that soy had a feminizing effect on their manhood.) Incidentally, the infantile obsession that some vegetarians have with “impacted fecal matter” clogging colons everywhere comes from these ancient cereal quacks. Kellogg wrote extensively about how meat clumped into the colon and rectum and pushed onto the sex organs, pressuring them into lust. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. There is zero truth behind this “condition.” It doesn’t exist.

But as the aftermath of this obsession with sex and feces was a fortune in the cereal markets, and as moralizing brought about vast gains in the vegetable oil industry, the world over came to believe that a vegetarian diet was the key to eternal youth and happiness. This is precisely in line with fundamentalist religions. True Christianity is about personal faith and humility- about following a compassionate pauper’s loving imperative. But fundie faith is about raising monolith churches, a “prosperity gospel” that happily robs the poor after lying to them, and builds glowing empires of Porsches and private jets. If you weren’t feeling His abundance, then you just weren’t giving enough, or there wasn’t enough faith, or there was still too much sin in your heart.

This is no different from today’s veganism. If you dare to feel sick or undernourished or starved, it is because you are a slovenly, greedy, murderous, lustful human being. If you are getting sick, you MUST be sneaking in some vile meat products somewhere, or else you are being punished because your envelope adhesive was made out of mosquito testicles.

To these new fundamentalists, veganism is the answer, the key to salvation. It would get rid of disease and wrinkles and let you live longer than the fat, lascivious, pimply gluttons who ate eggs or beef. Indeed, it even became familiar truth that the natural human diet was a vegetarian one, in that idyllic meadow where we played happily among dancing flowers, before the fall of man, when we were seized by the bloodlust killing our species.

The few voices who maintained the reason of our ancient lifestyle, such as Dr. Atkins, were considered new and dangerous radicals. It has only been in the past decade or so that ancient ideas are becoming popular again. The Paleo movement was a result of various convergences- including archeology and anthropology, which were demonstrating that the less meat and the more carbs a culture ate, the more we saw the so-called protein diseases. It became crystal clear in a heartbeat- the diseases of “civilization” were the disease of civilization- of grain, of sugar, of industrial plant oils. Hunting was, after all, not “civilized” and nor did said “uncivilized” societies have disease. In fact, the more “primitive” and the more meat-based the culture, the more healthy and beautiful the people. It seemed that if we wanted to be strapping, solid, sexy, and possess all of our teeth, we should be feasting on carcass and drinking blood like Kenya’s incredible Masai.

Sigh. But these voices of reason were just voices in our heads. A few scientists and doctors led Team Heritage, and surprise, surprise, our natural diet was healing the sick. But our truth has been largely drowned out of the mainstream by the idealist agenda-ists who value animal life over human life, or by the massive money making machine that keeps pushing grains and sugars on us and tells us we will live forever, if only we trust them. In truth, even the “studies” famous for “proving” vegetarian health and longevity did not prove it. This includes the China Study, the infamous Seventh Day Adventist study, and beyond. Many scientists and statisticians examining the data of these bulwarks found that the results were very different from the politically correct information that was touted into the popular canon. The true data of death in the China Study implicates carbs.

Some escape the clutches of cults, or find a more reasonable faith. And so sometimes, the facts begin to reach the masses who need them. Turns out the cause of arterial blockage is sugar after all. Turns out sugar is the cause of diabetes- d’uh. Turns out that sugar causes cellular damage and aging. The animal liberationists posing as doctors concerned for human health who have been pushing the plant diet for diabetes and heart patients are starting to look like idiots, just like the TV evangels who promised salvation and healing and were exposed as shams. It’s turning out that soy protein is deficient in certain animo acids and high in estrogenic compounds, wreaking havoc on human testosterone levels. Turns out meat is loaded with antioxidants, and the strongest antioxidants are not found in plants, but in our own bodies- and they are nourished with, guess what, the amino acids in meat. Turns out that vitamin B12 is one of our most potent protectors from coronary disease. That’s the vitamin found largely in animal foods.

It is reprehensible to withhold knowledge or misguide people for financial gain or an “ethical” agenda. Since B12 was the “only” nutrient found in meat that could not be obtained from plant foods, its importance was greatly minimized in vegetarian literature. Gurus of “compassion” like John Robbins went so far as to instruct followers not to worry about it. But even the China Study’s Dr. Colin Campbell says he takes supplements.

While news about disease caused by the absence of dietary B12 is now finally reaching people, the truth that meat contains a whole host of nutrients not found in plants is still suppressed. Vitamin D, Vitamin A, zinc, iron, chromium, DHA, cholesterol, saturated fat, carnitine….Since some of these nutrients are “technically” found in plants, idealists can fool the populace. Zinc is one example. This extremely important nutrient can certainly be obtained from vegetables. You need to eat hundreds of servings a day. Saturated fat is a vital nutrient, but idealists got rid of the problematic absence in plant foods by declaring it a disease monger.

Yes, our greatest hope of longevity and vibrant health is meat. Cutting modern plant foods out of our diet- grains, sugars, processed foods, vegetable oils- means our antioxidants don’t have as much work to do. Filling up on meat, fish, eggs, and fresh veggies means living longer.

Meat may indeed be the fountain of youth. The much ballyhooed “proof” that most centenarians are vegetarian is another idealist fairy tale that has replaced reality with fantasy. Tribes and cultures that only eat plants apparently live forever, according to much rhetoric. One “vegan” culture constantly referenced in the popular literature is the Hunzas- yet goat milk, high in saturated fat, actually makes up a huge portion of their calories. The fabled Eden of Okinawa, where nary an animal is killed and soy reigns supreme, is where most people make it to 100. This argument comes up nearly every time I have a conversation about meat. The ludicrousness of this information is lost on those who brag about Okinawa’s testament to soy and vegetables. Why? Because Okinawans are not vegetarian soy eaters. They eat loads of raw fish, like most Japanese. But the clincher is that they love lard and pork. They don’t just love lard- their whole culture revolves around pork. Just ask your vegetarian friends to head to Okinawan tourist or history sites. Okinawa “begins and ends” with pork, says one. “Pork is number one,” says another. Recipes for Okinawan-style pork abound.

Plant eaters and carnivores alike may be surprised to discover that many “aging” processes are nothing more than physical damage caused by carbohydrates. With all the talk about antioxidants, we know that much aging is the result of oxidative stress. The newest darling of discovery is carnosine, and the “carn” part is correct- only carnivores, or meat eaters, get it. What is it? Not to be confused with carnitine, another good friend, it is a dipeptide of the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine, found concentrated in muscle and brain tissue. It occurs in our own bodies, and diminishes with age, oxidative stress, etc. We can consume it in our diet, through animal foods.

It is proven to be a high performing antioxidant. It is an antiglycator- those familiar with words like “glycogen” and so forth will recognize the “glyc” and the “anti” from which you can surmise that it “gets rid of sugar.” Well, yes. It gets rid of sugar damage- helping to prevent and repair glycation and glycosylation. Those are fancy words, loosely referring to sugar aldehydes reacting with the amino acids on the protein molecule. Picture, more simply, what happens when you cut fruit open and it goes yellow. Glycation is one of the primary mechanisms for wrinkles!!!!!

Preventing and repairing glycosylation is far reaching- it positively impacts the immune system, the heart, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, kidney problems, cataracts, autism, pain, retards cancer, alcohol damage, liver problems, longevity, neurodegeneration, olfactory sense, cellular health, wound healing, inflammation, protection from radiation damage, muscle mass, and skin health.

Animal foods are the only sources of this nutrient, and this nutrient is absolutely vital in aging gracefully and avoiding cancer, diabetes, brain deterioration and immunity problems. So once again I must ask why we are always told to avoid or cut down on our meat intake and eat a plant based diet. I must ask why the truth is suppressed, twisted, or outright denied.

Vegetarianism is completely foreign to the human diet. The only vegetarian societies were meat-free for religious reasons. Vegetarianism is, and always has been, about religion, one that must not be imposed on anyone unless they come to it of their own free will, in full knowledge of their true dietary heritage. Religion has often been about denying the body and sacrificing its needs and lusts. It has often been about controlling the sex lives of its followers. Fasting, flagellation, sexual “purity” and ascetic denial are behind many faith practices. They are behind the agenda of early vegetarian proponents like Tolstoy and Kellogg, who were both obsessed with sex.

But the life of a monk is for a contemplative, not for a layman. And packaging idealism as nutritional science is reprehensible. Some of us see a simple spirituality in accepting our full humanity rather than denying it. Certainly spiritual principles call for truth, not lies. Eating meat is no more immoral for me than it is for a cat- since all claims to the contrary, this IS the way I was “designed.”

But scientific truth will not dissuade ardent veganists. This is because veganism is a fundamentalist religion, and fundamentalists believe the fossil record was put there to test our faith in the Genesis story. Fundamentalists in Iran execute gays despite vast science showing that homosexuality is natural and not a “lifestyle” choice. Fundamentalists decry the healing possibilities of stem cell research that are so far our best hope for disease cures. They defy the facts that stem cells have no brain and fewer cells than a fruit fly, and that only a teeny tiny percent of stem cells ever become children since the womb gets rid of most of them all by itself, all the time. Fundamentalist religions believe their truth is the only truth and that everybody else is going to hell. The rest of the world is sinful slime. No amount of proof that humans need meat to function optimally will change a vegan fundamentalist’s mind that eating meat is sin. There is no room for humanity in fundamental religiosity, just for false morality. Even Jesus spoke against the Pharisees, who were the religious fundamentalists of his day.

Maybe you’ve never run into the Vegan Militia. They are angry, violent people and in true fundamentalist fashion, their approach to their faith is totally blind. They purport to love animals, but refuse to accept the animality of animals. Indeed, some, like Matthew Scully, even speak about the “moral degradation” of meat eating animals like cats! These people actually feed cats vegetables, not meat.

There is no extremism quite like the insanity of the vegan politic. Like fundamentalists of any faith, they refuse to believe in history, anthropology, biology, geography, physics, or any other science or scholastic enterprise, or they rewrite all of these according to their dogma. Like fundamentalists of the conservative Christian right wing, they don’t actually care about people at all, despite puppeting false data about that “16 pounds of grain” for every pound of beef. They have no care or concern for people in need or otherwise, unless those people have converted to veganism. Vegetarians aren’t the “right kind of Christian” since they are not vegans.

But worse than all this, among all the yapping about ethics and caring and compassion and value, veganists don’t care about anything at all. I love my cats and I grew up with chickens on a farm, but just once I’d like to hear veganists talking about the genocide in Rwanda, the terrorist mining for minerals in the Congo (which also affects the gorillas if you need that to give a damn), blood diamonds, the lack of hospitals and doctors in Afghanistan and everywhere else, the million plus child prostitutes in Thailand, Philippines, and the men who buy them, the political torture in Eastern Europe, East Africa, and beyond…Of course, veganists all give lip service to their care for human “health” and the “environment.” But in truth, they really don’t like or care about people at all.

Like fundamentalist believers of any faith, they are certain that other humans following their humanity are simply choosing to defy God and worship the devil. They call for “total animal liberation.” Total? My friends, the wild is a savage place, filled with “immoral” hurricanes and volcanoes and famines that mutilate human and nonhuman animals in unimaginable ways, all of the time. The truth is, the religious type of vegetarian hates humans, and being vegan is a great way to refuse being one.

Activists like Camille Marino say “mutilated cadaver parts have been sold and fed to the all-too-eager-to-eat-misery corpse-munching consumer.”

“It's time to stop waving signs at cars or trying to enlighten the apathetic. The fight for the rights of non-human people is urgent and requires us to act outside the box,” she writes. “Being vegan is the first step in being an ethical human being… Negotiation is over: go vegan or die.”

When President Obama described a wonderful lamb dish from Pakistan, this extremist called him “an enthusiastic participant in the holocaust; Barack prefers to molest and ingest the cadavers of exotic non-humans.”

Most human beings, including, likely, President Obama, are brought up to believe that the only justification for killing an animal is for food. Far from attesting to our atrocity, this is a “moral leap” above other “innocent” animals who attack, mutilate, and kill other animals for fun. Indeed, humans who still do this are anomalies- serial killers and sickos that we consider “unevolved” and especially heinous. They are “still savage.” Far from being the vegetarian peaceniks we are told they are, chimpanzees will tear baby chimps limb to limb and cannibalize them just for fun, laughing and tossing the child chimp around amongst themselves.

I follow Richard at freetheanimal.com and he is very outspoken and eloquent on these matters of morality. He has a video on his blog showing the chimpanzee having a gory hey day with its young. He was also raised to avoid torturing animals, justifying their death only for food. He says about vegans, “In the end, y’all remind me of the born-again Christian fundamentalists I grew up around. It’s always about denial, penance, guilt — and over man’s very nature (’original sin’). Vegetarianism offers the very same unearned guilt trap, and there’s no mystery that it’s the young and as-yet dumb and ignorant where lies the biggest push. In the end, you need emotion and feelings-based ignorance: the only life truly suited to the diet of a pea brain.”

The vegan militia is missing the point entirely- caring about nature, embracing it, loving it, existing within it- these cannot possibly mean denying it. Since vegetarianism is absolutely not about nutrition, then it is entirely about morality. I’ll respect your choice to be a vegetarian if and when you respect my non-choice reality of being a carnivore.

Like most fundamentalists who rail against heathen sinners, vegans who “use no animal products” are also hypocrites. If they live in cities or eat farmed crops, they have destroyed thousands of insects, birds, rodents, and animals. They may argue that this is unintentional, and that’s fine. But not one of these vegans would turn down miraculous morphine or anesthetic and opt for surgery without. Yet some of these would open the door to animal laboratories and “free” the “inmates” who are helping us find cures for disease. Not one would say yes, yes, eat your carnosine so that you can avoid cancer and glycation-related diseases and spare some animal tests or some human animal pain.

It is absolutely moral to feed ourselves and our families on the food nature made for us. Far from being vicious and bloodthirsty, it shows a profound respect for nature unencumbered by naïve fantasy. It shows a respect for the circle of life and death, for the sacrifice another makes to nourish me fully and keep me alive. Amen.

Comments

  1. Wow. Thank you for posting this.

    “The truth is, the religious type of vegetarian hates humans, and being vegan is a great way to refuse being one.”

    So true. I believe Lierre Keith in the Vegetarian Myth talked about how wanting to believe that nothing has to die for a human being to live is a very childish thought–it’s like saying if I close my eyes I can make the icky reality go away.

    It’s the circle of life folks. I thrive on a mixture of plants and animals while I live, and when I die, my body will return to the Earth and the fungi and insects and eventually cows, pigs, and other cuddly animals will feast.

  2. Aaron Blaisdell says:

    Very well said! Yes, echoes much of what Lierre Keith wrote in The Vegetarian Myth. I have always wondered, all my life, what produces the fundamentalist mind set. You see it in all civilized cultures. Yet, I think it’s relatively absent in hunter-gatherer societies, or at least has no fodder to grow on within them. My guess is that it is just another manifestation of the diseases of civilization–in this case a mental disorder. If we liken civilization to the human body, then fundamentalism is a cancer and its only intent is to self-perpetuate at the expense of the host. I think a ketogenic diet might help rid us of this “cancer” as it seems to do for other types of cancer.

    • Tim Starr says:

      Fundamentalism’s pre-civilizational, it has nothing to do with diet. It has to do with enforcing rules which were once beneficial to group survival, for small groups (i.e., extended families, tribes, etc.).

      • Sort of. Human society must have rules, and at least some of them must be enforced. The sort of fundamentalism we’re seeing now, though, is largely made up whole-cloth and is book-based. The rigid rules you see in pre-civ societies arise mostly out of group experience. They may not remember why they have all their rules, but all their rules arise out of trial and error. Modern fundies just make it up as they go along. “Oh, I know! Meat-eating is bad!”, even though they have zero evidence to back that up.

    • I don’t liken civilization to the human body. I think it’s antithetical to the health of the human body. I differentiate it from human *society*, though. I believe it’s possible to have the latter without the former, and to even have good behavior and mutual peace. Civilization, though? Do not want. It’s what brought about all these diet-based diseases to begin with. (Not to mention assisting in the spread of infectious ones.) Do a Google search for The Anthropik Network. Lots of interesting writing by an anthropology major in this vein. Daniel Quinn is also good, although he’s more philosopher than scientist.

  3. Dave, RN says:

    My son has a close freind that is a veg. Her dad’s a long time veg too. He just had his first heart attack. Will they treat it as a wake up call? Somehow I doubt it.

    In doing research through JAMA for a company project I ran across several studies that showed that a diet low in fat, with PUFA’s repacing animal fat, and high in vegitables resulted in some negative changes. From one of the studies:

    “The major, and unexpected, findings of the present study
    were that dietary changes altered the plasma concentrations
    of OxLDL-EO6 and lipoprotein(a). Our subjects consumed
    diets containing decreased amounts of total and saturated fat.
    The study protocol used a randomized crossover design for
    each of the study diets, which further adds confidence to the
    main findings that plasma levels of OxLDL-EO6 and Lp(a)
    were significantly increased on the low-fat diets…”

    I liked their conclusion:

    In conclusion, we found that a diet traditionally considered
    to be anti-atherogenic (low in saturated fat and high in
    polyunsaturated fat and naturally occurring antioxidants)
    INCREASED plasma levels of circulating oxidized LDL and
    Lp(a).

    I found three others as well, one with thousands of participants over 8+ years. I wonder why these studies wern’t shouted from the rooftops. Well, not really I don’t…

    • Do you have links, Dave?

      • Dave, RN says:

        Here’s the one I quoted from.

        bit.ly/9FxKwk

        This is the smaller study. There were two others, but I just happened upon them while researching vitamin D and cardiac disease/muscle weakness/cognition aspects. (I work for a cardiac specialty home heath agency, and I’ve about got them convinced to start a D3 program).

        I’ll try to find the others, but it might be a needle and a haystack kind of thing. If i do see them, I’ll get you the links.

      • Dave, RN says:

        I actually found one of the others. This one I still need to go through, but the abstract is interesting:

        http://bit.ly/9vfCV7

  4. I dunno, man. This was kind of preachy and I didn’t even finish it. At least when you get angry and start railing against people you keep it FUN, you know?

    • I found this to be some of the most tedious and boring shit I’ve ever attempted to read. I don’t care for the religious fervor. What attracted me to the paleo scene in the first place was facts and logic, not this sort of preachy stuff. I don’t see vegans as the enemy, just people who mean well but are somewhat misguided and dogmatic. I know veganism is something of a religion, let’s not make paleo a counter-religion.

      • Sorry Jim, I didn’t mean to put this reply on your thread.

      • Counter religion?

        C’mon, that’s just projecting. If you don’t like it it suffices to say so rather than make up bullshit.

      • Yeah, you are right. And I was way over the top with my criticisms in general.

      • Primal says:

        I agree, this post was way over the top. You’re right, it had the feeling of one religion argueing why the other was incorrect.

      • ….because, after all, feeeeeeelings are what’s really important.

      • If they kept their lifestyle to themselves and never preached it at anyone else I wouldn’t see them as an enemy. And a few of them I still don’t see as enemies; that young woman who debunked the China Study comes immediately to mind. But most of them are dispensing advice that destroys health and kills people. If someone shot you with a gun, wouldn’t you consider them an enemy? This just happens to kill more slowly than a gun. Which, in some ways, is worse.

    • Spencer says:

      I agree, this post was ridiculously preachy. Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to ridicule vegans for trying to change the way you eat, but yet at the same time, you are trying to change the way that vegans eat? Making ridiculous statements like “eating meat is absolutely necessary for optimal health” reflects very poorly on your nutritional knowledge. there are plenty of populations that are perfectly healthy living off nothing but plants, and there are plenty of populations that are very healthy living off of nothing but animal products. the human body is very adaptable, and it’s possible to thrive on both a plant based diet or an animal based diet. here’s a novel idea, how about we all stop judging each other for the way we eat? i have no idea who this lorette Luzajic bitch is, but she sounds like a total tool

      • Spencer:

        Go fuck off.

      • No, it’s not possible to thrive on a diet of plants. Not for humans. We are not herbivores. It’s possible to become healthier temporarily if you go from SAD to vegan, but only because you’re cutting shit out of your diet. However, you will only get away with that because your body stores several of the nutrients that you cannot get on a vegan diet: vitamin A and vitamin B12, for instance. Once you run out of those? Forget it, especially if (as with many people) you can’t convert beta carotene.

        I don’t think it’s a “valid lifestyle choice” to jump in front of an oncoming train and I similarly don’t think it’s a “valid lifestyle choice” to eat vegan. If you MUST commit suicide I guess I probably can’t stop you but, if asked, I will still tell you it’s a stupid idea.

      • Dana,

        Flawless _moral_ logic.

        And what I mean by “moral” is a totally naturalistic principle: what’s good for the human body/mind (the integrated organism in total)vs. what’s bad for it.

        Clap clap.

  5. Off topic, but have you seen Campbell’s 11-page tome responding to Minger? His whole discussion of “biological plausibility” smacks of bias to me and seems to go against the entire idea of the scientific method. It seems like he’s saying that we should conduct studies to CONFIRM hypotheses (in his case, it was that plant foods = good, animal foods = bad) rather than actively trying to disprove them, and when you have a sample size as large as the China study, of course he could find what he wanted to. I also laughed out loud at the idea that there’s no “biologically plausible” mechanism or evidence that wheat can cause diseases, such as CHD.

  6. Robert Katz says:

    Vegan

    Vegan: n. A person meddling in everybody’s affairs, coincidentally characterized by his refusal to eat animals or use animal products. That he enjoys meddling is obvious; that his diet is sub-optimal is scientifically evident; that he doesn’t use animal products is fabulously impossible.

    • LeonRover says:

      VEGAN

      Alternatively, an imported alien from Vega, a star in the constellation Lyra.

      Vegans do not have a good press in popular sci-fi.

      For e.g.

      In Roger Zelazny’s book This Immortal, the Vegans are a species of humanoid aliens who use the Earth as a vacation resort.

      In James Blish’s Cities in Flight series, the Vega system is home to a civilization called the Vegan Tyranny, which the Earthmen must defeat before expanding out into the galaxy.

  7. Andrew says:

    Fantastic, loved it and glad you bent your no guest posts rule to bring us this excellent piece by Lorette.

  8. So can I get a link to a study that proves that all fundamental Christians don’t care about anyone?

  9. “Fundamentalists decry the healing possibilities of stem cell research…”
    Should say EMBRYONIC stem cell research.

    She should have also hyper-linked text such as, “It is proven to be a high performing antioxidant…”.
    Many examples of statements that need references.

    I thought it was pretty good although a bit breathless and repetitive. If I didn’t like ranting though I wouldn’t be a regular reader of FTA.

    • Did you know you can remove cells from a very early embryo without harming it? True story. That’s how you get identical twins. The ball of cells splits in half. It’s still in an undifferentiated state, so it just divides some more to make up the lack.

      People get so hysterical about shit they don’t even understand. By the time most women get an abortion it’s a fetus, not an embryo, and even if it’s an embryo it’s too advanced to be useful.

  10. “If you dare to feel sick or undernourished or starved, it is because you are a slovenly, greedy, murderous, lustful human being. If you are getting sick, you MUST be sneaking in some vile meat products somewhere, or else you are being punished because your envelope adhesive was made out of mosquito testicles.”

    In the name of the Falafel, the Salad, and the Holy Sugar, amen!

  11. “Fundamentalist religions believe their truth is the only truth and that everybody else is going to hell.”

    So in that same line of reasoning, isn’t this post from a “fundamentalist” in her own right, that believes everyone who disagrees with her is 100% incorrect? We are all fundamentalists in some of our beliefs.

    • Her a fundamentalist in any sense? Bullshit nonsense.

      Just more making shit up because some, I guess, feel a need to defend Christianity, fundamentalism in particular.

      • Richard- look up the definition of a fundamentalist view point. Just because her point of view happens to be your own, does not mean that it is not fundamental in nature. You are obviously opposed to Christianity, and completely intolerant of Christian beliefs. THAT intolerance, and the strict adherence to your own point of view is a FUNDAMENTAL view in it’s own right. I don’t feel a need to defend Christianiy anymore than I feel the need to defend the notion that my name is Matt, but I do (at times), feel the need to point out hypocrisy when I see it.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be claiming that any strongly held viewpoint is fundamentalist, which is incorrect. Fundamentalism requires dogma and generally implies an adherence that ignores evidence.

      • LeonRover says:

        Fundamentalism, in addition, always has a goal to IMPOSE their belief system on those who have an alternative belief, if necessary, by law and/or force of arms.

      • Fundamentalism is a term that means a strict adherence to a set of beliefs in the face of criticism or unpopularity.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamentalism

        Extremists would probably be a better term for those who impose their belief system by law or force.

        Paleo doctrine certainly has “fundamentalism” at its core, with different denominations (orthodox paleo, moderates (some dairy, etc.), liberals (80/20 rule)).
        You have evangelism and mission work going on thru various books, blogs, media, etc. with donations being made to “bring the truth to the masses”.

        While I’m at my core a complete libertarian and believe each should be able to choose how they will live their life (what they eat, how they worship or don’t, career, etc), I also recognize that everyone is to some extent a fundamentalist is some type of belief system and paleo is no different.

        I liked a lot of the points of the article but it definitely came off as hypocritical to this reader.

        Hello pot, this is kettle… you’re black.

    • It’s one thing to be a fundamentalist about something you know to be a fact and can back up with sources, quite another to be intolerant about something you can’t even prove.

      It’s a fact that standing in the way of an oncoming train is going to fuck you up royally. If I push you off the tracks in the nick of time, am I intolerant?

  12. anand srivastava says:

    Yes meat or fish is required, but it need not be a major part of the diet.

    I don’t agree that the Masai are more healthy than Kitavans. I do agree that Masai have more muscles than Kitavans, but that is immaterial, because kitavans don’t require those extra muscles.

    It is wrong to say that health is some how proportional to meat eating.

    Most vegetarians I know are cultural vegetarians, who don’t eat meat because they have never eaten it, and others in their family don’t eat it. They couldn’t eat meat, even if they knew that it was required for life. They do find it easier to follow their path if they think that it is healthy.

    Indians have been vegetarians for the last 2500yrs, its not that people could survive on this diet, if it was totally unhealthy for this long. There are some reasons why it worked in India. Unfortunately those reasons don’t exist in this age of factory farming.

    • Vegetarians for the last 2500 years? I doubt it.

      What about ghee, which is made from cow milk? There are also lots of traditional Indian meat dishes. Sure, some parts of Indian have probably been mostly vegetarian, but have they been healthier than their omnivore neighbours?

      • anand srivastava says:

        We do include dairy and also honey in vegetarianism. In the Indian brand of pure vegetarianism, eggs are not allowed. There are different levels of vegetarianism in India. Some parts meat offered to the gods are allowed, not too frequently I think. There are parts where fish is considered vegetarian.
        I never said that it was a very healthy diet. I said it is not very unhealthy, if you eat pastured dairy, and traditionally raised crops. Nowadays due to factory farming, there is a constant erosion of nutrients, and milk is no longer pastured. So yes its no longer a healthy diet. But I guess nothing much is very healthy either. We can just hope to get most of the nutrients required.

    • Vegetarianism can be a decent diet- pastured dairy provides most of the same nutrients as meat. However, India is now suffering from very high rates of heart disease and cancer because of PUFA and grain consumption.

    • The Kitavans are healthy because all that saturated fat they’re eating offsets the worst effects of the stuff they eat that isn’t so good for them.

      The Maasai do have hardening of the arteries but *not* the heart disease that we’re told is supposed to accompany that. They are also tall, strong, and have near-perfect teeth. Dental health, by the way, is one of the first things impacted by poor health and bad diet. If your teeth are rotting, something is wrong with you and it ain’t failure to brush.

      (I low-carb, though I’m not primal/paleo. And I hardly ever have to brush my teeth.)

      Ten to one both Kitavans (who are nothing like vegetarian) and Maasai are healthier than the vast majority of Indians. I’ll bet money I don’t even have.

  13. Lorette made an interesting observation that vegetarianism is a religion. Just to play the devil’s advocate, I’m wondering if the primal, paleo or ancestral living philosophy is becoming a religion to some people.

    • While some treat it as a religion in style, it could never actually be one because it’s based in some semblance of reality with observed evidence.

      Religion is what you do when you just pull shit outta your ass

      • I find that those who demonstrate an high level antipathy toward Christianity do not somehow appreciate the selflessness of Christ’s message. The dissolution of the id/self in favor of humbly helping not just your friends but strangers was, and still is an emancipatory and revolutionary message. Love is God.

        I have known, and know of, people who’ve suffered various forms of emotional imbalance/breakdown. These folks engage in “secular” counseling and end up coming to terms with the basic notion that they are not “entitled” to anything. This is a liberating revelation.

        Richard, seems to me that you as an anarcho-libertarian type would value people coming together freely in order to love and support each other’s emotional well-being. That they are doing it on their own dime and not engaging in public health services ought to make you a fan of authentic Christianity.

        And yes we know, you were exposed to some real power-hungry, selfish assholes that happened to be disguised as Christians.

      • Love is entirely different than God. Love is a chemically induced emotion that we developed from millions of years of evolution; God is a made up person in the sky who people worship and pray to.

      • “I find that those who demonstrate an high level antipathy toward Christianity do not somehow appreciate the selflessness of Christ’s message.”

        I admit it, I don’t appreciate messages of selflessness, the dissolution of self, unnecessary depths of humility, melting into some kind of uni-consciousness or anything like that.

      • Me either fireandstone. Hoping someone would take that up.

      • John Campbell says:

        Ok – that last line made me laugh more than anything I have heard or read in the last month – thank you Richard – is this at all related to constipation?

        I love this site.

    • Paul C says:

      Clearly yes. The reaction to Denise’s research on both sides has a very religous bent. My own feelings were swayed that way initially, until I forced myself to take a step backward.

      To me her point seemed to be “this data cannot be used to prove anything”, and that is now all I take from it, and I suspect she is right. To me that is disheartening, because if you can never prove anything, all you have left is belief, and the religions that proselytize them.

      I suspect primal proselytizers will be more fit and healthy than the vegan ones, but all will live very long lives and carry the constant never-resolved battle forward, while the masses continue to get exploited by gov, pharma, ag, and snake oil.

    • I see paleo and ancestral living as more of a life’s philosophy. Religion can also be a life’s philosophy and can even, somewhat, be based in reality and observed evidence, with the exception that no one can prove (or disprove) the existence of God. The trouble is when you decide reality’s a bunch of stories bound up in a book rather than the stuff you see all around you in 3D every day.

      • I think it’s worse than that, Dana. Mystics, by which I include all religious people, seem to have a decent grasp of reality in practical terms. What’s pernicious and convenient — here and now — at the same time is that they think a bunch of stories bound up in [an ancient book written by people who hadn't ever even seen a lamp that runs on whale blubber] a book _supersede_ reality.

  14. The point of it all is that veganism and even vegetarianism has been proven to be incredibly unhealthy due to the lack of nutrients and the high grain consumption, so unless people are doing it for religious purposes, or they genuinely can’t get around the fact that they need to kill to be healthy, it’s just plain ignorance. People can live on a cocaine and sugar diet with little to no nutrients for years upon years – that does not mean they “thrive” it means they barely survive.

    Lorette never stated that she believes everyone who disagrees with her is 100% incorrect. She stated many facts and some opinions. She made the point that Christian and vegan fundamentalists deny scientific fact on a daily basis so they can keep believing in what they want to believe in.

    MythBusters said it best: “I reject your reality, and substitute my own.” And some people are happy living like that – it’s just a shame when they force it on everyone around them – just like fundamentalist Christians and vegans do.

    • Again- generalizations being made regarding Christians and Christianity. What scientific fact is denied by Christians? (keyword is fact)

      Also, may I see a link to some sort of proof that fundamental Christians “force it on everyone around them”?

      And though the author may not be “forcing” her opinions on anyone around her in a literal sense, a write up that openly bashes other views in a slanderous manner does come across as somewhat forceful. Do you not see that as being the same thing? Or is your judgement clouded because you agree with the author? As previously stated, I’m apt to point out hypocrisy when I see it.

      • jaggedtoaster says:

        I have to agree with matt on his posts. I read the whole article and also felt it gave a somewhat fundamentalist feeling from the meat-eating-side. There are also plenty of books showing evidence for the existence of God and Jesus. I wonder if some people are also fundamentally ignoring the evidence for Christianity in the same way vegans ignore the evidence in favor of eating meat.

        P.S. I’ve enjoyed reading the blog now for a while. I originally found it via Mark’s Daily Apple.

      • Tim Starr says:

        There’s no evidence for the existence of either Jesus or Jahweh.

      • jaggedtoaster says:

        Sure there is. For example there is corroborative evidence in the writings of Josephus. These are writings from a secular individual outside of what is written in the Bible. Josephus documents numerous events is the past and his writings have been used in establishing various histories of war, etc. Josephus wrote a long section on Jesus called the Testimonium Flavianum that provides corroboration of Jesus’ life, miracles, death, and resurrection.

        Corroborative evidence supports other testimony, it affirms or backs up the essential elements of an eyewitness account. Corroborative evidence is probably used every day in courts around this country.

        This is just one example of evidence. I’d also believe that there are many people who don’t believe in God that wouldn’t oppose the existence of Jesus in real life.

      • Paul Verizzo says:

        The Josephus texts discussing Yeshua ben Yosef of Nazareth are fraudulent. They have been added to the originals.

        No, I’m not going to find links because in all likelihood you wouldn’t accept them.

        I’ve studied religion for years and went so far as getting a masters in theology. That’s just one of the things I picked up on the journey.

      • Tim, you are incorrect. There is actually more information written about Jesus (from non-Christian sources) than about Caesar (who was the emperor of that time). There is plenty of evidence for the existence and ministry of Jesus.

      • Paul Verizzo says:

        Another myth.

        There are no non-Christian sources of the life and death of Jesus. And why would there be? The Romans only cared about him because he was seen as a threat to their power and a leader of potential rebellion. The Jews, for the most part, found him annoying and disrespectful if NT sources are to be believed. So, who would write about him?

        The best evidence that that man existed is both indirect and more powerful than words from any source. In the decades immediately following his death, the people who best knew him (plus Saul/Paul) swayed hundreds of thousands of Jews and gentiles with Jesus’ messages of agape love , justice, humility, and equality. In an era of power and hierarchy, this was radical and politically upside down.

        You don’t need to have a religion to embrace those ideals.

      • “What scientific fact is denied by Christians? “*
        Evoluton, plate techtonics, that the paleolithic era existed, that the jurassic, Cretaceous,etc existed.

        *fundementalist christianity – mainline protestants and catholics don’t deny the above.

      • jaggedtoaster says:

        Certainly most would consider evolution to be a theory. Long-term evolution obviously cannot be observed and from what I understand there are large gaps in the existing fossil history. If there were continuous changes occurring via evolution we likely would have found a wide range of fossils possibly showing that? I wouldn’t deny plate tectonics or the eras mentioned, but perhaps there is another time frame under which they could have occurred?

        I doubt most Christians would claim that they could give an explanation for any/all issues, but I wonder if some things are just not possible for us to know? As time goes on I expect science will reveal many more answers, but I don’t think it can disprove the existence of God.

      • j4-

        Remember- the keyword was fact.

        Evolution is based upon non-provable assumptions that are not scientifically verifiable. Here’s a fact- no single person or group of people have EVER observed a species evolving into another species.

        Pardon me for my incredulity, but when the best evolutionists can offer is a completely inadequate explanation for life’s origin in the first place, an equally insufficient mechanism for the evolution of that life once it “somehow” got started via naturalistic processes, and a fossil record full of “missing links” to document its supposed course through time, I’ll continue to relegate their “fact” to the status of a theory (or better yet, a hypothesis). Adulterating the definition of the word fact is a poor attempt to lend credence to a theory that lacks any factual merit whatsoever.

        Little wonder, then, that evolutionist Michael Denton wrote concerning Darwin:

        His general theory that all life on earth had originated and evolved by a gradual successive accumulation of fortuitous mutations, is still, as it was in Darwin’s time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support and very far from that self-evident axiom some of its more aggressive advocates would have us believe.

      • Michael Denton is not a evolutionist. He is one of the founders of the ‘intelligent design’ creationist movements. To infer that he is otherwise is fundamentally dishonest.

      • http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v21/i4/design.asp

        Michael Denton refers to himself as an evolutionist, and did so when making the statement that I quoted.

      • Still doesn’t make it true. He is a key founder of the intelligent design (creationist) myth.

      • Matthew says:

        A chuiaua cannot naturally mate with a Great Dane, though I suppose it’s possible through artificial semination.

        A fundamental part of the definition of the word “species” is the fact that animals within a species must be able to interbreed. These two types of dogs PHYSICALLY cannot mate with one another thus they are technically two different species though we call them differently.

        Animals that can’t physically, geographically or genetically mate are considered to be different species. A liger is the offspring of a tiger and a lion, both of which are separate species.

        The point of this comment is that both the Great Dane and Chiuaua were created through selective breeding/selection pressure/natural seleciton (more or less).

        Hundreds of other examples exist including silver foxes, drosphilia flies and other species.

        Your grasp on fundamental biology seems to be lacking.

      • “The point of this comment is that both the Great Dane and Chiuaua were created through selective breeding/selection pressure/natural seleciton (more or less).”

        That is an example of a dog, and another dog; not one type of animal EVOLVING into another.

        “A liger is the offspring of a tiger and a lion, both of which are separate species.”

        Here you have two different animals, that can mate and have another (albeit STERILE) animal. Again, you are missing the point. Where is the evidence of any animal turning into another type of animal?

      • anand srivastava says:

        What did you think a Liger was. It is a different species distinct from the Tiger and the lion.
        If you want evolution. You can ask any evolutionary biologist, how it works. You know that we get bacteria able to withstand anti-biotics, in matter of days.
        I am sorry but I am not able to comprehend ID. I cannot take things on faith.

      • Why do fundamentalist Christians always have a problem with evolution and are so adamant that it is just a theory? Are they afraid that evolution implies that things are created from random events and that would contradict the concept that God created things?

        Because if that is it, that is completely ridiculous. If God is all powerful, he therefore knows of every event that ever has happened and ever will. There can be no randomness from that perspective. Thus if God were to create things by evolution, there would be no randomness involved. End of foolish discussion.

      • Ed- if God did create everything through evolution (theistic evolution- which is what the Catholic church proposes), I would have no problem with it.

        If evolution in and of itself was proven and explained the origin of life beyond a shadow of a doubt, I would have no problem with it.

        If aliens came to the planet and showed us how they created us and populated the earth, I would have no problem with it.

        The point to all of this is that I came to Christianity with no pre-conceived notions. (I did not grow up in a fundamentally Christian household). I was open to all religions (atheism included). If one OBJECTIVELY takes a look at the evidence we have in our natural world, and in historical facts, then it takes less faith to be a Christian than anything else.

        With that, I wish you all well. End of discussion on my end.

      • jaggedtoaster says:

        I believe for some it comes down to a literal interpretation of the Bible versus not. If you choose to only believe some of the Bible as literal and other parts as nice stories, some people take issue with that, ie. any/all parts of the Bible could then be considered just a nice story.

        I do believe God is all powerful and knows every event that will happen. But I also believe we have free will and I can make any decision I want. But God also knows me so well that he will know all my decisions. Not sure if that explains it very well…

      • Well, I totally disagree with your analysis of the evidence (and perhaps even your definition of “evidence”), but that is a discussion that could go on forever and so should not go on here. My point was that it does not really matter. So end of discussion from me.

        Anyway, this was a fantastic post! I know that reading Free the Animal and all the other blogs and books has opened up a whole new world for me and I am getting the results as I implement these things!

      • Well, I must answer this I guess jaggedtoaster. Free will is like randomness. It depends on the perspective and what information is available in that perspective. So, it might seem like free will from you perspective, but not from God’s. Same with randomness. So saying God gave us free will….well, you decide.

      • Kurt and Anand mentioned this as well, but perhaps others might benefit from a more thorough explanation of how and why Evolution is both theory AND fact.

      • “With that, I wish you all well”

        Huh.. this reminds me of the common response from fundamentalist when they are on the losing end of a argument -
        “I will pray for you”

        Both are blatantly narcissistic and insincere.

        Here’s my Psalms to the Fundamentalists:

        Oh why is it the True Believers that must suffer so!
        None suffer more than the fundamentalist who is persecuted by people that disagree with them.
        They are whipped on the back by reason and logic.
        They are tossed into the lion’s den of Science and critical thought.
        Modern day Nero’s with carbon dating attack them by disagreeing with them.
        Fear not!
        Your self-righteousness will be your guide.
        Pretzel logic and Kirk Cameron will comfort you!
        Fear not Cognitive Dissonance for the 700 club is with you!
        Remember you are TRUE CHRISTIANS!
        All others will BURN IN HELL FOREVER!!!!

        YAYE!

      • L in ren says:

        Thanks for trying, Matt. I don’t think most of them will look for or be open minded to the scientific evidence against evolution.

      • I say we take life a little less seriously… I mean, we are LIVING beings! Does it really matter all that much how we evolved? I mean, it is fun to figure out. But, will we ever know with 100% certainty? I don’t believe so in my time and thus all of our times.

        But, I do know we have been eating ANIMALS for thousands of years. If we had not then we would be completely different. Think about how all animals have all essential amino acids and are filled with protein and omega 3 fatty acids. This helps build strong muscles, bones, organs, brian, etc.

        Can we survive on a vegetarian diet? Yes, of course we can. Can someone live to be 90 years old while smoking a pack of cigs a day? Yeup, it happens.

        So, ask yourself, what is the most optimal way of living? Simply look at logic and you will find yourself eating foods we huntered and gathered. It’s life. Animals hunt animals. We are one of those animals that do that. Had we never done this then we would be extinct!

      • Matt, adulterating the definition of the word theory is a poor attempt to discredit a verifiable scientific hypothesis that has been verified time and again.

        Contrary to your casting of aspersions on Darwin, what’s remarkable is that his “theory” proved out to be even more powerful and more verifiable than he could have imagined in his day. Remember, only a small fraction of everything that dies fossilizes. Darwin predicted that fossil evidence supporting his ideas would be rare. To the contrary, we find a remarkably rich fossil record despite the low probability of fossilization.

        A pardon of your incredulity would be overly gracious. Mountains of research documenting observed evolution (that meet scientific rigor) exist. Thousands of scientific papers have been written on the subject. Hundreds of books have been written on the subject. Nobody has a theory that explains more. The claims of religion become less tenable daily. For a dose of irony, check Robert Wright’s “The Evolution of God”.

        The tired “missing link” rhetoric is pure propaganda. To use a common example, with only two data-points, introducing a missing link at a perfect midpoint between them DOUBLES the number of “missing links”. For every example (n) found, the number of “missing links” increases by n+1. The argument is pure red herring. For every link that’s added, the number of links increases. Cute argument, but it’s completely bogus.

        Incredulity after exhaustive study is one thing, but your claims regarding the absence of data demonstrate that you simply haven’t put in the work.

      • exactly, Andrew.

        How do you get from NY to San Fran?

        Via Chicago.

        Ok, then how about NY – Chicago and Chicago – SF?

        Via Philly and Denver, resp.

        Ok, but then how about NY – Philly, Philly Chicago, Chicago Dever and Denver SF ?

        Ad infinitum.

        Cheap magician tricks, bullshit, bogus, ignorant & fucking stupid.

      • anand srivastava says:

        In physics there are no facts. There are theories. To think that theories, can be denied because they are not facts is stupid. Theories define somethings that explain the world around us. They can never be proven true, but they can be proven false. If you think that evolution is wrong then provide a single instance where it does not work.

        It is the same as gravity. The theory that everything behaves as if there is a force between them that varies proportionally to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of distance between them, is called gravity theory. It does not mean it is a fact. Only we don’t have any reason to believe it does not work this way. There are some rumblings that it might not be true everywhere (read MOND). Still it works on all the other issues. You can only supplant this theory with a better theory.

        Similarly you cannot supplant evolution with Creationism. You can only provide a new theory that does explain all the observations, that where explained by the old theory, plus those that could not be explained by it. Saying that God planted those skeletons to test our faith does not work.

      • LeonRover says:

        By your own definitions, God too, is an unprovable theory or a hypothesis.

        You must not complain if the standard is “beyond all reasonable doubt”.

        Clearly many have reasonable doubt about belief in what may be termed The Divine Interventionist, otherwise termed ad hoc.

      • Lorette C. Luzajic says:

        Dear Matt,

        I thank you and all who commented for raising their concerns, kudos, and suggestions for improvement. I was raised a born again Christian in a fundamentalist family. Today I waver between Christian, agnosticism, and atheist- an acknowledged “fence sitter” because I simply do not know and on some days I still “believe.” I thought it was clear in my rant that my “bone to pick” is with fundamentalist Christians, not Christians, and certainly not Christ, whose wisdom we could all learn from regardless of our faith or lack thereof.

        Many Christians get along just fine with science, history, human rights, differing cultures, and psychology- but fundamentalists in Christianity or in Islam, more often than not, “believe” in a 6000 year old earth, demon possession as the cause of mental illness, and think other religious belief is devil worship at worst and a highway to hell at best. You’ll note I also offer the distinction of vegan and vegetarian- vegetarians are very often nice people who have chosen to make a small sacrifice out of compassion and do not evangelize at every turn. Vegans frequently decry vegetarians for “fence sitting” or “hypocrisy.” They are simply not stringent enough. Vegetarians, like Christians, usually have no problem being part of families, communities, and society at large. Vegans turn every conceivable event from family Christmas to employment into a political statement. They can’t date outside of their flock, they often denounce their bloodthirsty families, they push their religion on their infants.

        I see no hypocrisy for raising some parallels in what is clearly an opinion piece. I have never claimed to be a model of perfection or to have attained perfect knowledge. In my writings at the Paleo Garden, I am very frank and upfront about my weight problem and the fact that I just can’t seem to commit to zero alcohol consumption. The changes I have made thus far have vastly improved my health- perhaps they have saved my life- but I have a long way to go. I share the research, the information, and the struggle. In turn, the community I’m in, which has many imperfect overweight or sick people, and many carb addicts- many sinners- supports me. None of us needs to become perfect for mutual support. I am not asking vegans to eat meat or Christians or Muslims to become atheists. I am simply expressing my exhaustion with vegevangelism, and perhaps suggesting that a more moderate viewpoint would open the mind to knowledge and community that these groups are denying themselves and attempting to deny their circle.

        Again, thanks to everyone for reading and commenting. It was a great honour to be a special guest here.

        Peace,
        Lorette

      • Lorette, thanks for this reply and your openness here. Gives your post even more light. I’ll be following your blog.

        Thanks again for taking time.

      • Uh, evolution? If you understand that evolution does not teach how life began, nor does it address whether an intelligence could be behind the beginning and subsequent development of life on Earth, any idiot can see that life evolves. Why does Christianity so often deny it?

        How about the notion that humanity is fundamentally male, and that females were added in to keep the males amused? Ever seen a fetus in utero before seven weeks? They all look female.

        http://www.narth.com/docs/berman2.html

        So much for Adam before Eve.

        As for forcing, last I checked, Christianity is the only faith with holidays on the United States federal calendar. And the blue laws were instituted by Christians, yet all of us must follow them regardless of faith.

        That’s changing… but way too slowly for me. And so much for the First Amendment.

      • The Christians pretty much completed forcing their religion on everyone about three centuries ago…its called “the Inquisition”…but these days they pretty much rest on their laurels and let inertia and habit do the work for them.

      • It would be great if Christians agreed with your characterization of their docility. Unfortunately, it’s simply not reality. The religious right is well-funded, employs sophisticated media tactics, and is populated by fundamentalists with dominionist aspirations and Christian Zionism. Monotheism is totalitarian… fundamentally… by definition. American Fascists is an interesting read on the topic. Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm is an oldy, but goody.

        The #1 news network in the U.S. is blatantly hostile to the separation of church and state. Glenn Beck openly claims that god has directly given him a mission to “restore” a mythical Christian theocracy. Hannity and O’Reilly think belief in Jesus is a requirement for citizenship. Not to mention the network’s generalized anti-science narrative. This is not a fringe movement and it’s not going away. What’s worse, the more docile Christians tend to provide implicit support to the nut jobs (not unlike the dynamic within Islam)… lest they side with the “evil godless secularists”.

      • Oh, I know about those issues, and agree with you. What I had in mind was when they were forcing people to change at sword-point…putting whole towns to the sword…stuff like that. Compared to the old days, today’s fundys are pussies. That’s not to say that they are not still as bat-shit crazy as they were in the old days, though.

  15. Samantha says:

    Really great post! Fun to read, rang true on several points. I liked her no-holds-barred approach. Refreshing! Been paleo 7 months, and it feels like eating/living this way is a RELEASE from both religion AND the insidious diet propaganda I grew up believing. I have a mother who is an insulin dependent diabetic (GRAIN), a sister who died of alcoholism (GRAIN), a brother who had severe acne (GRAIN), another sister who is sterile from endometriosis (GRAIN), and a father who died of cancer, and went out craving- guess what- GRAIN. (Find the links yourself if you wonder what I’m talking about). I certainly have a VESTED INTEREST in getting some real information about what the human animal is actually supposed to eat. Dropping GRAIN from my diet was a revelation. I feel as whole as I did when I was 12 years old (I’m 51), and I think a little anger from Lorette C. Luzajic and Richard Nikoley is understandable.
    Now, let’s feed the GRAIN to the cows and eat the cows, people.

    • Tim Starr says:

      Cows are yummy, but apparently they don’t do any better on grains than people do. Let them eat grass!

      Hmm, that would make a good bumper-sticker for grass-fed farming: LET THEM EAT GRASS!

      I wanna bumper sticker that says: STOP EATING CARBS! Or would “STOP EATING GRAINS” be better?

    • Jesus Christ** Richard!

      What have you done to start attracting these religious wackos who call believers in the biological fact of evolution “evolutionists” and call it “only a theory” in total ignorance of where “theory” sits in the epistemelogical heirarchy

      At the very top.

      Maybe it’s time to screen out this noise with a “registered commenter” feature?

      Thanks for the guest post.

      I do have to agree that the tone, much like the luddite apocalyptic anti-apitalist fervor of Lierre Keith, is uncomfortably righteous and CERTAIN.

      These kind of writings, where I feel like I am lucky the writer is on my side, make me slightly uncomfortable.

      I find my own mental state and reasoning is healthiest when I view irrational fanatacism* with bemused detachment. I suppose that is harder when you are steeped in the relevant culture and feel you must separate from it, though, so do I sympathize with your guest.

      *Islamofascism, belief in any of the various sky-gods and reward in an afterlife, Belief in efficacy of “The Secret”, young earth creationism, and of course the total fantasy of veganism

      **Intentionally ironic usage

      • Sounds like one of those crazy fundamentalists! :)

      • jaggedtoaster says:

        Oh, come on now. :) Just trying to join in the discussion that came up. I’m no scientist, just trying to speak from a layman’s perspective science-wise and perhaps I should not have. I thought facts had some set of rules as far as being observable and repeatable?

      • LeonRover says:

        It is the weaving of facts into what is a narrative in sociology, an hypothesis or theory in science or did this guy commit this crime in a prosecution that is under discussion here.

        In physics one can set up an experiment to repeat previous observations, or to to make observations under quite different sets of circumstances posed by the hypothesis or theory.
        (For example, just today I saw reports of a three-slit experiment using photons rather than electrons re-doing the classic two slit experiment. The results were in accordance with classic quantum theory.)

        The facts of geology and dug up bones cannot be repeated. They can only be observed.

      • Yeah, it seems rather surprising that people who don’t believe in evolution would be attracted to a blog devoted to a diet based on it…especially since Richard has been very vocal as an atheist. I don’t post religious stuff because I don’t want to offend religious readers (some religious people DO believe in evolution), but maybe it actually paradoxically attracts them. Masochism maybe?

      • Too much of a pussy to just say “Islam”

      • Islam is covered under the sky-god part, genius

      • Precisely! (PC-ofascism)

      • In other words, you begin with a direct insult to Christianity while offering Islam the respect of that ubiquitous afformative. As if some imagined liberal, progressive Muslim majority require distinction from a fractional minority of patriarchal, misogynistic, homophobic, flat-earth, anti-choice, racist fringe. Give me a break.

        “Right thinking” Americans freely and gratuitously insult Christians yet handle the most fundamental of fundamentalists with kid gloves; as demonstrated by the good doctors post.

      • @Anonymous Chris

        You are overthinking it and you are wrong.

        And what kind of brave christian calls strangers a pussy? Would Jesus call me a pussy? I would find that amusing if Jesus came back to earth talking a like smart-mouthed junior high student.

        I guess Richard has managed to attract christian fanatics who are foul-mouthed as well. That is a rare accomplishment I guess.

        I am insulting both garden variety islam and christianity equally. It was not gratuitous, it was in response to posts right here, made in the name of christianity, denying the fact of biological evolution.

        Of course, islam and fundie christians both deny evolution.

        The term islamofascism indicates respect? What linguistic planet are you from?

        A muslim who kills is an islamofascist.

        An abortion clinic bomber would be a christian fascist, get it? The fascist bit is called a modifier. You claim to be upset that I added the modifier to islam but not to christian? You would be happier if I said christo-fascist? There are obviously fewer christo-fascists around, so I made reference to the islamic variety.

        Posters disrespected the science I hold dear, and I feel free to slag their sky-god superstitions in response.

      • I believe in science sir. I believe in the mechanisms of evolution.

        You are free to disrespect whomever you like. You are free to insult all of Christianity by beginning a comment with an insult. Be also brave enough to insult all of Islam. Pretty simple. Perhaps you are under-thinking.

        “Junior high” is taking all one’s marbles and going home – ala a “registered commenter” feature. Nikoley ain’t no pussy.

        Harris “MD” comes here to mix it up with the plebeians – go figure…

      • Geez, I’m really missing out by moderating comments on my blog…

      • Within certain bounds I’m happy to let comment evolution take its course. One thing I find interesting is at times when I’m not disposed to monitor or actively participate how a dispute seems to attain a certain equilibrium over time.

        Let it roll.

        (Greetings to all from a corner cafe in Rome, sipping amazing coffee and catching up. )

      • LeonRover says:

        Maybe there will be a punch-up behind the playing fields, and you will enjoy your Quiet Americano!

      • A christian is complaining that I did not insult islam enough.

        What more complete indictment of belief in sky-gods could one hope for?

      • Yea, Kurt.

        I have been totally uninterested in Christianesque criticism of Islam since 9/11, about 10am. The laughable ulterior motives are simply and too fucking stupidly transparent.

      • I’m confident any muslim would take issue with “Chris” and his contention that I was not insulting enough. It’s one of the signs of religion that your radar ROC is optimized to “see” anything that threatens your faith to the exclusion of all others..

        Hope you are enoying bella Italia. Lived in Napoli from 69 to 72.

      • anonymous chris says:

        Nothing in my argument, “Kurt” has to do with “being” a Christian or believing in sky-gods (so cute). (Isn’t this what you educated folk call a “straw-man”?) Read s-l-o-w-l-y.

        Thanks for the new comments-moniker – I like it!

        Hello Richard, My comment is not “Christian” (esque or otherwise) nor was my initial contention with Harris a “criticism of Islam”. My observation was that many Americans freely insult all of Christianity (e.g. Jesus Christ** Richard!) but find it somehow necessary to condition (er, “modify”) any reference to Islam with “ist”, “ofascism”, etc. I see this often and I saw it in the Harris post and I pointed it out. Is this really difficult to understand?

      • Islam and Christianity are both sky-god religions – they both posit an omniscient being. Not a straw-man at all, unless you claim that neither islam nor christianity do not have such a belief.

        An islamofascist is one who takes action to enforce his vision of the world through violence. This is a common usage. Google is your friend. Read s-l-o-w-l-y.

        Only a moron would think it is soft on islam to add a modifier to it that equates it with fascism. If I called you a christo-fascist would you think that was inexcusably mild? You would think that is “conditioning”? Are you nuts?

        If you are personally insulted by the common epithet “jesus christ”, that is 100% your problem, and belies your claim that your argument has nothing to do with being a christian.

        The more important point is why you are so solipsistic as to think any insult was PERSONALLY directed to you, – anonymous chris.

        If you were one of the fanatics denying the fact of biological evolution, it was. If not, it had nothing to do with you and you are just living in an anonymous chris-centric universe and being way too sensitive.

        Did my post address you personally by name? No it did not. It was addressed to my friend Richard. Do you read editorials in the newspaper and then shout out “pussy” as if the writer specifically had you in mind? In social situations, do you think everyone in the room is talking specifically to you?

        I’ll bet you “see things often and point them out” a lot, whether they are real or only in your head, as is the case currently.

        Well, this has been great fun. Thanks for reminding me what an enormous waste of time the internet can be and reinforcing the wisdom of restricted blog comments to screen out fanatics and the profoundly dim.

        Tragedy of the commons, indeed.

      • Ah, don’t despair Kurt. Many of us know who you are and what you are about from reading your blog. Idiots like chris are clueless about anything. Nobody listens to them anyway. You, on the other hand, have helped many of us become more educated and I thank you!

      • anonymous chris says:

        I wasn’t personally offended, nor did I claim that Islam and Christianity aren’t sky-god religions. (People are free to re-read.)

        I pointed out that you insulted ALL of Christianity but didn’t insult all of Islam. I saw it as an interesting and somewhat cowardly double standard.

        The New York Times, in an article on the Danish flag burners used an image of the “Maddonna and Child” smeared with cow dung instead of republishing one of the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed, which was the actual subject of the story. Why? Because insulting Jesus Christ might get you a peaceful street protest (which it did). Insulting the Holy Prophet might get you killed (and it does).

        I have, since reading that New York Times piece, witnessed numerous examples of a similar type. Simple as that. Your armchair psychological profiling of me was entertaining nonetheless.

        Happy Friday!

      • You claim to be a christian and you call me an epithet that means “vagina” when you are NOT offended? Pardon me if I call you disingenuous, oh, wait, sorry… that would be too soft. How about “liar”?

        I don’t recall any garden variety muslims posting here denying biological evolution, do you?

        Since they didn’t, why am I obliged to insult innocent phantoms who have not posted here alongside the self-identified christians denying evolution who did ?

        And again, you are simply incoherent for thinking islamofascist is “inadequately offensive”.

        You make absolutely no sense, like most easily offended religious zealots.

      • anonymous chris says:

        This is tiresome.

        Why do you keep attributing claims to me that I’ve simply never made? (From straw-man to men!) When did I claim to be a Christian? Where did I claim “personal” offense? Why did you claim that I don’t believe in the fact of evolution? When did I claim that Christianity isn’t a sky-god religion? Why do you call me a religious zealot? When did I claim (or give any inclination) to be religious one bit? You are a curious fellow. Perhaps the poorest reading comprehension of any “educated” person I can recall.

        *****
        “why am I obliged to insult innocent phantoms who have not posted here alongside the self-identified christians denying evolution who did ?”

        You are not obliged to reference Muslims at all. You DID though. YOU did.

        “I’m confident any muslim would take issue with “Chris” and his contention that I was not insulting enough. ”

        Both are statements made by you. So which is it Doctor? Did you insult Muslims or not? Isn’t ALL of Islam a sky-god religion? If so why not say ISLAM (instead of the modified Islamofascist in reference to “irrational belief”) ? Christians and Islamofascists are irrational – this was the inference made by your post. I prefer, “Christians and Muslims are irrational…”.

        I’ve outlined my contention now three or four times. FTA readers are free to determine for themselves whether or not I’ve made a legitimate point. What is not debatable are your weird attempts to attribute notions to me, that are not mine, and then to argue breathlessly with those falsely attributed ideas.

        Perhaps a holiday is in order good doctor. (Or maybe just a tall glass of fermented grains…).

      • Once Nikoley or Harris stray from the purpose of their blogs, paleo, they both become quickly tiresome as they talk down to everyone who disagrees, after first calling them names and cursing. I keep expecting one of them to quote the beginning verse of their “bible”:

        “In the beginning there was nothing; and then it exploded”.

      • Go right ahead and expose your ignorance, JimS.

        That there was ever nothing from which something arose is as contradictory as an infinite reduction game of who created the creator.

        Existence exists and has always existed

      • Thanks for correcting my ignorance, Richard. I think I understand now.

        Let’s see… energy, and its manifestation as mass, exists without a cause. Just an enormous and nearly infinitely variable universe of Effect, without Cause. Now that’s real faith; you are after all walking by faith, not by sight.

      • Tim Starr says:

        I’ve always rejected the Big Bang as another form of theism, and your “uncaused energy” thesis is just another phrase for God. Furthermore, your attribution of a belief in any such thing to atheists like Richard or myself is a strawman. I’m perfectly happy with believing that everything has its own cause. It’s up to you to demonstrate the existence of an uncaused cause if you wish me to believe in one.

      • Maybe you should read up on relativity and quantum mechanics a bit, think about it a bit, then decide what you think about cause and effect as applied to big bang theories, or anything else for that matter. Btw, qm, though counter-intuitive in almost everyway, is the most tested theory in the history of science. Not a lot of faith involved there. Humans and all other animals evolved to understand cause and effect at the level at which we exist.

      • And what caused your cause, JimS? Simple question.

        Of course, I fully understand how you’re using ’cause’ as euphemism.

        Come clean.

      • Who are you replying too, Ed?

        Because it’s difficult for me to beieve that QM has given us a reason to believe in a white beardedan in a big — no, a fucking big — chair

      • @ Richard

        No, that is exactly my point: there is no reason to believe in such things. QM totally points away from such nonsense. You said “Existence exists and has always existed.” There is absolutely no reason to believe there had to be a beginning with some “creator.” What came first or not, starts loosing significance at the largest and smallest levels. Big Bang is not the beginning. When the theory first came out, that is how it was interpreted by everybody including those who first came up with it.

      • Thanks, Ed, I’ll check it out.

      • Richard,

        I appreciate all the helpful stuff you contribute through your blog, and am glad you are evidently having a great time in Europe.

        I didn’t intend to be euphemistic, nor to sneak a ’cause-knuckleball’ in there. I guess we’ll just disagree on this one for the time being.

        I’ll continue to appreciate you and your blog, especially the recipe posts.

      • Ed,

        I did take your suggestion to look into QM, and found that there are at least six interpretations of QM (all mutually exclusive!) from Copenhagen to Hawking. All have problems excluding a ‘necessary being’ (except super-determinism, and it has other problems), thus the need for always deriving yet another interpretation.

        Bye-bye, as John McLaughlin might say.

      • Hi Jim
        You are correct about the interpretations and their problems. And there are far more than six! For the moment, just forget about the interpretations and closely examine the simple double-slit experiment. This really gets at the heart of QM and entanglement. It brings up serious questions about causality and determinism. Many interpretation do not address these questions very well without complicating things unnecessarily with many assumptions (Occam’s Razor…hidden variables, many worlds etc). The relational interpretation is worth looking at. I would say that if correct, a “necessary being” is not needed.

      • Christianity’s the majority in the United States and self-described Christians routinely bully members of every other faith in this country, and even people who have no faith. So far I have not seen American Muslims doing the same thing; in fact, all the ones I’ve met have either ignored me or have been exceedingly nice to me.

        I would have rather lived in Spain under the Moors than under the Catholics who came after. By a mile.

        Incidentally, if you’ve ever read Nourishing Traditions, they have a few interesting quoted passages from someone who believes the Islamic world went into decline when its membership started consuming too much sugar. They’re certainly poor and malnourished for the most part over there.

        I prefer Muhammad Asad’s take on the best of the faith rather than your take on the worst of it. Even atheists can be intolerant and genocidal. See also Stalin and Pol Pot.

      • I like Richard’s cursing, but of course, he hasn’t cursed at me yet.

  16. Samantha says:

    OK. Really great post! Fun to read, rang true on several points. I liked her no-holds-barred approach. Refreshing! Been paleo 7 months, and it feels like eating/living this way is a RELEASE from both religion AND the insidious diet propaganda I grew up believing. I have a mother who is an insulin dependent diabetic (GRASS SEED , a sister who died of alcoholism (GRASS SEED), a brother who had severe acne (GRASS SEED), another sister who is sterile from endometriosis (GRASS SEED), and a father who died of cancer, and went out craving- guess what- GRASS SEED. (Find the links yourself if you wonder what I’m talking about). I certainly have a VESTED INTEREST in getting some real information about what the human animal is actually supposed to eat. Dropping GRASS SEED from my diet was a revelation. I feel as whole as I did when I was 12 years old (I’m 51), and I think a little anger from Lorette C. Luzajic and Richard Nikoley is understandable.
    Now, let’s feed the GRASS to the cows and eat the cows, people.

  17. Nice post. One thing to keep in mind, and I see this in many of the comments, is that a lot of the commitments that people make to things like diet and beliefs about the origin of species or economics for that matter are based on deference to experts. I was a vegetarian for 10 years, largely because I didn’t believe that a vegetarian diet was less healthy than a diet with meat, and because I thought that the pleasure of eating meat did not outweigh the costs of the meat industry to animal welfare and the environment. These beliefs were based on deference to people that I thought were in a good position to provide advice–they had strong academic credentials, used references to high impact journals, etc. My position was not a “faith” or religious position. It did not involve the persistence of belief in the face of counter-evidence. However, it was an uncritical position to be in, because I had not myself gone over the evidence regarding the health outcomes for vegetarians and meat eaters. To sum up, I just didn’t know any better. And, there was understandably a bit of initial incredulity at the notion that saturated fat could be good for me. But as someone commented earlier, a scientific attitude challenges cemented beliefs and tries to break them. If we are scientific in our attitudes, we do not insulate ourselves from evidence by burying our heads in the literature that tells us what we want to hear.

    Most of our beliefs are not checked. There are not enough hours in the day. But our health is so important that we cannot afford to defer to authorities, since they too may be in the dark. Some of the comments indicate that some people have spent very little time trying to understand evolutionary theory, which is another example of deference. Whether understanding evolutionary theory is as critical as understanding, e.g., the biochemistry of nutrition, I have no idea. But I think it is an apt analogy (though a bit rhetorically overstated) to compare a vegan or vegetarian unwilling to critically assess the evidence to a religious fundamentalist. They share the faith attitude–the firm commitment to a proposition in the face of strong counter-evidence.

  18. I like that article! Well written and true. I have been researching nutrition, metabolism and diets since 1999 and came to the same conclusions. We are dealing with a belief system or even cults in some cases, rather than a scientific theory. What is the most interesting is WHY are they behaving the way they do; what is reinforcing their believes? I came across two insights: one possibility (by Dr. Kwasniewski of “Homo Optimus” book) is that the high carb low fat plant based diet itself has a mind-altering effect (the same incidentally I could say from my experience about a high fat low carb diet!). Second possibility is that we may be dealing with evolutioanary regression – a “flip”, a fall-back to our alternate group-centered behaviour, as opposed to our modern individualist/nomadic human mind-set. I wrote about that here. Did you notice looking at their discussion groups, how our vegan fans seems to be all groupies, all followers?

    Regards,
    Stan (Heretic)

    • That group behavior you’re condemning is what provides us with social cohesiveness as a social animal–like it or not, we are one. Not to say it can’t be misapplied. But then that’s the curse of civilization–it takes our best instincts and perverts them.

  19. Critique:

    “Filling up on meat, fish, eggs, and fresh veggies means living longer.”

    The above statement (the author’s) would be better served if the rest of the article had more effectively distinguished vegetables from grain.

    It should be pointed out that “vegetable oil” is a marketing term because corn oil and it’s brethren aren’t vegetables at all, are they? Plant-based, yes, which reveals “plant-based” as a poor describer of what’s killing us.

    There was also a very prominent “Chosen” apartheid state conspicuously missing from the “blood diamonds” paragraph”.

    Otherwise, good stuff.

    • Tim Starr says:

      There was only one Apartheid state in the world, and it’s gone. The only state in the world today that’s ever accused of being an “Apartheid” regime is Israel, and not only is that an anti-Semitic lie but Israel is not a producer of diamonds, “blood” or otherwise. Israel has a diamond industry, but only as a middleman.

      • Well, if you’re going to lie in defense of Israel, I’ll just have to leave the latest here for you…
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h82DEyd1yfk

      • Tim Starr says:

        Typical lying Jew-hater, can’t support your first claim w/ evidence, so you change the subject. FOAD, Nazi!

      • Shit-for-brains Zionist pig. What’s wrong? Don’t want the kind folks here to know that the Palestinians are literally being shit on by the Israeli settlers?

      • Tim Starr says:

        Your beloved democidal anti-Semitic baby-killers (their use their own babies to kill their enemies’ babies) get treated far better than they deserve by Israel. They gained the highest average standard of living in the Arab world between 1967 & 1987, and they threw it away so they could mass-murder Jews. They got Gaza back all to themselves, and they just destroyed the profitable greenhouses the Israelis left behind and turned Gaza into one big anti-personnel missile launchpad so they could kill more Jews (just as Hezbollah did with southern Lebanon). They also fought a civil war amongst themselves (Hamas vs. Fatah) to settle the question of how best to kill Jews (Fatah actually had the audacity to oppose suicide bombing as a tactic); Hamas won.

        Amongst the Palestinians, a “moderate” is an “ex” Holocaust Denier like Mahmoud Abbas. The hard-liners – the ones in charge – are the ones openly sworn to commit genocide again. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing wrong with the Israelis dumping shit on them is that it’s probably not pig shit. I wouldn’t complain in the least if Israel bombed all Gaza with pig shit – I’d laugh my head off.

      • Yeah but you’re not racist and Israel doesn’t have apartheid. Whatever.

      • Tim Starr says:

        Under Apartheid, blacks couldn’t vote. In Israel, Arabs can be full citizens, have the right to vote, and even serve as members of the Knesset. Anyone who claims Israel “has apartheid” knows nothing about either Israel or Apartheid.

      • A lie? Have you ever *talked* to a Palestinian?

        The *creation* of the state of Israel should have been illegal. They literally stole land that was being lived on, and now they claim it was theirs all along. Produce the title or shut the hell up.

      • Tim Starr says:

        The Israelis didn’t steal any land. They bought it from its owners, or settled unowned land. The Palestinians forfeited their land when they abandoned it to clear the way for the Arab armies who were going to drive the Israelis into the sea. The were guilty of collaborating in attempted genocide. The attempt failed, but they’ve never made peace w/ Israel & have never given up the goal of genocide against the Jews. There was nothing “illegal” about the founding of Israel.

  20. Thanks for allowing this post, Richard. I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. I’m surprised people felt it was too over-the-top – I took it as an entertaining opinion piece, so I can forgive the harsh tone.

  21. Flying Burrito says:

    Yea, but what do you say to a strict vegetarian who also just so happens to be your burgeoning girlfriend (and in every other way and life style choice, pretty remarkable)? I’m tearing my hair out on this one. The best way it seems to me is to show not tell…but still, she has all the illnesses that come and go with ingesting grains, sugars, fruit juices, corn syrup and a battery of erroneously labeled “healthy” and “organic” processed food stuffs. She eats legumes and grains more than anything else. And there’s no telling or explaining how harmful this is to a vegetarian that went to India and subsequently decided to be vegetarian forever (some years ago). Although through some serendipitous coincidence one week, her best friend and I (without knowing it or each other), got her off soy milk and and non-fermented soy stuffs through a little sound reasoning about the beans and the process involved to get that poison to market and into her stomach. Anyway, what do you say to a vegetarian–they are often as firm in their beliefs as Paleos have become in ours. They read these blogs as a threat. Anyone?

    • I live in Fairfield Iowa, home of Maharishi University of Management and the center of the Transcendental Meditation movement in the US. Indian style lacto-vegetarian diet is very common here, and it is clearly not a healthy choice for a significant number of people. Judging from my own experience and my observations of others in the community, many people will not question the correctness of this diet until they wake up to what it’s doing to their bodies. And, even with failing health, a lot of people continue to eat that way.

      I only lasted two years on a purely lacto-vegetarian diet, in my early 20s, before the cravings for poultry became too much to bear. Then, for a couple decades I continued to blindly believe in the nutritional ideal of a diet predominantly based on whole grains and beans. It wasn’t until I was 42 and had become so lethargic and flabby from all the carbs and insulin spikes that I finally realized I needed to radically change my diet. Six years later, I’m still astonished by the degree to which I could cling to dogma while completely ignoring my body screaming in no uncertain terms that the dogma was wrong.

      Basically, vegetarianism is a religiously derived diet that is supported by bad science that must never ever be questioned by the faithful.

  22. Flying Burrito says:

    In case there was any confusion, she converted to vegetarianism in India but I’m Paleo.

  23. Interestingly I was in the same situation with my my much younger partner who is a naturopath. More children was an issue for us(her) and her abnormal cycles was my only hope. I slowly got her to eat more paleo style and now I’m 58 and having another child. So flying burrito, be careful in trying to save her, it could have unforseen consequences for you and the world.

  24. Iman Azol says:

    I’ve never met a vegetarian I couldn’t have ripped in two. Yes, there are some, but not many. And the need for processed soy, supplements, etc, gives lie to it being a “natural” diet.

    But try this simple test:

    Pick ten plants at random, and ten meats at random. You eat yours, the vego eats theirs. First one to the hospital or morgue loses.

    With the exception of a couple of ugly lizards and fish, ALL ANIMALS ARE EDIBLE. With the exception of a few dozen cultivars, ALL PLANTS ARE NON-DISGESTIBLE OR TOXIC, and there’s no instinctive way for a human to know which plant is good.

    I even had one vego insist to me that asthma is caused by eating meat–that if I switched to a vegan diet, I’d stop having trouble breathing. Very interesting, since my asthma is caused by an allergy to PLANTS.

    • Even with the cultivars, you have to prepare them right. The raw food movement makes me nuts because if you eat a lot of raw cruciferous you’ll fuck up your thyroid. And spinach has lots of oxalic acid in it, which renders the iron it also contains pretty much useless. And those are only two examples.

  25. Flying Burrito says:

    Well, it’s a conundrum but I’ve got her at least “understanding” that carbs are not the way to go and soy is out for good…unfortunately, hers was a religious conversion to the vegetarian (cum vegan) diet that just so happened to coincide with a new found joy for living on a trip to India away from some previously unhealthy partying lifestyles in art school (consequently, now meat is murder and the antithesis of that happy East Indian vibe). But she traded one unhealthy lifestyle for another. She eats a lot of pita bread and hummus with a couple of vegetables thrown in for good measure here and there almost as side dishes–the ubiquitous carrot sticks, etc–and pizza, etc. And mixes wheat grass with her heavily sweetened “organic” apple cider. Her kitchen is full of canned, packaged and boxed “organic” non-nutritive items.

    Having said that, she really is a beautiful person (not in a namby-pamby way but sincerely) and it makes me sad how she’s in such lock-step with the entire conventional wisdom of her vegan peers. Fortunately, she does not preach–but it also means we almost can’t talk about our respective diets at all…I can’t tell her why I eat wild game without an instantaneous look of horror and sound dismissal. So I watch her beautifully smooth olive skin suddenly erupt with acne every time she loads up on breads and crackers. I’m sure you are all familiar with this blueprint–she’ll every once in a great while eat eggs but take out the yolk–the most nutritional powerhouse in the egg–it makes me sad. I won’t mention the prescription pills she takes and what for (that can all directly be traced to her lack of nutritive fueling) and the fact that she insists her dog must eat vegetables too and no meat. As a result, her dog has become morbidly obese and is also ill and on pills. I mean, for heaven’s sake, dogs eats meat in their natural state! The dog is a CANINE–a carnivore, not a herbivore. The vegetarian vibe is so all-encompassing–like some kind of misguided temple to Shiva. I’m working on the dog first. I figure you just really can’t argue with the fact that a dog eats meat. Fortunately, her mind is alive and dynamic and she has enormous curiosity and loves hiking and athletic activity…I think this is what keeps her from falling off the precipice….but all the pills on her counter (compared with NONE at my house) makes me wince.

    • You are screwed because you are in love! That will get you into more short term trouble than a couple of crackers. Enjoy her and get her to embrace science to mitigate her moral and emotional choices. Sounds like she might, like we all are, be chasing down meaning in her life. I told mine that by eating a steak I was giving it a shot at reincarnation.

      • Flying Burrito says:

        Yea, I decided today not to preach a d*mn thing about it and hopefully she’ll just grow curious as to why I’m never sick, have no allergies, can go so long on a good Paleo meal, never get blobby and fat, etc…it seems the best approach. She does know I’m Paleo and finds it more of a curious novelty than anything else–some kind of whimsical departure or aberration. As for love, we shall see, Lady Fortuna is a fickle mistress…! Anyway, it was a surreptitious guilty pleasure to kiss her on her meat-free lips just after eating a “meatza” before meeting up with her …I was in the middle of a big physical Paleo sprint with a full pack on my back in the 90 degree heat–inspired by Mark and Richard to some small degree–not equal by any stretch but taking baby steps–when I caught-up with her in her car. I figure eventually, she will ask about about this GROK/Caveman thing I keep hinting at and then when she is in her most inquisitive state, I will pounce like a Panther cat and feed her curious and hungry mind!

      • Flying Burrito says:

        Postscript: She rather enjoyed that “meatza” kiss (but if she only knew!)….

      • Just tell her what you think – that her diet is not doing her any favours.

  26. Iman Azol says:

    FYI, there are creationist Muslims. A lot of them. They have been known to get violent about it.

    However, I think the relevant aspects of religion in this context are absolute believe without proof–that God exists or a vegetarian diet is healthy.

  27. Martin says:

    Lorette, I like your style, and mostly agree with what you say in this post, but there is one glaring error. It seems you’ve been propagandized in the same way as the vegans you decry. What is your source for these words, “the million plus child prostitutes in Thailand, Philippines, and the men who buy them”? Is it just one of those things that ‘everybody’ knows? I am an expat American who has lived in Thailand for years. I have been all over the country in the company of Thais and been touted by Thais to buy everything imaginable, but never once I have been offered a liason with a child. You are not thinking it all the way through. Prostitution is a business, and thus, requires customers. Do you honestly believe that there are enough men out there to support a million plus individuals in an industry of that sort? What percentage of the male population of the planet do you think prefers sex with children? Have you ever known such a man? I know they exist, but to my knowledge I’ve never met one. Also, why would you have such a low opinion of Thai mothers? If you had a child would there be any circumstances under which you would allow your child to be exploited in that way? Believe me, Thai parents love their children as much as, if not more than parents anywhere, and the many Thai mothers I have known would die before forcing their children into prostitution. How can you say (without anything other than hearsay evidence) that there are a million plus who would? Your words are a direct insult to them. There are poor people here, but for the most part Thailand is not a country of crushing poverty. There is no need to sell children into prostition, though, that seems to be a popular myth in the West. Like the vegans who push bad information as truth to spread their influence, there are people out there who tell other lies to advance other agendas. Come learn the truth for yourself. Bring a man and have him try to find a child for sex. I can almost guarantee he could not find one, and he’d be running a real risk of landing in jail just for asking for such a thing. Please, this a beautiful place, and the people are not monsters. Think before insulting them. Don’t take someone else’s word on such a heinous matter.

    • Lorette C. Luzajic says:

      Dear Martin,
      Thanks for bringing this matter to our attention. It is true that estimates between organizations vary considerably over how many child prostitutes are out there, but there is no question of its existence. This is no affront to Thai mothers or anyone else, except the people who traffic them or buy them.

      According to the International Labor Organization, at least 1 million children are prostitutes. Their numbers are most concentrated in Thailand, Phillipines, Taiwan, and India. There are many more children working as slaves in non-sexual occupations like mining and manufacturing. Other groups do indeed estimate the total in Thailand alone as nearing one million.

      ECPAT, an organization working to end exploitation of children, reports that in the past few years, nationals from Austria, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands and the United States have been arrested in the Philippines for sexual offences against children.

      According to the Global Trade Union Action on Child Labor, there are four million child laborers in the Philippines alone, and prostitution is just one of the kinds of work.

      Nearly one million children around the world are forced into prostitution YEARLY, and the total number or kids working as prostitutes could be as high as 10 million, according to a report published in the April 20th issue of the Lancet (2002;359:1417-1421). Co-authors Brian M. Willis, of the CDC, and Dr. Barry S. Levy of Tufts University estimate the highest number falls to India, then Brazil, and third place goes to our truly- the United States of America. Thailand/China is fourth place.

      It may be true that in Thailand a man would not be able to find a child to entertain him. But according to

      Various studies and data will throw statistics around. Regardless of how high or low they run, child trafficking is indeed a heinous violation of human rights, and I guess the point I was trying to make was that time spent evangelizing people to not eat eggs would be better spent in a wife variety of human rights emergencies, including a world wide tragedy. This is not a new and hysterical issue- child slavery and abuse has existed since time immemorial. Only recently has there been such a thing is human rights for children. It is just one of the many “causes” I could think of that, in my opinion, are more pressing to human beings than a futile attempt to ban eggs from the human diet, say.

      I understand that certain Puritanical groups can greatly inflate figures or damage during missions against pornography or prostitution, both of which have benefited and empowered some women, though of course, not all women have a choice. However, media does tend toward the salacious and over zealous when reporting stories or statistics. However, there seems to be enough converging evidence from various aid groups to indicate that there is indeed a major problem.

      Thanks again for writing.

  28. Iman Azol says:

    Sexual slavery is huge in the Middle East, though it’s mostly “adults.”

  29. Martin says:

    Hello Lorette
    One must be very careful when making appeals to authority. The groups you cite are quite impressive sounding, but as you well know I could find many gaudily credentialed panels and boards who state that millions of people are dying yearly because they are eating too much saturated fat. They will state this with authority, though, the claim is against all evidence and logic. Might the groups you cite have an incentive (continued funding, religious fervor) to sound the alarm, also? How did you come to the conclusion that saturated fat was not killing you? You examined it for yourself. You thought about it in a logical way. The groups you mentioned are saying that we are daily amongst a very large number of pedophiles. Does that seem right to you? And again, they are saying that there are a huge number of mothers out there who are willing to abandon their children to traffickers. Does that seem correct? Does that fit with your own experience? And why were the foreign nationals arrested in the Philipines for abusing children if it’s such a widespread and seemingly thriving business? I can tell you why. It’s because such activities are frowned upon out here just as much as they are in Canada, where I’m sure there are arrests also. No one is turning a blind eye to such things, otherwise why would people be arrested? If it was the business these groups are saying it is, these individuals would be welcomed. Thailand is my adopted home. I love the place and the people, and I hate to see the country and its people slandered in such a way. There is not a large streak of depravity hiding in their hearts. Outsiders could not force or dupe them into doing such things on such a large scale. It seems to me there is a certain Western feeling of superiority that perpetuates this view; the ignorant, impoverished (and quite immoral) peasants being cruelly exploited to sell their children. I live here, I know that’s not the case. Thais, and I’m quite sure Filipinos are not morally inferior to the people of the rest of the world, though, that seems to be what is being said about them by certain groups.
    Lorette, I do respect your writing and thoughts. I’m always happy to see your byline in my RSS feed, but just as you and most of your readers cringe when encountering the continued illogical bashing of healthful animal derived foods, I too cringe when I see this sort of bashing of my home. Please, look for yourself. Come and speak to Thais from all walks of life and you will learn that you cannot find what these groups say you can find.

    Thanks

    • What seems to be missing here is the definition of child. In my own travels In Thailand, Philippines, Korea & elsewhere I’ve seen plenty of youngish girls working the bars & nightclubs — thousands, even, but none that I would consider children, ie, prepubescent.

      It’s an important distinction and I can see how it would be in the interest of activist groups to upward define ‘child’ like here in the US, under 18 which is ridiculous.

    • Lorette C. Luzajic says:

      Hi Martin, and everyone- please forgive unfinished sentence/paragraph in previous reply. I rephrased and didn’t delete.

      Again, certainly no offense was intended toward your home and Thai people in general. And you are right- I have not personally counted the number of children who are exploited around the world, and I’m generally wary of religious groups and their numbers for reasons I covered briefly in my rant. My brief mention of the topic was simply to illustrate how many pressing issues there are regarding human rights and that I found it petty and tedious that some animal liberationists would be more concerned with whether or not someone uses honey than with huge human rights violations. But I think it would be wrong to think no child trafficking exists. I have no doubt it is exaggerated by some (who would be better off looking in their own churches, from the way things are coming out of the papers here every day.)

      I appreciate what you are saying.Numbers may be inflated for various reasons, but child trafficking is definitely an issue and one child is one too many. Are there really so many pedophiles? By the proliferation and popularity of child porn, it would seem so. Of course, you are right- I have never counted the sites and pictures and looked at them. Children don’t end up involved in this kind of slavery because their parents are callous people. They are promised “help” and or “light work” and promises work well on the poor. Just like many eastern European women are promised “cleaning” jobs in Canada, and still naive, they come, only to find themselves doing something quite different. It’s a very complex issue. But I don’t think we can say “it doesn’t exist.” It exists far too often right here in Canada. I live in Toronto, the multicultural mecca and one of the “safest” cities in the world. But there are plenty of secret horrors here.

      I apologize for upsetting you. I still firmly believe that child trafficking exists since many reputable organizations like UNICEF, UN, National Geographic etc attest to them. Even if numbers are grossly inflated, converging conclusions, along with ample news footage, does show it exists in the world. I should have left off the specific country name, since in truth, all countries need to work to end child abuse in their own homes and borders.

      For the record, I am NOT AGAINST sex, porn, or the sex trade. I do not believe it is inherently degrading to be “objectified” but quite the contrary, it can be empowering. Our attempts to thwart our nature has led to bedlam, and proven impossible. I affirm all consenting sexualities.

      Incidentally, I also love Thai food and there are spectacular options here in Toronto. I hope to make it for the real thing overseas one day.

      Peace
      Lorette

  30. Martin says:

    Yes, the word child attached to prostitute is what bothered me. As I tried to get across in my previous posts the use of that word implies a callousness in Thai society that does not actually exist. I know this is not the focus of Lorette’s very good piece, though, so I’ll just leave it at that.

    Kudos to both of you.

    Thanks for the hard work.

  31. Ok, maybe somebody can give me a straight answer.

    I’m a religiously agnostic Vegan who honestly doesn’t give a shit about the dogma, and only really participates in Veganism for my (perceived) personal health, and for the environment. I feel like I’ve never been healthier, but I’m not against the notion that maybe I’ve succumbed to the placebo affect. I just want to find the healthiest diet possible. I personally don’t go around curb stomping dogs, but I also 100% agree that human rights come first. For example, I believe in animal testing when it comes to things like medicine. I’m not even against hunting. This isn’t a religion for me, I just want to be healthy.

    I’ve read both sides of the argument. I feel like I’m in the middle of the bell curve, but all of the information comes from the fringes. As it stands, from what I’ve read, Veganism makes the most sense, but I’m not beholden to it. I would really appreciate it if somebody could give me some advice, because I’m so past the cult-ish behavior of both sides. I just want answers that aren’t funded by any industry.

    There is no food on this earth I can’t live with out. I ate meat daily for 21 years, and gave it up cold turkey (no pun intended) when I read what I read. What I’ve read made sense, so I followed it. I’ll litterally do anything to optimize my health.

    This article seems reasonable to me, except that I don’t subscribe to the dogma anyway, so it kind of does nothing to help me. Mrs. Luzajic denounces Veganism, yet provides no alternative.

    I also don’t know this person’s credentials. I’ve seen pleanty of articles and study’s presented under the guise of objectivism, only to be revealed to be funded, weather financially or morally, from a person with interest in side of the arguement.

    I’ve bought into the idea that we weren’t meant to eat meat for a few reasons. The main one is evolution doesn’t seem to prove we need it. If it did, we’d have much more potent natural weapons. As it stands, I don’t know of many humans who would be able to take down and consume a raw cow with nothing but their hands. If somebody has anything to refute this idea, I’m more than willing to hear it, I’ve just never heard a valid argument.

    Also, is the fact that most meat in my local Wal-Mart is loaded with steroids and growth hormone misguided? I’ve never heard an impartial party claim so, but if the information is out there, once again, I’d be more than happy to read it.

    Please, somebody help me out. I have a completely open mind, but I’m not going to be poisoned by companies I know don’t give two shits about my health, but are more than willing to take my money.

    I just want to be healthy ya’ll :/

    • gallier2 says:

      It’s quite clear that Lorettes piece is more about the “fanatic vegans” than people who try veganism for health reasons. And there is no doubt that a carefully chosen vegan diet is much better than a crappy standard industrial empty carb laden diet, but is it optimal? That’s the whole question. In my opinion, a carefully chosen diet including animal products, especially offals and fats, is far superior to veganism. The “debate” between C.Minger and Colin Campbell that rages in the “paleo-sphere” since 2 weeks has produced a new convert from veganism to meat eater and his arguments are very insightful, I think it should appeal to you.
      http://tynan.net/ieatmeat
      and here you can read how he defended veganism still 2 weeks ago
      http://tynan.com/chinastudyresponse

      • I don’t think it was that clear that she was singling out fanatics. It felt more like she was using the insane behavior of dogmatic fanatics to denounce the idea as a whole. Which is what I’m sure many of my religious friends feel like I do to them, so I guess turnabout is fair play. I do see your point though. Thanks for the links, I’ll check them out.

  32. @Joey, Good questions.

    The lack of natural weapons argument discounts hominin brain size (intelligent group hunting) and external tools/weapons. You don’t even have to stay within the realm of Darwinian evolution to hear discussions of this. Marshall McLuhan even speaks in depth about “extensions of man” on his commentary on media. Others have taken his work further.

    One of the main tools utilized by the hominin line was cooking with fire. Cooking increases the bioavailability of a variety of components of food, most poignantly, protein. It also saves us something like six additional hours a day of chewing that chimps get stuck with. For a thorough look at the huge role this played in our physical evolution, check out Richard Wrangham’s, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human.

    Another thing that the anti-carnivore folks tend to gloss over is the fact that “weapons” such as canine teeth are often used for intra-species, intra-sex mate competition. That is… males fighting for both physical domination and displays involved in female sexual selection. Darwin’s unrecognized masterpiece, The Descent of Man, is a nice intro to this.

    And yes, finding quality, non-medicated meat sources can be tricky. Not only do humans need to eat what we evolved eating, but so do our food sources. There are lots of resources for what to look for, the blogroll on this site has a few if you can’t find what you need here.

  33. @Andrew

    I don’t know if I’m sold. Am I to believe that human’s would have eventually died out had we not discovered fire for cooking, and how to use a spear? And why haven’t any other humanoid species who haven’t made such discoveries, and not developed such skills not died out? Maybe I’m naive, but I’ve never seen a chimp eat a lion, and I certainly haven’t seen them barbecue one. I know our ancestors didn’t live as long as us, but who’s to say we were supposed to live as long as we do now… Then again, I guess that defeats the purpose of thinking about diet.

    Thanks for you response, I will definitely take a look at some of the stuff you hinted at. I might even have a copy of the Decent of Man, and just never got around to reading it.

    I’m still skeptical, but I’m glad I have an idea of where to look now.

    • You’re taking “survival of the fittest” too literally in your application of evolution in this case. Reproductive success has just as much impact on evolution as survival and is a large part of what’s at play here. The cooking hypothesis i’s not simply a matter of dying out or not dying out. It is a refutation of the necessity of evolving (or maintaining) physical weapons such as teeth found in typical carnivores. Once the hominin line (not chimps) started utilizing cooking, their teeth didn’t need to function as implements for killing or implements for tearing the flesh of prey.

      Definitely check out Wrangham’s book.

  34. Bailey says:

    I don’t understand the constant feud between vegans and paleo… We both have the insight to see that the Standard American Diet is, indeed, SAD! So I trade meat for grains… An others trade grains for meat… I understand that there are both fundamentalist vegans and paleo, but there are others (like me) who don’t even want attention drawn to the fact that they are vegan… People tend to get uncomfortable and automatically think PETA, where as there are many vegans who don’t even want to be associated with the radical groups… Can’t we all just get along?

    • There is no vegan insight, per se, on the SAD. Consuming massive amounts of fruit juice (essentially pure sugar), bread, Omega-6 skewed oils, and pasta is still absolutely vegan and still hits most of the negative parts of the SAD. That kind of insight destroys people’s health.

      There’s more room within the paleo realm for vegans than there is for grains. Removing animal products from one’s diet may simply deprive the body of nutrients our systems evolved to thrive on, but adding grains adds toxins.

      Imaginary superheroes from space forbid anyone go vegan, but vegans are also better off not eating grains. So… even vegans have something to learn from paleo. What does paleo have to learn from veganism?

      Can’t we all get along? Nope. Grain is not food. The vegan agenda is aligned with the SAD agenda in keeping a huge majority of the planet’s farmland tied up in auto-immune disease supporting monocrops.

  35. Matthew says:

    I mean… personally most vegans I’ve met IRL/over the web, each much worse than someone on the SAD.

    I consider someone on the SAD misinformed.

    I consider most vegans to be purposely depriving their bodies of needed nutrients.

    If your substituting meat for grains, not only are you missing out on all the nutritional benefits of the meat, but the phytates in the grains actually pull remaining nutrients from your body.

    Just talking from personal experience of course.

    • Well, yeah, if you ONLY ate grains, that would be true. I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about though. If you take out meat and dairy, there still a wide range of things you can and should eat.

      That sounds like you’re describing a raw diet, not a Vegan diet.

  36. Matthew says:

    The point of the matter is that if your eating grains, then you have to eat to both replace the nutrients that your body uses AND to replace the nutrients that the grains take from your body.

    I believe that there is an epidemic of magnesium, potassium, and other mineral shortages in our bodies here in America.

  37. Ok, something’s not right here. This place is starting to feel equally as cultish as any Vegan site. This apparent Vegan/Paleo fued doesn’t make taking this shit seriously very easy.

    I can totally buy the idea that I’ve made some oversights when it comes to meat. I’m not converting back overnight, but I’m going to do the research. I’m not sure I buy the grain thing. I’ve heard arguments for meat before. I’ve never heard these arguments against grains. I’ve heard the bullshit arguments against carbs, but I’ve never read anything about general grains being this damaging. Even the meat industry, who would very much benefit from demonizing grains, has never made this argument to my knowledge.

    I’m honestly this close to just giving up, and eating pizza for the rest of my life. The stress I’m going through trying to figure out my diet is probably going to kill me faster than anything I am, or am not eating. I mean, people are defending this Paleo diet like a vegan defends their diet, like a Texan defends his brisket. I’d maddening. I don’t need a talking mouth piece, I just want facts.

    According to one side, meat is toxic, and grains are healthy. On the other side, they say the exact opposite… I could litterally flip a coin a pick a side, and never know if I’m wrong.

    I don’t know what to say. Each side thinks they’re right, each side thinks the other side is evil, and I’m stuck in the middle of this BS.

    • Hey Joey, here is something to think about in making decisions about this and wading through all the crap out there. This was written by Dr. Loren Cordain.
      “The study of human nutrition remains an immature science because it lacks a universally acknowledged unifying paradigm. Without an overarching and guiding template, it is not surprising that there is such seeming chaos, disagreement and confusion in the discipline. The renowned Russian geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975) said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Indeed, nothing in nutrition seems to make sense because most nutritionists have little or no formal training in evolutionary theory, much less human evolution. Nutritionists face the same problem as anyone who is not using an evolutionary model to evaluate biology: fragmented information and no coherent way to interpret the data.
      All human nutritional requirements like those of all living organisms are ultimately genetically determined. Most nutritionists are aware of this basic concept; what they have little appreciation for is the process (natural selection) which uniquely shaped our species’ nutritional requirements. By carefully examining the ancient environment under which our genome arose, it is possible to gain insight into our present day nutritional requirements and the range of foods and diets to which we are genetically adapted via natural selection. This insight can then be employed as a template to organize and make sense out of experimental and epidemiological studies of human biology and nutrition.”

      • Ed, and others, thanks so much for the kind assistance to Joey, whose honesty is super refreshing and whose posts I’ve been reading here in Rome.

        I have a thing or two to contribute but I’m 5 hours out from a 4am wakeup, and then the 20 hour gauntlet back to SF.

        So, later.

      • Wow Richard, I have not seen the one about brain size, thermogenics and meat. Amazing! Thanks for posting this!

  38. Matthew says:

    Yeah it can be confusing. I don’t think there is a feud though, between people who are Paleo and people who are on any other diet.

    Your free to eat however you want, though I know it can be stressful. I know for me the idea of real food always guides me.

    Chicken, beef, pork, eggs, dairy… all these things can be eaten raw without preparation. In our society it’s very rare to do this because of fear of disease, but it’s possible.

    On the other hand, you cannot eat grains raw. You will get gastroentitis and suffer very bad consequences.

    Thus in my hand, grains are inedible to humans and I stay away from them.

    That’s my logic at least.

    • Yeah, I give up. I just need one final piece of advice. Since I went Vegan, I’ve been noticeably more regular. I went from evacuating once every 2-3 days, to at least once a day. That, I know, is one of the major reasons I feel a lot better these days. What would one suggest for maintaining this as I get off my Vegan diet. I feel like the major reason for my clogged bowels was because of the meat I ate. This is the one thing I’m having trouble reconciling. Trust me, I’m not sad that I get to eat meat now, but I can’t help but feel like it played a major part in my poor health in the past. I know it’s not true, but it feels like it is.

      • Paleo doesn’t necessarily mean purely carnivorous. A few months ago, I leaned out by using fitday.com to track calories, and a quick browse through my food logs showed that I was typically getting 15-20 grams of fiber every day, and that was at only ~2000 calories a day with no consumption of grains or beans. By weight, the bulk of my diet is plant matter, and I shit 2-3 times a day, every day. It could be that I’m just blessed with regularity, because I was the same way on the predominantly vegetarian, largely whole grain and bean based diet that I ate up until 6 years ago.

  39. There may be an assumption that those commenting on paleo stuff have read books like Cordain’s The Paleo Diet. There is a ton of information about this stuff out there and trying to learn it all from comments on this blog post is going to be frustrating. If I had to do it all over, I might start with these two…

    The Difinitive Guide to Grains -Mark Sisson

    Posts about Gluten -Stephan Guyenet, PhD (will make more sense if you read them chronologically)

  40. Regarding grain and meat, remember that the American meat industry is not a monolith. Many big players in the meat industry rely on grain as cheap feed, using it to create the lower quality meat that makes those who eat it sick. These folks are not going to demonize the stuff that is making their payday.

    “Paleo” vs. “Vegan” is not really as simple as meat vs. plant matter. The smartest on both sides agree that quality is an important factor (where did the meat come from? what exact pieces of vegetable matter are you putting in your mouth?). The McDonald’s burger is not necessarily Paleo (for all that it is or claims to be meat), and the inedible corn being grown to make high-fructose corn syrup is not necessarily Vegan (for all that corn is a vegetable).

    • A hugely important distinction is that paleo is a logical framework, veganism is not. One simply has to ask, “did humans eat grain-fed beef in the paleolithic?” Nope, Bovinae in the paleolithic didn’t eat grain. Modern grains didn’t even exist and they generally don’t tolerate it in the first place. Chalk up another one to plant seed toxicity as a reproductive defense mechanism. As such, CAFO and other Frankenmeat don’t pass the test of the paleo framework.

      On the other hand, veganism just says “eat only plant matter”. That guideline isn’t at all helpful when making food decisions and, yes, ends up relying on the savviness of the particular vegan in question. Vegans may or may not put on a healthy facade, but there are plenty who subsist on Gummi Bears, bagels, and Diet Coke. Why? Because of the emptiness of the framework. So veganism makes perfect sense within the whimsical arbitrariness of religion, but remains stuck at square one as a decision-making framework… with all the work still in front of the individual vegan.

      • Exactly! It is a logical framework, or paradigm. The framework that is paleo is based on observation from many different disciplines and tied together by evolution and natural selection. That is why it is not really a “diet.” It is a framework unlike any that has come along in the nutrition world. This leads to a larger lifestyle. Unlike veganism, paleo includes such things as sleep, exercise, and so on. You cannot separate these things out. They all form one complex adaptive system. Like other things that rely on sciences with logical frameworks, paleo will only improve as the frameworks and models improve (as we better understand how we have evolved and are designed). This cannot be said of veganism.

      • gallier2 says:

        Good post, but just for info, Gummi Bears are not vegan, they use normally gelatin (yes I know there are vegan variants of them).

  41. First off this is a good post, I agree with everything the author has to say about processed grains, but making general statements about vegans is the same as saying all muslims are terrorists. The real attack should be pointed towards the standard american diet aka, SAD.

    I am Vegan. I have no issues with people eating meat. I think it can be a part of a perfectly healthy diet. So why vegan for me? Allergies and finances.

    When I cut out dairy I no longer got sinuse infections. As far as meat goes, I just can not afford the meat that I would actually eat. I will not eat any factory farmed garbage, that goes for plants also. I grow as much of my own food as I can. I believe the health risk of eating factory farmed meat is far outweighs the benefits of a Paleo style diet.

    I do have a question for the Paleo dieters out there, How are any farmed animals Paleo? They would all come after agriculture? I am not attacking, and I could be misinformed. Maybe beef or what we know as chicken/ pork are not “paleo”.

    So what was the healthiest way I could eat on my budget? The answer was basically “Paleo” vegan.

    My diet consists mostly of roots, berries, greens, nuts, and fruit. I am not perfect. Nor do I think or believe this is the only answer for all human beings. This was just my answer for my health.

    • Tim Starr says:

      I also had to quit dairy for years due to allergies. However, I’ve found that since quitting grains I can now tolerate dairy without adverse affects on my sinuses (except for May, the worst month of the year for my allergies).

      Most farmed animals aren’t “paleo,” as they’re fed w/ grain & soy, not pastured. But it’s the best I can do most of the time. BTW, I found pastured butter in the organic section of my local grocery, and like it much better than even Kerrygold.

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