Well, I tweeted this story a couple of hours ago, it got immediate traction in terms of mentions and retweets, then Robb Wolf retweeted it and things really took off. So, based on that, I figured I better just blog it. This is about a tragedy, not ridicule -- except for those so deserving.
This morning I got a WTF? email from reader Clarice with a link to this raw vegan "success" story over at 30 Bananas a Day. It comes complete with before and after photos. Here's some highlights of 17-yr-old Harout's story.
I first got introduced to a better diet of mostly vegetarian foods with the occasion of some fish here and there by my high school assistant basketball coach for the Varsity team. i stuck to that for the course of my basketball season and stuck to it ever since i came to this site and moved on to the raw food movement. I was feeling so good on a vegetarian diet and looking so good that i believed that going on a raw food low fat raw vegan would make things even better for me with all the success stories.
So, he went from a diet that included cooked animal products to one that excluded them completely and...
I never jumped to high fat raw first. I barely tried being vegan for the time in transition. I just jumped straight in and have been 100% ever since mid September and have only had cooked plain brown rice pasta a couple times down the line. Every time i ate the cooked food though im like why am i eating it? It gives me energy yeah, but it doesnt taste good.
After 5 months of living this lifestyle i reversed my diagnosis of hypothyroidism. I took the pills for the first week and after that left it, on the verge of wanting to cure it myself. It worked, i shared with family my success stories and have influenced my households to go vegan and my brother a raw vegan as well. Its truely an amazing thing once you get into it. Its not just about diet anymore , i really realise the true aspects of this lifestyle and its NATURES GIFT. It really is, i wouldnt do anything nor let anybody do anything to change my insight on the way i live and my diet.
Well, so far so good, I guess. Or is it?
I have received great benefits and realise the only downfall is that i have gained a significany amount of fat, but i accept the fact of my body storing up what its been missing for a few years now and i respect it. I put my body through hell now its my price to pay for recovery. ...
A few cons that ive been going through lately and like i said respect for the time being of going through the struggles. I cant expect to become the hulk right away. It takes time to feel good , 8 months is just a drop in the ocean to my 16 years of abuse. Another con is slight acne on the forehead, being someone who never had acne in the past.
Like i said these are all little things that take time to recover frrom and im not going to whine about it. I believe in nature and this is as natural as it gets. Ive given up cosmetics as well.
Another thing i'd like to mention is that i used to be the fastest player on my basketball team. Played on A division for my traveling team while i was in high school and thats a good level. Now i play B cause i cannot keep up and even though i am in the starting five, i am not the top player of my team. I cant train as hard as i used to, the gained percentage of fat slows me down a bit. For the meantime i suppose. ...
Even though this last paragraph may be quite negative, i want to share my emotions one way or another, cause things arent perfect and i must share that. I think there is a big difference to feeling good and being able to perform good. I feel good , there is no question about that , but i suppose i am in the process of regaining where i cant perform as well yet. It really puts me down sometimes but i know there is no other option of just picking myself up and aiming for the best i can be day in and day out. Basketball has always been my true love and it just gets me how i let it get to me. Not being able to perform the same ways. It seems its a drag for me moving my feet up , down , slides on defense. I dont know, i hope i see in the light on the other end cause its just a tough time for me right now, still being in high school and ruining my hopes of college ball has been a tough sacrifice. It's not the fact that the lifestyle isnt the answer to health. Its not that at all. But we all go through cleansing and elimination at some point. And fininshing my high school career very poorly in regionals ,being one of the best players. Is really dissapointing to me , it really is. Once again , i dont blame the lifestlye. Its just a sacrifice of present success VS. future health. As much as i think its the wrong thing to do morally , i shouldve waited and stuck with cooked vegan so i didnt do dramatic change to my body right away with basketball in the picture. My bodys foreign to this and thats the only issue. Every day im doing something better and better for myself. It just draws me out of success in what i love doing temporarily. For the time being i guess.
[emphasis added to highlight denial and self delusion]
Well, there you have it. And now, here's the dramatic, 8-month anti-transformation of a poor, ambitious 17-yr-old young man. On the left, you have Harout as he looked on a diet that he called "vegetarian," but included fish and whatever other animal sources, and his food was cooked. To the right you have his 8-month results after being 100% raw, plant based, excluding all animal sources of nutrition. You can click for the full-size image, where the acne problem is more apparent.
Now, this would certainly remain a tragedy, especially given his passion of being a top basketball player on his HS team, with serious aspirations for a college scholarship, but he's only 17 and this condition could be reversed just as quickly as it progressed. So not to worry, right? ...because the 30 Bananas a Day crowd are there for him, there to help him for his sake; to point him in the right direction.
Let's take a look at some of the comments.
Maybe this is that adjustment period for you.
Perhaps your body is just 'rehydrating' after so many years of being dehydrated. I betcha it's all water! ... look at all of the muscle you've put on!
So your super flexing in the top shot and 'letting it go' in the bottom shot. You gotta compare flex shots with flex shots otherwise its like comparing a limp banana to an erect banana! lol! [Durianrider]
THIS IS WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT!! You are still YOU, no matter your physical appearance! You are loved!
...and then its BANG! CRASH BOOM! and we come back to earth and people around us blame the fruit. ... ITS NEVER THE FRUITS FAULT LOL! [Durianrider]
...how old are you in that top shot? You have the body of a 40 year old gym rat. [Durianrider]
Like I said HM, your on the right track now and just gotta let your body 'do its thing' as you do your thing. Keep eating right, eating lots, staying hydrated, GETTING EARLY NIGHTS and get on them b12 shots. [Durianrider]
In the above shot you look like your taking drugs. ... In the below shot, you look like an off season Tour De France rider that is not taking drugs. Still look like you are super fit, just not drug fit. Somewhere in the middle is the more sustainable range. THEN again, you confuse me cos your flexing hardcore in the top shot and are 'letting it go' in the bottom one. [Durianrider]
I think you look much healthier in the second photo.
Well, so there you have it. In case you think I may have selected only the comments that offered no help, only encouraging him to keep to his delusion, his self-destructive path, then feel free to read through all of the comments. As of 18 hours ago, the last comment, there is not a single one that even hints or suggests that he's doing something seriously wrong to himself.
Not a single one of those mutherfuckers is willing for one second to even entertain a whiff of a notion that something just may be rotten in The Garden of Eden.
If this is not the hallmark of a cultish religion, then there's no such thing as cultish religion. This just pisses me off. For the sake of being "right," they are literally willing to toss away the aspirations of a young kid who clearly doesn't know any better.
So, folks, assuming Harout may get wind of this post, anyone out there want to offer him some real help and guidance? Some real love? Please take a moment to do so. And also take a moment to share this with Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers. You never know who you might save from embarking on a similar path of self destruction; one that's enforced by denial & delusion and encouraged by cultists.
And for any vegans who do stop by with an open mind, here's what real results look like. Kit Perkins is the most recent success. Check out Tim. Or, this "Sterling" transformation. Who hasn't heard of Super Mike? And Chris? He's singing a different tune. Murray to this day constitutes one of the most amazing transformations ever. Anyone remember how Austin in Singapore turned his life around? And how about Michelle and Timothy? And then there's Mel, a PhD biology researcher. All of the resources at her disposal and yet, she had to come to some guy's blog to find a sound path for living and looking the way a human animal is supposed to look.
Good thing none of the above sought dietary and health advice from a fruit cult.