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Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The "New Vegan High"
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May 13, 2011
12:57 pm
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Cameron:

Sponsors of the American Dietetic Association: Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Hershey, M&M Mars, Splenda, Kellogg's, General
Mills, Unilever, Cargill, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, and Abbott Laboratories.
  (Link.)

I'm not excited about supporting any of those entities, and I certainly don't trust any of them to have my best interests at heart.

Cathy:

It's been a long time since I was vegetarian -- and I certainly don't feel attacked by anyone else's dietary choice, yours included.  The flip answer to someone who's veg*an is "Great, more meat for me!"  I'm just trying to provide an alternative explanation for the people who are slowly feeling worse and worse, and who are repeatedly told "You're detoxing" or "You're doing it wrong". 

Usually this is people who get sucked into the LFRV orbit, but there are plenty of people who (for instance) have no ability to synthesize vitamin A from beta-carotene, and/or no ability to synthesize DHA from ALA.  And there are plenty of people working on low-grade nutritional deficiencies from eating too many antinutrients in those "healthy whole grains" (particularly mineral deficiencies from the phytic acid).

Also keep in mind there are multiple forms of self-cannibalism...one I see frequently (and used to suffer from) is where your body has plenty of caloric energy available but not enough complete protein, so it cannibalizes muscle -- giving you that classic "skinny-fat" look.

JS

 

May 14, 2011
6:15 am
Birgit
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I do not often admit to it any more, but I once was a raw vegan. And the first one and a half paragraphs of your article describe my journey exactly, right up to the loose teeth. Of course, they would describe every raw vegans journey exactly...

What saved me is my love for mountains and mountaineering. Even if I left the bivouac gear, the ropes, ice pick, crampons etc. at home, I still wouldn't be able to lug several days worth of fresh fruit. Mountaineering burns a few cals... :-).

So luckily, I came to.

In hindsight I don't understand what possessed me, or how on earth I fell for it. I have always liked fatty food, eggs and butter and cream, always loved hunting and fishing, and always loved science. The BS arguments the raw vegans put forth in support of their madness put me off from day one. Everything about raw veganism just goes against my nature...

I LOVE how you put it:
Eat like a predator, don't eat like prey.
I can identify with that :-).

Still, that energy rush of the first raw vegan weeks, that's what lured me in. I wish there was a way to create it again, and maintain it, healthfully.

Btw, I think that much of the miraculous health improvements people experience are in fact due to the resulting fatty meat diet and the removal of all the non foods. But that energy rush... Don't you think that is rather the stress response? I'm pretty sure I had a cortisol issue back then. Should have seen my gut, that wasn't just the bloat...

Anyway, thanks for an awesome blog. I love your writing as much as I like the content and look forward to reading the book :-).

May 15, 2011
4:52 am
Birgit
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Or maybe it was grehlin?

May 16, 2011
11:50 am
eddie
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cathy: how are these atkins followers at risk of heart disease?
you're aware that dietary saturated fat does not in fact cause heart disease?

and who are we to say plant life is not sentient? they have been shown to react to being talked to, in time i am sure we will understand their biologies a lot more than we do now and then we may have to form a different view.

i assume you drink cholorinated water, drive a vehicle(or use public transport), use medication(the same companies make poisons that kill animals).
tracts of land set aside for wheat/soybean/etc still get sprayed with fertilisers/pesticides/insecticides etc all of which kill animals, not even mentioning the habitat destruction.

May 16, 2011
11:55 am
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Birgit:

I think some of the LFRV energy rush is due to being on a constant sugar high. Not only do you get the quick energy hit of glucose, simple carbs in isolation increase your brain serotonin levels (which I talk about in this article).  Of course, this doesn't last, because you're not replenishing the tryptophan required to produce serotonin unless you're such an exercise fiend that you get it through sheer volume of low-protein foods…

"Juice fasts" (it's not a "fast" if you're drinking fruit juice, which has plenty of sugar calories) are a pretty solid high, for the same reason.  You might very well be getting the benefits of autophagy so long as you keep protein intake at zero…I'll have to take a longer look at this.

The veg*an propaganda is quite convincing, isn't it?  The problem is that it's a self-consistent system, and you have to know a decent amount about nutrition, human metabolism, and food production to realize that it's based on several completely false statements, like "You can't get energy from anything but carbs" and "Animals destroy the planet because they require a million times more water than humans".  I believe that's why most veg*an blogs and forums have to be censored so heavily, unlike paleo blogs and forums: with the Internet, it's far too easy to expose the baloney.  Back in the day, complete baloney like "John Wayne died with forty pounds of meat impacted in his colon" was absolute gospel.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy The Gnoll Credo, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts once you've finished! Please feel free to post them in the Talk forum.

eddie:

Exactly.  Industrial agriculture is an environmental disaster whether we feed the resulting corn and soybeans to cattle or to humans.  And plants react to stimuli, just more slowly than humans do.  They even communicate to each other with pheromones!

JS

May 27, 2011
12:56 pm
Elsie
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Ok.. this was kind of funny.. but also TRUE! I experienced the SAME THING. Which I figure I felt better in the beginning because I actually started eating VEGETABLES instead of chemicals. But again over time I became more restrictive and it wasn't pretty.

I do appreciate that I learned how to eat healthier.. and I am still a vegetarian... but I just don't think I'd ever be a full "vegan" again... Felt like a cult with the people I was around... You eat cheese and you are OUT and HORRIFYING.

I see nothing wrong with being a vegan.. but for me.. each time I just couldn't do it after awhile.. 🙁

May 27, 2011
1:16 pm
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Elsie:

It's difficult, though possible, to be a healthy vegetarian eating natural foods: eggs are an excellent source of all sorts of essential nutrients, and milk products can be OK in moderation.  But being a vegan requires creative supplementation and a lot of artificial food technology in order to maintain anything resembling health...

...and it's NOT your fault that you had to abandon veganism.  You were NOT "doing it wrong".  Your body simply needs things like DHA, choline, and complete protein unencumbered by plant toxins.

I'm glad you managed to find your way out of the cult.  We're unrepentant meat-eaters over here -- but your food choices are not a threat to us, and we don't see any need to censor people who don't agree with us.  Stop by anytime.

JS

May 27, 2011
1:30 pm
Elsie
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See for me, I never really liked meat. Ever. I was really picky about it... So I don't have a strong attachment to it.. so I really don't have a desire to go back to it. I went vegetarian when I was in high school, before I outgrew my picky eating phases. I don't know if I will ever eat meat again, maybe I will..maybe I won't. I will say being vegetarian is a heck of a LOT easier than vegan. As I said before, being vegan taught me a lot of how to eat healthier..as I was raised on the typical bad fast food diet and I did not know what fresh fruit and vegetables were. I do not disagree with you on any of your points you make really. I am not someone who judges anyone on what they eat... I just personally do not like factory farming for many reasons.. along with a lot of other things in the world and the way they are done. However, I know a lot of meat eaters that feel the same way.

Thanks for posting this, it's been a struggle to find real info on vegan diets that haven't worked, etc. I don't doubt that it works longterm for some, but for me it surely did not. I think we just all are different. I am glad that there are others out there who will agree with that and not get angry!

🙂

May 27, 2011
2:33 pm
Elsie
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So it's not that I don't agree with you.. it's just not how I eat. I do agree on a lot of points on the diet you follow... So thanks for not being critical because I don't eat meat because we can all learn from each other and I like not being forced into someone else's views! We all need to make choices for ourselves and I do completely understand the social pressure aspect. That is what kept me there for so long. That is why I hate labels.. because I don't want to be stuck on one forever.

June 1, 2011
10:19 pm
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Elsie:

You might be surprised how attuned the paleo community is to the issues of factory farming: every 'paleo' diet book I know of stresses the importance of grass-fed meat.  I'm sure we agree that industrial agriculture is terribly destructive whether its products are fed to cows or to people.

Anyway, I'm glad you find my site useful, and you're welcome here.

JS

June 16, 2011
11:58 pm
Dana
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I'm with you. If someone wants to eat vegan *for themselves* then fine. It's when they go around trying to persuade others to do it that I take exception. What to eat and how to eat it are bits of information traditionally transmitted by cultural influence in the human species; we're used to deciding what to eat based on what our families and friends tell us. This business of having to look it up in a science book is brand-new. We haven't really adjusted to this reality yet. And a lot of people wind up having to suffer because, contrary to previous species experience (especially amongst foragers--but even some farmers figured out how to make their crops less toxic after a while), the information we get from family and friends is no damned good.

If I see what I know to be bad info being disseminated, I *will* say something. Can't help it. But if you're off in your own little world eating sprouts and tofu and giggling from your fruit-juice sugar high, how am I going to know? Also, you're all grown up and you have to learn some way.

Alicia Silverstone, a well-known vegan, was documented as confessing to occasional cheese cheats. Apparently that's not an uncommon thing. Explains how they get their K2, anyway.

June 17, 2011
3:03 am
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Dana:

You're correct that the majority of self-described "vegetarians" aren't actually vegetarian at all: I put the statistics in this article.

I think the cultural transmission of dietary information has been broken by the industrialization of our food supply to the point where no one actually knows where food comes from.  Consider that in 1850, something like 70% of the US population were farmers.

JS

July 17, 2011
11:20 pm
Might temporarily go
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[...] This is an interesting read about why you feel good going vegan. Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The “New Vegan High” - GNOLLS.ORG Reply With Quote   + Reply to [...]

August 12, 2011
4:45 pm
Abby Eagle
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Excellent description of what happens when you go vegan. I spent 25 years trying to be a healthy vegetarian, tried the raw food vegan diet twice. When my health had detiorated so much and i was looking at going to hospital to have work done on extremely painful hemaroids, a naturopath friend who at one time was vegan, introduced me to the weston a price traditional diet. I have been eating meat based diet for the last ten years and would never ever go back to a vegetarian or vegan diet. I have a number of of ex vegan naturopath friends who now all eat meat.

August 14, 2011
5:28 pm
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Abby:

Thanks for sharing.  It's a very common experience.  The difficult part is that the troubles come on slowly and take a long time, so it's very easy to blame them on something else.  I'm glad you found your way out.

JS

August 17, 2011
6:31 pm
imagine 7 generation
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Well you have to eat enough fruit of course! 3000 calories plus! Gotta keep it low-fat too!

vegan has finally gone mainstream with a national restaurant chain!
feature=player_embedded

August 21, 2011
9:36 pm
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Imagine:

Some people have the talent of sprinting, jumping, lifting, or skating at an Olympic level.  And some people have the talent of being able to survive -- as adults -- on 2500 calories of fruit a day.  Although we'll have to see what happens to the long-termers as they age...

...and no one can successfully raise a child like that.  It's called "mother's milk", not "mother's smoothie".

As far as "Native Foods": I've eaten at places like that before.  Every time I've had to go somewhere else afterward to eat real food, no matter how many calories and nutrients were theoretically present.

JS

 

August 26, 2011
7:38 am
skitterling
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New visitor here, catching up on the archive. Thank you so much for an informative, referenced, serene website. Not to mention really good reading! I'm ordering the Gnolls Credo after reading the sample. Looking forward to it...

It's always interesting to read the comments on your articles, especially the ones referencing veg*ans or vegetarians. The commenters who tend to drive by and drop a emotional attack (usually screaming about something you've already debunked in the article or a previous one) never really come back to respond to your responses, do they? I really appreciate the members of other tribes who start a calm discussion, but it's strange, isn't it, that the hysterical ones bluster about and run away.

Hmmm...reminds me of something...

August 26, 2011
2:37 pm
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skitterling:

Thank you!  It's an intense read, and it'll change the way you look at the world.  Also, book orders help keep this place updated and ad-free.

And you're absolutely correct: the most vitriolic commenters never come back to respond.  I've begun calling them "drive-by veganings".

I make a special effort to write calm, reasoned articles, and to maintain a level of courtesy and decorum here in the comments.  Thank you for noticing!

JS

September 3, 2011
2:25 pm
Bree
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This is so untrue. hahaha I always find that people get defensive when they find out I'm vegan, but not all vegans are insane and trying to convert other people. That's a misconception and a generalization. I'm also not sickly or "eating my own body". I'm perfectly healthy and I've been vegan for almost 3 years now. Stop spreading lies. Anyone who wants some real answers, check out this page ----> http://sugarrocket.com/vegan/vegan-myths.php

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