• Your life and health are your own responsibility.
• Your decisions to act (or not act) based on information or advice anyone provides you—including me—are your own responsibility.


Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The “New Vegan High”

There’s a definite “high” associated with first going vegan…especially raw vegan. New converts are bright-eyed, relentlessly energetic, and brimming over with messianic zeal to convert all their friends to the diet that has brought them such joy.

Yet, like a star going nova, this brightness never lasts. After several months their energy begins to flag, they start losing strength and muscle mass, and sickness begins to harvest their days. Friends start to notice their gauntness and pallor. As time goes on they become alternately spacy and snappish, suffering from fatigue, depression, poor memory—and even loose teeth. Women become amenorrheic. They restrict their diet even more in an attempt to recapture that first rush of health, but only succeed in making themselves sicker. Often they cut themselves off from friends and family, and only associate with other vegans who support the dietary choice that is slowly destroying their body and mind.

We all know why this is: necessary animal-sourced nutrients like vitamin B12, menaquinone-4 (vitamin K2 MK-4), and DHA are unavailable in the vegan diet, and must be replaced by supplementation in order to avoid physical and mental deterioration.

But why are the initial months such a rush? Why is “going vegan” such a drug-like high at first?

You feel good because you're going Hannibal Lecter on YOUR OWN BODY.

It’s because vegan diets—especially raw vegan diets—are so short on calories and basic nutritional needs, that during those early stages, the new vegan’s body is eating itself!

It’s a metabolically delicious meal of fatty human meat, high in saturated fat and complete protein—and it’s the most nutritious meal you can eat. Of course it’s what your body needs: it is your body!

This is not hyperbole. When you starve your body of calories, protein, and essential nutrients (and if you are deficient in one essential amino acid, that deficiency is your limiting factor for protein utilization), your body will not just burn its own fat: it will burn its own muscle.

The more restrictive your vegan diet, the more delicious, fatty MEAT you are eating…your own.

That’s the reason you had so much energy when you first started your vegan diet. What you were really eating was a paleo diet of your own flesh.

…And That’s Why The “New Vegan High” Never Comes Back

Yet self-cannibalism cannot last forever. Eventually your body refuses to let you eat any more of yourself, because there’s nothing left to eat. And your body starts to shut down, because it can’t survive on the meager portions of rabbit food and birdseed you’ve been feeding it.

You’re not “doing it wrong”, and you’re not “detoxifying”: you’re starving. Colon cleansing and “superfoods” won’t save you, and neither will another juice fast. You have two choices: you can continue your downward spiral into sickness, weakness, depression, degeneration, and a life barely distinguishable from death…

…or you can eat what you’ve really been eating all along…

…rich, fatty, juicy, nutritious, delicious red meat.

Please stop killing yourself. We love you and we want you to come home.


Postscript: If you know any vegans who are clearly sick and in denial, forward this to them. Facebook it, Twitter it, Stumble or Digg or Reddit to your friends with the buttons below. And if someone has forwarded this to you, know that I was a vegetarian once and I know what the social pressure is like. Come with a good heart and you will meet no ridicule here.

Yes, I know that it is possible to maintain a moderately healthy vegan life through creative supplementation, the use of highly processed industrial products like ‘soy protein’, and a constant stream of fruits and vegetables out of season from halfway across the world. But your life and health are to ancestral human life and health as vegan ‘bacon’ is to real bacon: if you haven’t eaten the real thing for a long time, you can convince yourself that it’s good enough. But it isn’t.

Do you enjoy debunking myths? Try the classics “Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables!” and “Food Allergies And Food Intolerances Reveal The True Human Diet”. And here’s what I eat, in case you’re wondering.


Permalink: Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The “New Vegan High”
  • Bodhi

    I went through the stages you have described three times. I thought I must have done it wrong the first two times. I was vegetarian years ago. I lost muscle mass and starting getting weak. I went back to a SAD diet and felt better. In 2006 I discover vegan. I thought this was what I’d missed the first time around. Rinse and repeat, loss muscle and got weak. In 2008 I read Steve Pavlina’s 30 day raw story and I got movivated to give raw vegan a try. I felt great for a while, then I started going down hill again. Later that year I discovered Paleo and I’ve felt great ever since. Thanks for the post.

  • Sebastien

    I saw myself back when I was on a raw vegan diet in the your second paragraph. It’s a good thing that I was finally able to see the light because there wasn’t much left in me to keep on eating myself.

    Like Bodhi, I discovered that terrible mistake of a diet because of Steve Pavlina. I wrote about it on my site.

  • Bodhi:

    That's the most insidious part of the lie: the idea that it's your fault that you feel sick, because you're not doing it right. 

    “You're detoxifying, it'll get better,” the gurus say.  “30 bananas a day provides all your dietary needs,” the gurus say.  “If you feel like you're starving for butter or a steak, it's because you're weak,” the gurus say.  “Push through it.”  And you keep thinking that if you can just find the right combination of obscure Brazilian rainforest fruits, pureed wheatgrass, and organic asparagus, you'll feel like you did when you first started out.

    It's a terrible lie…and now you know why.

    I'm glad you were able to find a way out, and I'm glad you're here now.  Thanks for sharing.  


    I never became as sick as you (I was 'just' a vegetarian, living mostly on cheese and tortillas), but I've seen it happen to others.  It's frightening how far gone we can be while still convincing ourselves that we're “detoxing”.

    I just took a break to read your article “How Steve Pavlina Almost Killed Me.”  And you're absolutely correct: that “sacred”, blissed-out feeling comes partially from the asexuality you get for free when you're starving, as your body shuts down all its reproductive drives.  But the other part is the constant serotonin rush from all the simple fruit sugars they're eating: I talk about that in detail here.

    Anyway, I'm glad you've made it here, and I'll be spending more time reading your articles as I can.

    PS: Your website is so nicely designed and laid out that it makes me jealous!  Great job.



  • Elenor

    Fascinating! But HOW do you get a vegetarian to awaken? My (40-yr-old!) foster daughter is getting sicker and sicker. Her ‘allergy tests’ {eye roll} show her to be “allergic” or “sensitive” to darned-near everything! (Eggs. Whey. Seems like nearly hundreds of foods and food elements.) She says, no of course she’s not getting enough protein — but she won’t eat tuna fish anymore (?!) without mayo (egg allergy) cause it’s boring. And she spends an hour or two making gluten-free egg-free bread and then she’s too tired to eat it — or make it again…

    She says when she last tried meat (many years ago) it tasted like rot. She WON’T eat meat… (I suggested I’d read somewhere that taking magnesium helps make meat ‘palatable’; she’s probably deficient in that, as she likely is in everything else!) She’s so depressed, so tired. And I just don’t know what to suggest. Geez! It’s worse than having a drug addicted child!!

  • Eric

    It’s gross, but it’s true. Help spread this one around, and maybe we can save a few impressionable people from being bamboozled into bad health by TV personalities, ‘personal development gurus’, and emotional blackmailers masquerading as scientists.

    This is a funny troll. You should name these tv personalities that are so bamboozzling people into becoming vegan. Is it the burgermeistermiesterburger? Also I would like you to name the emotional blackmailers masquerading as scientists. What would be even more humorous would be to cite the scientific studies backing your outlandish claims.

    I’m sorry but you’re an obvious troll with this post. I have no problem with that at all but must call it as I see it. At least have some phony references of your own if you are going to throw stones at all the masquerading scientists that recommend a vegan diet.

  • Ravi

    … so THAT”S why they eat all those fava beans! (…and a good Chianti…) – there’s a “success story” on MDA where a 2 year vegan wakes up and in 1.5 months of primal tags on 25 lbs and looks ripped – quite amazing from the emaciated “durianrider” kinda body- (BTW – Free the Animal’s recent vegan-rant post and thread is hilarious!)

    this must be bash-a-vegan month, eh?

  • Ravi:

    I'm not bashing vegans: they're victims.  I'm bashing the misinformation that's suckering people into poor health, and the con men that are spreading it.


    What sort of “allergy tests” is she getting, and from what lab?  There are a lot of shysters/bunk artists and a few legit ones. 

    As far as what to do:

    -Find some guaranteed algae-sourced vegetarian EPA/DHA caps (sigh) and stuff her with large quantities of those.  Some forms of depression respond as well to high doses of DHA as they do to SSRIs, and she's probably heavily n-3 deficient since flaxseed oil doesn't upconvert with any efficiency.

    -Coconut milk. Anything tastes great in coconut milk, even if it's just a bowl of berries…and as a bonus it's almost all medium-chain saturated fats.  This article has the quick and dirty Thai curry instructions near the end.  Even a vegetarian curry will at least get her full of healthy MCTs, and I bet you can get her to eat some whitefish or chicken breast cooked in it.  You'll probably want to omit the fish sauce at first because it's tricky to get the amount right.


    I'm not trolling.  When someone is losing both fat and muscle mass because they're eating a nutritionally inadequate diet, they're eating their own bodies. 

    That's how metabolism works.  It doesn't matter if that stearic acid in your bloodstream came from beef you ate or your own fat cells, and it doesn't matter if that leucine in your bloodstream came from beef you ate or your own muscle tissue.  If your body needs nutrients, it will disassemble itself to supply them.

    None of this is controversial.  Read about the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, which produced “The Biology Of Human Starvation”, a two-volume, 1400 page report:

    “The men became nervous, anxious, apathetic, withdrawn, impatient, self-critical with distorted body images and even feeling overweight, moody, emotional and depressed. A few even mutilated themselves, one chopping off three fingers in stress. They lost their ambition and feelings of adequacy, and their cultural and academic interests narrowed. They neglected their appearance, became loners and their social and family relationships suffered. They lost their senses of humor, love and compassion. Instead, they became obsessed with food, thinking, talking and reading about it constantly; developed weird eating rituals; began hoarding things; consumed vast amounts of coffee and tea; and chewed gum incessantly (as many as 40 packages a day). Binge eating episodes also became a problem as some of the men were unable to continue to restrict their eating in their hunger.”

    Does any of this sound familiar?

    But let's return to the initial euphoria, when your body still has reserves to burn.  This is why fasting is so addictive, particularly to people on low-fat 'health food' diets: eating their own flesh is the most wholesome meal they get!  Paleo people do IF sometimes, but we don't have that nearly sexual drive to repeatedly starve ourselves for a week or more — because we're already eating delicious, nutritious fatty meat.

    (An aside: the one saving grace of the ridiculous high-fructose fruitarian diet is that it's a high-fat diet in practice: their bodies are converting much of that sugar into (gasp!) triglycerides full of saturated fat.  I bet I could make a delicious foie gras out of a fruitarian's fatty liver…gavaging yourself with bananas is just as effective as gavaging a goose with corn.  Personally I prefer to give my liver a holiday and simply eat the fats.)

    I freely admit (and said so at the very bottom): “Yes, I know that it is possible to maintain a moderately healthy vegan life through creative supplementation, the use of highly processed industrial products like ‘soy protein’, and a constant stream of fruits and vegetables out of season from halfway across the world.”  Some people get it right: I know a few who do.

    But a lot more succumb to raw food or fruitarian guru bullshit — or simply don't understand all the nuances of things like bioavailable B12, EPA and DHA, and vitamin K2-MK4, and end up in the cycle I describe.  Demyelinating your nervous system isn't a good long-term strategy.


    PS: Names aren't important: they come and go. The TV personality who's vegan this month will be on a gimmick diet next month. And I'm not here to start fights: I'm here to debunk myths, and offer support to those who want to jump the fence but are afraid to leave the herd behind.

  • Melissa

    Occasional autophagy isn’t so bad. In fact it might prevent cancer. Eventually you do need to rebuild though.

  • Cornelius

    @Elenor: I am very sorry to hear that, but unfortunately many people need to feel special in some way, and for some it is through hypochondria. “I can’t eat this, I don’t eat that, and I won’t eat the other thing… ain’t I special?”

    But all is not lost. I have a number of friends who were vegans, vegetarians, or raw foodies, and all of them finally got tired of, well, being tired all the time, for the most part. In the worst case one of them developed a physical nervous disorder, but it “miraculously” went away when he started eating meat again. Go figure.:P

    It’s kind of like a drug addiction, but instead of going through withdrawals when they try to kick it, after (at worst) a couple of days for their digestive and alimentary systems to get back to normal, and perhaps a couple of weeks for their brains to do the same, they go through raptures.

    Don’t worry, most people wise up before they do themselves any permanent damage.

  • Cornelius


    Yes, occasional autophagy isn’t bad at all, if the tissue your body is consuming is fat. If your body is consuming muscle to get the nutrients it needs to survive, however, that is bad.

  • Melissa:

    Absolutely intermittent fasting does some good: hormesis is real.  It's the same reason exercise is good (body rebuilds after stress) and polyphenols are good (body mounts antioxidative response to small doses of toxin).  But a 24-36 hour fast, in which muscle mass is conserved, is far different than a 7-10 day fast that requires self-cannibalization — or worse, what is effectively a multi-month fast due to nutrient deprivation.

    None of this is news to you: I'm just explaining it for the benefit of my readers. Thanks for stopping by!


    Food habits are just as persistent as drug addictions.  And just like an addiction, you can't change the addict: they have to change themselves.  You can open the door, but they have to walk through it.


  • EdwinB

    JS, kudos on the site brother, found you today via your comment. You are doing some good work here. Aloha.

  • Mahalo, Edwin. Be welcome here.

  • No such thing as a V

    […] Have you all checked out J. Stanton's blog on why Vegans are cannibals? Seem they might be eating Soylent Green. …how do you look, feel, and perform? — Robb Wolf […]

  • Ravi

    i would forgive you even if you did identify for bashing vegans. – but my main comment here is that i sincerely agree with your post – it’s excellent – but please, NO ONE is a victim – and that argument is very tired.

    From a practical standpoint (with ALL the info at our internet fingertips) as well as from a spiritual standpoint, claiming anyone to be a victim is degrading the human experience and potential of free will. everyone CAN think for themselves if they give it a go – it’s our birthright as free-will beings –

    that vegans and other DO NOT use their god-given (lower-case g) abilities in no way makes them a victim to anyone else but– themselves –

    but – this digression could get volatile i know – not meant to distract – just not to let people off the hook for clearly stupid self-defeating behavior.

  • Ravi:

    The vegan evangelists are, for the most part, making demonstrably false claims, and I have no problem repeatedly bashing people who make false claims. (The CSPI, for instance.)

    However, there are a lot of people who get sucked into believing those false claims, especially when the mainstream media dutifully parrots all their propaganda while marginalizing and mocking the science-based alternatives.  'Paleo' is still mocked as the 'caveman diet' and treated as a lunatic fringe, while Michael Pollan (“Mostly plants”) and even full-on vegans like Jonathan Safran Foer get major mainstream coverage, positive reviews, and big publicity pushes.

    And, as I've said before, vegans at least understand that there is a problem with our modern industrial system of food production, even if their solutions don't fix the problem (eating industrially produced corn, soy, and wheat yourself isn't much better than feeding it to cows).  

    So I refuse to bag on them for making an effort, however misguided.  I prefer to show them the way out, and only bag on the ones that spread misinformation.


  • Carla

    Wow, thank you for this article

  • Carla: 

    Glad you enjoyed it! And I love your last article “Call The Paleo Police.” It's especially irritating when the person in question isn't 'paleo' at all.

    It's also a good reminder to myself not to be self-righteous or dogmatic about it.  I'm sure that's just as insufferable.


  • Pskaiy

    Would have been nice to have seen some (credible and reputable) reference sources for this article.

  • Pskaiy:

    Which claims are you looking to reference? The biology of human starvation is well-understood (see comment 8 above), as are our daily protein requirements and the fact that there is no storage facility for amino acids except in our own muscles and tissues.

    Let me know which part of it you're having trouble with and I'll do my best to point you in the right direction.


  • Nicole.

    Um, yeah if you feel sick and weak after you go vegan then you ARE doing it wrong. I actually gained weight when I went from vegetarian to vegan, it really isn’t that hard to eat a healthy vegan diet. Don’t blame all vegans just because there are a few morons who don’t know how to feed themselves properly.

  • Mary R

    Wow. I had no idea. I have been vegan for 5 years. I work and I am currently in studing law. I enjoy hiking and writing. My husband (also a vegan of 5 years) runs marathons. I had no idea I was supposed to be feeling like crap. When should I start expecting the weakness and malaise to be setting in?

  • Peace Is Coming For

    Cannibalism is a word. Words have meaning. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    If it means to metabolize your own existing tissues during periods of malnutrition, then 50% of the world are cannibals. You just called every starving person on Earth a cannibal. Shame on you. Not hyperbole my a$$.

    Autophagia is a word. It means to physically eat one’s self. With your mouth. This is not cannibalism, because cannibalism means you eat OTHER PEOPLE. Obviously vegans don’t do this.

    Regardless of your hyperbolic, insensitive, and erroneous use of language, the content of this article seems to imply that non-vegans are immune to B-12 or K-2 deficiency. Is this the claim being made?

    Improper intake of nutrients causes malnutrition. If all necessary nutrients are consumed, health will occur regardless of source.

    Anecdotally, the only people I have ever known who had B-12 deficiency were 2 non-vegans.

  • Paul Verizzo

    Stumbled across this; I don’t usually leave comments.

    Veganism, especially raw types, are psychologically no different than any religious cult. Think Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, and so many others. Facts are either ignored or twisted to fit their view.

    Another simple fallacy is generalization. Mary R above says she and her husband are healthy vegans. But they probably cook at least some of their food (it takes little to reverse the tides of malnutrition), or perhaps they supplement, or perhaps (gasp!) they cheat. Lots of evidence that many healthy vegetarians/vegans cheat. (No, Mary, I don’t have it at my fingertips.)

    The third possibility is that a given healthy vegan is an outlier. Body By Science, Chapter One, should be required reading every week for a year in school. It explains how we look at outliers in any endeavor and think, “I can do that, too!” But you can’t.

    Research has shown, (sorry, again, Mary!) that some raw foodies crater only months into the diet, others can take a decade or more. It’s that old YMMV in real life.

    There is zero science supporting veganism or especially, the raw form. All the sciences point towards being animal eaters with sides of plant matter.

    Deal with it, vegans.

  • js290

    Veganism seems like an eating disorder. The body catabolizing itself is the result of glucose metabolism. The body will break down its own protein and convert it to sugar if that’s what it’s been conditioned to use for fuel.

    I think the more generalized explanation without indicting vegans is to simply point out fat metabolism healthy, sugar metabolism is not. People should be free to choose and figure out how to do that. Ultimately, when we observe someone who’s healthy, whether herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore, it’s more important to figure what they are not eating rather than what they are eating.

    BTW, Paul, the first chapter of BBS actually references Nassim Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan.

  • Victoria

    I think people need to understand there are different kinds of vegans. You get people who geniunely have eating disorders and use veganism as an excuse, or people who are misinformed about veganism, or people who eat really really well and more than enough food and a healthy balanced diet – just not animal products.
    I classify myself as a vegan for humanitarian reasons. I love meat and I miss it. But I wont support the way animals are farmed. It hardcore.
    Please watch this link:
    That said. I will gladly eat a massive juicy steak if I know where it has come from. If it is from a small farmer who has free range facilities hell yeah.
    And I go out of my way to source what I can from the little guy. But for the rest I just wont eat genetically modified tortured animals or their by products

  • Whitesnake

    What annoys me most is the constant lies and misrepresentations they portray.
    If you want to be a veggie muncher then so be it just stop crapping on about it and trying to convert all and sundry.
    Thank you for this insight!

  • WS:

    But it's no fun to be morally superior if you can't flaunt that over others!


    Plenty of animals died to feed us corn, soybeans, strawberries, bananas, and bulgur…we just don't have to look at them, because they died off-camera of starvation when we took their land to plant our crops.

    I agree, however, that factory farming is a disaster for the planet — and that's true whether it produces soybeans or cattle, which aren't any more suited to eating grains than humans are.  Now that I have a freezer, I may actually take the plunge and buy a half beef from one of the local ranchers instead of buying by the cut.


    It's the same high you get from fasting.


    Yes, there is a religious component.  And you're absolutely right about the outliers: there are substantial genetic differences in human abilities to process plant-source nutrients.

    Mainly, though, I don't think a diet dependent on chemical supplementation and continual availability of fresh crops flown in from every corner of the globe is either sustainable or a good idea.


  • Amber

    I think you need to do better research. Going vegan helped me kick depression. I’m more active, I finally quit smoking, I’m a healthy weight and I have more muscle than I did when I ate meat. I’ve vegan for 3 years. Raising animals for food is a waste. It takes large amounts of grain to feed a cow, grain humans could be eating. Humans are not made to eat meat. Our dention (teeth) and digestive tracts prove this. Also, we’re the only animals that have serious health problems from eating meat. Do better research and stop talking based on a few bad eaters who happen to be vegan.

  • Amber:

    Any diet is an improvement over eating randomly…and even though Doritos and Mountain Dew are vegan, I'm sure you eschew that sort of junk, which is a huge improvement by itself.  I'm glad it's working for you…but I suspect you would find yourself doing even better with some carefully chosen animal products.  Keep yourself open to it, especially if you find yourself without the vigor you used to have.

    As far as grains: grain should not be fed to cattle any more than it should be fed to humans, and industrial grain production is destructive and unsustainable no matter who eats the end product.  I don't like eating GMO soybeans either directly or by proxy.  I talk about this at length here.  

    Grains are fed to cows in order to make them as fat as possible as quickly as possible.  Furthermore, cattle are only fed grains during the last few months of their life, because if we do it for too long they get sick and die.  There is a lesson here for us all.

    “we're the only animals that have serious health problems from eating meat.”

    What health problems?  Humans are supremely adapted to eating meat, with specific mutations in ApoE genes that allow us to process large amounts of fat.  Our health problems come from eating grains — as we can easily see from the fact that in every case where humans took up agriculture, our lifespan, stature, and brain size decreased, and our disease burden increased.  And the China Study (the original science, not the fraudulent misrepresentation by T. Colin Campbell) shows that meat is associated with less heart disease.  What's associated with greater heart disease?  Wheat consumption. 

    Humans have consumed animal flesh since we were still chimpanzees.  Consuming animals is what allowed us to grow our big human brains.  The anthropological record is very clear on this.  


  • Dan

    Doritos are certainly not vegan, you dolt.

  • Dan:

    Really?  The ingredients list reads “Whole Corn, Vegetable Oil (Contains one or more of the following: Corn, Soybean, or Sunflower oil) and Salt.”  They also claim “Contains No Preservatives.”  Even the Salsa Verde flavor is vegan unless there's an animal product hidden in “Natural Flavors.”

    Obviously the cheese flavored versions aren't vegan.

    Keep in mind that I was vegetarian once, so I'm not ignorant of the issues (including animal vs. vegetable rennet in cheese).


  • Angelcruise

    Like 1 poster stated above – Vegans must learn how to feed themselves!! There’s an Extreme Intelligence in Nature that makes Great Sense, but 1st *Do Not Kill is an Immutable Law of the Universe* Sorry to say, but beyond that Meat Eaters have have a Bad Scent!!

  • MarkD

    While the premise is (admittedly) hyperbolic, I like how it makes you think. Like how any diet that causes you to burn fat stores is by default a ‘high fat’ diet.

    I particularly liked the comment “Plenty of animals died to feed us corn, soybeans, strawberries, bananas, and bulgur…we just don’t have to look at them, because they died off-camera of starvation when we took their land to plant our crops.” I like to ask folks that start to talk about land use for plant based vs animal based diets if they have ever spent any time on a farm. If you’ve ever been in a pasture used for raising cattle, you know how green and alive it is versus the barren desolation that is left after corn or wheat is raised on land. I think we can agree that factory farms of any sort are horrible things!

    I’m new to this blog and was also impressed that the author has left up dissenting comments, including links to the (gasp) dreaded vegan propaganda, and not just deleted them. Try posting anything pro paleo on a veggie site and see how long it lasts.

    I have a couple of veggie friends who have started to falter in their religion as they have seen the progress I’ve made since going paleo. One was inspired by the 140 pounds I lost and has lost about 40 pounds on a low fat, low calorie vegetarian diet, but has stalled out and another who is normal weight and was peer pressured into going vegetarian by other friends (I do live in San Francisco) but admits to me he’s not doing as well in the gym and feeling tired.

    I think it is important that folks that have become vegetarian because they honestly believe they are doing something positive for the environment, a noble goal, could be doing a lot MORE if they were avoiding factory food of all kinds rather than avoiding animal products. I’d invite them to go out and see what a cow pasture looks like then a corn field after a harvest. I’d challenge them that the cow pasture is more sustainable, creates rather than destroys top soil and supports an ecosystem rather than destroying one.

  • Angelcruise:

    “Do Not Kill is an Immutable Law of the Universe”

    I could be snarky and post videos of chimpanzees flailing monkeys to death here, but instead I'll just note that eating meat is what made us human — because it allowed us to grow big brains by sacrificing our plant-digesting guts.  Only the technological advances created by those big meat-powered brains have allowed us to come up with ways to feed ourselves with ground-up seeds.

    Unfortunately, they're not nearly as nutritious, and they leave the land barren.


    Absolutely.  This is about as harsh as I'm willing to get…because, as I said, I used to be a vegetarian.  And vegans are absolutely trying to do the right thing.  They're just not plugged in to the realities of ecology, which are that animals are the way that nutrients are returned to the soil — and that the soil dies without them.  

    By monocropping cereal grains, we're strip-mining topsoil, transporting it into our mouths, and dumping it into the nearest body of water.  The “waste” of grazing animals is nutrients being returned to the soil in the form of poop and piss — nutrients that must otherwise be replaced with ammonium nitrate and other petroleum-derived fertilizers.  I talk about this at length here.

    And no, I feel no need to censor opposing viewpoints.  People can see how dissent is treated here versus (say) 30BAD, and draw their own conclusions about where they're getting complete and trustworthy information.  

    Welcome!  I'm glad you're here, and I hope you'll continue adding to the discussion.  And congratulations on losing 140 pounds…that's an entire extra person worth of weight you're not carrying around!


  • Frequent reader

    Regarding going beyond the IF pattern:

    I suspect that the deep autophagy resulting from a 7 to 10 day fast is good — maybe one or three times in a lifetime.

    Two reasons:

    1) Given that autophagy isn’t random, occasional deep autophagy seems likely to destroy noxious cross-linked proteins and aggregates, and likewise cells that are misbehaving (for example, because they’re several steps along the path to malignancy).

    2) It’s more than paleo-plausible that we’re well adapted to occasional prolonged fasts, and perhaps even reliant on them, just as we’re reliant on more routine stressors, such as intense, tissue-damaging exercise.

    Full disclosure: I haven’t yet persuaded myself to fast for more than 48 hours or so.

  • Frequent reader:

    That's an interesting thought, and you might be correct.  Perhaps every 5-10 years?  

    The problem with fasting beyond 48 hours is that you definitely start losing muscle mass, you're very likely to become sick, and it strongly affects your ability to get anything done.  You'd really have to block out that week as a vacation from work, and it's tough to allocate one of your 2-3 vacation weeks to fasting when you'd really rather travel somewhere and enjoy yourself.


  • Cathy

    Ah, interesting that you were vegetarian once. I tend to find the ex-veg*ns are those who feel the need to protest the most. This may be a form of defence, but you’re not under attack. Vegetarians and vegans are simply people who choose not partake in the needless exploitation and abuse of sentient life that is animal agriculture (98% of which is factory farming in the US, and a switch to less intensive methods would necessitate a vast reduction in the consumption of these products).

    If you feel attacked by the choices others make, try looking more deeply at the ethics your own choices, rather than trying to scrape together so-called evidence against those who are simply choosing to eat in a way that is compassionate, equitable and good for the planet.

    I’m a well-informed, switched-on vegan who takes care to supplement B12 and get DHA from sustainable sea algae. Of course there are fringe practices / fad diets that are harmful, but these cannot be used as a valid argument against veganism. Similarly I would not claim that all omnivores are gambling with their health simply because a subset who follow the Atkins diet are putting themselves at high risk of heart disease. Please try and avoid straw-man arguments.

    Best wishes from a peaceful plantarian


  • Cameron

    To anyone out there who is swayed by an internet post with a lack of references, try getting your information from the highest regarded dietary bodies in the world, such as the American Dietetic Association:
    “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

    For the full paper: http://www.eatright.org/about/content.aspx?id=8357

    Grumpy opinionated blog posts are fun and all, but don’t base your life, and that of the other creatures we share the planet with, on them.

    Vegan for 11 years, 100kg, really need to lose some weight actually 🙂

  • 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.

    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.


    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.



  • Birgit

    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 :-).

  • Birgit

    Or maybe it was grehlin?

  • eddie

    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.

  • 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.


    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!


  • Elsie

    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.. 🙁

  • 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.


  • Elsie

    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!


  • Elsie

    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.

  • 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.


  • Dana

    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.

  • 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.


  • Might temporarily go

    […] 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 […]

  • Abby Eagle

    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.

  • 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.


  • imagine 7 generation

    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!

  • 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.



  • skitterling

    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…

  • 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!


  • Bree

    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

  • Zane

    I am vegan so why hasn’t any of this happened to me?

    I didn’t loose any muscle and am by no means weak due to my diet and in fact I gained muscle. Currently I Bike 4-6 times a week usually somewhere around 10-25 miles. Not extremely impressive but its certainly not possible for someone who is supposedly protein deficient.

    And of course lets not forget all the vegan bodybuilders and athletes that (accourding to J. Stanton) should be protein deficient and on the verge of death. (Mac Danzig, Brendan Brazier)

    AND the older people who are vegan and look good and healthy. (Mimi Kirk, Jim Morris)

    Simply put most ex vegans probably were doing it wrong.

    Of course don’t let these simple and obvious facts get in the way of you claiming vegan diets are something that will barely keep you alive.

  • Zane

    I am vegan so why hasn’t any of this happened to me?

    I didn’t loose any muscle and am by no means weak due to my diet and in fact I gained muscle. Currently I Bike 4-6 times a week usually somewhere around 10-25 miles. Not extremely impressive but its certainly not possible for someone who is supposedly protein deficient.

    And of course lets not forget all the vegan bodybuilders and athletes that (according to J. Stanton) should be protein deficient and on the verge of death. (Mac Danzig, Brendan Brazier)

    AND the older people who are vegan and look good and healthy. (Mimi Kirk, Jim Morris)

    Simply put most ex vegans probably were doing it wrong.

    Of course don’t let these simple and obvious facts get in the way of you claiming vegan diets are something that will barely keep you alive.

  • Zane

    I am vegan so why hasn’t any of this happened to me?

    I didn’t loose any muscle and am by no means weak due to my diet and in fact I gained muscle. Currently I Bike 4-6 times a week usually somewhere around 10-25 miles. Not extremely impressive but its certainly not possible for someone who is supposedly protein deficient.

    And of course lets not forget all the vegan bodybuilders and athletes that (according to J. Stanton) should be protein deficient and on the verge of death. (Mac Danzig, Brendan Brazier)

    AND the older people who are vegan and look good and healthy. (Mimi Kirk, Jim Morris)

    Simply put most ex vegans probably were doing it wrong.

    Of course don’t let these simple and obvious facts get in the way of you claiming vegan diets are something that will barely keep you alive.

  • CJ

    veganbodybuilding.com proves that you are completely and totally WRONG! Many raw vegan bodybuilders. Oh, and they don’t risk impotency like a meat eater does.

  • Mark Gailmor

    WTF, is this? I’ve been vegan for 24 years and two of those I’ve been a successful, happy low fat raw vegan. Part of the problem with some of these folks who like to refer to themselves as raw vegan is that they get advice from the wrong people. They load up their bodies on a whole host of so-called superfood and don’t bother to focus on proper caloric intake or nutrition. I’ve yet to see anyone lose teeth that is follow a correct raw vegan diet. My idea of a correct raw vegan diet is one that is high in calories from fruit, veggies, and I recommend sprouts, fermented foods. and yes, some supplementation. Better safe then sorry but I want you to know I have all of my pearly whites and none of them have fallen out because I had been vegan long enough to learn to weed through the garbage the raw gurus were telling me and to seek out the correct information for me. Plenty of others have done the same. So, please be careful before you group us all together. We aren’t all the same. There are those who attempt a high raw diet that fill themselves up on mock dishes intended to mimic their cooked counterparts, and then there are those of us who choose to enjoy the bounty of foods given to us by mother earth in their complete form. No dehydration is necessary.

  • Аватар и Боен клуб н

    […] бонус- прочетете защо веганите се чувстват много добре в първите месеци и защо човек редовно трябва да […]

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    […] бонус- прочетете защо веганите се чувстват много добре в първите месеци и защо човек редовно трябва да […]

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    […] бонус- прочетете защо веганите се чувстват много добре в първите месеци и защо човек редовно трябва да […]

  • Mike

    I’m not against the train of thought in this article, but not all vegans suffer health problems. The classic example is endurance runner Scott Jurek.


    Q Have coaches or fellow runners expressed skepticism about your diet?
    A I’ve definitely had people give me a hard time about it, but I was churning out top performances year after year, so it was hard to argue with me!

    Scott runs 150 mile races and has been vegan for over a decade. That would not be possible if he could not thrive on a vegan diet.

    Just as proponents of the lipid hypothesis have to explain why Eskimos can survive without heart attacks on a high saturated fat diet, proponents of a high meat high fat diet have to explain outliers like Scott Jurek.

  • Lou Kane

    You must read this fascinating article on Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animals-and-us/201106/why-do-most-vegetarians-go-back-eating-meat. According to a survey, “three times as many American adults admit to being “ex-vegetarians” than describe themselves as current vegetarians”. The main reason for the return to meat-eating? A decline in health.

  • Charles

    Does the author cite anything scientific to back up his ficticious nonsense? Of course not. He’s bloviating the same old lunatic fringe inane fatuity.

    Vegans need to supplement a very few things, B12 and DHA among them. DHA is created by algae and many consumerists get it second hand through mercurial fish oil supplements, the mindless, callous, shallow leaches on the environment that they are.

    There is a patented supplement created from algae, readily available through many products on the market. A little online research will take you straight to the source.

    Cow and chicken eaters need to supplement essentially everything because, as the depraved knuckle dragging purveyors of animal cruelty that they are, they get almost nothing of value from their vermin and pathetic diets.

    These are the corporatists who relish the idea that they are contributing to factory-farm scale animal cruelty. The idea of animal cruelty makes the dirty rotten small-minded bastards giddy. These are NOT good or decent people. Avoid these vile and wretched bastards, whatever it takes.

  • Lou Kane

    Charles, your diet has obviously deranged you and filled you with hatred for other folk simply on the basis of what they eat. I feel sorry for you.

  • mm

    Mike: “proponents of a high meat high fat diet have to explain outliers like Scott Jurek.”

    You just answered your own question – genetic outliers. Other genetic outliers that went the opposite direction like Lierre Keith got a painful spinal degenerative disease.

    Keith wrote The Vegetarian Myth, which I recommend along with Meat: A benign Extravagance for open-minded veg*ns because of the wide array of environmental, nutritional & ethical issues they tackle.

    Keith herself was a hardcore type of vegan who believed the ’70s era propaganda that veganism = 100% healthy. She didn’t even use a multivitamin if I remember correctly. (Even so, it looks like the type of spinal degeneration she got was due in part to genetics as other vegan critics say that this should not have happened).

    This is the kind of nutritionally ignorant veganism this post criticizes. It’s the old mentality that says since apes and horses are super strong and healthy on a vegan diet so should you… And yes, there are still people who believe in variants of this. Worse still is the low-fat veg*n crowd who shun coconut oil, etc. (but shunning tofu is good since researchers at Honolulu discovered long-term consumption shrinks your brain), since the lipid hypothesis was controversial from the very beginning and after countless studies and dollars thrown at it no one has been able to prove that fat & cholesterol causes heart disease – it’s been debunked by serious researchers and only the governmnet-mandated food pyramid is keeping it alive (gov’t doesn’t want to admit they screwed up)

    Another problem is some people like Scott Jurek have the genes to do well eating plants only but some people suck at it so much even supplements won’t help their nutritional deficiencies.

    Keep in mind that humans are terrible at eating plants. Even chimps can eat things that are poisonous to us, and herbivores like goats can eat poison ivy like it was nothing. Some bugs can eat plants that are so toxic insectivores can die if they eat them. Our only advantage is me genetically modified so many plants through selective breeding that we disabled most of their anti-predation chemical defenses and made them tastier… to the point where we have to constantly spray pesticides and fungicides on them if they are to have any chance of survival.

  • mm

    I should say that we disable the anti-predation defenses of plants we were already decently adapted to eat (some of which are not chemical but structural, like wild cabbages that are thorny and mostly inedible from a protective fibery outer shell.

    We haven’t done much, and have basically no chance, of neutralizing chemical toxins from almost all “edible” grains since plants need to protect their seed offspring from being digested or else their entire species might become extinct – if they can’t outright kill you they’ll deprive you of nutrients and generally make your life miserable enough that other people won’t want to mate with you so whatever genes that allowed you to digest whole grains dies with you.
    (and to a lesser extent, legumes and nuts are still problematic).

  • Mikhail

    I have to disagree with this information, but I have merely been vegan for 17 years now, still I may not fit in this stereotypical hippy superfood fashionist style what most people associate vegans with. For me it is not a question of choice though, as my body can’t utilise animal fat and that basically reduces my choices from different kinds of cheese and meat to bare zero. Tough, as I liked both of them. During past decade there fortunately has been some spread of knowledge and many essential amino acids needed for protein binding have to be found from vegetables. Most of foods I have to make by myself due to fact, that restaurants serve those aforementioned (usually young) fanatics.

    Just my 2 cents. 🙂

  • Is Paleo Extreme? |

    […] Not because it isn’t do-able, or acheiveable: I was hard-core, man, I was vegan! I was also eating myself. In three months I lost so much upper body strength that it was hard for me to lift and carry my […]

  • Is Paleo Extreme? (p

    […] Not because it isn’t do-able, or acheiveable: I was hard-core, man, I was vegan! I was also eating myself. In three months I lost so much upper body strength that it was hard for me to lift and carry my […]

  • Is Paleo Extreme? (p

    […] Not because it isn’t do-able, or acheiveable: I was hard-core, man, I was vegan! I was also eating myself. In three months I lost so much upper body strength that it was hard for me to lift and carry my […]

  • Brian

    Your health is of no importance to me. So feel free to eat, smoke and drink whatever you wish. But I’m a brass tacks factual type person and we need meat it’s just that simple. If you feel over the counter pills will supplement your bodys needs knock yourself out. I only hope and pray that if you choose to be veegan (spell it right!) you do not force it upon your children and hope that pregnant women would delay there vegetarianisms until they have their babies. As your growing childrens health shouldn’t be comprimised by your opionions.

  • William Defore

    What a load of tosh, grow up and get your facts straight, I was vegetarian from the age of 5 to 18 then vegan ever since, I'm 55 now, have a full set of teath, all my hair can still bench press 200kgs ( when I was training in the eighties i could bench press 300kgs) Im a member of Mensa, and I only need 3 to 4 hours sleep, I have more stamina than 90% of the people I know, dont have colds or flu, and I cant remember the last time I had to go to the doctors. SO get your facts right, stop trying to portray vegans as pasty face weakings. I will willingly meet or should I say Meat you and proove what i say. Both my kids ( now in their 20's) have been vegan from birth and are health university graduates. Stop this bullshit or if you want to continue shows us your address so we can come and talk this through.

    [Note from JS: These claims are provably baloney. See my reply in the message below.]

  • William:

    You weren't benching 300kg in the 1980s.

    If you were, you would have been famous for having won every powerlifting competition on the planet.  The first person to lift 300kg in competition was Bill Kazmaier, in 1981…and the winners of the IPF Worlds during the 1980s were benching anywhere from 225kg to 275kg.  (1980 results, 1981 results, 1982 results, etc.  US Senior Nationals results were similar: 1980, 1981, 1982, etc.)

    In other words, you would have been beating Kaz, Lee Moran, Ed Coan…NOT.

    Given this fabrication, I'm sure none of your other claims are true, either.  You're not doing the vegan community any favors.


  • William Defore

    Oh look JS can use a search engine, but that still means you are a MORON, you seem to think that just because I did not compete or because there are no references to me on the internet then I must be a liar, I have a small corner of fame still in the gym where I trained. Yes I can prove what I say, be my guest come and see me and I will personally take you to the gym you can see for yourself. I never had the need for fame, I am very content in myself unlike you, whose sole purpose seems to be to denigrate others ( please feel free to look up words you do not understand as judging by your attempt at a novel you will have to ) The offer stands, put your money where your mouth is and come and see me.
    Oh and you pre-conception that a vegan is a Peace loving hippyesque wouldn’t hurt a fly and is beneath you on the evolutionary tree ideal will be shattered.

  • Mel

    It is incorrect to imply that self starvation complications are only experienced by vegans, or that all vegans experience them. Anyone on any kind of diet can starve themselves. I am sure that there are vegans that do and I KNOW that there are meat-eaters that do as well.
    I have had an eating disorder in the past (which I have now recovered from) when I was NOT vegan and I did experience all of these symptoms even though the little food that I did eat included meat, eggs and dairy. I also am now currently vegan and am healthier than I have ever been (yes, I know that is partly due to my recovery, but I mean I am healthier than when I was eating animal products before my eating disorder).
    I know what starvaton feels like, and I am all to familiar with the “high” experienced when your body eats itself but well thought out, researched veganism is nothing like that.
    There are healthy vegans and sick meat-eaters and vice versa so it obviously has more to do with the individual and how well they look after themselves.
    Please stop focusing on the dietary aspects of veganism and think about the ethics of animal rights – that is what veganism is really all about.

  • Maria Abe

    This is great stuff!! Thank you for your valuable infos. I was once an anemic vegan but now I know better. Thank you again.

  • "But vegetarian

    […] is kind of snide, and short of specifics, but a good starting point for why some veg*ns are thin. Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The “New Vegan High” - GNOLLS.ORG Buy house, Demolish house, Build house. Reply With Quote   + Reply to […]

  • kara

    I dont believe there is one diet correct for everyone. If you are Vegan good for you, if it works and you are healthy, and doctors say you are healthy stick with it. If you are like a friend of mine who is allergic to almost every fruit and veg out there, being a vegan wont work for you. She even tried to become a vegitarian, but due to the lack of vitamins and minerals, she got sick. She couldnt eat half the stuff vegans eat to be healthy. People shouldnt be judged on what they eat, just like you wouldnt jusdge them based on religion, or race. I would probabley be healthier on a vegitarian diet while my husband is ten times more healthy and eats meat. His body is even more carnivore like with sharp fron teeth, big jaw and wide mouth, with a low cholesteral no matter what. So your best bet to be healthy is to see a dietistion and ask them about which lifestyle best suites you.

  • Marcie Macari

    I am sitting here reading and re-reading these comments and ultimately feeling both relieved and conflicted. I was a vegetarian for 10 years, but after 3 years I suddenly started getting unexplained vertigo-oh, and I was also overweight. I got depressed and started down a not-so-good spiral.

    My husband fought with me repeatedly to take fish oil, but I was anti-eating or consuming anything that “had a face”, and refused. Until one day I was so depressed I couldn’t stop crying and decided I might as well try it.

    4 years later, I’m taking fish oil every day, and eating seafood happily.:) I haven’t yet moved over to consuming “things with legs” ;), but have been toying with this possibility for awhile now.

    I don’t know if eating fish and seafood provides enough nutrients that eating other kinds of meat is unnecessary, or if fish doesn’t qualify as “real” meat. I’d love your thoughts on this.

    In addition: I do not eat wheat, brown rice, quinoa or high-oxalate foods, cheese or anything “cured”. I have felt better since going off of wheat, but not totally back to where I need to be…

    Lastly: I’ve heard horror stories of people when they transition back to being an omnivore, and getting very very ill. Since I have a phobia about “tossing my cookies”, I have avoided this transition with something akin to fear. I’d like to hear suggestions on making the transition, and in particular people’s true experience with it.

    Thanks for your bravery in posting on a topic not really “popular” at the moment!

  • Susan BreMiller

    Wow! Just wondering what all these very defensive, even verbally abusive, vegan-types are doing here checking out a pro-carnivore site. Might be demonstrating some of that starvation-induced crankiness? Even some self-doubt/loathing? Thank you, JS, for maintaining objectivity and dignity in these comments and for all this site’s information and support.

  • van Rooinek

    Vegetarianism and veganism are clearly eating disorders, more properly termed: Phytorexia.

    (phyto = plant, rexia = consumption)

  • van Rooinek

    I find some of the vegan comments (not all) believable.

    Perhaps we need to accept the reality of biochemical individuality. There do appear to be a few… a VERY, VERY few… people who can be healthy vegans for extended periods of time. If they are honestly doing fine without animal foods, ny all means leave them alone.

    But the vegans also need to accept the fact that they are a genetic minority, that MOST people cannot be healthy vegans, not ever, no matter how well balanced, etc the diet may be. If those who can be vegan, want to be, fine – but they MUST ABANDON the idea that they’ve discovered a utopian plan of salvation that everyone ought to adopt. Because it’s just not true.

    Most vegans defiantly refuse to accept this. Typically they insist that they hold some sort of “moral” high ground, and that all of us should be like them. Well.. it can’t be moral if it doesn’t work biochemcially, so scrap that idea.

  • Vegan

    The author of this article is an idiot. Watch ‘forks over knives’ or research the debilitating effects our western diet’s meat, eggs, and dairy consumption causes us from diabetes to cancer and certainly the millions who die each year of heart disease. Other people in the world don’t eat like we do in America and as a result they do no have the health problems we do. America eats then most meat and also spends the most on healthcare. coincidence? I think not.

    To all you vegans or vegetarians. congratulations for standing up against adversity. People like this author are obviously the walking heart attacks that end up as one of the millions of heart related death statistics.

    I really feel sorry for this author.

  • ronald mcdonald

    I love j stanton. he sends so many people to my mcdonlds restaraunts. we pay him a million a year.

  • Elle

    I think this article is alienating some people (including me) for a few reasons:

    1. It’s important to take other factors into consideration when evaluating the success and failure of diets, and looking at extremes isn’t the answer. Just like many veg’ns will point at meat eaters and say “look how high your obesity rate is!”, meat eaters like to point fingers at the weird hippie vegan who looks like they just got out of a POW camp and say “but look how unhealthy YOUR diet is!”. Regardless of the diet, it’s about balance.

    2. Most people don’t realize how many vegans/vegetarians that surround them, because most of us are healthy. I went vegetarian and started exercising and weight lifting in the same year and gained 17 lbs. (I’m a chick, and I fit in the same clothes). If I wasn’t vegetarian, I’m sure I would have had the same benefits, but the point is, it happened anyways. To this day not a single person has guessed that I don’t eat meat or dairy by looking at me, and more often than not they are surprised. Why? Because I actually exercise and eat healthy foods and try to minimize processed junk.

    Meat eaters get unhealthy because their diets suck and/or they don’t exercise.
    Non-meat eaters get unhealthy because their diets suck and/or they don’t exercise.

    Basically, I wish there would be a more civilized discussion regarding dietary choices. I personally support backyard farming/egg raising and grass-fed beef, but I get a lot of religious veg’ns/meat eaters/paleo-types on both sides saying I’m insane/stupid for my way of thinking. Articles like this do nothing but add heat to the fire. Vegans need to realize there ARE sustainable/humane ways to eat meat and animal products, and meat eaters need to realize that you CAN be healthy without eating meat.

    I really enjoyed reading a bunch of other articles on here until I got to this one. Veganism is a way of life that stretches beyond the pantry for a lot of people, and I think you are missing that with this article. Making fun of cereal eaters is one thing, making fun of a vegan who is against the slaughter of a sentient being is another.

    Hopefully this makes sense and appeals to your reason. I’m trying to be as fair as I can about the issue. Perhaps I am too much of a dreamer, (that’s the hippie in me), but I don’t see why paleo/veg/health-conscious people of all walks can’t unite and start influencing some real change in how we view and produce food in this country. That’s a lofty goal but I believe that’s why you write all of these articles.

  • Nathalie

    I’ve been a vegan for nearly 10 years, and I feel great. I did the switch to protest agains the industry of meat, cheeze, milk and egs, that makes the world SICK with obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, ETC. Ther producta we buy in the store come from scared to death, beaten, terrified animals. And we eat it. I’m never going back to such gross habits. Some of the comments I’ve seen here…. Issshhh, need serious education. http://www.adaptt.org/ anyone ?

  • Since moving over to paleo eating, I find an incredible affinity with vegans.

    I grew up a vegetarian, averse to factory meat production. We moved over to goat milk, away from factory cow milk production. We made our own yoghurt, our own butter, our own cheese sometimes. We were against corporate food production.

    I broke from that some years later, but have always eaten organic, outdoor and non-biotic reared animals. Since moving over to a paleo lifestyle, I want the best – I want the best outdoor experience, the most useful activity, the best meat, fish and shellfish I can find, the best eggs, I can source locally from chickens I see roaming around fields while out walking … you get the picture.

    What I do not like and this really is something I cannot abide, be it religion, pseudo-religion, lifestyle or whatever is this notion that I am right and I am best.

    I do what I do because that is the conclusion that I, as an intelligent animal, have come to. I do not impress “paleo” on other people – that they do not eat or live the way I do is not my concern. I live my way.

    Thankfully, this world as we have it now and as we will hopefully have it for some time to come is big enough for all of us. We eat meat – we hope meat production will get better. For now, perhaps the vegetarians and vegans could stand with us.

  • wombat

    When I was a kid I used to wolf my veggies and cry over my congealing meat.

    I listen to what my body tells me, and all my life it’s told me I don’t need meat. Eggs – lots. Fish, every week or so. Meat – occasionally. No anemia, still fit into the same clothes as 20 years ago, fitter than most people 20 years younger than me.

    But the best, BEST bit was when I gave up milk last year, having finally twigged that I’m lactose intolerant. Not only have the (use your imagination if you must) digestive troubles gone, so has the chronic skin rash.

    Bottom line: we’re not all the same! Some people seem to need meat, others not so much. Genetics and diet both affect how well we can extract nutrients from the food we eat. Vitamin B12 is only required in tiny amounts, it’s stored in the body for months and originates from soil bacteria anyway – so maybe living closer to the earth is enough.

  • […] my first few months of veganism made me lose weight and feel like I was filled with light and hope, the glow quickly wore off.  I started putting on weight again, feeling leaden, bloated, and constantly hungry. I would have […]

  • JBG

    I couldn’t help by laughing as I read this post. I really thought it was sarcasm, something tells me that it still may be; a mockery of the uneducated. As amusingly entertaining as this blog is, it is full of fallacy and common ignorance, however, the concept is original, and probably give new ammunition to Vegan haters. Obviously the blogger fails to understand basic human physiology, but to his defense, most of his information is common knowledge among people will limited nutritional information, i.e. B12 deficiency, blah, blah, blah, repeated from a 1980’s college text book which indicates that humans must be omnivore. Human physiology is that of a frugivorous ape. Cobalamin deficiency is non existent in a well planned Vegan diet.

    New England University, Program Director of Human Medical physiology dept.
    28 Years in the field of human Physiology
    14 Years first hand vivisectional studies and animal behavior, Boston University
    35 Years of nutritional studies, some incorporated in Dr. T. Campbell’s China Study
    4 controlled Veg. studies with over 4000 human subjects over a decade.
    Member of the PCRM
    4 studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine…

  • Alex


  • Nuno

    Vegan is the future like it or not.
    And a true vegan knows exactly what i’m talking about!

    Instead of telling people to eat meat tell them how to do it properly don’t scare people with self cannibalism that’s what the world is full of people scaring others

  • E Craig

    I can't see into the future since from my present point of view, I experience time in a linear fashion.  So, I can't argue with your 'futureman' point of view. There's probably a logical fallacy type that covers that, but I got the logical fallacy reference in your next sentence: the No True Scotsman logical fallacy. (Did I win something?)


    J. did tell people how to cook a standing rib roast properly, it's linked from the Index (Start Here) at the top of this page *points upwards*.   (also gravlax and how to scramble up eggs, meat, spices, and vegetables/starches into a wonderful breakfast/lunch/dinner thingie)   


    You, as an ethical vegan, probably extend your stance to extend to buying from farmers and not 'companies' and so you may like his Real Food Is Not Fungible: How Commoditization Eliminates Nutrition, Impoverishes Farmers, and Destroys The Earth article.

  • Katherine


    “Most people don’t realize how many vegans/vegetarians that surround them, because most of us are healthy.”

    Vegetarians are in a minority. Vegans make up no more than 2% of the population. The issue is that most quit after a while, because there is something about the diet that doesn’t work for them. I have never heard of a survey that determined how many raw vegans there are, but it is very likely that the ones who are able to do so perpetually are extreme genetic outliers.

  • Cobs

    Up from a skinny a 55 to 65kg male in four years of vegan diet and still healthier than ever, think I would have noted any of this nonsense by now if it were true.
    Amusing, none the less, that someone would go through all the trouble of writing this bull if something weren’t bothering them, and rightly so,,, as a meat diet should.

  • Palesa

    This sounds like complete Bull shit to me to be honest . reading it just seemed like you’d never actually met a vegan. i am and i am not weak and i am not bone skinny. i do not have these so called juice fasts and i eat very healthily. just because someone does not eat meat, does not mean they eat “rabit food”. it just goes to show you’ve never even thought about what foods we do actually eat. i definitly don’t feel board of my food let alone malnurished. Also, i am the only vegan let alone vegitarian out of all my freinds and family and i don’t try to force my opinions on them at all!!. Also just to clarify, vegans don’t just eat superfoods they eat alot of cake too. And by your statement ” we want you to come home” implies that you are uable to see vegans as fellow human beings. vegans.dom’t just sit around saying “give me vegetables and seeds” they actually have..lives and jobs :/ and all kinds of interests. theres so much else i could have in commen with someone like the fact that i like composing music and i have a passion and flair ( flicks hair) for languages My russian teacher is big on her meat but neither one of us cares at all because well theres so an more other things to talk about . I never choose my relationships on who eats what. Grow up and go meet some vegans before you write bullshit like this again

  • Cat

    Hi, very interesting article with a lot of good points – I kind of count myself as a raw foodist rather than a raw vegan because I am not in full agreement with ethical veganism. I think people should eat what they feel best eating. There are some problems for some people with meat, and there are the same issues with veganism. I have suspected for some time that it depends on where you live, and more importantly where your ancestors came from. Knowing that Hindus, for example, have high rates of diabetes and heart disease, and are now genetically predisposed to same, suggests that fat and carbohydrate together are really what cause health issues, rather than whether you are capable of planning your vegan diet adequately enough. Over the last three years I have experimented with what I ate, and now find that I really only crave animal products (either eggs or fish usually) once every three months – and I am from a country which has lived on what it could catch, rather than what it could grow, for centuries. I did very well as a low carber, but I look and feel better primarily raw vegan with a small percentage lapse. I think if a larger number of people could accept this on both sides of the argument – that for colder countries in particular, the probability is that you are more likely to ‘need’ the occasional animal product but that by and large more vegetables and non-animal products are a good idea for both the animal and your health (rather than making it a perennial ethical war), the argument might elevate beyond mud slinging over the same topics again and again.

  • kefcorp

    Great article. I like that most of the angry vegans who turned up to comment about it are all about the anecdotal evidence and correlation-does-not-equal-causation. Such common fallacies 🙁 I am sure veganism might work for a subset of the population, but it is very much NOT how we evolved as Homo sapiens sapiens. You would have to ignore pretty much all legitimate research into the topic to come to the conclusion that we aren’t suited to eat meat.

    Anyway, Mr. Stanton, keep up the great work. It’s refreshing to see someone blogging about something (potentially) controversial who actually does his homework.

  • Megan

    This article is really quite offensive. I was vegan for 2.5 years- and never had these health issues you so fervently have described. I had more energy than I’ve ever had in my life! It really is wonderful. The mistake I think that you’re describing is that a lot of uneducated newbie vegans malnourish themselves by only eating the yummy vegan treats. I took supplements to get my extra calcium, D3 and essential nutrients. I also ate the right kinds of protein (stayed away from soy) and still ate a very balanced diet of veggies, fruits, legumes and rice. I never hit a crashing point. 🙂 I did however miss eggs the entire time- they’re actually the perfect food (nutrition wise) and so I ethically sourced eggs and am not a vegetarian without any processed dairy. It is completely do-able to be a healthy vegan! I have tons of friends who have been vegan for a decade and are the healthiest happiest people that I know.

  • Brooke

    There is a difference between a normal vegan diet and the many so called “vegan” diets which advocate calorie restriction as a way to lose weight. As someone who became vegan for ethical reasons weight loss was never my goal, at 98 pounds that would have been absolutely insane. So I never experienced the so called vegan high (this was also because I was accidentally vegetarian before going vegan, I was eating pasture raised animal products but could rarely afford $15 a pound steak)or detox. I did however experience the type of starvation you are referring to when due to stress and anxiety I almost stopped eating altogether and I did lose weight. High is not what I would call it. More like a living hell, as I struggled with depression and horrible, horrible insomnia and began to question my reality. When people see me now as a healthy, happy vegan it is because I’m eating enough calories to sustain me through the day and tons of fruit which literally make you high as sugar has an opiate effect. Contrary to popular belief eating a ton of carbs has not caused me to gain weight beyond what my normal or average weight is, partly because if your eating carbs you have a TON of energy. Your literally bouncing off the walls.

    In the 3 years since I have been vegan I have never lost a tooth or missed a period. What your describing are the effects of starvation, not a vegan diet. To the contrary I find myself randomly doing pretty physical things, like while visiting my brother biking 14 miles or hiking for several hours up a mountain or doing 20-30 push ups or doing a pretty intense Zumba class without an issue. Heck, just living my day to day life in a second floor apartment I end up hiking up the stairs with laundry or groceries that are more then half my body weight and I can do this pretty easily. My brother has been vegan for 8 years and bikes 14 miles a day. Then you have people like Durian Rider (aka Harvey Jonestone) that are vegan athletes, ultra runners like Mike Arnstein, numerous upon numerous vegans that are obviously thriving.

  • Cyclops

    Brooke said:

    …bikes 14 miles a day. Then you have people like Durian Rider (aka Harvey Jonestone) that are vegan athletes, ultra runners like Mike Arnstein, numerous upon numerous vegans that are obviously thriving



    You lost me at Durian Rider…the man is definitely not a good example..I think he has lost the plot so to speak..and I put this down to his diet..but if it works for you ..please go ahead.

  • Primal Nutritionist

    You had me at cannibal!

    -Great read.

  • […] body is using to build her cholestrol from. Vegans are fine in the short term because their body can cannibalise itself. Griff's cholesterol primer bloodorchid: paleo and primal are not low carb Winterbike: What I […]

  • BillZimm

    This is a great discussion. I have a lot to contribute. After suffering seventeen sudden disorders including high blood pressure prostate cancer and allergies out of nowhere I was certainly taking a nose dive to death… My doctors immediately jumped on that gravy train recommending all kinds of drugs therapies and surgeries! Instead I turned to the gold standard The Gerson Therapy to rebuild my body and detox. I also used MMS (Master Mineral Suplement) and strapped myself in for 18 months of both. I emerged fantastically healthy with all symptoms including migrains ringing in the ears and depressive thinking completely gone. I kept most of the diet going and have added all kinds of interesting vegetable dishes, raw and cooked to my diet. But when my body craves meat with fist pounding insistence I do not deny myself. The body speaks to us and we must listen. Occasional meat is fine. But occasional, in my life it will stay. Wouldn’t you think this to be reasonable? A mostly raw plant based living diet is so great. Juicing fresh vegetables from your garden is so life giving and so protective of so many boy systems I can not list how many ways it works, but if you crave something, it is hardly humane to deny it, especially if it is a deep craving. I am all for the humane treatment of animals and yes I avoid beef and pork because of the abysmal lives these dear earthlings are subjected to under our unnecessarily cruel systems that we have created for them. And yes I believe a plant based diet can work for most people but there will always be people for which it does not work and we should never judge them. I believe in adaptation based on honest evaluation of genuine needs. But I challenge anyone who judge vegetarians and vegans as being weak when most of them I know are strong as hell physically and mentally. This includes myself. We’re do you get your data?

  • kay

    I’ve been vegan for 10+ years, vegetarian for 5 years before that – always eating healthy, not one of the vegans who just eats pasta. Due to a year-long stint of nearly no sleep, high stress, and a departure from healthy eating (final year of college, working multiple jobs, sleeping 4 hours a night because that’s all I had time for), I was diagnosed with hereditary Type 2 diabetes (no, I was not overweight). Graduated, lost the stressors, went back to healthy vegan eating, and sleeping regularly – my blood sugar is under control, I lost some weight, and once again feel great. I recently had a full panel of blood work done, and I’m not lacking in a single thing. There’s nothing that could ever convince me that I need meat in my diet. Eating the right amounts of the right foods (well balanced), exercise, living stress-free and sleeping well agree with me.
    I do believe that everyone’s body is different, and some can’t function properly eating vegan. I couldn’t handle meat/dairy. After I went vegan, all of my multiple allergies went away, I could handle being outdoors again without feeling like I would die, I lost a few pounds (from cutting out the dairy that I had been overdoing), my skin looked better, and I no longer get horrible menstrual cramps (but am as regular as regular can be – no skipped months here). I am healthy. It’s not for everyone, but eating meat isn’t for everyone either. there is no perfect diet that suits everyone’s needs – but I’m sure that the typical SAD diet isn’t proper for anyone.

  • Andreea

    Wow. How many times have I tried vegetarianism? Juice fasts? Fought with my parents about being vegetarian. I honestly still feel bad for the animals and how they are treated. Nothing will change my mind about that. But I could never deny the constant craving for a burger. This has opened my mind to a new way of viewing my diet.

  • The Skinny

    My husband was a card-carrying PETA member and vegetarian since the age of 15 when I met him in his 32nd year. Obviously, he eschewed it for ethical reasons. Being Dutch, he certainly grew up eating lots of meat and he missed eel and herring the most.

    I’m from Texas myself, and having one of the most outrageous metabolisms on the planet (see my website), I was not at all interested in such a diet. Also, I was born and raised in an agricultural community, so I knew that it was possible to farm animals humanely and felt it was important to support such farms.

    I have always had a difficult time maintaining my weight even within the range of 30 pounds below average for my height, but over the first several years of our marriage I found myself losing even more ground and frequently struggling to stay above 40 pounds underweight. This was for the simple fact that it was easier for us to share meals, and since my husband was that rare breed of vegetable-hating vegetarian, this was generally an awfully poor meal in terms of nutrition. Lots of pasta/carbs (which I simply burn, and he stores as fat), fake meats, etc.

    Because we both work within the field of life extension science we always keep up on dietary news and supporting evidence for health claims of particular diets. By last year the evidence in favor of a primal diet was so overwhelming that my husband quit vegetarianism…after 21 years. And he is definitely feeling and looking all the better for it.

    Things weren’t so straightforward for me. After a couple of months on a quite low-carb paleo diet (again…sharing meals), I had an alarming cardiac event during which my blood pressure (usually around 100/65) spiked to 200/100 and I developed an ongoing case of heart palpitations which did not stop until I added carbs back into my diet. Which makes sense, if you consider my extreme metabolism. Now I make sure to get plenty of “good” (complex) carbs and have started weight training in order to give the protein I consume something to do. I am currently about 25 lbs underweight and still making great progress in building muscle. Most importantly, I feel incredible and have not had any further scary cardiac events.

    Just remember: NO DIET is one-size-fits-all. Please, get to know your body and what it needs. If you can afford to do so, guide your efforts with frequent blood work in order to determine what your deficiencies are instead of supplementing something because you’re “supposed” to. And try to correct deficiencies through natural means (diet, sun exposure, etc.) alone before supplementing. And you know, all the usuals that really ARE good for everyone — avoid chronic, unrelenting stress, get plenty of exercise, and adequate sleep. Your body and brain will thank you.

  • Beat Brunschwiler

    Facts and statistic, among them the china study, are very clear.
    The choice is up to each one of us.
    There is lots of missleading information like this blog post out there, with no base or reference to any objective studies conducted who suggest that an animal based diet is not producing cancer!

  • Chelsea

    I have been a vegetarian for 2 years so far i feel just fine….i think the vegetarians/vegans you are talking about are doing it wrong. Im sure everything you saying is a fact but i learned to replace B12 and other vitamins im missing, i am a healthy vegetarian and im working on bieng vegan. You just have to do it right or dont do it at all. I wont ever eat meat again main reason for the treatment of animals and i want to make the environment better.

  • Meagan

    Hahahaha. I thought this was going to be a satirical article and found it hilarious. Until I realized the author was serious and probably has done no thorough research whatsoever into the other side of the argument. What a waste of time.

  • Steve

    Ex-vegetarian here, 17 years, 3 of them vegan.

    Things went great for me until I turned 30 years old, then it was just continuous, unstoppable weight gain. Eventually I became pre-diabetic and was continually exhausted.

    I started eating meat and my weight stabilized and I regained a bit of vitality, but did not burn off any fat.

    Then I started using a blood sugar meter regularly and saw that I respond poorly to carbohydrates of any form, not to mention alcohol.

    Now I am on a high-fat diet largely-consisting of butter, egg yolks, liver, 100% chocolate, mushrooms, and spinach with little bits of things like bell peppers and berries. My blood sugar has fallen back to healthy levels, I am losing fat rapidly while maintaining strength, and I have tons of energy like I felt back in my 20s.

  • Freshtone

    This is idiotic, to put it very nicely. I cut out meat 24 years ago and have been fully vegan for 20 years. I feel better now than I ever have. I’m also 6’4″, 230 lbs… Your “losing muscle mass” statement is incredibly laughable, as well as your opinion and extremely flawed and inaccurate science. Do some ACTUAL research before writing and publishing, please.

  • […] that veganism feels great thing… Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The “New Vegan High” - GNOLLS.ORG As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the […]

  • Ana

    So commenters have mentioned both autophagy and hormesis as processes of death eating itself (reapsorption and eliminating tumors, cancers etc.). I have read about autolysis too. I’m not going to ask what is the difference, because I have just googled it and have to yet read it. What I want to say is that this is a veeery interesting subject and I think that it should be paid more attention by all of us. It may be mother nature’s most supreme cure.

  • Ana

    Here are some links on this subjects that are definitely worth checking out:

    I guess I should have posted these comments in “Why Are We Here, And What Are We Looking For?” but what is done is done 🙂


    about Spartan cold showers and the phenomenon that nowadays, in a world of abundance, we’re eating so much a day, and everyday, as if we’re running away head over hills from such a simple, most natural thing, when done in moderation of course, called HUNGER

  • […] nutrition is a fool's game. regardless of your ethics. all they will make you is sick and broken. Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The “New Vegan High” - GNOLLS.ORG As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the […]

  • Chris Rogers

    You’ve actually made me want to try this diet out in the short term, because I’ve never experienced that kind of “raw vegan high” and it sounds like an enjoyable thing to experience. It reminds me of the vitality and euphoria that Seth Brundle feels immediately after he is spliced with the fly, before the degeneration happens.

    I estimate I could get the maximum advantage out of raw vegan for, say, three months, and then start adding high quality meats and fat back into the diet to forestall the inevitable vegan burnout.

  • […] Stanton does an incredible (and incredibly disturbing) job of explaining the “new vegan high” on his blog, Gnolls.org. As J. says, “Necessary animal-sourced nutrients like vitamin B12, […]

  • Ali

    Really. Your all stupid. I’ve been vegan for three years now, and I’ve never been healthier. Animals have lives, and I’m not a sick sadistic person who will support the murder, cruelty, and killings of animals. We don’t just eat veggies and fruits. Look up all the options we vegans have before bashing us. People can live without meat, I’m living proof. And so are other people out there.

  • Not vegan

    I have a question for vegans, if you have no interest in animal food… Why do you eat things that are “created” to taste as if it was real chicken, or turkey, or cheese, etc. it doesn’t make sense to me because there’s still an interpretation to non vegans, like me, that you still enjoy the taste of an animal. I have vegan family that push this vegan move to the max. It’s sad because honestly I have no interest in becoming vegan, but the stuff I hear disturbs what I desire to eat. It’s sad because it’s not something I would to someone who enjoys what they eat. If I want to know, I’ll ask, if not, please let me enjoy me food.

  • anna

    big dose of exercises in order to be able to sleep…
    After work, i still have energy to work on my van and walk and make my dog tired as well…
    Sometimes i wish i was a litlle bit more tired than that…

  • anna

    Had a good laugh, thanx!!!
    I’m vegetarian since 20 years, and vegan since a couple now. I do not need synthetic vitamins because i do not lack any according to my blood tests.
    I work physically too, am completely addicted to move ,need a

  • Skgr

    Not vegan said

    I have a question for vegans, if you have no interest in animal food… Why do you eat things that are “created” to taste as if it was real chicken, or turkey, or cheese, etc. it doesn’t make sense to me because there’s still an interpretation to non vegans, like me, that you still enjoy the taste of an animal. I have vegan family that push this vegan move to the max. It’s sad because honestly I have no interest in becoming vegan, but the stuff I hear disturbs what I desire to eat. It’s sad because it’s not something I would to someone who enjoys what they eat. If I want to know, I’ll ask, if not, please let me enjoy me food.

    Those types of foods are more for vegans who are having trouble letting go of meat. We don’t eat them just because they taste like meat though. They taste like umami and that’s why we eat them. Every human craves the umami taste which can be described as a rich and fulfilling taste.
    Another thing just because I like the sweet taste of say… strawberries that doesn’t mean I like the sweet taste of say… frosting. So that means you can like the umami taste of beans, soy, and mushrooms, but not the umami taste of meat. (That’s just an example. Some vegans like meat but choose not to eat it for health (YES, you can be healthy on a vegan diet as long as you eat right) but for ethical reasons.)

    anna said

    Had a good laugh, thanx!!!
    I’m vegetarian since 20 years, and vegan since a couple now. I do not need synthetic vitamins because i do not lack any according to my blood tests.
    I work physically too, am completely addicted to move ,need a

    I’m interested, how do you get your B12. Do you get it by eating your own grown unwashed fruits and veggies? If not, how else could you get it without synthetic vitamins?
    Also, if you aren’t getting any but your blood tests show you have some that’s because your liver can store B12. You should probably start growing your own ground crops and not washing it (so that the B12 stays on there from the soil).

  • Kenneth

    Utter rubbish and based on pure ignorance. This is a joke,right?

  • Kenneth

    Utter rubbish and based on pure ignorance. This is a joke,right?

  • Skgr

    Kenneth said

    Utter rubbish and based on pure ignorance. This is a joke,right?

    I agree, but if your post will be worth anything, state what points are fallacious and then refute them. I would, but I’m already keeping up with a few threads on this site.

  • […] and well off PB. But it's happy and working for me nicely. have you seen this article before? Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The “New Vegan High” As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the […]

  • Emily

    I started laughing while reading this because I seriously thought “Ok…this article sounds so demeaning it HAS to be some sort of hoax!” But after reading the serious tone in the comments…I think this guy is for real. I am not a vegan…But over the past year I ave been phasing out meat to the point now where RARELY ever eat it. I also significantly limit my dairy consumption. I have to say that I DO feel incredible..mentally, physically, and emotionally. My friends all notice my seemingly “infinite” energy levels, as well as how clean my complexion looks. So replacing animal products with a more plant based diet certainly has done wonders for me.
    That being said however, I am an extremely open minded person. Is a 100% vegan diet as fantastic as people say? Perhaps. I’ve heard many, many success stories, but I’ve also heard quite a few health disasters from going vegan as well. So I’m not entirely sure. One thing I’m confused about after reading your article is that why can’t vegans just take vitamin supplements for B12 and DHA instead of “starving themselves” of these nutrients? Wouldn’t that fill in the nutrient gap? I’m curious…

  • Skgr

    Emily said

    I have to say that I DO feel incredible..mentally, physically, and emotionally. My friends all notice my seemingly “infinite” energy levels, as well as how clean my complexion looks. So replacing animal products with a more plant based diet certainly has done wonders for me.

    The same thing happened to me when I started to go vegetarian (lacto-ovo). I also have an intolerance to red meat, (and a slight intolerance to poultry). Dairy causes me to break out (acne) but I can still eat it in small amounts. It really is amazing what going vegetarian has done for me mentally and physically.

    Emily said

    One thing I’m confused about after reading your article is that why can’t vegans just take vitamin supplements for B12 and DHA instead of “starving themselves” of these nutrients? Wouldn’t that fill in the nutrient gap? I’m curious…

    It would but I think his point is that taking vitamin supplements means the diet isn’t natural. (Although B12 can be obtained naturally.) If that is his argument it holds no value in my opinion. Natural isn’t always what is best (unless proven otherwise).

  • alex

    Ugh, where are you getting your info? As long as you make healthy choices whike being a vegan/vegetarian, you will be far more healthy than those who enjoy the artery clogging, inhumane choices of flesh and other animal secretions. there are many Many vegan elite athletes out there that im sure will put your physical prowess to shame, as well as your entire blog full of unsubstantiated nothingness. i myself, am an endurance athlete (long course) triathlete hoping to go pro) who trains anywhere from 15-24 hrs per week in running, swimming, cycling, strength training, cross training, yoga plyometrics, etc. im a female , yet have amazing muscle size and tone that few women will ever achieve…….as well as a low yet still healthy body fat percentage that few women will ever obtain. This all comes from good hard work and good non toxic eating. I highly HIGHLY doubt that i would be able to train to the extent that i do, while competing in ultra marathons of fifty miles or more, or triathlons of 10 hrs or more. My cholesterol is amazing. I have an hdl of 119!…..an a1c of 3.8…..all necessary vitamins and electrolytes. Im a smart eater and trainer. Your post is nonsense. And trust me when i say, there are many more just like me. If some vegans are stupid ebough to eat pasta all day long, become unhealthy, then profusely praise and agree with this nonsense post, than thats on them. Be smart about your diet as a vegan, your risk for certain cancers, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and other chronic conditions, will greatly diminish, you will live longer, and you will not be contributing to the unnecessary suffering of animals for humans selfish desires (not needs). Oh, and to whomever was speaking about HUMANE farming……give it a rest. No slaughter is HUMANE, no matter how you try to fool your concience.

  • Natalie

    The reason people on a vegan lifestyle get sick after a short period of time is because they continue to eat the same amount of calories that that would on their fat, meat, and dairy lifestyle. People need to be eating a lot of calories. For example ten to fifteen bananas in one meal, five to six mangoes in another meal, or a huge bowl of rice or potatoes. I’m talking two to three pounds of potatoes here guys. When eating vegan one must eat foods high in carbs and sugar not just low carb vegetables. Your body doesn’t run on fat. It runs on carbs and sugars. I consume 2000-3500 calories a day or high carb vegan food. I’m not tired or unhappy and I’m not fat. I don’t push my lifestyle on anyone, but if you are going to talk about it get your facts straight. New vegans are just uneducated. Trust me I was one. I got hungry went back to eating meat and then got fat. Now that I understand how much I should be eating while vegan everything has evened out for me.

  • Skgr

    Natalie said

    If, I may ask, how do obtain DHA and Vitamin B12 in your diet? Do you supplement it? I’m lacto-ovo vegetarian and I’ve seen many vegans neglect supplements because they are not “natural”. In my opinion, I don’t think there is anything wrong with an unnatural diet/lifestyle if it is healthy and sustainable.`

  • Muhamad

    Wow I’ve never read such a load of propaganda for the meat industry. In our family we have (including myself) 3 adult generations of vegans (2) and vegetarian (1). We eat very well balanced diets, of a wide range of healthy organic vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, etc which contain iron, protein, etc, to satisfy our nutritional requirements, and our bloodworks show no deficiencies whatsover. The only supplement which I take is a Vitamin B12 several times a week. A small price to pay considering the many benefits of eating a whole foods plant based diet, which contains no cholesterol, healthy fats from whole vegetables (avocado’s etc). You obviously have only met vegans from US, which would explain your derision, considering your ag-laws are bullshit and favour only the corporations, not the consumer, hence the low quality of all of your foods. Quality of meat and vegetables is far superior elsewhere in the world.

  • Steve

    Finally someone dares to speak the truth about vegan diets, thank you!

  • Stian Andersen


    First of all i would say that when you put an error in the beginning of your article, you lost my trust. B12 is not coming from animals. Its a bacteria from the soil. These days all vegetables and fruits (most anyway) are cleaned in a way that B12 bacterias have no chance to survive.

    Meat also contain much less B12 than before, why? Because most animals dont grass feed anymore. They get their food from soy or corn who is, you guessed it, striped away for B12. I went vegan for 8 month ago. Right before i did i had my blood tested. And my b 12 levels were at 181 (low). Let me tell you that i ate a LOT of meat back then. So my suggestion is for all of you guys. Go and check your B12 levels. My guess is that most of you have rather low levels.

    Dont be a troll and say that all vegans are unhealthy.

  • Marek

    Are there any studies to back this up? Would love to share them. . .

  • Mimi

    Intéressant tout ça.
    Mais dans une société en surproduction, ou notre seul souci constant est….ben en fait on en a aucun !
    Allons faire un petit stage de plusieurs jours dans certain pays…Laos Madagascar, on apprendrai très vite la valeur réelle de l alimentation et que dans chaque aliment viandes légume légumineuse racines meme etc on y trouvera ce que notre organisme à besoin.
    Et on apprendrai qu un repas par 24 heuros est suffisant à condition qu il soit complet…et avec un peu de chance on a un autre repas 24 heure après. ..en ayant évidemment eu une activité physique autre que de regarder la télévision

  • David

    Explain vegan cyclists then.

  • David

    So, basically, a bro-science article with no citations to fact or study or anything other than anecdotes. And you are such an expert because you have the erroneous belief that all vegans eat tiny portions of birdfood. What a joke.

    Would love to see Durianrider, or any qualified doctor or dietitian analyze this.

    B12? Get a shot. Buy some vitamins.

  • Sasha

    So full of lies

    Bullshit mate, pure ducking bullshit…those vegans who have all those problems did it ignorantly, imbalanced ratios, often missing key plant sources

    Nice try at the propaganda…Not ONE PICTURE of you on this website.

  • rachel

    Post Awaiting Approval by Forum Administrator

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