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Monday, February 20, 2006

Stirring Up A Hornet's Nest Of Vegans

I just love it when something I write about here at this blog gets almost instantaneously validated by the response I receive from those who disagree.

Case in point: this response from LowCarbNewsLine.com to my previous blog post reviewing a new book entitled "Skinny Bitch" by a couple of vegans who no more know what struggling with your weight is about than I know about entering a beauty pageant!

Within hours of posting my review at LowCarbNewsLine.com, a response was made by a woman from Wolverhampton in the UK named Mary. She was not a happy camper with my review of that abhorrent book and with my general comments about vegans.

Apparently she missed the part of the book where the authors had described people who eat the Atkins diet to get thin are a "total moron." Don't you think that could be just slightly insulting to anyone who actually DID lose weight that way, Mary?

Nevertheless, here are her comments along with my response:

"Well, it seems that Jimmy Moore has an axe to grind. He wants to sell his own diet book!"

Why would I have an "axe to grind" Mary? I'm not the one who is angry. In fact, my readers know me as a pretty happy-go-lucky kinda guy, ya know? Sure I wrote a book about my weight loss experience because a whole lotta people asked me to so it could encourage them to start on their own weight loss journey. That's what I did and I make no apologies for it whatsoever. And I have no vendetta against people who want to starve themselves eating vegan!

I think the Atkins diet can make you thin, but it is not famous for making you healthy (Dr. Atkins himself suffered from hypertension, and died of something suspiciously resembling a heart attack -- though his widow refused to allow an autopsy so we can't be a hundred percent sure. He had suffered a heart attack before).

Here we go again with the "it's-good-for-weight-loss-but-not-good-for-your-health" argument along with the gratuitous mention of how supposedly unheathy Dr. Atkins was when he died. Give it a rest people. I've previously detailed in this blog post why the Atkins diet is a VERY healthy way to eat, lose weight, and live a better life.

Additionally, this poignant letter to the editor printed last Fall from a Pennsylvania woman shoots down the conspiracy theory that Dr. Atkins died of anything other than the unfortunate injuries that he endured during a slip and fall accident in New York. Let the man rest in peace already!

"And the Atkins diet is not guaranteed to make you popular, even if it does make you thin. (So much is forbidden on Atkins that it is the calorie restriction that makes you lose weight. You would be a couple of kilograms lighter too, if it weren't for the constipation.) All that B.O, flatulance and eczema can wreak havoc on your social life."

Um, what the ^&$3^& is Mary talking about? Who cares if I'm "popular" or not, at least I'm doing something about my abhorrent and dangerous weight problem by eating the Atkins diet. Is OBESITY better than the Atkins diet, Mary? Hmmmm?

As for the so-called "forbidden" foods you mention (I assume you mean bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, etc.), have you been sleeping under a log lately? There are so many low-carb versions of these foods that there's not excuse for not livin' la vida low-carb. You really oughta try these great low-carb mashed potatoes or the best low-carb chocolate bars you'll ever eat! These delicious low-carb foods helped me get through the difficult times when I was losing weight and I'm now over 180 pounds lighter as a result of eating this way.

Constipation? B.O.? Flatulence? Eczema? Ewww, TMI! The only thing that stinks around here are the itchy, annoying radical vegans like yourself who can't stand it that people like me would enjoy something so wonderful as a giant, sizzling steak as part of a healthy lifestyle! Why don't you mind your own business and let me keep on controlling my weight the best way I know how? Low-carb living has done a miracle in my life and nobody will EVER take that away from me.

"I am a vegan by the way, and eat puddings, drink coffee, have snacks. (Obviously the author of the above rant is worried that veganism is an attractive diet, and wants to make it look incredibly restricted. He wants to see my fridge!) I eat lot's of fruit of course, but also pancakes occasionally, home made muffins, rich deep chocolate mousses ... If anyone wants recipes check out our website, www.veganbuddies.org.uk and visit the forum."

Oh, let's all just run over to that forum right now and learn how to load up on all those carbohydrate-laden pancakes, muffins and sugary chocolate mousses. Look out, I think I'm gonna hurl! Yucky poo, Mary! I think I'll stick with my low-carb snacks, thank you very much!

So you think I'm so worried about others seeing "veganism" as being "an attractive diet?" Hee hee HAHAHAHA ho ho hoo -- eeee, now that's a good one, Mary! Nobody in their right mind thinks that way of eating is even remotely "attractive!" Let's call the vegan movement for what it is -- a militant group of people generally associated with PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals!) who want to permanently eliminate all killing of animals for human consumption.

While Mary may not be on the frontlines of this battle, she is facilitating it by continuing to spread the same old lies about the low-carb lifestyle that we've all heard from PETA and others for years. The transparency of these people is so obvious that I don't even think they realize how incredibly foolish and silly they look when they spout this stuff!

"And I do have an axe to grind, and don't mind who knows it. I want people to eat the best food they can, not dress up decomposing flesh in a mushroom sauce, and call it dinner. Would you really eat it if you thought about what it was?"

Uh, yes I would, Mary. That's the way God intended when he created the animals for the planet Earth. It's called survival and making good use of the resources provided to us. There is nothing in the world wrong with not eating meat, but there's also nothing in the world wrong with eating meat either! Don't you just love how vegans try to make eating meat unappetizing by using unsavory phrases like "decomposing flesh?" Mmmmm, that decomposing flesh is soooo delicious, Mary! Tasty!!!

"Oh and I don't make any money out of this. So at least my opinion is unbought."

Okay, maybe you haven't checked my bank account lately, Mary, but I ain't exactly rolling in the dough. The time that I invest in my blog is a labor of love because I genuinely care about helping people overcome their own weight problems since I have been in their shoes before. I don't make a dime when I write at my blog and so "my opinion is unbought," too.

Mary, if you want to live a vegan lifestyle, then GO FOR IT, sweetheart! Ain't nobody standing in your way of living that way for the rest of your precious life on Earth. The problem I have with is with the militant vegans who want to shove their agenda down the throats of every man, women, and child as the ONLY way to weight loss and improved health.

You may not agree with the practice of eating meat, but you don't have to. It's not about YOU, it's about those desperate souls who think weight loss is out of reach for them. They have tried everything they know to lose weight listening to all kinds of advice, but nothing has worked for them. This failure leads to depression which generally leads to more eating and, predictably, weight gain.

It's time to end that needless cycle once and for all! If somebody wants to turn to veganism to get there, then they should commit themselves 100% to that and never look back again. At the same time, if they want to start livin' la vida low-carb to lose weight and get healthy, then their entire life should be focused on making that their permanent lifestyle change. It really doesn't matter to me HOW you lose weight if you need to, but that you actually follow through on your commitment to change. That is the central message of my blog and my book.

And that's reason enough for me to stir up a hornet's nest of vegans every once in a while, too! :-O

2-20-06 UPDATE: It looks like Mary is just the first of MANY vegan hornets I stirred up today.

Check out this e-mail I received from another British vegan named Sheryl:

"Where on earth did Jimmy Moore get the idea that vegans don't consume caffeine, sugar, or artificial sweeteners? All vegan means is: no animal products, therefore no products of cruelty to other species.

I enjoy a varied diet of delicious, whole foods as well as plenty of fresh-roasted (by my husband) coffee and sugary treats. I avoid artificial sweeteners now for just the reasons I did before going vegan: they taste gross and they're probably very unhealthy for me. I'd rather use up my 'sin' calories on dessert.

I would enjoy reading an opposing viewpoint from someone who researched the issue, but not this knee-jerk reaction full of inaccuracies.


Sigh. Talk about your "knee-jerk reaction," Sheryl! Did you even read my book review of "Skinny Bitch?" Obviously not because you would know my characterization of the veganism practiced by the authors of that book came directly from them! Sheez, people. I'm telling you, these vegans are vicious, angry folk who are just dying to eat meat that they're willing to bite your head off in the process! LOL!

Here was my response to Sheryl:

"I think you need to read my book review again a little closer because I never claimed that ALL VEGANS oppose artificial sweeteners. But these two authors who claim to speak for all vegans do and flaunted it in their book.

I'm glad you choose to live a vegan lifestyle, but don't think I am just blindly stating an opposing viewpoint just for the sake of argument. My desire is to make it known that there are a variety of healthy methods of eating for a wide range of people.

Low-carb for me, vegan for you, so forth and so on!


I cannot overemphasize this enough: I DON'T CARE HOW YOU CHOOSE TO LOSE WEIGHT, JUST DO IT! That, to me, is the bottom line. While I admittedly lean towards a low-carb lifestyle personally because it has made my life better, I do not oppose anyone doing whatever they think will work for them. I just don't need anyone telling me what I HAVE to do to lose weight ever again. Put the information out there and let people decide for themselves. Okay?

18 Comments:

Blogger Alex said...

GOOD JOB JIMMY! THANK YOU FOR YOUR BLOG! THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNBOUGHT OPINION! AND THANK YOU FOR BEING HONEST...THIS WAS GREAT! I ALSO ENJOYED THE POST ABOUT THE BOOK AND I THINK YOUR RIGHT ABOUT ONE THING...THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE WOMEN WHO WROTE THAT BOOK OR THE ONE WHO WROTE ABOUT YOUR BLOG THAT A NICE JUICY TASTY STEAK COVERED IN MUSHROOMS WON'T FIX!!

2/20/2006 1:31 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

I just recently discovered steak and mushrooms. I decided to get a double buger next door to celebrate my weight loss success and the guy ahead of me ordered his with muchrooms and swiss cheese. I decided to order the same - just without the bun of course. :) It was delish and I plan to get it again at some point.

And let's see...today's lunch is ground beef with sugar free BBQ sauce (and some veggies of course), and my sandwich is turkey and cheese on low carb bread. Yummy!

And my cholesterol numbers are better than ever. I'd like to see Mary's numbers. Mine are posted online.

2/20/2006 3:52 PM  
Blogger Jeff D. said...

Can't really blame them; I'd have a pretty short temper too if I wasn't eating any red meat!

2/20/2006 4:54 PM  
Blogger CarbHealth said...

I think most vegans forget that our teeth and our digestive systems are built to eat meats! Great post. All of your points are completely valid, and all of theirs are just senseless defense manuevers.

2/20/2006 5:57 PM  
Blogger Misty "Double-barreled" Athena said...

CarbHealth is mistaken - we have the long instestines of herbivores and lack the sharp tearing teeth that are necessary for eating lots of meat. Anyone who looks at the difference between the physiology of carnivores and herbivores can see the difference.
The point is, moderation. We aren't meant to eat as much meat as a lot of people eat. It's meant to be a much smaller part of our diet. My own personal preference is that I don't like the idea of meat rotting in my gut. But that's just me.

2/20/2006 8:28 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

We're omnivores. Humans are meant to eat both plants and meat, which is why both the Inuit (mostly meat) and an African tribe I forget the name of (who eats mostly plants) are both healthy.

My cats, OTOH, are carnivores and need meat to be healthy. :)

2/20/2006 11:01 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

Misty,

This is probably not the best forum to be arguing against meat eating.

2/21/2006 12:54 AM  
Blogger Romac said...

people, people, people
bickering and conflict is not how you sway others to your cause

i did the low-carb thing about a year and a half ago and lost 26lbs in a couple months:
bodybuilding.com thread with pics: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=311486
and the ms word doc diary also with pics: http://rmackie40.home.comcast.net/FatLossDiary.doc

it definately works
i don't believe for one second that it's the healthiest path, but it sure does work.

one thing you all may find interesting is that i decided to go vegan about 2 weeks ago...so i'm basically going from no carbs to all carbs. I believe i've learned enough about nutrition and fatloss on my journey to get the results i want from either diet. Why the change you may ask? Well it was quite accidental really. I rented a music concert dvd, and one of the special features was called "meet your meat" I thought it was a pun on the rockstar "meet and greet" but it was not. It was a short PETA documentary on commercial farming standards. See it here if, like me, you'd rather make decisions based on knowledge: http://www.petatv.com/veg.html

just like my decision to go low carb, it had absolutely nothing to do with health concerns.

i went low-carb to look pretty
i went vegan because i had no other ethical choice

we're all on our own paths, good luck on all of yours

2/21/2006 7:58 AM  
Blogger B. said...

Mr. Moore:

I got to your site from Google News. I am sympathetic to the vegan mindset to a certain degree, but don't follow it myself, as without cheese, I would certainly die within hours.

Litigation over this issue is clearly silly, and, I would hope, unlikely to happen.

I would, however, suggest that your phrasing here is a bit confusing.

"But for Barnouin and Freedman (emphasis mine), none of that matters to them because they are radical members of the minority in this country who chooses to eat a vegan-only diet. No meat, no eggs, no dairy, no coffee, not even diet soda because they oppose artificial sweeteners, too -- NOTHING that even touches or comes close to meat!

Your general statement about the "radical members of the minority who chooses to eat a vegan-only diet" immediately preceeds your list describing Barnouin and Freedman's particular version of the vegan diet. This suggests that the list represents that "vegan-only" diet as a whole.

I think you are guilty of unclear phrasing here, but probably not slander. Nonetheless, I can see how this nest of vegans got stirred up, however silly they may be acting.

2/21/2006 9:28 AM  
Blogger Tony - FoodsForLife said...

It's all silly.

Of course there is no reason why you can't eat a Vegan Diet, that's also Low Carb and eat delicious orgasmic chocolate cake.

Now there are truly low GI/GL ingredients such as Xylitol and protein rich lower GL vegan chocolate we can all enjoy ourselves meat eater, vegan or otherwise.

For the FACTS about a vegan diet see Vegan Nutrition by Foods For Life qualified London Nutritionist and author of The Vegan Cookbook

Best wishes to you all. Good luck with your nests.

2/22/2006 1:07 AM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Actually there are tons of scientific studies showing conclusively that veganism is NOT a healthy lifestyle. The (vegan) argument often heard is that this WOL is the epitome of healthy and natural eating, but that is not supported by ANY hard scientific facts. The opposite, however, is.

The human body and -metabolism is designed as an omnivore. That's just a scientifically proven fact, no matter how hard they try to deny it.

If anything, vegetarian diets are more likely to harm one's cognitive faculties, thanks to a greatly increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Vegetarians also have lower dietary and lower blood levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA. These fatty acids can be formed in the body from plant-based omega-3 fats, but numerous studies show that the conversion rate is very low. B12 is essential for optimal cognitive function, while DHA is a major component of brain tissue.

Also, a significant association has been found between low B12 status and poorer performance on tests measuring fluid intelligence, spatial ability, and short-term memory. Because fluid intelligence involves reasoning, the capacity to solve complex problems, abstract thinking ability, and the ability to learn, the researchers pointed out that: "Any defect in this area may have far-reaching consequences for individual functioning."

British researchers found that, compared to omnivores and lactoovovegetarians, vegans suffered a higher frequency of abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG) readings, a test designed to detect abnormalities in the electrical activity of the brain. In one of their studies, B12 supplementation improved EEG scores in most of those registering abnormalities, but three of the vegans failed to respond to heavy supplementation with either oral or injected B12.

Remarkably, Adolf Hitler, one of the most destructive individuals in modern history, was an avid vegetarian. Among his many insane ideas and flawed prophecies was the prediction that "...the world of the future will be vegetarian."

2/22/2006 10:11 AM  
Blogger vegtampabay said...

Hitler was sometimes a vegetarian for health reasons, but one of his favorite dishes was pigeon. Anyway, Hitler also advocated not smoking. He was for exercise as well. These things were to protect the superior race and the offspring. Time to bone up on your history.

Gandhi was a vegetarian, as was Rosa Parks, Einstein, Tolstoy, Shelly, Henry David Thoreau, and so forth. Incidentally Thoreau indicated that the future would be vegetarian.

“Is it not a reproach that man is a carnivorous animal? True, he can and does live, in a great measure, by preying on other animals; but this is a miserable way — as any one who will go to snaring rabbits, or slaughtering lambs, may learn — and he will be regarded as a benefactor of his race who shall teach man to confine himself to a more innocent and wholesome diet. What my own practice may be, I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized.” -- — Henry David Thoreau in “Walden”

Whether a good or bad historical figure was vegetarian or not has nothing to do with today's earth destruction from factory farming and the utter cruelty involved. If Hitler was for exercise, should I stop exercising? That's just plain silly.

If you choose to eat meat, eat it with some responsibility to the earth and the well being of the animal. Check out themeatrix.org for sustainable meat from family farmers.

It'd be good to site the study about B12 with a link for reference. B12 is fortified in many products, so it's not an issue in a well balanced vegan diet (or any kind of well balanced diet). It's not an isolated problem that only vegans experience, some people absorb it better than most. The same goes for iron. I've known a few omni's who are iron deficient, I'm a vegan with good levels.

The Skinny Bitch book is, well stupid, the title is too. There's plenty of chubby vegans and skinny vegans, we come in all different sizes. Some people, like the authors of the book (though they may have done it tongue in cheek) appear to be on big egotistical trips. Egotistical trips are not the exclusive domain of vegans, everyone has this problem (except for me, of course ;-))

3/07/2006 4:26 PM  
Blogger Tony - FoodsForLife said...

Dear Science 1959 - actually nutrition has come along way since the 1950's - perhaps you would like to look at some recent studies those of the World Health Organisation, or from the American Dietetic Association, or The British Nutrition Foundation, Or Dr Walter Willet. or Professor Tom Saunders or facts from Harley Street Nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston.

There is absolutely no reason to be short of Vitamin B12 or vegetarian EPA and DHA on a vegan diet.

Your argument is just as rediculous as me trying to argue that a meat diet is dangerous because most meat eating women in the USA are low in iron, have increasing incidence of osteoporosis, have a higher incidence of heart attack , stroke and diabetes than that of UK vegetarian women.

Algae DHA has been shown in scientific study to be a highly efficent way to increase DHA in humans - durrr! where do you think the fish get it from ????

3/11/2006 6:58 PM  
Blogger mzkitty said...

How about rather than attacking each other or making blanket statements about vegans or meat eaters we just say we are all going to see things differently because we have a different frame of reference.

I have been a vegetarian, I have been a meet eater. I have read both of these books and I don't for one minute believe that either author speaks for a whole group of people.

Why are vegans militant because they believe that you should eat something that once was alive? I don't really understand how them expressing their viewpoint about not wanting to eat something that once had life has to make them nuts. I also don't understand how eating healthy whole foods means you are starving yourself. As someone who has been overweight for the majority of my life, I can see the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables and not gorging myself on burgers and chicken and other meat based items. However, some people feel that meat is the answer--and that is your choice. It doesn't mean I have to label you a murderer or a lunatic-it just means you like to eat meat.
I think we as a society have lost focus when it comes to food anyway. Food isn't suppose to be a social event or an enjoyable activity--its fuel for your body plain and simple. Much like cars that take different grades of fuel, people do as well; some of you want leaded, some unleaded--can't we all just get a long? :)

5/20/2006 10:07 AM  
Blogger grain free and lovin it said...

I admire people who seek to make the world ideal, but I know enough to believe it can never happen. Nature is designed, or just is, so that the death of one organism benefits another. (I'm not agruing for murder or war here, so don't even bother with that arguement)No amount of protesting or pontificating will ever change it. You don't want to eat meat or any animal products then don't, but please don't tell me that it is a natural diet. I tried it and for my trouble I enjoyed acne, depression, and intestinal distress. Beyond my own personal experience, without supplementation in the form of B12 vegans will not just get sick but die within five years. A diet that requires supplmentation simply to survive is not natural.

In my opinion, following a vegan diet is like playing Russian Roulette with your health. Take a look at your vegan friends, count the incidences of chronic diseases and depression. Count all the people who tried and failed on the diet. If after this you still choose to continue your diet for "ethical reasons" then do so. But please don't be surprised when I agrue against a vegan diet for my own ethical reason. Your concern may be for animals (and you might even agrue the environment, though I can point to desertification from grain growing just as easily as you can from overgrazing. At the heart of our environmental crisis is over-population.)

My concern, however, is for human health and the beating it is taking from a hyperinsulin response and nutrient deficiency.

Just so you know you do not have the only ethical motives. Like I said the world is not ideal; two conflicting ideals can both be ethical.

P.S. By the way look up the word skinny in the dictionary, it is not synonymouos with healthy. As a runner, I can out distance a many "skinny bitches".

12/20/2006 1:43 PM  
Blogger puNxy loLa said...

Congrats on your weight loss! Carrying too much weight is one of the unhealthiest things ou can do to your body. I'm a vegan, and I hate it when people jump on my lifesyle because they follow a different one. No one really switches their mind by being attacked anyway!

It's possible to do a low carb vegan/vegetarian diet. I'm doing it right now and love it! Soy sausage with veganaise and salad...mmm!

I do have to argue with a few points you make: 1) that God intended animals for our consumption. That's a Judeo-Christian sentiment, and certainly not fact...if it were, then humans would never be eaten by animals! 2) that Vegans are angry because they are meat-deprived. I don't crave meat, and I'm not snippy! Vegans who are militant are just as much of a pain the ass as militant animal-product-eaters. If I hear one more person saying my diet is unhealthy because I don't want to drink another animal's mammary secretions, I'll scream!

11/16/2007 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Syera said...

To those who think humans are herbivores - ask yourselves:

-Do you chew your cud or eat your own poop?
-Does your appendix actually function?
-Do you salivate at the sight of someone's lawn?

If you have answered "yes" to all of the questions, then congratulations: you are an herbivore after all. If not, welcome to the omnivorous human race!

8/03/2008 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Eliza said...

I cannot digest grains or beans. I therefore need animal protein for completed amino acids. I am not, by any means, unique.

I challenge any vegan to live an all natural locovore diet, in central Canada, where I live. Chances are they will be nutrient deprived, and I'll be thriving the way I am already. I did low carb in my early 20's to get the weight I put on from eating processed foods under control. Ever after I've been eating like my parents raised me to. Local and unprocessed. I still eat carbs in the form of tubers, honey and maple syrup, but no grains. I do not eat anything mass produced, meat or vegetable because both are unsustainable. That's my ethics. I like sustainable.

Low carb worked, and no grains or processed sugars keeps me healthy. I do occaisonally cheat being local with organic fair trade coffee and chocolate, not for need, but for pleasure. I love being locovore :) there isn't a vegan out there that can argue their stance is more environmentally friendly, because science has proven that kilo for kilo of food, mixed agriculture produces best, is the only sustainable method, and has highest nutrient density in both the animal and vegetable product.

Had a militant vegan attack me for feeding my children cheese and yogurt the other day. Randomly. I was in a local park. "Stealing from baby animals" I was. I responded with: "Sorry, darlin', I actually *know* the goat my cheese comes from, and her babies are doing quite well." Then the rotting flesh diatribe. I have eaten still living animals. I hunt much of my own meats. That really grosses people out. I also love bringing fish to "raw" parties. Then sentience issue then comes up. Anyone who has success with a garden knows plants have "feelings" or at least awareness. This too has been scientifically proven.

I think low carb is an excellent way to get where you need to. You don't starve as you slim down, and your muscle mass stays intact. By my own experience I'd suggest some starches are necessary for sustained living. Tubers work admirably :) I tend to concur that if you need fortified foods and supplements to survive, your diet is not natural.

4/15/2012 6:39 PM  

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