Sunday, February 26, 2006

Vegan Pleads With Low-Carb Blogger To 'Get Back On Topic'

I certainly don't mind being challenged on any of the positions I take at this blog and freely welcome the feedback of anyone who wants to wite to me anytime at

With that said, I received the following e-mail from a vegan today within a couple of hours of posting this blog column about the scathing feedback I had previously received from another vegan about his animal rights-loving, meatless lifestyle.

Here are his comments:

I can't help but notice that this is no less than the fourth post on your blog devoted to follow-up on your review of "Skinny Bitch." As I am not a regular reader of Livin' La Vida Low-Carb, I don't know if this is common practice for you, but it seems odd to me that anyone would bother posting so much on one topic that is only peripherally related to the subject of their blog.

If, as you write, you truly believe that, "It's time to stop this sophomoric bickering about this 'my way is better than yours' mentality and simply state your case for why people choose low-carb, or low-fat, or the vegan lifestyle," why do spend so much of your time writing about a lifestyle you clearly don't subscribe to? Wouldn't your time be better spent arguing for a low-carb lifestyle instead of arguing against a vegan lifestyle? And why is it okay for you to write a scathing review of a vegan book, but if a vegan criticizes you, they are a "hornet" or a "loony"?

I am, in fact, a vegan, but this e-mail isn't meant to persuade you to adopt my lifestyle. All I ask is that if you feel free to criticize other dietary choices, perhaps you could be more prepared to have your own choices criticized. And finally, if your blog is really devoted to promoting a low-carb lifestyle, and not to criticizing other lifestyles, perhaps it's time to call a truce and get back on topic.

As I have said many times before, I welcome and appreciate feedback of all types and certainly can understand the concerns of someone like this. But I feel it is necessary for me to clarify just a few things for this e-mailer and anyone else who thinks he has valid points to make.

Let's get one thing straight right off the bat. What I write about at my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog is MY business and nobody else's! I created this blog in April 2005 and have never had anyone dictate to me what I can and cannot blog about. It's one of the things that I think attracts people to my blog and I am happy that it provides an entertaining, educational, and encouraging place for people to visit daily for the latest news, information and commentary on diet, health and nutrition.

While I certainly make no bones about supporting the low-carb lifestyle, I have also tried to provide information for my readers about other nutritional lifestyle choices to help them make the best decision about what eating method can work for them. I've blogged about the low-fat diet, low-calorie diet, Slim-Fast, LA Weight Loss, fad diets, coffee diets, and much more.

Obviously, NONE of these have anything to do with the low-carb lifestyle, but I talk about them anyway because they interest me from the perspective of a low-carb weight loss success story. Again, I am not required to stick with just talking about low-carb at my blog, although I do attempt to incorporate my experiences doing low-carb with whatever I am blogging about.

Pretty much anything and everything that is related to health and weight loss is fair game for the theme of my web site, though. If you were a regular reader of the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog, then you would already know that. And, if the feedback I receive from a specific blog post I write about generates enough interest that warrants a second, third, or fourth article, then that is my prerogative to continue on with it. Who says that everything I want to write about a certain topic will be covered in just ONE post?

As to your specific concerns, I think you need to go back and read my review of "Skinny Bitch" to see how this all started. It was two vegans who wrote a book exclaiming, "You are a total moron if you think the Atkins Diet will make you thin." Was that not meant to provoke supporters of the low-carb lifestyle in some way? Well, it did me.

So when I wrote my review of that awful book, I wanted my blog readers to know how I felt about it. That was going to be the end of it until some of your vegan buddies took offense to my review claiming I just didn't understand the vegan lifestyle and one of your cohorts even threatened to sue me. Am I supposed to remain silent in the face of these kind of responses? I don't think so!

Of the nearly 700 posts I have penned in the past 10 months I have been writing at this blog, the overwhelming majority of them ARE about the low-carb lifestyle and how it changed my life and can change yours, too. Much of what I write about underscores all the scientific evidence that has come out in support of livin' la vida low-carb while also noting some of the problems that other nutritional approaches have in helping people lose weight and get healthy.

Veganism is not immune to this scrutiny from the perspective of one who had tried everything else to lose weight and NOTHING WORKED! I'm not "arguing against a vegan lifestyle" so much as I am expressing my concerns with the misinformation that vegans and others are spreading about the low-carb lifestyle. Even you cannot disagree that a concerted effort has been ongoing from organized radical groups like PCRM and their parent organization PETA to weaken and destroy anything and everything that the Atkins diet and low-carb lifestyle represents. It is so transparent to anyone with eyes!

THAT is why I write what I do at my blog because somebody has to stand up for the truth. And the truth of the matter is that these vegans who have expressed their criticisms of me fail to even acknowledge the low-carb lifestyle as an acceptable manner for weight management and improving their health for some people. I at least recognize that some people have improved their health and weight by choosing veganism. There's no denying that. So tell me why can't vegans afford this same courtesy to those of us who have succeeded on low-carb? Hmmm?

THANK YOU for sharing your comments with me in an e-mail today and I appreciate that you openly and courteously expressed what was on your mind. But you have to realize that the low-carb lifestyle is ALREADY bombarded with criticism on virtually a daily basis by the media and from those who are supposedly "experts" on health. My lifestyle choice was already being criticized even before I started this wonderful way of life. And it still is to this day.

I proudly stand up in support of it and don't mind getting passionate about doing it in the process. The course of my life has been forever altered and I cannot help but share the good news of what has happened to me and my life with everyone I know. That's why you do the same regarding your vegan lifestyle and I applaud you for it.

One last thought: If anyone disagrees with what I write about at my blog, then nobody is forcing them to read it. But apparently there must be SOME interest in what I write about from these loony hornets who have been posting their comments at my blog this past week. They must be getting tired of sucking down just veggies all the time and have become quite ornery in the process. It's nothing a few slices of ham with bacon on top wouldn't cure!

Guess what? When I get this kind of response to something I have written about, I AM "on topic." THANKS again for writing! And stick around a while, you might like what you read here.


Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Brilliant, Jimmy. You are, of course, completely right here.

2/26/2006 7:36 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

One minor nit - I can't find anything on LA Weight Loss in this blog, though I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.

Oh yeah...I also blog about all aspect of weight loss and health, as well as about my own struggle to maintain a healthy weight.

2/26/2006 10:34 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I think what's stirring up the "hornet's nest" is your constant public insults, including your love for the word "loony." For someone outraged by authors who call people morons, you should know better than to write drivel like this: "But apparently there must be SOME interest in what I write about from these loony hornets who have been posting their comments at my blog this past week. They must be getting tired of sucking down just veggies all the time and have become quite ornery in the process. It's nothing a few slices of ham with bacon on top wouldn't cure!"

Not only does this undercut your argument about the books authors, but it makes you look like quite a jerk yourself. I'm sure you're not a jerk, and I'm twice as certain that Gary is not loony and that the Skinny Bitches authors might in reality be bitchy but they're not evil people.

For what it's worth, I don't know any vegetarians that would be cured of their frustration with jerky omnivore behavior by eating the flesh of an animal kept in an enclosure where it could not turn around for most of its life. And even if that did somehow cure one's annoyance with you, it would raise one's cholesterol. Ham contains 331mg per pound.

You seem to have little idea what vegetarians really eat, other than vegetables, so it would behoove you to do a little more research before denigrating them in a thoughtless fashion simply because you've been able to lose so much weight with an low-carb diet. Most vegetarians I know have more varied diets than meat-eaters, and I can add myself to that list, having given up animal products four years ago. It is indeed ironic that my diet has more variety, and includes more healthful foods (and less harmful foods) than before I ate omnivorously, but that's what starts happening when you become more mindful of your diet.

I'd suggest to you, the Skinny Bitch authors, and anyone else that wants to start throwing around names that critiques of each other's opinions stay on topic, focused on the facts, and avoid name-calling, which rapidly obscures any constructive dialogue that might be possible between parties in disagreement. But then, it's your blog. You're free to ignore other people's opinions, as you have made perfectly clear.

2/28/2006 3:17 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Focus on the facts, that's exactly what Jimmy did, and that's what started the entire vegan firestorm.

The facts, the irrefutable, scientifically proven facts are that vegan diets are NOT healthy - in fact they have been proven in tightly-controlled, randomized clinical trials and long-term studies to be detrimental to health. That's what Jimmy, correctly and factually, reported and that's what ticked some vegans off.

The real problem is that some people are so close-minded and so incredibly fanatic and fundamentalist in their own perceptions of the truth that they simply do not want to hear the real, scientific facts. They will say, do, and "reason" in any way they can to discredit those that think otherwise, and even use downright lies - like, just to name one example, the nonsense about Atkins untimely death.

That, among other things, is what Jimmy clearly exposed, and their reactions prove how right he is. And that's a fact too.

3/01/2006 11:40 AM  
Blogger red jane said...

Regarding the last commemt- as a vegan and a personal trainer with a background in nutrition and a lifetime of living with hardcore omniverous bodybuilding people, I can tell you scientifically that a vegan diet and lifestyle is completely healthy if approached with knowledge and undertsanding as to how to live off a plant based diet. There is no way you can tell me that any diet, regardless of it's form and structure, is absolutely healthy UNLESS it is followed with understanding and awareness of proper balance, nutrition and caloric, mineral and vitamin requirements. I have never been healthier- talk to my doctor- nor have I ever felt better, choosing compassion over killing, and living a lifestyle that treads more gently on the planet and on the lives of those that incur incalculable suffering as an omniverous diet warrants. So to say that it has been clinically proven that a vegan diet is unhealthy is wrong. It is a fallacy. Read Becoming Vegan or any of Dr. Neal bernard's books on plant based diets or go to and you'll have a more comprehensive understanding of what vegan is all about.

3/02/2006 5:10 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

While I do have deep respect for your lofty goals when it comes to not harming animals ("incalculable suffering" is a bit over the top) I don't think you can easily sweep decades worth of scientific evidence off the table. To call all that research and knowledge a fallacy just merely proves my point.

I have studied and read most if not all of the vegan literature, and I have heard all the (seriously flawed) arguments. Unfortunately, I also read the peer-reviewed medical research journals. Hence I am aware what is true and what is not true. Biased and distorted PETA or PCRM propaganda does not impress me, nor does quoting distorted or otherwise misinterpreted epidemiological studies. I like to stick to hard facts.

Again, my respect for your lofty goals. But, like I wrote to your fellow-vegans on this blog, your method, data, and reasoning is seriously flawed.

Read the medical literature. It's an eye opener.

3/05/2006 10:22 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

If you're into scientific approaches that have led doctors to recommend a plant-based diet, you should read The China Study. T. Colin Campbell is not an animal activist, and includes animal studies in his accounting of how he grew to realize that animal proteins are harmful to our health.

Also, I find it hard to believe that the insurance companies that cover Dr. Ornish's program are swayed by AR rhetoric, much less the result of propaganda.

Quite simply (and this is indeed supported by scientific literature and as many personal stories as compelling as your own), a well-balanced plant-based diet can be very healthy. You can continue to deny it in abstract terms, but the literature is out there to support it, not just in books, but in peer-reviewed scientific journals. I urge you to take a look.

I don't write any of this to change your mind -- after all, you are the #1 defender of the Atkins diet in the universe -- but rather to have you re-consider your baseless attacks.

3/08/2006 4:57 PM  
Blogger Gramps said...

Just curious. How many vegan centenarians are there, or have there been?

5/05/2006 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"animal proteins are harmful to our health"? Try telling that to our Paleolithic and Neolithic ancestors, who survived mainly on fresh kill and were strong boned, iron blooded, fit, lean and healthy. If humans were designed to exist solely on plant foods we would all have nostrils like gorillas in order to take in the required amount of oxygen to chew all day.

4/25/2012 3:44 AM  

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