I get the push-back against overzealous vegan proselytizers, but right now, the avalanche of anti-vegan content in social media is far worse, while also serving the interests of animal factory farming, and is very often done for clicks and ad revenue.

In this post I will break my silence on veganism, give clear and objective views, and critique the enormous popularity of anti-vegan social media content.

I am not recommending any diet, or supplements. Every aspect of diet is highly debated, and there are studies and anecdotal evidence to support or challenge every diet. Further, because of allergies, and individual biology, the perfect diet for one person may be hazardous for another. While I will include some personal and anecdotal experience, and snippets of authoritative data, my primary interest here is ideas and ethics.


Piers Morgan and eating meat in front of vegans

I don’t like vegans very much. I don’t think any of you are very healthy. I think you are all pasty faced and unhealthy.

Piers Morgan, December 2022

Ew. Above, I just looked up Piers Morgan’s age, and we were both born in ’65.

Left: me 5 minutes ago, unedited. Right: Piers 5 days ago. Admittedly, he’s got better color with a lot more orange, but he’s also wearing makeup. Not really sure he looks all THAT much healthier.

Vegans make up roughly 2% of the world population, so no matter how brazen the most vocal activists, they don’t stand a chance in “popular” media (which is based on votes and not arguments) because they are astronomically outnumbered.

The Piers Morgan quote at the top of this post comes from a recent video of his titled, “Piers Morgan Eats STEAK In Front Of Vegan Protester”. Eating meat in front of vegans has become a very popular trope in social media, and isn’t the first for Piers. Below: A few months ago he ate a Big Mac in front of another vegan.

Aside from the topic of debate, this clip shows Piers bullying a young woman in a most unmanly way.

This kind of tactic is weird because it’s obviously based on doing something contrary to someone else’s religion, and to their face. The most obvious example would be making a show of eating pork in front of a Muslim or Jew. The assumption is that the vegan will be shocked, or hurt, or at all perturbed about seeing something they’ve witnessed their entire lives, included on any given day, and probably partook of themselves for the majority of their time on Earth. And this is assuming the person is vegan because of ethical rather than health reasons, and even then, the real issue is the original treatment and slaughter of animals, not the visual of someone eating a burger or steak. If Piers really wants to shock vegans, he should arrange to slaughter a cow himself, then share the video footage with vegans. I guarantee that will get a much more powerful reaction from them.

Pier’s ineffectual idea to provoke vegans is nothing new. It’s been a YouTube prank for at least 4 years. The video below has over 8.5 million views.

There’s more. Much more.

And that’s the main thing I’m addressing here: how fashionable it is to mock and hate on vegans. It’s practically a fool-proof way of getting tens of thousands of views on YouTube, and even ad revenue. Below: The first several results I got in a YouTube search for “Piers eats meat in front of vegan” included 3 videos that are reactions to the original video, which has over 635,000 views.

The 2 that are anti-vegan have 910,000 and 121,000 views. The one that is pro-vegan has 2,700 views. I just did the math, and the pro-vegan video has roughly 0.3% and 2% of the views of the anti-vegan videos in my search. This is just one example of a general trend.

Let’s move on to “soy boy”, and then I’ll get a little more personal about our topic. Note that to keep this article from sprawling, I’m not going to delve too much into another of the most influential anti-vegan influencers on the planet: Joe Rogan. I’ll just mention for now that he told Russel Brand to “get off that f_cking vegan diet”. A bit more later.


Soy boy

Have you ever heard the term “soy boy”? If you have, that shows how pervasive anti-vegan sentiments are, so that drinking non-dairy milk alternatives is synonymous with being a wussy. Real men stick to the food of our ancestors, at least according to sci/fi horror movies of the 50s, and that’s basically saber-tooth tiger steaks. The men went on the hunt, which was dangerous and required athletic ability, in order to bring home the prized animal meat. Women gathered berries. That’s the underlying cliché, much more Hollywood than fact, that “soy boy” plays into. It is also based on the now discredited study that connected soy products to increased estrogen.

“Soy boy” is leveled not principally at vegans, but at presumed “liberal” men in order to imply they are weak and feminized, but based on the foregone conclusion that all vegans are quivering dandelions and snowflakes. However you slice it, when someone say’s “soy boy” it makes a little part of me want to punch them in the face, and I’m not even the intended target.


Veganism and Me

I joke with my wife about saying we are Hare Krishnas or 7th Day Adventists if people ask why we are vegan, because there is less stigma attached to following a religion than being vegan.

And I have too funny of an anecdote to NOT share here. Maybe you had to be there, but let’s see if it works anyway. I was staying for a spell with my sister and her family, and her older daughter’s best friend was a Hare Krishna. Her parents came over while we were having dinner, and the question of diet came up. I think my sister’s (former) husband broached the topic, because he’s a type-A personality that isn’t guilty of being overly sensitive about where other people might be coming from. This was about 15 years ago, so the details are fuzzy, but I never forgot his one-liner, “I think we should eat what Jesus ate”. To their credit, the Hare Krishnas didn’t take the bait — which attacked their religion and diet simultaneously — probably thinking anything to do with Jesus was better than late capitalist TV consumer culture, or something.

I’ve never posted about veganism on my blog before, even though I cut animal products out of my diet over 3 years ago. It has come up in a few comments and private messages, but that’s it. As my blog is my personal space to talk about whatever I want, my silence about a relatively big personal decision, and an important and controversial topic, should indicate to you that I am not a proselytizer. My blog is primarily about art, not health and fitness, and I am not qualified to give advice on nutrition. I’m more qualified to talk about ethical issues, because that’s more of a subjective matter anyone and everyone is entitled to an opinion on.

In the 3 years I’ve abstained from consuming animal products I have “guilted” precisely zero people about their dietary choices. What is bothering me at the moment is the absolute deluge of anti-vegan material, which can be quite vicious, in social media. It’s not just that it’s annoying or insulting, or that it is rife with misinformation; or that the health advice can be fallacious and atrocious; or that much of it is done for monetary gain… Those are all a nasty business. The real issue is that all that hatred and targeted humiliation on social media is done directly or indirectly for the benefit of the international meat and dairy industry, and irrespective of the quality of life of tens of billions of sentient creatures. If you stop, step back and think about it for a minute, hating people for NOT participating in the incidental torture and killing of animals is perverse. That said, if you are annoyed with protesters doing things like blocking traffic, regardless of what they are protesting, that is a separate issue that has to do with protest tactics for getting a message out. I’m sure you can think of instances where protestors inconvenienced the general public for other causes.


A brief trip down a side road

I took a break from writing to pick up meals from my local vegan restaurant in the small Thai city I live in. The lady, who I just noticed is in the picture next to my left arm, delivered a container of Tempeh a doctor friend of hers makes, and which my wife ordered from her yesterday.

The lady had a worker take my photo with the product, and also sent it to my wife, which is why I now have a copy to include in my post.

I found myself endorsing a vegan product, er, unintentionally, and for the first time, while finally writing a blog post to defend vegans. That simultaneity almost makes me want to review Carl Jung’s notion of synchronicity.

Perhaps the fabric of reality is more nuanced than I realize, or as a physicist put it, and allow me to paraphrase from memory, “reality is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can imagine”.

Or it’s just a coinkidink. And just between us, the only thing worse than soy milk is a block of fermented soy. Here I am the poster boy for “Fermented Soy Boy”. At 57 “Fermented Soy Man” would be much more appropriate, but it just doesn’t sound as snappy.

I have subsequently sampled the product, and as far as tempeh goes, this stuff is quality, and at 40 baht ($1.15 at today’s exchange rate] it’s a bargain.


Back to the main road

My primary reason for “going vegan” was NOT the wellbeing of animals, but more selfishly the wellbeing of myself. At the time I was trying to get in shape and the condo I lived in had a swimming pool and a gym. I used those liberally, and also the 8 flights of stairs to go up and down in 15-30 minute sessions. I switched from whole milk to non-fat milk to cut excess fat, and asked my wife to boil eggs so I could get that “perfect protein”. I watched some health/fitness documentaries to inspire me, while steadfastly avoiding anything that hinted of veganism, which for whatever vague reason put me off.

I mistakenly started watching a vegan health/fitness video1 on Netflix. I chose it because they put Arnold Schwarzenegger in part of the trailer I saw [I don’t like spoilers so only watched a few seconds], and, well, his signature is on my Bachelor’s degree (from when he was the Governator), and he was absolutely sensational in my all-time favorite action sci-fi movie, Terminator 2, Judgement Day.

The documentary started off with a guy talking about MMA, and I’ve been a fan of UFC and MMA for decades, starting from when I used to get free kickboxing lessons in the company gym where I worked. The film is about, among other things, elite athletes, including martial artists, fitness gurus, and power lifters that are vegans, who were not only able to compete, but found that their performance improved when they changed their diet. I’m somewhat embarrassed to say this single documentary persuaded me to give veganism a go. If interested, you can watch it online for free right now in 1080p here.

You can watch the preview on YouTube below:

The next day I told my wife I wanted to try an experiment of not eating animal products for a few weeks to see what results I would get. She was completely onboard, and didn’t even need to watch the film. As it happens, she’d just gotten over food poisoning from tainted meat. I’ve had a few whopping cases myself, and I suspect they were all from chicken. Food poisoning is common here, though not as frequent as diarrhea, which is so normal that my English language students never thought it was funny-because-disgusting when I’d use it in a sample sentence. It’s as if you have 3 standard reasons for using the toilet: #1 liquid, #2 solid, and #3 soft serve. It could be another coincidence, but I haven’t had food poisoning or soft serve in years since I stopped eating animal products. Obviously this has everything to do with hygiene, which is much more difficult to maintain when dealing with meat, and not the meat itself. And I may have been lactose intolerant to some degree.

What is much more impressive is that I hadn’t had any cold or flu since I became vegan until I finally contracted the virus several months ago when the city I live in was hit with a massive outbreak.

As regards health, while I have personally seen beneficial results, in general I do NOT recommend the vegan diet. It’s a little tricky, and to do it right without known risks requires some dedication, intelligence, and due diligence. It is well established, for example, that it is difficult to get enough vitamin B12, Omega 3 fatty acid, or vitamin K on a vegan diet, unless you take supplements [this has changed more recently as vegan foods come fortified with hard to get nutrients, ex. plant milks including B12]. In addition, merely eliminating animal products does not equal a healthy diet. Coca-Cola, Oreos, and potato chips are all vegan. For most people, if I were forced to recommend a diet, I would go with a plant-based whole foods diet, and that includes some animal products. It’s just a safer bet, especially if one doesn’t want to think about what one eats very much, or is concerned about social pressure and convenience. But even that is controversial and will get heated objections from paleo and keto diet advocates, so I will leave recommendations for the experts and your own research and careful consideration.

That said, there is a growing mountain of evidence supporting an intelligent vegan diet being as good or better than any other, and as it gains in popularity it is much easier to observe the diet than it was just a decade ago.


What about the animals?

The health of diets is highly debated, but one thing is incontrovertible: a vegan diet doesn’t participate in or support the global, unconscionable horror daily visited on billions of animals raised or harvested for food [nor the devastating environmental impact of the relative industries].

According to a 2014 study, over 80% of people who become vegans quit. Over 90% of vegans who quit were doing it for health reasons alone, whereas those doing it out of concern for animals were much more likely to stick with it. The primary reason for quitting was social isolation or pressure: either not having the support from a vegan community, or feeling that they “stick out” from the crowd. Below, see the highlighted areas.

What prevented me from seriously considering veganism for over 50 years is that I’d always believed that we humans need to eat meat or consume dairy in order to be healthy. This is the false belief that Piers Morgan played into when he said that all vegans are pasty-faced and unhealthy.

Vegan Olympic runner, Morgan Mitchell. There may be a reason Piers doesn’t have her as a guest.

When I came to understand and accept that eating animals was unnecessary for survival, or indeed for thriving, suddenly the rationalization I’d had for eating meat evaporated. If you must eat animals in order to be healthy, then that’s just the way things are — NATURE– and you can’t do anything about it. If eating animals is merely a choice, then as an adult educated on the topic I am consciously deciding to do it on my own, fully knowing the animal suffering it entails, and in my case having easily available alternatives. [I am aware that vegan or healthy food period can be prohibitively expensive in my home country — the least healthy fast food and junk food being the most affordable and available — and that it isn’t a viable option for isolated indigenous peoples.]

I’m not trying to be holier-than-thou, unless you are one of those bullies attacking vegans, in which case I’m not just going to meekly take a beating. I’m not a better person than I was 3 years ago. What I’m getting at here is that while I initially got into veganism for health/fitness reasons, knowing I’m contributing significantly less to the abuse of animals really helps me stick to the diet.

Here I am looking a bit rough after a sleepless night in a hotel, and about to consume an unhealthy vegan “Elon Musk Burger”. Vacation, yo!

I’ve never been a fanatic, and that goes for my vegan diet. I will occasionally take down vegan junk food, like the burger and fries set above. The blue spread is wasabi sauce! That comes with the “Elon” burger. The yellow is garlic sauce! That pink stuff? I don’t know that was. But the burger was insanely good. It’s as good as it looks. And while there are all sorts of people trying to attack vegan burger alternatives because they aren’t actually health food miracles, but may be just as bad for you as the beefy originals, the point is that they don’t require harming animals.

Just like a non-vegan, health-conscious person can have an occasional burger, pizza, hot dog, or whatever comfort food, these days so can a vegan. Even in Thailand I can have delicious and convincing vegan alternatives to Western fast food. I can also get all the Thai staples, and as cheaply as the originals. I tend to avoid them, and pluck the fake meat out of a lot of dishes, but it’s there if I want it. When people ask me what I can eat besides salads, the answer is everything.

If you don’t believe vegan alternatives are getting much better, and can taste just as good as the original meat products, here’s a sausage expert unwittingly claiming a sandwich with plant sausage is “luscious and lovely” and he could “taste the meat” in it:

Apparently, it’s not so much the meat itself that is delicious, but rather the ways we’ve come up with to cook, spice, salt, bread, batter, fry in oil, and flavor it.

The delicious plant alternatives to animal foods we already love, healthy or not, are probably the best hope for veganism. People don’t want to give up pizza, bagels, cheese, etc. I’ve had solidly good vegan versions of all of those.

I don’t want to go explicitly into the animal cruelty itself, because it’s just so goddamned brutal and disgusting. Look it up yourself if you are in doubt. We can be in denial, but all we have to do is take a look at what are considered acceptable rearing and slaughtering facilities by Western standards and imagine our pets or non-food animals (or other humans) undergoing the same lives or deaths to immediately see through that. And that’s the acceptable version. Sure, sure, Joe Rogan kills his own dear by hunting them down and shooting them with a bow and arrow. Would he like being shot through the chest with an arrow when he was in or past his prime, which he is?

It is only really recently that people have had a very viable alternative to eating meat and dairy. We were born into meat eating cultures; it’s very difficult to go against the grain; and that ain’t our fault. In certain environments, and a lot of them, people will get flack if they are vegan. You might get a lot of macho bullshit; regurgitated pseudo-scientific nonsense [Why do we have canines?!]; people taunting you by placing a meat platter in front of you when you go out to a group dinner; calling you a pussy, and so on. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the 4th of July celebrations, if you are American, can be awkward, and people will bitch behind your back, if not to your face, about your special and extreme diet. Um, just between us, is it more extreme to have dead animal parts in your fridge, or tofu? (In any case you can have the vegan alternatives for all those meals). And, as this article addresses, you will be bombarded with insulting, degrading, and hostile anti-vegan messaging in the media, and in social media. That makes it hard to be a vegan. I get it. But that’s changing very fast.

Also, it doesn’t have to be 100% either/or. Eating less meat is an improvement. Dairy and eggs aren’t necessarily as bad as eating the flesh of animals. I personally don’t think everyone on the planet is going to become a vegan, and I suspect the animal food industry will always exist. So, it’s a question mostly of degree. Even if I were morally grandstanding, I couldn’t honestly say I am significantly better than someone who eats meat once or twice a week, because they would also be making a very big difference.

Below is how much meat the average American eats in a lifetime (not including fish, etc].

And this is how many animals LESS the same person would eat if they only ate meat once a week:

There’s more stats for taking one day off eating meat per week, etc., here.

So, if you care about animals, you can make a big difference by just cutting down how much animal food products you eat — which is generally going to be a healthy choice as well — without completely forsaking eating them. That was me most of my adult life.

And if it weren’t for my wife being 100% on board, and an excellent cook who branched out naturally into veganism because she’s creative and likes to experiment, I don’t know if I would have been able to stick with it. So, yeah, any change a person makes to decrease the amount of animal products they consume is beneficial. It does feel better to completely opt out of it, though, and if someone has done so, don’t use my argument to tell them they should bend a little and be flexible, etc. If someone doesn’t eat meat at all for ethical reasons, you are asking them to go against their principles, and to feel like shit. And it’s a bit like telling an ex-alcoholic to loosen up and have a beer.


How is fashionable anti-veganism shading in to evil?

Simply, it’s discouraging people from eating less meat, and encouraging them to eat more. This is both risky for their own health, and means the continued suffering of a lot more animals. Further, a lot of this is done merely for clicks and ad-revenue — which means doing something wrong for personal profit — and is rewarded by, or funded by the animal food industries themselves.

Aside from the suffering of animals, and adversely affecting people’s health for personal gain, the harassment and bullying is itself coming from the same ugly place as any other targeting of a group of people. Somehow it is OK to hate and mock vegans.

Honestly, watching these bros mocking vegans in the opening of this video is infuriating. The Liver King says, after being asked what he’d do if his son were vegan, “I’d find another son”. It’s just a joke, and he walks it back afterwards in an attempt to sound more balanced in order to bolster his brand, but the reaction of Logan Paul and crew is disgusting.

This video is from just 7 months ago. These boys should know better. They’re on the wrong side of history, and being insufferable prats about it.

History has already come after The Liver King, who made a career out of eating an “ancestral diet” [according to Hollywood caveman movies, anyway] made up primarily of raw liver, testes, and other meat. He’s way smarter than he acts, and his business model was very successful.

He used his body-builder physique to promote his meat diet, which is so disgusting — unless you like eating raw bull testes — that if you want the benefits, you have to get, among other things, powdered beef organ supplements. Brilliant marketing.

Even on sale it’s $124 for 3 bottles. I read the backs of the bottles in the carousel of images, and you need to take 6 capsules a day of each. That starter pack is just roughly a 2 week supply. Comes out to around $3,000 a year. Grassfed!

But look at his physique! If you want to get big, lean, cut, veiny AF, and for the ancestral women to follow you back to your cave as if hypnotized, you NEED this stuff! Oh yeeeeeeaaaaaaah!

I mean, it’s a hell of lot cheaper than taking steroids, and I know that because it came out that The Liver King spends over $12,000 a month on a cocktail of steroids and related “juice”.

Was it the steroids, or the raw liver and testes that made The King so big and bad?

A lot of people picked up on the fact that The Liver King was practicing false advertising, as in you will not get these results if you use the product as advertised, religiously follow his “ancestral tenets”, and even achieve his workout regimen. If people tried, they would fail, and blame themselves.

Less people noticed that he wasn’t just deceiving men (primarily) with an outstanding marketing campaign, and promoting a potentially unhealthy diet, he was encouraging eating outlandish quantities of meat while also bolstering all the cultural myths and fallacies that make people think they can’t live without meat.

Perhaps if he had a vegan son, at this juncture, the son would “find a new dad”.

The Liver King is a larger than life caricature, but everyone is getting into the act, from Joe Rogan to Jordan Peterson, and it’s not going to age well for them, or for the scores of anti-vegan Youtubers or anyone else who has jumped on the vicious and myopic anti-vegan bandwagon. When you come right down to it, you are picking on people for not killing animals.

[Note: I don’t have the time or patience to debate diets in the comments, or field ignorant challenges to veganism. My post is also not about the protest tactics of activists. There are plenty of places you can have extensive debates on these topics.]

1 If you try to look up “The Game Changers”, you get an avalanche of “debunked” videos and articles. One of the most notorious was Joe Rogan’s podcast where he had acupuncturist, Chris Kresser on to exhaustively “debunk” the film. Later, Rogan invited James Wilkes, who co-produced the documentary, to debate Kresser, and it didn’t go as planned. Wilkes out-argued Kresser on every point, and embarrassed him by proving Kresser didn’t even know how to read a “forest plot” chart, after having used one as evidence to debunk the film, when it actually supported it. Rogan conceded at the end of the podcast that Wilkes won the debate, but shortly after embarked on a meat-only diet himself to shed some extra pounds. Of the plethora of other debunking videos none are debates, in which case paleo and keto diet advocates, body builders, chiropractors, and other “real doctors” and “scientists” have the last word.]

~ Ends

15 replies on “The Ubiquitous Stoking of Hatred of Vegans in Media/Social Media is Shading Into Evil

  1. I know it’s a generalization but our world has seriously gone wrong, in every way. I agree 100% with all you’re saying and yes, a diet is a very personal thing. Our breath and food we eat are the two things that keep us alive. It’s amazing how we don’t do our research. I’m vegan [with some exceptions now and then] 18+ years now and vegetarian many more, due to videos of slaughterhouses etc I watched. Not for …’global warming’ [🙄] or whatever else. Just for those beings. Gradually I realized that this diet also improved my health [autoimmune sent back to sleep!]. I never stop doing research though on foods. Piers is an utter moron in that video as well as the other guys, but so are the so called activists splattering art with their moronic presences and various substances. A few years back I wrote a post about veganism prompted by the various vegan activists [something about that word!]. [https://marinakanavaki.com/2019/09/25/i-am-vegan-but/] ΅Respect is a word so overused and stripped naked of its meaning nowadays. Thank you for this [and all actually] post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just read you blog post you linked to. Yeah, I think we see eye to eye on this topic. By the way when I click the “like” button it doesn’t show my like.

      About those activists. They’re young, and idealists. Some of the most annoying activists in recent months are ones whose policies, like these guys, I actually agree with. That young woman was trying to articulate information that is true, but Piers wouldn’t let her finish a paragraph. I get that the activists want to get as much attention to their causes as possible, especially if nothing else has worked, but hopefully they can find avenues that won’t piss everyone off first. By me, for example, don’t sit down in traffic so people can’t get to work. That can have major consequences for those people. And don’t deface people’s treasured art. They just need to be smarter and more creative about how to inform and win over the public.

      Yeah, I’ve seen some of those horrendous videos about animal treatment, and by now I don’t watch them anymore because I’ve been horrified enough. I saw some stuff in person in China that I can’t un-see, and even to remember it is upsetting.

      Veganism is one the rise, and I think it’s the future, and unstoppable. People naturally have compassion for animals, and as it becomes less and less necessary to eat them, even to have our favorite foods, I think we’ll evolve to animal farming and slaughter being more of a niche industry. If we are around in another 500 years, and we are prosperous, I kinda’ doubt we’ll still be slaughtering animals.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Can’t look at all of this, too powerful; makes me sad and I’m just coming out of a very dark time.

    I don’t understand why people troll & taunt others. Views? Power? Pleasure? What’s the exchange rate there? Does one tear equal one view? Exactly how much power does someone acquire by making someone else feel nauseated? And can we quantify how many giddy chills will be produced by triggering another’s sadness?

    The “Twilight Zone” episode “To Serve Man” (1959) laid the
    foundation for my approach to food. Life-changing.

    There was a also cartoon (maybe in “Mad Magazine”) that contributed. It showed a 1950’s-type alien in an alien butcher shop, studying a diagram of the human body with the various meat cuts and their prices per pound. I think the butcher was having a sale…something like that. Have searched for the cartoon, can’t find it.

    🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Robin. Sorry to hear you have had a dark time. Hope you are feeling better.

      Yes, “To Serve Man”. That was a great episode I remember from my childhood. That’s what it said on the cover of a book that the aliens had with them. And it was a double-entendre. The humans were trying to decipher the alien written language, and they got that far. Ah, the aliens are here to serve us. And then as people were boarding the UFO someone had figured out it was a cook book. A spooky episode that was also funny, in a way.

      It’s amazing how much stuff from the 50’s was actually pretty aware. We think we are always progressing, and maybe we are, but partly that is an illusion based on not really appreciating how much was already well understood before we were born.

      Take it easy!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. A medical researcher at a university hospital told me he would never eat liver because it’s the filter where all of the agricultural and biological toxins that an animal eats end up residing. (And the average agricultural animal consumes a lot of pesticides, pharmaceuticals and just junk in its short lifetime.) I would like to see Liver King’s YouTube 20 years from now, if he and I are still around at that point.

    You are right, many of the would-be vegan haters come off as more scared than funny. And as you pointed out, a lot of us are vegan because we developed health issues and can’t tolerate foods high in fat or dairy. My doctor has pushed me to eat eggs or fish at least twice a week as he’s convinced I will die from lack of protein, which is a little surprising since he and I are both Asian and come from cultures with a long history of plant-based cuisine. (Tofu is awesome!) But the “I love meat” faction also tend to be climate change deniers, which to me is the most persuasive reason for switching to a vegan diet. I live in an area where we now have wildfires in late fall and winter, and drought has become a feature, not an occasional inconvenience, of daily life. The end of 20th-century postwar exuberance (and the steak as a symbol of luxury) arrived a long time ago. And stuffing your face with meat “to own the libs” on YouTube is not stopping it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve heard the same thing about liver, and I don’t even know if “The Liver King” really eats the diet he says he does, or if that is all just an act to sell his products. Either way it’s quite possibly very bad and dangerous health advice to be giving people. Curiously, you can give any sort of diet, exercise, home remedy, or other medical advice on YouTube (as long as it doesn’t challenge a recent notable virus and its associated antidotes).

      As for protein, it’s not difficult to get enough on a vegan diet, and while it is essential to get all the amino acids, contrary to what we used to think, we don’t need to get them all in the same meal. Or at least all that is the most recent and accepted conclusions based on extensive research. Just to be on the safe side, I use nutritional yeast, which has all of the amino acids and is as good of a source of protein as it gets. Also comes fortified with B12. Only problem where I live is it’s an import only and expensive, when I’d think it should be dirt cheap. As it happens, I like the flavor, and when I’m not sprinkling it on salads, etc., I can just take it straight.

      Yes, the anti-vegan stuff tends to come from the right side of the political spectrum, where climate change denial also flourishes. Seems to be a dude thing, too. Let me look this up.

      I can’t believe this hasn’t occurred to me to investigate before, maybe because so many of the most vocal vegan voices are men. Turns out women make up 79% of vegans in America. It’s 63% according to a vegan survey. Apparently women make up 75% of animal rights activists as well. I don’t know how accurate any of those numbers are, but the general trend is obvious.

      And only 14% of vegans are “conservatives”. Most are “liberal” or, like me, in “neutral” territory. Just looked that up, too.

      Well, now that I’m embarrassed of my gender and the cowardliness and stupidity of harming animals to create an illusion of being the top carnivore, I’ll move on with my day.

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      1. I wouldn’t follow any medical or dietary advice from some online yob on YouTube or other social media. During the pandemic there were some good channels run by former public health officials and doctors, but their information was also vetted and approved by a medical school or university. The internet in the meantime has produced the “I know more than professional doctors and dieticians” amateur who, as you have noted, is usually selling some overpriced tonic or “supplement.”

        I often think of the New Yorker cartoon that came out after the election of Tr**p in 2016:
        https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/01/06/trump-cartoon-new-yorker-column/96208552/

        It was funny, probably because it was horribly true. While I understand the resentment one might feel about being lectured to by academics and experts in highly technical fields, there’s a reason why it is so difficult to become a doctor, structural engineer, jet pilot, etc.

        I’ve noticed that it’s hard to find nutritional yeast on the shelves here in the US. I suspect it’s supply chain issues, though possibly there are a lot more people buying the stuff than there was ten years ago. There are also a lot more restaurants offering vegan dishes on their menus: I was pleased when my taichi teacher, who also runs a popular burger stand, said she offers veggie burgers as well as the traditional beef ones. (I didn’t ask her if she cooks them together on the same grill. I’m just happy people make the effort to serve plant-based entrees.)

        It’s funny, but the last vegan I ran into was male, married to a woman who still ate animal products. I asked them how they managed mealtimes, and she said, “He does all the cooking! And I eat everything!” He apparently was a very good cook, so she didn’t miss the meat or dairy at all.

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      2. It’s a funny cartoon, and I get the analogy. In a sane world it makes perfect sense. We can’t have just anyone fly a plane, perform an appendectomy, or run a country. The results would likely be devastating. Obviously, one needs the requisite skills and expertise. Sadly, corruption has become so ubiquitous and extensive that it can even override experience, and these days authorities can no longer safely be trusted. A doctor who engages in malpractice, for example, can be worse than no treatment, or home remedies.

        When Trump was elected I laughed out loud because it was so preposterous. Reality today is so ridiculous that if it were written as fiction a quarter century ago I wouldn’t have found it persuasive as political satire. Though we could probably go back as far as GW Bush, or Ronald Reagan it see reality slipping away and being replaced by tragicomedy.

        Today, everything is greed, corruption, and deception. I imagine part of the reason so many people believe wild conspiracy theories is that we have lost all faith in our leaders and thus are highly suspect of anything they say about what is real or not.

        One certainly can’t trust the news anymore, as it has become completely partisan, and the notion of reporting the facts objectively vanished decades ago. Today, the news is about constructing belief, and the belief in question is whatever supports whoever is in power. The only way to hope to get any real knowledge of what is going on is to look at multiple sources and come to one’s own conclusions. To do this one needs to be educated, intelligent, dedicated, objective, and to have time to attempt to wade through all the deception. Few of us can even attempt it. And who wants to, really?

        The idea of honest government or business is so nostalgic and sweet it brings tears to my eyes.

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  4. Interesting post – I’m glad you veered off your regular topic for it, it was very interesting. Why people take the time to be negative about others choices will probably remain a mystery for me. But I suspect that as colon cancer rates continue to be elevated at earlier and earlier ages, more people will start entertaining a down-pedaling of meat consumption. Te volumes of red meat and processed meats are highly correlated. And they also crowd out having more of the fruits and vegetables that can keep you healthier. I’m not going vegan, but I have changed my diet post colon cancer to include more fruits and veggies a less meat than before. And since doing it, I’ve become much more aware of the impact diet makes every day. Great info you’ve posted – thanks for sharing! 🙂

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Donna. I haven’t investigated the connection between colon cancer and diet, nor was I aware of the rise in cases. Of course it makes sense that eating a lot of processed meat would contribute to the problem, and that increased fiber would help combat it. In general, from what I’ve seen, there’s a growing mountain of evidence that less meat in the diet, when it is replaced by healthy food, reduces virtually all chronic diseases. The people who are suppressing these findings and deliberately misleading the public are practicing evil for personal gain, alas that is so common nowadays that it’s taken for granted as the unquestioned “good” of increasing quarterly profits.

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  5. Oh, yes, on any Facebook post or ad about a fake meat product, most of the comments are these vicious, ill-informed, anti-vegans. Maybe it’s a good sign, if you view that saying as accurate, about how “truths are first ridiculed, then fought, before finally being accepted.” We’re at stage two, LOL!

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    1. Right. It’s quite curious that there’s so much hostility towards products that are alternatives to meat and dairy. However, there’s no stopping these alternatives or veganism. It’s not a fashion or a flash in the pan: it’s a social evolution of our species towards a more sustainable, healthy, and less cruel diet. What it really boils down to is attacking people for not killing animals, and pretending to be righteous about it, or actually believing one is righteous. If our species manages to break out of its love affair with corruption/incompetence, and civilization survives to mid century, I believe veganism will just continue to become more and more popular, and the anti-vegan wave will be revealed as a backlash of sinister or myopic knuckle-daggers.

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  6. We wouldn’t tolerate any bullying, teasing or hate on any other group (due to religion or race or sexual orientation), but the American South and veganism are fair play.

    I wonder what it is about our brains that derives pleasure from putting other people down.

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