1338 changed my life! (veganism)

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:55 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Animals are not people, they do not have the same range of emotions or thoughts that we do, and they are not subject to the same moral or ethical axioms we are.
I'm not even saying that, though. I'm just pointing out that, strictly factually (i.e. without making any of my own ethical claims) Xilmi is certainly not applying the rule equally to humans and animals, whatever underlying values they may aspire to.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:15 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I have a hard time then swallowing incomplete nutritional data as a means for supporting your ethical position. Do you understand what I'm contesting? Again, I'm not calling your sources wrong, or frauds.

As far as I understand you, you are contesting that a diet as described by Dr. McDougall (the "Starchetarian") or Dr. Esselstyn (Mr. "no oil!") is providing all the benefits these doctors are claiming them to have.
You might even be leaning to consider it outright unhealthy!

Dr. McDougall is extremely upset about books like: "Wheat Belly" and "Grain Brain" and even commited a full Lecture to explaining why he thinks the authors of these books are wrong.
Furthermore he considers "The Atkins diet" as the worst possible and also strongly opposes "Paleo" (not as much as they at least added some healthy things to it).
If you happen to be a supporter of the claims made in these books or by those dietary philosophies, it shouldn't come as a surprise to me that you are in disagreement with McDougall and thus also me, who I have adopted his ideas as the ones that made most sense to me and also am currently feeling quite good living it out.

Izawwlgood wrote:At the risk of sounding like I'm being rude to you, I find this position fairly naive.

No offense taken here. I know that I'm fairly naive about that. My naive thinking goes like: "If I don't need that, why would anyone else?"

Izawwlgood wrote:Yeah, as gmal pointed out, this is hardly valid here. Animals are not people, they do not have the same range of emotions or thoughts that we do, and they are not subject to the same moral or ethical axioms we are.

What Gmalivuk said is, that I can't possibly be applying it to all animals. As in: I probably violate the golden rule aswell. You see, I don't think I'm even close to being perfect in living out my philosophy. There is a nice quote, however: "The perfect is the enemy of the good."

The only thing I can make sure, is that I don't consciously cause harm to others. There certainly are countless small animals I've overlooked and thus accidentially harmed.
But to me that is no reason to reverse the whole idea and tell myself: "If I unknowingly harm animals anyways, why not harm them knowingly aswell?" That would totally contradicts my believes!

However, what you are suggesting is something that I cannot identify myself with at all!
I am not willing to accept that, just because someone is different from me in certain aspects, like the capabilities of his brain, he does not qualify to be treated by the same ethics as the members of my species.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby speising » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:12 pm UTC

so, if you are driving in your car, and, in an emergency situation, you have to decide to run over a child or a puppy - which do you choose, and why?

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:17 pm UTC

Yeah, it's not just that you're imperfect like the rest of us. I suspect that when it comes right down to it you value humans over animals, which looks very much like a not-so-simple amendment to that golden rule.

As for health issues, you seem to be doing an awful lot of appealing to authority, parroting back what a few authors have said in response to questions asked of you, not of them. The concern here is that most fad diets that involve cutting out things entirely (no oils?) are full of pseudoscience in place of actual rigorous nutritional research.

Edit: please note that I am not denying that there are valid ethical reasons to go vegan, I'm simply arguing that yours as stated are oversimplified. Nor am I denying that there are some health benefits, I'm simply arguing that you have overstated those.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:34 pm UTC

The cherry picking of sources that fit your hypothesis is fairly disingenuous and makes for poor argumentation. If you are going to disregard all evidence to the contrary, respectfully, it's rather moot of you to provide any evidence supporting your position. No one is contesting that there are healthful aspects to the diets you are describing, nor that there are unhealthful aspects to the one's you are condemning, but yours is a rather myopic view of things.

Xilmi wrote:No offense taken here. I know that I'm fairly naive about that. My naive thinking goes like: "If I don't need that, why would anyone else?"
Yeah, that's... really shortsighted. I'm not diabetic, ergo, insulin treatment is wholly unneccesary to the human condition. gmal already pointed out that your ethical argument is oversimplified, so, I'll let you respond. Not that there's anything wrong persey with that, but the two fronts of your argument for veganism seem, before you've further expanded on it, rather tenuous.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Diadem » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:52 pm UTC

I'd like to know why the golden rule shouldn't be applied to animals though.

Throughout history the rule has been independently formulated by many different people from many different cultures, in many different ways. And most of them probably did not have animals in mind. But that's just an historic argument, and does not prove anything about whether that is right or not.

Animals certainly have different interests than humans, but they absolutely do have interests. Why shouldn't they count?
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:11 pm UTC

Altruism, maybe?
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:45 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:I'd like to know why the golden rule shouldn't be applied to animals though.

Throughout history the rule has been independently formulated by many different people from many different cultures, in many different ways. And most of them probably did not have animals in mind. But that's just an historic argument, and does not prove anything about whether that is right or not.

Animals certainly have different interests than humans, but they absolutely do have interests. Why shouldn't they count?
No one is saying they shouldn't count. We're saying they don't count on the same level as humans.

If a stranger is starving and there's a wild pig nearby, I'd kill the pig and feed the person. If there's a wild pig starving and a stranger nearby, not only wouldn't I kill the person and feed the pig, but I would help the person kill the pig in order to prevent the pig from doing the killing itself.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby speising » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:50 pm UTC

the golden rule: treat animals like you'd like to be treated by animals.
sounds strange.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Whizbang » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:04 pm UTC

speising wrote:the golden rule: treat animals like you'd like to be treated by animals.


Isn't that how bestiality got started?

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:14 pm UTC

speising wrote:so, if you are driving in your car, and, in an emergency situation, you have to decide to run over a child or a puppy - which do you choose, and why?


gmalivuk wrote:Yeah, it's not just that you're imperfect like the rest of us. I suspect that when it comes right down to it you value humans over animals, which looks very much like a not-so-simple amendment to that golden rule.


Of course I value the lifes humans over the lifes *other* animals, hence I'm the same species.

But how would that interfere with following the golden rule anyways? Just because I treat one in the way I wanted to be treated by them, doesn't mean I can't do the very same to the other.

I also have a clear limitation in when valuing humans over non-humans stops.

Let me do this by asking a simple question:

Could you agree that in a conflict of interests between two individuals is makes quite a big difference whether the outcome for one of them is vital and for the other it's just convenient?

For me this comes down to:

I value a humans interest to keep living over a non-humans interest to keep living.
I value a humans interest to have something that tastes delicious to him over a non-humans interest to have something that tastes delicious to him.
But I do not value a humans interest of having something that tastes delicious to him over a non-humans interest to keep living.

Now does that make any sense to you?

gmalivuk wrote:As for health issues, you seem to be doing an awful lot of appealing to authority, parroting back what a few authors have said in response to questions asked of you, not of them.

Look, just because I'm different in what I prefer to eat does not mean I know everything that has ever been published by anyone and also not that I have conducted studies on my own. Other than, of course, observing the effects on myself.
So the only thing that I can tell you about the effect of my diet is: "I'm fine. Thank you."
Not very scientific, alright? But I can't go any further in answering those questions without refering to others findings.

So, how, without relying on others findings, would you know what's best for you to eat? Have you conducted research yourself? Have you found the perfect distribution of Carbohydrates vs. Proteins vs. Fat?

gmalivuk wrote:The concern here is that most fad diets that involve cutting out things entirely (no oils?) are full of pseudoscience in place of actual rigorous nutritional research.

"No oils" is not to be confused with "no fat at all".
Fat is in almost anything! "No oils" means nothing more than: No proccessed fats that have been extracted out of fat-rich-plants and concentrated into extremely high calory-density-liquid oils.
How do you tell rigorous nutritional research apart from pseudoscience in the first place?

Let's have a look at the dietary guidelines of the usda and what they think about the ideal distribution of your calories.
http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/D ... apter2.pdf (Table 2-4 on page 15)
Carbohydrate: 45-65%
Protein: 10-35%
Fat: 20-35%
You know what this covers? Just about everything you could imagine! If that is the result of rigorous nutritional research, than it clearly was wasted money and effort since according to this you can eat whatever you want. How convenient!

On a funny sidenode:
The usda asked the pcrm for their dietary proposal.
On this image you can see what the pcrm sent to them and what the usda then has made of it:
Image

gmalivuk wrote:Edit: please note that I am not denying that there are valid ethical reasons to go vegan, I'm simply arguing that yours as stated are oversimplified.

I'm sorry if I oversimplified them in the past. As I said, I wanted to avoid that issue in the first place since it tends to get too emotional.
I hope it's gotten a little clearer with this post without anyone feeling to have been put blame on.

Izawwlgood wrote:but the two fronts of your argument for veganism seem, before you've further expanded on it, rather tenuous.

There is a psychological reason for that.
I've been in quite a few arguments about this before. I know how people react when I get too concrete about my point. Thus I chose to present it in an easily digestable way that was supposed to feed just enough to get more appetite and make people start doing research on their own.
Hopes were they would probably go through the same that I did. So maybe this post clearly overshoots my original intentions.
Well, can't help it. I'm subject to the same psychological effects as anyone else and when put into a defensive position, I try and defend my point even if this might have a negative impact on the intended outcome. :(

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:23 pm UTC

I'm not sure why you need to argue this at all though; if someone asks why you're a vegan, you can simply state 'Because I don't believe in or support the harm of animals in my diet'. There's nothing to argue there. Instead, you've provided two very debatable positions.

Xilmi wrote:So, how, without relying on others findings, would you know what's best for you to eat? Have you conducted research yourself? Have you found the perfect distribution of Carbohydrates vs. Proteins vs. Fat?
No, of course not, but others have worked on this problem, and you're choosing to ignore their findings. Which was my point. YOU have not found the perfect balance yourself; you've merely found something that fits with your ethics, and found supporting evidence for it.

Xilmi wrote:How do you tell rigorous nutritional research apart from pseudoscience in the first place?
By how willing to listen to contrary data the researchers are.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xanthir » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:32 am UTC

Diadem wrote:I'd like to know why the golden rule shouldn't be applied to animals though.

Throughout history the rule has been independently formulated by many different people from many different cultures, in many different ways. And most of them probably did not have animals in mind. But that's just an historic argument, and does not prove anything about whether that is right or not.

Animals certainly have different interests than humans, but they absolutely do have interests. Why shouldn't they count?

Interesting, this argument can easily bend towards responsible farming, not wild animals.

It's hard to measure how "happy" or "fulfilled" animals are, since they don't respond the same way humans do to nearly anything, but one thing we *can* measure that seems to correlate well across animals is the level of stress hormones in their blood. Stress hormone levels seems to correlate well with things that we humans understand to be stressful, and sustained high stress hormone levels have negative health effects, so it seems reasonable to state that an animal is "better off" if its stress hormone levels are lower overall.

When you measure this, humane farming practices result in animals with much lower stress hormone levels. Wild animals have higher levels; factory farm animals have higher still. This isn't hard to understand why - humanely farmed animals are safer (no stress from predators) and have dependable food sources (no stress from hunger).

So in terms of animal welfare, humane farming is probably the best for animals, and occasional culling for slaughter doesn't seem to affect animals nearly as much as we imagine it affecting us; animals don't have the same ability to form connections and remember as we socially-overdeveloped monkeys do.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:31 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:if someone asks why you're a vegan, you can simply state 'Because I don't believe in or support the harm of animals in my diet'. There's nothing to argue there.

The reason why I can't just say this is because it simply is not true that I have only that one reason.
My two main-reasons are almost equal in importance for me. So neglecting one of them because it might be "arguable" doesn't feel right to me.

Izawwlgood wrote:By how willing to listen to contrary data the researchers are.

Well, what do you consider by "willing to listen"?
They all "listened" to Atkins and found that his findings were, well, contrary to theirs. Thus they mentioned his diet as a negative example and explained why.

How should they react if their data shows otherwise? Ignore it and publish the opposite of what they found?

Or should they just have no opinion at all, like the usda, who decided to give everyone a good feeling about whatever their diet might be by choosing distribution-ranges so flexible that they fit for about anything?

Also there are quite a bunch of things where the Plant-based- and Paleo-People agree:

Both restrict the use of dairy.
Both restrict the use of processed foods.
Both encourage eating raw vegetables and fruits.

If you think about it they already have more in common than what differs... The only difference is that:

the Plant-based-people say: Eat mainly starchy-plants (carbohydrates) as energy-source
the Paleo-People say: Eat mainly meat (proteins/fats) as energy-source

Paleo has a lot of followers because it sounds quite natural if you believe eating meat is natural. And due to the inclusion of lots of good and exclusion of lots of bad stuff (according to the philosophy I follow) it isn't that bad either.

What else do we have as philosphies?

Atkins, which basically is an all-meat-and-dairy-diet. It's hard to find much backing up for this one since Atkins died at 30 pounds overweight on a heart-attack and considering that very little people feel like eating that way for the rest of their lives.

And lastly the standard american diet, which kinda is highly-processed-foods+dairy+meat but almost no raw vegetables and fruits. You most likely won't find a single nutritionist who considers that to be healthy but an enormous lot of followers, of whom, also noone actually thinks it's healthy but it's so damn convenient and addictive due to it's massive calory-density.
Oh, according to the usda, this is well covered by their distribution-ranges, so it probably is not not that bad for your health afterall!

So there actually are only two sides left where you can actually find people who think it's good for you.

Of course there is quite a distribution-difference. Not so many people want to completely turn against what is so deeply rooted in their culture. Some did, many didn't.
But considering the proportions of plant-only-people in the overall population the proportions of plant-only-people in the health-by-nutrition-scene, their numbers don't look that bad anymore!

So, may I ask what your diet is closest to?

Paleo, Atkins or standard-american-diet? If it is neither, please describe it.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:18 pm UTC

Xilmi wrote:Well, what do you consider by "willing to listen"?
It was more a reference to your refusal to listen. Your assertions are rather psuedoscientific, insofar as your appeal to authority, your refusal to listen to conflicting data, and your cherry picking of sources.

Xilmi wrote:Also there are quite a bunch of things where the Plant-based- and Paleo-People agree:
I would look to those as an example of reproducible, corroborated data then.
Xilmi wrote: You most likely won't find a single nutritionist who considers that to be healthy but an enormous lot of followers
You've rather addressed the issue with popularity or 'how good it sounds' being a problematic approach to determining a diet's health. I'm suggesting this is the approach you've taken to supporting your veganism.
Xilmi wrote:So, may I ask what your diet is closest to? Paleo, Atkins or standard-american-diet? If it is neither, please describe it.
I eat a pretty wide range of things, without a lot of discipline. I don't eat much red meat, but do consume lean meat at least once a day. I eat a vegetarian meal maybe once every couple of days, but it probably has cheese (which I do consume a lot of). I don't eat a lot of processed sugars. It's usually seasonal; in warmer months I'm out more and eating healthier, in the winter I'm in more and eating more and heavier. FWIW, I'm currently about 10lbs over what I want to be for the start of my running season, so have been cutting back in the last few weeks, and I'd say my weight fluctuates about 25 lbs over the course of an average year.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:16 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Your assertions are rather psuedoscientific, insofar as your appeal to authority, your refusal to listen to conflicting data, and your cherry picking of sources.

Come on, I mentioned the other popular directions but am still getting accused of refusing to listen to them. :( Do I have to adopt them first to be no longer told I did not listen to them?

I had the choice between picking the cherry and the meatball. I picked the cherry and I can explain why I think it's the best choice.

Of course I will agree more with others who also picked the cherry.

Izawwlgood wrote:You've rather addressed the issue with popularity or 'how good it sounds' being a problematic approach to determining a diet's health. I'm suggesting this is the approach you've taken to supporting your veganism.

Well, it maybe is "how good someone can make it sound without coming off as a liar".
I sure, and certainly more than those following other dietary philosophies, have some representative figures, you'd call "appeal to authority".
Look at it this way: There are some people on who's research I rely. I kinda think of them as responsible for my wellbeing when following their suggestions. If something goes wrong, I have someone to blame.
If someone calls a diet his own name, e.g. "The McDougall-Diet" and then fills his Youtube-channel with people who speak about their success-stories with his diet, he practically asks for this. This, on the other hand means, that he must be pretty damn confident about his diet being pretty damn good comparatively.

If you just follow your instincts without any thought, and the instinct will always go for high-calory-density because this has proven a good strategy back in the day when acquiring food was tough, you might eventually get into trouble and when you ask anyone, you'll hear that it was your own fault for eating all "this unhealthy stuff".

Nice to see that you answered my question. So let me ask some more! :)

Do you think that the way you eat has that big of an impact on your health as this vegan weirdo Xilmi seems to believe?

According to your last answer you are aware of at least some influence as you describe your eating in summer to be healthier as in winter. This means you could theoretically label certain foods as healthy and certain others as heavy.
Could you name a few for each catergory?

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:01 pm UTC

Xilmi wrote:Come on, I mentioned the other popular directions but am still getting accused of refusing to listen to them. :( Do I have to adopt them first to be no longer told I did not listen to them?
Oh, yeah, to be fair to you, I'm focusing more on your OP and a few following posts than your subsequent acknowledgement of other lines of data in your most recent posts. I admit to doing that, and apologize to you for doing so.

My point about not needing a nutritional/dietary supported reason for your veganism is because no one is contesting that there are healthful aspects of a vegan diet, but you and your cherry picked resources seem to be suggesting it's the MOST healthful diet.

Xilmi wrote:Well, it maybe is "how good someone can make it sound without coming off as a liar".
I dunno, I happen to think the best scientists are the one's who acknowledge any contradictory data and come up with explanations for it, or outright admit that they aren't sure how to fit it together.

Xilmi wrote:Do you think that the way you eat has that big of an impact on your health as this vegan weirdo Xilmi seems to believe? According to your last answer you are aware of at least some influence as you describe your eating in summer to be healthier as in winter. This means you could theoretically label certain foods as healthy and certain others as heavy.
Could you name a few for each catergory?
To the first, yeah, probably. I could stand to eat less, and eat less fats, especially now that I'm just so, so old. But that said, I am probably more physically active than the average internet armchair warrior, and wager I couldn't get away with cutting a lot of protein out of my diet. My same nutritional intake in a vegan diet would probably mean a lot of beans and nuts. To summarize my diet, I acknowledge that I could stand to eat healthier, but I don't think I'm remotely in an unhealthy pattern, and, I feel perhaps more importantly, my activity level is high. As a follow up question for you, your diet aside, how often do you get exercise? If you're concerned with your health, diet is of course a fantastic and sensible place to start changing things, but I find most people aren't interested in the equally, if not more important element of putting in the exercise.

To the second part, sure; Candy, most soft drinks, fatty bacon (delicious fatty bacon), and excessive pasta and white flour are products I try to minimize. Cheese is a product I should reduce but don't (and mostly jokingly, my primary argument against veganism). I eat a fair amount of brown rice and beans, a smattering of veggies, and fruits as snacks when I can. Most of my meat intake is fish (tuna, haddock, tilapia mostly) and chicken, with red meat and pork being consumed maybe once or twice a week. I think my biggest problem with my diet is how much I eat, as I have poor portion control and food is just so fucking tasty.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:23 pm UTC

Mostly jokingly? If for some other reason I became vegetarian, cheese would be just about my entire argument against veganism. Most other dairy products have vegan alternatives I enjoy nearly as much, but not cheese. Never cheese.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:43 pm UTC

I didn't want to sound mostly ridiculous, but generally hold that not eating cheese is mostly ridiculous.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Ormurinn » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:39 pm UTC

@ Xilmi

Your preferred nutritionists claim eating meat is unnatural, and humans should consist mostly on carbohydrates.

If we look at the historical record, that should be pretty easy to check, right? All we need to do is identify a time when a group transferred from a meat-rich diet to a diet full of starchy carbohydrates, and see what happened to health outcomes. If your preferred sources are correct, the Neolithic revolution should have made everyone healthier - populations in the fertile crescent and Europe exchanged a meat-rich diet based predominantly on hunting with a diet almost exclusively of starchy carbs.

We actually observe the opposite -



That's a pattern we observe all over the world. What's your sources explaination for that?

As for "So I might totally have fallen to a big fraud initiated by the wheat, rice, potato, lentils, radishes, carrots, strawberry, apple and banana industry, trying to find clever ways to promote their malnutritious products"

- I understand you were being sarcastic, but arable farming is a huge lobby, particularly in the U.S - see the dubious claims about "wholegrain" plastered on everything, and the fact that HFCS is in everything in the U.S, because King Corn pretty much *is* the farming lobby. By comparison, animal husbandry has much less influence.

EDIT: This is a good source on the China Study: http://rawfoodsos.com/the-china-study/
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:42 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I think my biggest problem with my diet is how much I eat, as I have poor portion control and food is just so fucking tasty.

There's a very simple reason for that.

Calory-density.

Going for the most calory-rich food is something that made a lot of sense in a natural environment.

But when food is processed as in stripping out any fiber and only leaving fat and short-chained-sugars for plant-based food or completely removing the hassles of obtaining it for animal-based food, which is calory-rich anyways, then the natural reflex of aiming for a high-calory-density leads to a "poor portion-control".
It triggers the reward-centre and can come pretty close to an addiction.

The stomach has stretch sensors on it's outsides.
If it's empty, it signals hunger. If it's full, it signals satiation.
Water is pretty much ignored as it passes right through.
Very simple mechanism.
It, however doesn't know much about calory-density.

Unprocessed or very little processed plant-foods deliver about 500 kcal per stomach-load.
Processed sugars and unprocessed lean animal-based-foods have about twice that calory-density.
Fat, however is the most misleading by far. Especially if it's liquid at body-heat.
Pure oil has about 16 times the calory density of the unprocessed plant-foods.
Other fatty foods of course have less than that but it pretty-much scales with it's fat-content.

So, depending on what you eat you need varying degrees of self-control.

Was the same for me. I totally wanted to prevent gaining weight and the only way I saw was restricting myself to never eat until I'm actually satiated. This usually meant: No breakfast and, depending on whether or not I snacked in the afternoon, often also no dinner.

Now, by avoiding unnaturally high calory-density I eat much more in terms of volume and still managed to lose some of my already not that big weight.

Oh, and btw. cheese also was the main-reason I didn't consider this step earlier. They managed to create a really addictive thing with that.

You got me there right on the spot with mentioning excercise. Never actually did it much.
Doing some now, but still too little. As I said I used to control my weight by controling the calory-intake, so that never has been and especially now is not an issue.
But I totally wouldn't mind some more stamina and muscles. ^^




Ormurinn wrote:If we look at the historical record, that should be pretty easy to check, right? All we need to do is identify a time when a group transferred from a meat-rich diet to a diet full of starchy carbohydrates, and see what happened to health outcomes. If your preferred sources are correct, the Neolithic revolution should have made everyone healthier - populations in the fertile crescent and Europe exchanged a meat-rich diet based predominantly on hunting with a diet almost exclusively of starchy carbs.

We actually observe the opposite -


According to the article the transition from hunter/gatherer to agriculture does not necessarily suggest a reduction in meat-consumption. It mentions in several places that domestication of plants and animals went along hand in hand.

From bone-finding near stone-age-settlements we can conclude that they have eaten animals. But what's hard to conclude is the actual correlation of how much of their diet this made up. How is this measured?
Same goes for the agricultural populations? How to measure their consumption habits nowadays?

Also why not go the other way around and compare populations who have stood on the meat-rich diet and did not transfer to starchy carbohydrates?
The Inuit, for example, are not exactly known for their impressive height.
I don't realize what exactly the average body-height would allow to conclude anyways. Gorillas, who eat plants exclusively are bigger than humans, while chimpanzees, who sometimes eat termites and in rare cases even hunt and eat apes are smaller. On the other hand meat-eating Polar-Bears are bigger than plant-eating Panda-Bears.

Concluding stuff from archeology is all nice but when it comes to the effect of diet and causes of disease, it seems much easier to look at living beings instead of interpreting anomalies in ancient bones who tell very little about their actual diet.

If I type in "year old vegan" in google, I find a bunch of articles about people at high age thriving from that diet.

Now I was trying to find something about how meat-eaters fare in old-age. Unfortunately since eating meat is "normal" there is no way how to specify a google search.

I tried "year old meat" but all I found was a bunch of forum-entries where mothers asking what to do with their children who refuse to eat meat.


About the lobbies: I think when it comes to lobbying big companies are the same regardless how good or bad what they promote is. Profit is what counts for them. I can't say anything about "King Corn", since I live in Germany and when I look at the food ads here, a vast majority of them is for dairy, fast-food, sweets and snacks. Corn is not nearly as popular over here as it is in the US. There's almost no adds for the foods that are promoted by the likes of McDougall and Esselstyn.

Ormurinn wrote:EDIT: This is a good source on the China Study: http://rawfoodsos.com/the-china-study/

I agree on that being a well thought out critique.

I feel however, that many people like it for the wrong reason.
I wonder how many people who point on the so called "Minger Critique" actually bothered to actually read it and understood its intention.

The main point of the critics is that there is a contradiction in Campbells claims.
On the one hand he says that the whole nutrition is too complex to break it down to and analyse the effects of individual nutrients and on the other hand he creates connections between certain diseases and certain contents of animal-products, while disregarding possible other correlations.

I can't really disagree with her on saying that this popular-book is too much about picking specific correlations and too little about even trying to explain the effects going on.
It basically is like he's saying: "Look what I found out. I can't really tell you why it is like this but at least I can say it is this way."
The book probably is more propagandistic than it is scientific. Pseudoscience as others here liked to call it. Written to make an understandable point to people without scientific background one could also say.

So the whole critique is more about how the message is presented and how it is "incomplete" (as in not also giving more consideration to plant-based-risk-factors like refined sugar and oil) and not so much about saying that the message is wrong.

The danger now is, that people who know there's a "China Study" and what it promotes and who also know that there's a scientifically sound critique about the China Study conclude "The china-study is a hoax and thus what it promotes must be wrong."

So when Minger correctly states: "According to that data, the increased numbers of this type of cancer are not necessarily correlated to the fat in the animal-products but could also be correlated to the oil from plants. And Campell does not point this possible correlation out because it doesn't fit him for his message."

I interprete such a statement as: "While cutting out meat from my diet is a good firt step, it doesn't mean it's enough and there's not some other things to take care about aswell."
Others seem to want to understand it as Minger promoting meat-consumption.

Also: Minger's Diet, according to her site is: Raw-Plant-Based with occassional cooked and occassional meat, no refined sugars or oils and no wheat-products because she's allergic to it.

That's actually pretty close to what Campbell himself promotes and is most likely as good as it gets when you don't want to give up animal-products completely.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:15 pm UTC

Xilmi wrote:There's a very simple reason for that.

Calory-density.
No, I assure you, my portion control issues are because of exactly what I already alluded to: food is fucking tasty.

But yeah, I'm well aware of the evolutionary pressures that led to us finding high caloric density foods delicious.

Xilmi wrote:You got me there right on the spot with mentioning excercise. Never actually did it much.
Doing some now, but still too little. As I said I used to control my weight by controling the calory-intake, so that never has been and especially now is not an issue.
But I totally wouldn't mind some more stamina and muscles. ^^
For what it's worth, my fiance and I joke about people being 'skinny fat', that is, they don't eat much (or they eat healthily), and are as a result of that, thin, but are extremely out of shape. They couldn't run a mile to save their lives, to a pull up or a push up, and are generally very weak.

I don't consider that to be healthy. I'd rather eat less than optimally, be considered 'slightly overweight', and be able to run a marathon, rock climb for a few hours, and bench press >200, just to throw out a smattering of silly physical benchmarks. Cutting calories will help me stay more fit, eating more healthful foods may help me stay more fit, but not exercising is going to very rapidly eliminate my ability to remain fit.

I don't mean for this to sound aggressive or be offensive, so apologize in advance if it does: I think telling people they're being unhealthy with their diet, while not exercising, is a very self defeating enterprise. I most assuredly eat fattier foods than you, and I would bet dollars to delicious, delicious donuts that I have a lower resting heart rate and lower blood pressure, to again pick a few silly physical benchmarks.

I'll let Orm reply to the other part of your post.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:30 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I don't mean for this to sound aggressive or be offensive, so apologize in advance if it does: I think telling people they're being unhealthy with their diet, while not exercising, is a very self defeating enterprise. I most assuredly eat fattier foods than you, and I would bet dollars to delicious, delicious donuts that I have a lower resting heart rate and lower blood pressure, to again pick a few silly physical benchmarks.

No worries, this doesn't sound offensive at all and I know you are right that excercise is much more important for fitness and strength than just eating well alone.

Your bet actually made me become really curious as to what my resting heart rate actually is.

Tried around for quite a while to finally find a good spot to feel the beats consistently.
I counted 74 beats in one minute. I know that's not a bad value but since you betted, I'd assume yours is quite a bit below that.
I have no equipment for testing the blood-pressure though.

So I'm pretty sure, you win your bet and can keep your high-calory-density donuts for yourself (not that I wanted them anyways ;) ) and I'll start to excercise more.

Started this days morning by taking the bicycle instead of the car. I was pretty slow when going up the hill to here and another bicycle passed me with like 5 times my speed. :o
On the positive side: I didn't feel nearly as exhausted as I remember feeling when I did this the last time.
The way back has very little training-value as it's either downhill or flat.

Doing that every day should be a good step into the right direction and I will likely recheck my heart-rate once in a while.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Ormurinn » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:37 am UTC

Raw food advocates are bonkers.

Particularly you xilmi, if you're vegan, being a raw foodie too may well kill you. The majority of non-fruit plant foods are poisonous to some degree - they want to be to discourage herbivores.

Wheat contains phytates and lectin. Cassava/manioc is poisonous. Beans are also full of lectin and haemaglutinin, same goes for chickpeas. Eating raw potato will make you sick. You need to cook plants!

Since humans went through an extended period of carnivory and our guts - no longer needing to be as developed as our new food was more nutrient dense became smaller (to allow for our larger brains), we're not as good at digesting vegetable matter as obligate herbivores.

All cooking does is turn long chain molecules into short chain ones - making them easier to absorb. Cooking makes things more nutritious, not less.

Seriously, the two most important steps in hominid evolution were becoming carnivorous, and the use of fire to cook food. They're essential to what humans *are*. Give up one if you must, to give up both is crazy.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:29 am UTC

I have no idea where you got the idea that I only eat raw food because I'm pretty sure I never said something like that.

There certainly is a lot of food I do eat raw. Like bananas, strawberries, radishes and other fruits and vegetables.

But I certainly do cook most of the starchy-stuff like rice, potatoes, lentils and beans and I eat wheat usually in form of pasta or bread.

What I do avoid is highly processed stuff, like sweets and chips which mostly consist of refined sugar or refined oil.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Thu May 01, 2014 7:50 pm UTC

I've considered going vegan because I don't like wasting resources on animals.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu May 01, 2014 8:27 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I've considered going vegan because I don't like wasting resources on animals.
Fuckin' cows, eating all our good soybeans, drinkin' all our good water.

Shit, that's one reason TO eat them. The bastards.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Fri May 02, 2014 7:58 am UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I've considered going vegan because I don't like wasting resources on animals.

You got my fullest support on that.

I suggest getting started by doing a 7-day-trial-period while simultaneously trying to get as informed as possible about the effects on the environment, the animals and of course your health.

That's pretty much how I did it.
When I started I had very little knowldege but a lot of uncertainties about all of this but, risking I'm repeating anything I've written before now, after 4 days of massive information-intake I had enough to be convinced that it simply is a very good decision.

If you want I can post some youtube links that I consider among the most helpful in that regard.

Izawwlgood wrote:Fuckin' cows, eating all our good soybeans, drinkin' all our good water.

Shit, that's one reason TO eat them. The bastards.

I wouldn't necessarily blame the cows on that.
First of all they are not exactly "fuckin'". The majority of them is artificially inseminated and never gets to see a male other than their own baby before it's taken away from them. If they wouldn't give birth to a child every year, they wouldn't lactate. Simple as that.

Allmost all males are slaughtered after their initial rapid growth period because they are useless for the dairy-industry. That is at a time when one still considers them as babies.

The females go through 4-5 of those impregnation/giving birth-cycles before they are slaughtered aswell at about a quarter of their natural lifespan because the diminishing returns become unprofitable for the dairy industry.

I feel the way you talk about them could be slightly more empathic towards their situation. Have you ever looked one into the eyes or caressed her head?
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri May 02, 2014 1:09 pm UTC

Xilmi wrote:I feel the way you talk about them could be slightly more empathic towards their situation. Have you ever looked one into the eyes or caressed her head?


Yes, and then it methane-farted and helped destroy our atmosphere. Fuckin' cows.

But seriously now, that's why I find a terrible idea to form an emotional bond with something that might become your dinner someday. It makes things weird. Look,I see nothing wrong with someone being a vegan, by all means, go ahead and be happy. But unfortunately, meat *is* part of our diet, and this means cute animals get to die for our Sunday barbecues. Keep in mind though, I'm fairly certain we are among the least cruel killers/carnivores of the world. Nature is a scary place.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Xilmi » Fri May 02, 2014 3:27 pm UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:But seriously now, that's why I find a terrible idea to form an emotional bond with something that might become your dinner someday.
It makes things weird.

Apparently we seem to agree that the combination of those two things is pretty weird.
So the only remaining difference is the way of how we resolve that weirdness by leaving out a different one of those two.

PolakoVoador wrote:unfortunately, meat *is* part of our diet

Wait, so you also think that meat being part of your diet is unfortunate?
I felt exactly the same and I think I found a pretty good solution for that! ;)

PolakoVoador wrote:I'm fairly certain we are among the least cruel killers/carnivores of the world. Nature is a scary place.

Well, at least quantity-wise no other killer comes even close to your cruelty. 56 billion deaths a year caused by just one species is quite remarkable.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Whizbang » Fri May 02, 2014 3:34 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote: Eating raw potato will make you sick.


I eat raw potatoes. They're pretty tasty... sort of. They need salt, and they kind of taste like an apple made of dirt. It is a weird taste, anyway, but satisfying. When I make mashed potatoes, I'll usually munch on a raw one while I prepare the rest.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri May 02, 2014 4:02 pm UTC

Xilmi wrote:
PolakoVoador wrote:But seriously now, that's why I find a terrible idea to form an emotional bond with something that might become your dinner someday.
It makes things weird.

Apparently we seem to agree that the combination of those two things is pretty weird.
So the only remaining difference is the way of how we resolve that weirdness by leaving out a different one of those two.

PolakoVoador wrote:unfortunately, meat *is* part of our diet

Wait, so you also think that meat being part of your diet is unfortunate?
I felt exactly the same and I think I found a pretty good solution for that! ;)

Actually, no, I don't think it is unfortunate, as I don't see nothing inherently wrong with a somewhat meat-based diet. What I was trying to say is: yes, animals we find cute and can bond with are going to be butchered for our dinner. Though luck.

Just to be clear, it was never my intention to question your personal solution for that :) As I said before, go ahead and do whatever makes you happy.


Xilmi wrote:
PolakoVoador wrote:I'm fairly certain we are among the least cruel killers/carnivores of the world. Nature is a scary place.

Well, at least quantity-wise no other killer comes even close to your cruelty. 56 billion deaths a year caused by just one species is quite remarkable.


I wouldn't call it cruelty, just as I wouldn't call a lion killing a gazelle cruelty just for the killing per se. We at least sometimes try not to make the animals we eat suffer that much, probably. Also, we make a hell of an effort to keep the species we feed on thriving. The same cannot be said for any other animal (I believe). We are being far more responsible then any other species would be, had they our numbers or dominance over the others.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 02, 2014 4:19 pm UTC

Xilmi, how old are you? You're being awfully pedantic in a way that sort of makes me think you're a middle schooler who just stumbled on some of this literature. That picture of a cow and a girl cuddling is the sort of stuff you find in PETA pamphlets.

Xilmi wrote:I feel the way you talk about them could be slightly more empathic towards their situation. Have you ever looked one into the eyes or caressed her head?
Yes; they're animals. I feel empathy and compassion for them, but that doesn't mean I feel they are anything other than animals. I find cows to be adorable and kind of weird and sometimes very personable and silly. I also find steak delicious. To me, animals have uses, they're tools, and treating your tools well is important, but you shouldn't feel bad that you used a hammer to sink a nail.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Spambot5546 » Fri May 02, 2014 4:30 pm UTC

I continue to eat meat, because I don't hate cows.

David Wong actually wrote an article not long ago about, among other things, how the inefficiencies of producing meat may lead to it no longer being a major part of our diet. It was stuff I'd heard before, but it still made me sad. Red meat is freaking delicious, and even though I don't eat a lot of it (the fat to protein ratio is just so much better in chicken) I would still be sad to live in a world without it.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby JudeMorrigan » Fri May 02, 2014 4:52 pm UTC

One thing to keep in mind - if everyone spontaneously decided to go vegan, the results would likely not be terribly good for the cows. You'd pretty much have to have one last mass slaughter of those cute and cuddly cows and simply not breed replacements. That, in turn, ties back to my own reaction to the comics. Rather than nudging me away from meat-eating, I thought it was a fascinating example of how evolution works on species rather than individuals. I mean, it may not be so great for the individual cows, but "being tasty to humans" has been a *spectacularly* effective evolutionary strategy for cows.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Whizbang » Fri May 02, 2014 4:58 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:One thing to keep in mind - if everyone spontaneously decided to go vegan, the results would likely not be terribly good for the cows. You'd pretty much have to have one last mass slaughter of those cute and cuddly cows and simply not breed replacements. That, in turn, ties back to my own reaction to the comics. Rather than nudging me away from meat-eating, I thought it was a fascinating example of how evolution works on species rather than individuals. I mean, it may not be so great for the individual cows, but "being tasty to humans" has been a *spectacularly* effective evolutionary strategy for cows.


At this point there are no wild cows, right? If we weren't going to eat them, most people would either slaughter them, like you say, or neglect them. Within a cow generation or two, they would enter the endangered species list. They are not like horses where people would keep them as pets and for show and prestige. They would simply not be bred, except maybe by a few. Taking away human support would most likely make them go extinct, as we've already taken over most pastureland.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby gmalivuk » Fri May 02, 2014 5:56 pm UTC

Xilmi wrote:Well, at least quantity-wise no other killer comes even close to your cruelty. 56 billion deaths a year caused by just one species is quite remarkable.
It's really not. A single colony of bats can cause that many deaths every few months.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri May 02, 2014 6:09 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Xilmi wrote:Well, at least quantity-wise no other killer comes even close to your cruelty. 56 billion deaths a year caused by just one species is quite remarkable.
It's really not. A single colony of bats can cause that many deaths every few months.


But insects are not fuzzy cuddly bunnies, so they don't count, right?

JudeMorrigan wrote:[...]I mean, it may not be so great for the individual cows, but "being tasty to humans" has been a *spectacularly* effective evolutionary strategy for cows.


Not just for cows, but for lots and lots of things that fall on the "tasty" categorie.
Last edited by PolakoVoador on Fri May 02, 2014 6:11 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby gmalivuk » Fri May 02, 2014 6:10 pm UTC

The OP doesn't eat honey, so evidently they do count.
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Re: 1338 changed my life! (veganism)

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 02, 2014 6:14 pm UTC

Whales are assholes man, eating all those poor krill.
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