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Highly opinionated opinion piece

by Frank Forencich on August 29, 2012

“There are many ways up the mountain, but each of us must choose a practice that feels true to his own heart. It is not necessary for you to evaluate the practices chosen by others.”

- Jack Kornfield, “Take the One Seat”

 

If you want to start an argument in today’s health and fitness world, just put together a sentence that includes the words food, diet or nutrition. As soon as that statement escapes your lips or your laptop, someone will step forward to attack you for being immoral, cognitively challenged or a mindless dupe of the agricultural-industrial complex. Within minutes, even seconds, your premises and your character will be called into question. If you dare to make a health claim, your presumptions, data and sources will be attacked.

Everyone has an opinion about nutrition these days and no one seems shy about imposing it on others or attacking nutritional philosophies that differ from their own. Militant vegetarians like to emphasize their moral superiority with the phrase “Meat is murder.” Not to be out-quipped, Paleo enthusiasts counter that “Wheat is murder.” In fact, many pro-meat militants seem to take intense pleasure in ridiculing the health claims, moral arguments and intelligence of vegetarians.

Make no mistake; I am quite familiar with the power of diet to influence health and I am also well aware of the fact that food choices have powerful ripple effects that extend far beyond the plate and the table, all the way to public health, habitat and climate. But still, why this near-religious fervor around food? And why are we so quick to attack other people’s ideas and choices? Food, formerly something to nourish and sustain us on the grassland, has now become a focal point for argument, judgment, prejudice, and fundamentalism.

But the folly of our dogmatism becomes obvious as soon as we look into the real lives of real people making personal food choices. Take the life of Jane Goodall for example. Ms. Goodall has been a vegetarian for decades and is also a highly influential activist for a healthy and sustainable future. Born in 1934, she is now 78 and travels the world, speaking out for sane environmental action, habitat preservation and education. At last check, her health was good. Millions of people, myself included, take inspiration from her life and her work.

But according to the strident voices in Paleo diet circles, Jane Goodall is a fool. Her food choices are catastrophic for her health. By depriving her body of animal protein, she’s promoting disease and compromising her performance. Without adequate nutrients, she is certain to die an early death. If only she would start eating meat, she would be happier. But even more important, we would be happier.

And it’s not just Jane Goodall by the way. Other famous vegetarians include Plato, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci. Are we to suppose that these people would have been more effective, happier or healthier if they had just eaten more meat? Don’t be ridiculous.

The vegetarian-carnivore shouting match has become a polarizing and destructive noise machine. And all sides seem to miss the big picture. That is, food is an incredibly complex subject with many layers of meaning. It is physical, personal, cultural, emotional and spiritual. Food has genuine health effects to be sure, but humans do not live by biochemistry alone. We are omnivores by evolution and nature, but the body is incredibly resilient and can thrive with many different kinds of diets. This, in large measure, is why humans have been so successful.

Modern food presents us with a host of excruciating moral, health and environmental dilemmas, but these dilemmas will not be solved by vitriol, bile, dogma or ridicule. They can only be solved by well-informed individuals making good choices in their course of their daily lives. As trainers and coaches, our job is not to destroy the opposition. Rather, our job is to learn, educate and inspire.

If you’ve discovered a formula for eating that balances the competing demands of health, morality, sustainability and pleasure, then by all means, practice that formula. But don’t assume that your formula is right for everyone else. Important as it is, food is only one dimension of a healthy life.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Brad G. August 29, 2012 at 9:43 am

Bravo Frank! The voice of reason.

Stephanie August 29, 2012 at 10:21 am

I agree with your highly opinionated opinion :). I hope there are many who agree, but I usually feel pretty alone in thinking that if a diet/lifestyle is working for someone, whether it be vegan, vegetarian, paleo, WAPF, etc., I am happy for that person and hope I can learn something from him or her. Thanks for a great post!

Khaled August 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Diet is like politics and religion, and it is tied to both pretty closely sometimes. I generally make a point of avoiding the topic, even when people ask me about it, unless they have demonstrated a willingness to discuss religions or political stances not their own.

I think it is because we attach so much cultural significance, and we realize that there are health and social implications to how we eat, that we are so sensitive to comments on diet.

Neal Matheson August 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm

In point of fact Plato was not a vegetarian, he merely stated that slaughtering animals might make it easier to slaughter humans. Ghandi was an racist who also proclaimed vegans “enemies of India. His Vegetarianism was based on moral principals.
Jane Goodall didn’t want to study the meat consumption and hunting of “her” chimps because she found it “morally repugnant” and that is the main issue;
Food is not moral it is biological.

Frank Forencich August 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm

This is exactly what I’m talking about.

las artes August 30, 2012 at 5:29 am

Your most critically intuitive and sensibly derived impetus–to “remain in your own back-yard”–is perhaps key to those successes which you have thus far managed with regards your own personal health and homeostasis…. nothing so easy for most to encounter, and especially on a (correct me if I’m wrong here) a somewhat independent basis (of course, all ways are the queen’s ways, and we all rely on the wisdom-or folly–passed on from others, so it is key to remain humble and appreciative). You have my attention, particularly for your mention of the approach to healing and health is best understood on an individual basis. You are so keen as to observe that there is no optimal or “perfect” diet for any one individual. As a matter of fact, if one is so trained or attuned, a good deal of flux might be requisite with one’s food selections, so as to optimize health outcomes.

Mike OD August 30, 2012 at 6:42 am

Perhaps all this noise only leads people to seek better answers from within. I try to not use any labels outside of “real food”, not on anyone’s team or side. People defending sides would rather be “right” than open minded..

Josh August 30, 2012 at 8:18 am

What’s the source of this, Frank?!

As you mention, the arguments come from every direction – moral, aesthetic, dietetic, “health”/longevity.

But it our adaptive ability is the hallmark of our species.

Seems like basic in-group/out-group behavior…because it isn’t attached to habitat anymore, that’s for sure.

Regarding the vegetarian question – it’s easier to be a vegetarian in an area where plants grow all year round (like India). Not so feasible in other habitats. As Tom Brown Jr. once said “From November to March in 3/4 of the US you cannot survive on plant material alone…”

It is fascinating that in our “advanced” “technological” state, we find it necessary to fight about useless topics!!

Rather than…

Lubo August 31, 2012 at 11:36 am

Nothing, absolutely nothing really in one’s life, matters. Don’t believe me? Go ask those who have couple more weeks to live – ask THEM what really has mattered in their life.

People suffer the consequences of their own (curtesy of our society) domestication, stuff and opinions of others thought to them by ego dominated others, ideas later adopted and accepted for their own (now worth to fight for) – that ‘s the problem. Monkeys don’t understand what “problem” is ….they just ARE.

ross eathorne September 2, 2012 at 1:58 am

Enjoy regular and varied exercise.
Love your life.
Eat real food.
Calm your mind,

D. M. Mitchell September 2, 2012 at 8:36 am

I wonder if the vegetarians mentioned in the article are (were) vegans or what is called ovo-lacto vegetarians. If you are eating mostly vegetable matter along with dairy and eggs you can have quite a healthy diet. But then I don’t consider ov0-lacto vegetarians to be vegetarians. After all, eggs and dairy products to not grow on trees and bushes.

Pierre September 2, 2012 at 8:38 am

Malarkey…it is the vegetarians who are the militant ones. Every year for the past 17 years, I have had the pleasure of going to summer vacation with my wife’s family which include several vegans/vegetarians. Nearly 30 of us convene on the beach for a week of fun. Moreover, it is fun…except for meals. See everyone gets a night where they must form a team and cook dinner for us all.

To give an example of just how fun this is just this past vacation my wife and I prepared a rib roast with brussel sprouts, green beans, 2 different kinds of potatoes, 2 different kinds of potatoes and various other sorts of rabbit food. The first two vegetarians up to the counter to be served by me rudely demand to know if ANY of this is vegetarian…my goodness she is staring at all those vegetables and asks that sort of militant dumb ass question. I was flabbergasted and have vowed next year to cook everything in bacon fat and lie about it until after dinner.

Now it should be said that the vegans/vegetarians had never reciprocated until this year when both my wife and I demanded that they also provide food the omnivores. They were indignant, naturally. For the previous 16 years the rest of us, nearly 25 people would simply go out to dinner when we were presented with items such as putrid soy macaroni and cheese.

So no this fight did not start with the paleo folks, we aren’t trying to make a political statement with our eating habits. We are simply trying to be healthy. Vegans and other rabbit types are making political statements…and I say screw them.

Andrew September 2, 2012 at 9:55 am

Damn right I’ll invoke the agricultural/industrial state every time. Every farm is a displaced ecosystem. Every displaced ecosystem is displaced animal habitat. The push to feed an endless expansion in human population through farming compatible with both veg*n ‘ethics’ and Monsanto’s shareholder interests is not a trivial conversation that can be accurately abstracted into the health of individuals. Every acre of soy or corn or wheat represents 2 bison that can’t exist on obliterated prairie, or who knows how many elk, deer, wolves, and various varmints.

It’s like religion an politics because it directly involves the monotheistic religions that arose to legitimize agriculture and land rights, and the states that arose to legitimize agriculture and land rights.

Roughly 57% of vegans are in it for the ethics. On the other hand most paleo folks are in it for the health. Regrettably, those 57% of veg*ns are fundamentally opposed to the basic concept of paleo, and many have active voices in influencing the public policies that directly impact our food supply (Bill Cinton springs to mind). If this actually was a question of health vs. health, the conversations might happen differently. As it tends to be ethics and politics vs. health (however obfuscated by rhetoric), I wouldn’t expect a cordial meeting of the minds any time soon.

Tamara September 2, 2012 at 11:24 am

I have no problems with those who chooses a vegetarian diet, no matter what their reasons, and I know that for some people it works very well. However, my body has chosen my diet for me — and with serious allergies to both soybeans and wheat, it’s not a vegetarian one. I just wish that the vegetarians would recognize that their path isn’t, and more to the point, can’t be, for everybody. Of course I support sustainability, what educated person doesn’t? But not so much that I’m willing to compromise my own health — and nobody should expect me to.

Charl September 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm

It’s interesting when famous vegetarians are mentioned it’s always Leonardo and Mohandas, never Adolf. Yes, Hitler was a vegetarian too, as well as teetotaler and a non-smoker!

George Henderson September 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I think it is right to question people practicing veganism in utero or forcing veganism on their children, when there has never been a multi-generational vegan culture in history.
I wouldn’t think it right to raise children on an all-meat diet, but at least the Inuit proved that it can produce healthy kids.
There are also vegans and vegetarians – I know quite a few – who are obviously unhealthy and suffering health problems – IBS, PCOS, arthritis, anxiety, paranoia – obviously related to their lifestyle.
There may be hundreds of these for every Jane Goodall.

Dr. Thermodynamics September 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm

“Every farm is a displaced ecosystem.”

And every farm-replaced ecosystem has itself previously displaced an ecosystem. A farm is an ecosystem as well. You’re not championing “ecosystems”, but rather those particular ecosystems that existed prior to the shift to agriculture.

“Every displaced ecosystem is displaced animal habitat.”

No, it’s not. Life is constantly replaced by new or different forms of life. The previously adapted varieties of life of a particular ecosystem have their slots taken by those which can thrive more fully in the new ecosystem which has replaced theirs. It’s not animal life that is displaced, but a particular type of animal life. Another type moves in. Someday, that type will then have to move out.

By ridding the world of farms, the human population would drastically decrease. It would be replaced by bison, elk, deer, wolves, and various varmints. The displaced farm ecosystem would be integral in displacing the homo sapiens animal. Many of us salivate at this scenario, egotistically imagining ourself as among the survivors, shaking our neo-clovis point spears and dancing on the graves of the agri-suckers . Yet just because humans, in particular those of the post-war capitalist variety, are seemingly irrevocably stupid, destructive, and doomed does not mean that they should be judged by different standards as every other form of life. To replace a man with a bison might be good for the bison, but not for that replaced man. Your separation of the bizarre and grotesque animal “human” from the rest of the animal world is weirdly similar to the beliefs of monotheists.

I must go work outside now. There’s Spotted Knapweed invading my area. It changes the local ecosystem by self-producing the herbicide “catechin”, which destroys the diverse forms of plant life it comes into contact with, eventually turning the colonized ecosystem into a virtual monoculture, where essentially only Spotted Knapweed can survive. I will not try to explain to the Spotted Knapweed the error of its ways, for to it its method is perfect and I would be in the wrong to tell it that the successful strategy its currently using is not an appropriate one.

Instead, I’ll simply pull it out by the roots.

Boris Yakubchik September 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm

To claim that food we eat is outside criticism of morality is absurd. If I wanted to eat human flesh – you’d say “but it’s immoral to kill humans for food”. Even if it was true that eating human flesh were to extend my life by 10 years, it would not justify killing a fellow human. No reasonable vegetarian will claim animals deserve all the rights humans have, but the right not to be tortured should be given to other sentient beings, especially when it’s so easy to give!

A diet that contains less meat than what an average American eats is a healthier diet, but my point is that it doesn’t matter even if it wasn’t. The question one should ask before s/he contributes to factory-farmed animal torture (via buying the meat, etc) is whether the health benefits, and pleasures, and whatever else of this one dish (compared to a meat-less dish!) are high-enough to justify inflicting months of abysmal misery upon a fellow sentient creature.

Danielle @ Analytical Mom September 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm

How fortunate for Mr. Thermodynamics (my favorite subject in college, by the way, love the name!), Mr. Yakubchik, and humanity as a whole, that there is a third possibility in addition to Wild Clovis-point Spear Man and Fossil Fuel-dependent Agri-industrial Animal Cruelty Man. It is Permaculture Man, who gently guides natural inputs into a design ideal for humans and animals alike. And those happy animals need somewhere to go when their useful lives are over!

Stan September 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm

With 2/3 of the population overweight and obese and growing (pun intended) we better address practical, non-corporate-driven means to feed the world with better-adaptive food. To ignore what is occurring in so many cultures via poor, processed food composition and the consequential diabetes, strokes, hb pressure, irritable bowel, metabolic-insulin-adipose inflammation, and 100′s associated diet epidemics is irresponsible.

Moreover, a political, economic and social culture where military dominance, trickle-up wealth imbalance and depletion of the natural land resources is justified for purely profit-driven reward will allow such callousness. It accepts factory farm production in all its filth, gore and cruelty without question.

Have people survived through 200,000 years of tubers, tallow and grubs and now high fructose corn syrup with hybridized-gluten-altered wheat and corn?

Sure. However, survival with dramatic changes within a fifty year tidal wave of government/food industry partnership has and is killing 7 billion people crumb by crumb and spoon by USDA plate directive.

If you think it’s simply calories in and calories out–you’re either young and metabolically damaged yet or not cognizant of what is happening to your own health and all those people you see broadening before your eyes.

Stan September 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm

“you’re either young and metabolically NOT damaged…”

Txomin September 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Thank you for ridiculing Paleos and praising Vegetarians.

Andrew September 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Mr. Thermodynamics (“Mr.” seems more appropriate unless “Dr.” is an abbreviation for Draconian, in which case you have my sincere apologies),

You have nicely illustrated my implied point that agriculture (veg*n) vs. wildness (paleo) is a zero sum game in terms of disparate food sources derived from disparate land-use patterns. However, your assumptions — about the brevity of timeframes required to induce the ghastly “replacement” you suggest — lead you to a flawed analysis. You’re so caught up in the myth of progress that you fail to consider the possibility of gradual population normalization through decreased reproductive rates and natural deaths. Indeed, when individual women are given control of their own reproduction, population growth trends tend to drop below replacement rates.

Perhaps you’re referring to the hypothetical replacement of potential unborn humans with future bison (etc.) which are actually born. I hope I don’t have to point out the philosophical problems inevitable with the speculation — on the whims of invisible celestial superhero magicians — that would be required to sustain such a viewpoint.

Your confused belief that agriculture is equivalent to nature leads you astray in the hackneyed attempt to epithetically debunk my argument by the invocation of the zombie of montheism. It’s odd that you’d see my recommendation to rewild humans and the large portion of nature currently subjugated to the jackboot of agriculture as atomization rather than symbiosis.

And yes, by all means, please do get back to your roots.

Tony Federico September 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm

With an abundance of food, and a comfortable separation from the actual demands of growing/raising it, we can turn the act of eating into a pastime, complete with teams, rivalries, and heated contests.

The fact that we so naturally fall into this habit demonstrates how adept we are at creating “in” and “out” groups. Essentializing others into caricatures and stereotypes comes just as easily us as reaching for fast food hamburgers and french fries and the result of this tendency (war, genocide, racism, sexism, etc.) are just as devastating.

We are not slaves to our tendencies however, and the historically low rates of violence and near-universal recognition of basic human (and even animal!) rights demonstrates that progress is possible.

Frank Forencich September 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I love this comment. You hit the nail on the head.

George September 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Frank,
Great piece!
I love to argue almost as much as I like to eat so I take the opposing view of whoever brings up an opinion about diet. I tell vegetarians I’m paleo and tell the paleo advocate I’m a vegetarian. Sometimes I tell my unsuspecting adversary that I only eat fast food, but I’m in “shape” because I don’t order soda. Ever.
I’m amazed at how emotional some people get over diet and differing opinions.
Keep up the good work!

Frank Forencich September 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Thank you SO MUCH for this refreshing and wise perspective! A sense of humor goes a long way!

Tina September 3, 2012 at 7:45 am

Way to mix the pot Frank! :-)
Remember the saying “Food for thought.”
You are what you eat its chemistry. Just be mindful of what your body says to you after you eat it. And leave out the “judgement of others”.
Best wishes with the Dojo and the dream.

Kyle September 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Dr. Thermodynamics. So you are basically saying that we need the amount of agriculture we have to sustain the human population?

John September 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Morality is always a subject that leads to conflict. I’ve long theorized that the viscousness of attacks on vegetarians and vegans stems from the fact that animal-eaters at some level recognize that not killing animals is morally superior to killing animals. Of course, the feelings of moral-superiority in vegetarians and vegans often leads them to be extremely judgmental of those who do not share their moral outlook. I have not seen much appreciable difference in health between animal-eaters and non-animal-eaters; it seems that the quality of food, and whether it is appropriate for your body means more than the choice to consume animal flesh. I do know vegans who I suspect would be healthier eating animals, and paleos who would I suspect would be healthier eating a lot less, or no, animals. However the issue of whether it is appropriate to sacrifice one’s health in the name of animal welfare is a tricky one. Vegans have been quick to seize on any evidence of veganism being the optimal healthy diet to sidestep that debate. But as someone who finds evidence of veganism being the healthiest diet for all humans to be utterly unconvincing I feel the debate is one of balance in the treatment of animals with the health of humans.

As for the oft-repeated myth that Hitler was a vegetarian, there are many accounts from the 30′s and 40′s describing Hitler eating animals (ham, sausages, and birds). Whether it was the case as Payne suggests that this myth was invented and promoted by Goebbels to portray Hitler as an ascetic or whether Hitler did engage in periods of vegetarianism due to his having poor gastro-intestinal health is harder to discern. There’s also plenty of evidence that Hitler drank alcohol, though his non-smoking does not seem to be in doubt. Of course, we don’t use Hitler’s hatred of smoking as evidence that smoking is preferable to non-smoking the way people seem drawn to the idea of Hitler’s distaste for meat as a reason to avoid vegetarianism.

Dr. Thermodynamics September 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm

“…your assumptions — about the brevity of timeframes required to induce the ghastly “replacement” you suggest — lead you to a flawed analysis.”

Show me where I made those assumptions. Methinks you’ve created them – there’s nothing about the size of the timeframe in anything I wrote, just the simple fact that decreased agriculture means decreased numbers of homo sapiens, tomorrow or a hundred thousand years down the line. Contrary to the image you’re trying to create of me, I don’t find the projected replacement “ghastly”. It just is.

“You’re so caught up in the myth of progress…”

LOL. Again, an odd reading of what’s not there. Myth of progress? Wrong guy. How dost thou read that into my few paragraphs? I’m an evolutionist, bro, not your straw man. There is no progress, and I didn’t need Wessels or Nietzsche to tell me it – there is eternal adaptation and there are constantly changing rates of fitness, among every form of life. So I ask, please don’t use tired Zerzan-like tactics to defend yourself against people who point out flaws in your approach. It’s like Luther throwing his inkwell at the Devil.

“…that you fail to consider the possibility of gradual population normalization through decreased reproductive rates and natural deaths.”

Absolutely no such thing as “population normalization” for any species over time. That’s subjective, just like the assignation of value to different forms of life is subjective. Because of the thumbs up or thumbs down you give to certain varieties of hominids creeping around the planet currently, you want to systematically rewild the globe and replace some forms of life with others – which I’d guess is your post-Baptist version of heaven. Fine. I’d like it too. My smallest son wants to jump to the moon. Neither will happen.

What you could do is leave your tantrum phase, if indeed it is a phase, and stare at the world objectively, without putting man outside of it, like those people you keep claiming you’re so different than and superior to do. I’d guess this clumping of man on one side, nature on the other is a legacy of your Christian upbringing. Continue on your journey and lose it. “Nature” is not the antiquated, mid-19th Century glossy view of a place where man – or at least modern, industrialized man – doesn’t exist. You know, the Cree and whitetails are part of “nature” but the Hasidim and yapping yuppie dogs of Borough Park are not. That’s romantic and it’s wrong. And just as none of us are separate from the biota, and never can be no matter what we do, agriculture is not something “against” nature. There is nothing against/outside of/beyond “nature”. Nature is the totality, the interaction of all organic and inorganic forms.

Agriculture is the manipulation of the environment by one species of animal to increase the carrying capacity of said environment in order to increase the fitness of this species. That is all. It has benefited some forms of life, and harmed others. You do not like many of those it has benefited when compared to those it has harmed. Nor do I. When it comes to the mammalian realm, I choose tigers over obese slobs, for aesthetics if nothing else. But that’s the way things have gone, and (unfortunately, for me and the tigers) the way they’ll continue to go, barring some extraterrestrial event.

Why do you espouse the lifestyles of hunter-gatherer types as if they’re your new Jesus? Why direct all your indignant, crusading, Christian-like moralism at those who came after hunter-gatherers? Weren’t the hunter gatherers a far more terrible presence vis-a-vis the surrounding fauna than the previous “gatherers”, no hyphen? They too used applied technology to increase their fitness at the expense of other forms of life, just like the farming dudes who came after them. Certainly there’d be more fish without the shift by our ancestors from thorn hooks to bone and horn hooks to nets. Where went the mega-fauna of the pre-historic Americas? Killed off by agriculturalists or someone or something else? Were the buffalo herds better off when the pishkun of the hunter-gatherers began to be put into play, or beforehand, when they existed without homo sapiens?

A million years ago, roughly half a million ape-like men were on earth. At the dawn of the neolithic revolution, homo sapiens was at roughly 3,000,000. A sextupling, in a million years. Agriculture just sped up a process that goes hand in hand with increased capability for acquisition of resources, and that’s increased fitness. All you’re doing is screaming at the efficiency of this naked ape that currently rules the world. If you were a snail you’d be angry at Littoraria irrorata for destroying the cordgrass it shreds to grow its fungus on it.

Have to go. I’m getting a call from my brother in India, a polytheistic land that’s an environmental Shangri-La.

Frank Forencich September 4, 2012 at 7:26 am

OK, OK, it’s time to close out comments on this post. Let me just add one more thought:
As an occasional carnivore myself, I have my own personal opinions about what is right for my body and my health. And, I’ve also come to grips with the obvious moral dilemmas involved with animal food production. But this is my life, not anyone else’s. I presume no right to tell others how they should live or what food choices they should be making.

There is more to life than food. For example, I have a good friend who does great work in the world. He’s a peace activist and he also happens to be a vegetarian. He makes his choices. His health is sub-optimal, and he’s probably going to suffer some kind of degenerative disease as his body ages. I would rather that he took better care of himself, but at the same time, I respect his choices. He is a kind, intelligent and caring person. And that is the most important thing. Let’s focus on what really matters.

CJW September 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm

In my personal experience, the worst “pontificators” for their diets have almost always been the vegetarians – or worse – the vegans.

It’s one thing if they believe their diet is healthier for them personally, or even if they think it would be healthier for everyone. But what truly works them up into a religious fervor is their sense of moral superiority. Carnivores are just heartless murderers who support environment-destroying, animal-torturing industrial farming.

While I’ve met plenty of Paleo folks who are happy to impart the reasoning behind their diet and lifestyle choices when questioned (or even when not), I have yet to meet any who are so belligerent about it. They make fun of vegetarians precisely because the vegetarians keep getting so worked up and calling everyone else murderers.

It’s just food. You are food too. Just eat and be happy you’re alive today.

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