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Thread: Help me debate a vegan friend on facebook page

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    Lynnsey's Avatar
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    Help me debate a vegan friend on facebook

    Primal Fuel
    I am no good with debating....I don't believe I have confidence that I know stuff well enough to defend against someone else's viewpoint. Here's what has gone back and forth so far (he was my brother's best friend for many years, so I know him pretty well and was very surprised that he had become vegan):

    My friend's status update that started it all: "whole foods vegan diet is the perfect one to build strength, muscle, reduce bodyfat, elevate your metabolism, support optimal joint health, and keep the digestive system moving and functioning efficiently. Despite unfounded claims, a vegan diet is also shown to be superior for bone health. If you are new to a vegan diet, give your body ample time to detoxify and adapt. Then, prepare to reap the numerous benefits!"

    My response: "G, did you get a chance to read this link I posted before? http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the...act-or-fallac/ This explains why I can't do a vegan diet....and also why the china study is flawed."

    His response: "I disagree on the criticisms of the China Study, but I do not need the China Study to defend my position. Veganism is not a "new" diet, it is not a fad, and it will stand the test of time. It is a lifestyle that has been followed and promoted by some of the greatest thinkers and minds in history. I see, first hand, every day, what a diet of meat and dairy can do to the health of an individual. Americans are walking, talking examples of the meat and dairy diet, and the evidence clearly speaks for itself in that matter. Study after countless study are in favor of eating whole foods, vegetetables and fruits, grains and legumes over meat and dairy. I have YET to see one single vegetable, fruit, or whole food linked to heart disease, cancer, or obesity. Furthermore the vegan lifestyle is one that promotes compassion, and lives in harmony with nature, does not drain the world's water supplies, contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, or clear cut the world's great rainforests. I could go on ad infinitum on the reasons why I promote the vegan diet, and I have never felt more confident or unwavering about anything in my life."

    My response: "I agree about the horrific treatment of CAFO animals, and I struggle knowing that an animal had to die for my meal (even if they were raised in a big wide open field, grass fed, and were happy and healthy for their lives). And I'm not arguing about the health benefits of most vegetables, although fruits are mostly sugar so I have to disagree with that (with the exception of a couple like berries). Also, telling a celiac that whole grains are healthy is just not responsible. Wheat can do all sorts of terrible things to people's health and mind. http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/20...eat-belly.html and http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/20...free-diet.html Lierre Keith (who was a vegan) wrote a book called "The Vegetarian Myth" which I think you may find interesting when you talk about the environment among other things. And if you read "Good Calories Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes, you will find *tons* of studies that show how healthy a high fat, low carb diet with healthy saturated fat is.

    I respect you and others who eat a veg*n diet. The compassion you have for animals is admirable. But I can't accept it when it is generalized that a vegan diet is the healthiest for *everyone*. I've tried it, and I could not take the extreme hunger, blood sugar swings, gi issues, depression, and infertility I got from it. And I know a lot of others just like me. Sure, when you go from all the processed foods that an American eats on the SAD to veganism, of course one will feel healthier in the beginning. But long-term, if you just think about the extreme hunger and blood sugar issues eating vegan will bring, most people will not be able to sustain it. I'm glad you can! I a perfect world, I and many others would be able to as well. But, there is no comparison how healthier I feel (and look!) with a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet.

    Thanks for reading....and I know I am not going to change your mind which is fine, but I just wanted to put another perspective out there from someone who has tried both ways."

    His response: " if someone has Celiac's, that is a digestive disorder and problems can arise from eating grains. It is a disease that affects 1 out of 133 people in the US. T deny the other 132 people the opportunity to benefit from grains because of the incidence of this makes no sense, nor should it to you. If only 1 out of 133 people had a terrible reaction to meat, would you be out there speaking against meat? The truth is, the majority of people have "bad reactions" to meat and dairy - a HUGE percentage of people have allergies, sometimes severe to dairy - tainted meat has sickened and even killed thousands over the years. The long term prognosis of eating meat and dairy are grim as well - heart disease, cancer, and diabetes affect millions of people! I understand that you have had problems, but those personal issues should not blind your view of the whole picture.
    Furthermore, I'm not sure what blood sugar issues you are referring to about being vegan. Diabetes is the major blood sugar issue in this nation, and has been directly correlated to eating meat. If you are referring to some people's inability to process carbohydrates, well, that is largely a result of the destruction that meat has done to the body, the aftermath of years of poor dietary habits.
    Finally, to say I am irresponsible for promoting this lifestyle is an assertion that completely eludes my comprehension. I have complete faith that it is the way of eating that would definitely benefit the most people, animals, and our planet."

    My response: "Tainted spinach, sprouts, scallions, cilantro and peanut butter have also sickened and killed many. I respect your beliefs, and I know I am not going to convert you to eating meat, nor do I want to. I am however, very interested in reading more about your comment that diabetes is directly correlated to eating meat. Can you please direct me to where I can get more information on this? I want to mention that correlation does not equal causation. I test my blood sugar regularly, and my BG is below 100 2 hours after eating a high fat, low carb meal, and above 100 after I eat a meal high in carbs (whole grains and starches). Yes, this is insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) which is the step before full-blown diabetes. I want to avoid that at all costs, obviously.

    I also just want to say that I am enjoying our discussion and I am glad that we can voice our opinions and beliefs without it getting heated...., I so I enjoy a respectful debate. And love to learn and explore new ideas too, so thanks!! "

    His response: "google correlation between meat, particularly processed, and diabetes, and you will get a clearer idea of its relationship to diabetes - the idea that carbohydrate ingestion, even simple sugars, creates diabetes is just plain false...and the irony of tainted vegetables is that the cause is often related to contaminated groundwater runoff (sometimes carrying the e-coli virus) from factory farms and unsanitary practices. Clearly, you must take in as much information as you can, use your judgement and do what you feel is best for you. And yes, I'm enjoying our discussion as well ."

    One of his other friend's responses: "If only an eggplant tasted like a steak id be a vegan in a heartbeat"

  2. #2
    DigitalSurgeon's Avatar
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    point them to Denise Minger response to T Colin Campbell. Game set match for the vegan.

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    Lynnsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalSurgeon View Post
    point them to Denise Minger response to T Colin Campbell. Game set match for the vegan.
    I did....of course it was dismissed immediately.

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    Then your friend is not worth wasting time on debating this kind of thing.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    totally agree.

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    Acteon's Avatar
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    >mericans are walking, talking examples of the meat and dairy diet, and the evidence clearly speaks for itself in that matter.

    The American isn't just a meat and dairy diet. Processed grains is a big part of it. You find corn syrup and corn starch in just about every processed food you can purchase in the stores.

    You could also say that you love plants and can't abide the horrible treatment that is done to plants to feed people. ;-)

    Veganism is just a diet part of it is an ethical belief. Much like religion, people just dig in obstinately and stick to their beliefs even in the face of overwelming evidence. For example some people still believe that the earth is the biblical age 8,000 years old despite a mountain of evidence to the countrary.

    Eating Primal isn't an abandonment of fruits and veggies anyways. It is an omnivorous diet.

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    ProtoAlex's Avatar
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    Celiac disease is only a symptom of the real problem: gluten intolerance. Celiac Disease is defined medically as the presence of observed (doctor has to find it) blunted microvili. It has been shown in multiple studies that this damage is completely not necessary for consumption of gluten in someone with a gluten intolerance to cause autoimmune damage to various organs in your body such as your heart, lungs, and brain (semi important ones). While the incidence of Celiac disease in the population is at a low 2% (your vegan friend is running off of pretty antiquated statistics) the prevalence of gluten intolerance is estimated to be at least in 15% of the population (most not diagnosed).

    Now that is 1 in every 7 people who show an active immune response to consuming anything with gluten in it. As far as the genes which encode whether or not you can develop this condition, they are found in around 35% of the population. That's 1 in 3 people whose bodies are either actively rejecting the gluten protein or who increase their risk of developing this autoimmune condition (and all of the fun neurological and other diseases that it causes) every time they eat a bagel.

    Should we deny the other 2 people the ability to "benefit" from grain consumption just because the mere fact that those grains being processed anywhere near the food of the effected 1's food actually shortens their lifespan? Hell yes. That's all even before you start talking about how absolutely terrible from a nutrition standpoint wheat is even for the other 2 and how it actually causes health issues in almost all species of mammals. Hell we even know cows don't fare well while eating wheat grains and they're ruminants!

    As far as the diabetes issue goes, your friend doesn't appear to have any real grasp on science. Correlative studies are interesting to look at but terrible to actually draw conclusions from. The absolutely most important thing to know in all of science is that correlation does not infer causation. But what sort of correlation is he really looking at? People eating processed meats have a number of health issues, these issues are only linked to the processed (read: treated with nitrates) meats and any sort of correlation with all meats disappears when you separate out the nitrate treated meats (including bacon) from the rest of all meats. Interestingly enough these health issues show a high correlation to excess consumption of any source of nitrates, even vegan/vegetarian foods (celery seeds).

    Diabetes II is a disease of carbohydrate consumption. When you start looking in real science (not correlative studies), you see that it's very easy to cause diabetes simply by overloading your pancreas and liver through excessive carbohydrate consumption. There are multiple mechanisms by how this works but the most basic and easy to understand is insulin resistance. If you're constantly forcing your body to produce massive amounts of insulin because even half a piece of bread has more glucose in it than your body can tolerate in your blood (before severe problems start occurring) then your cells will slowly start building a resistance to this hormone. The resistance gets noticed by your body which then starts producing even more insulin to counteract this and insure that it can get the potentially toxic glucose levels under control. This cycle repeats itself everyday until you're left with a population that in the next 9 years is set to be at least 50% diabetic or prediabetic.

    The number 1 effective diet for preventing insulin resistance, reversing present insulin resistance and lowering your hba1c numbers is a ketogenic diet.

    Also as mentioned above, Americans get way more of their calories from grains than from meat and dairy combined. It's not even close.

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    You already lost just trying to go against a vegan. People in that group are very closed-minded, and will only read research regarding their viewpoint and immediately dismiss any other studies with opposing points.

    edit:

    oh i guess u could counter with the vegans dont clearcut forests with how the american prairies are pretty much extinct because of farming corn, soy and wheat. eating cafo animals fed on these of course are bad, but if the animals are raised humanely and correctly they create topsoil and environments simply by cutting the grass, pooping and peeing back on to it again, as they are designed to do. meh. i just dont bother talking about it wen someone says they are vegan.
    Last edited by earthspirit; 01-23-2011 at 08:16 PM.

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    Celiacs aren't 1 in 132 of the population. It turns out to be more like one in three, if moderate reactions to gluten are included, instead of the extreme kind which puts people in an emergency room from licking a stamp.

    As for being kind to animals --- if they aren't grown for milk, meat, eggs, etc., they won't be grown at all. Instead of a short but happy calm life in good pasture, they won't exist. Or does your friend think that people keep cattle, sheep, chickens, ducks, and pigs just to be nice? If you buy local from a small producer, and see for yourself that the animals are well looked after, living in natural conditions, that's about the best for them that you can do.

    The greatest violence to the natural world is a grain field, full of a genetically modified monoculture , sprayed with herbicide and pesticide, sown and harvested by huge machinery. It's a desert. Nothing but the one species can live there. The soil organisms die out, the tilth is lost till the soil turns to dust, the water is polluted, and it requires intensive use of fossil fuels, plus the energy to process it and ship it to the vegan user. Plus wheat isn't even healthy for most people. A lot of people get immune problems from it, it is addictive, many people end up with diabetes from eating it year after year, or have IBS, or both.

    Compared to that, a good pasture has a diverse group of plants, animals, insects, earth worms, birds, fish, frogs, and soil fungi. It's a habitat. It supports life, including the healthy life of the cattle. It requires no plowing, irrigation, or chemicals.

    You can point out to your friend the number of people writing to the Apple who found their migraines, their fibromyalgia, their insomnia, their indigestion, and their arthritis (some had one of these things, some had a number of them) cleared up when they ditched grains and sugar, and came right back again when they slipped and ate bread again.

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    debating a vegan from a primal perspective is like trying to teach a pig to foxtrot .. frustrating for the teacher and pointless for the pig .. more better you just move on

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