Vicious Vacuous Vapid Vegetarian/Vegans
Wolves in vegetarian/vegan clothing
select themselves out of the general population, they are representative
of same, and include the normal range of ill-educated, self-aggrandizing,
abusive, intellectually and ethically challenged, as well as irrational
behaviors as the masses. Some present themselves as self-styled
authorities on human diet, and steadfastly refuse to consider rational
and scientifically-credible critiques of their public postings. They
refuse to correct their errors.
have discovered a blatant conspiracy between Jeff Nelson, Dr. William
Harris, MD and Steven Walsh, PhD, the owner and two prominent authors,
of Vegsource.com, which claims
to be a source of "Friendly support 25 hours per day, 8 days a
week for your healthy vegetarian lifestyle."
And, more unsolicited evidence of the less-than-ethical tenor of Nelson, et. al.
A critique of:
William Harris, MD
On AUG 10, 2002,
I sent Jeff Nelson, founder of Vegsource.com, this site where the grossly
inaccurate Harris article disparaging raw foods and raw fooders is posted,
an e-mail saying: "In keeping with your stated policy: 'In the
years we've operated VegSource, we've received plenty of comments and
criticism, and we've always looked at it as a potential opportunity to
improve ourselves and/or our website. It's a process of learning.',
I suggest that you add the following commentary to "Raw
vs. Cooked" by William Harris, MD.
JN> "Hi Laurie: I did get it earlier but have been quite busy. I'm not going to append this to Dr. Harris' article. First of all, that's his article, not someone else's. Secondly, you make a number of incorrect assumptions about Dr. Harris and his background and qualifications, and you do so in a disparaging tone which I find inappropriate. If you have comments for Dr. Harris, my suggestion would be to write him directly to share them. Jeff"
To which I replied:
"I did not make any assumptions, I got that information off the Internet,
and the truth can never be a "disparagement". Most importantly,
Harris makes several fundamental errors in his claims about science, biochemistry,
and -he- disparages raw food experimenters with ignorant prejudice. It
is a travesty that your scientific standards are not such to require accurate
statements about scientific principles.
JN>> I'm not going to append this to Dr. Harris' article. First of all,
JN>> Secondly, you make a number of incorrect assumptions
JN>>... and you do so in a disparaging tone which I find inappropriate.
And on SEP 6:
I have attempted
to communicate with Jeff Nelson and asked him to make available a rational
critique of your article: "Raw vs. Cooked" that appears on his site.
Apparently the above quote of Jeff's " ... we've always looked at it as a potential opportunity to improve ourselves and/or our website. It's a process of learning" has been demonstrated to be false. Stay tuned...
SEP 8 to WH
----- Original Message -----
LF>> I have attempted
to communicate with Jeff Nelson and asked him
WH> I appreciate neither the ad hominem tone ...
WH>... nor the substance of your syntactical seizure at ...
WH> ... and see no reason why Jeff should put it up at Vegsource ...
WH> ... or why I should answer it.
WH> If you had bothered to read to the bottom of my article at:
WH> ... or to comprehend the graph ...
WH> ...you would realize that I endorse the raw vegan diet,
WH> ... just not your particular catechism of convictions.
WH> As for my background you can find it at: http://www.vegsource.com/harris/bio.htm
WH> Don't bother writing back unless you first read the other articles
I am not surprised
that you Cc: Bob Avery in your e-mail.
NOTE: as of April 2005, there has been NO response to my emails or critique.
First, Harris has a degree in a real science, physics, and also is an MD. Most MD's have either no background in nutrition whatsoever, or, worse, if they do, it is very brief indoctrination in the animal-product Big Four model. Since the medical industry is not concerned with optimum human health, it does not research same; rather, it focuses on developing unique, patentable, always-toxic, synthetic chemicals that have never been in human biochemistry during our evolutionary process, and this is the reason for their ever-present, multiple 'side-effects' that include severe pathologies and even death. In addition, the medical industry's own conservative figures indicate that it kills ~250,000 people in the US per year, and is the third leading cause of death. Therefore, his medical background is totally irrelevant to discussing the optimally-healthy human diet. Further, Harris has no personal experience with a raw-food diet, so he is totally unqualified to discuss it either on a theoretical or experiential basis, as his article clearly demonstrates.
WH: "Raw food enthusiasts have always been
a part of the vegetarian/vegan scene. Their core idea is that enzymes
are still active in raw food whereas they're denatured, hence inactive,
in cooked food. No contest."
WH: "Cooking is a form of predigestion
in which heat is used to hydrolyze nutrients which would otherwise be
hydrolyzed at body temperature by digestive enzymes. The end result is
the same, ..."
WH: "Pro: Humans are the only species on
the planet who cook their food, so cooking is unnatural..
WH: "Pro: We've only been cooking for a
half million years so we're not well adapted to cooked food.
WH: "Pro: A raw vegan diet rather reliably
leads to weight loss and that would be great for the 30% of Americans
who are either overweight or obese.
WH: "Further food limitations on a raw
diet: A raw diet places even further restrictions on the vegan diet. Among
the first dietary restrictions would be grains."
WH: "People have been pounding grains
to insensibility as long as they've been around, ..."
WH: "American grocery shelves are not by
accident stuffed with white breads as far as the eye can see; many people
do not like or even tolerate whole grain bread."
WH: "On a raw diet, potatoes, a generally
well tolerated staple, also go out."
WH: "Other casualties would be soy and
many other beans."
WH: "The raw food literature is rife with
"life force", ...
WH: "Perhaps ... metaphysics is for people
too lazy to study physics, ..."
WH: "Things that are alive exhibit metabolism,
the combining of food, water, and oxygen through enzyme-catalyzed chemical
reactions in order to obtain energy for functioning."
WH: "But pitching raw food on the basis
that it is "alive" creates a semantic minefield for vegetarians."
WH: "Does that mean we should eat raw beef
because it's "live food?""
WH: "Of course not; the cow had something
the greens don't have, a nervous system, it's [sic] consciousness is gone
forever, and that's what the whole ethical vegetarian case is about."
WH: ""Live food" arguments really muddy
the waters when you're trying to explain the ethics of vegetarianism to
a meat eater."
WH: "All the foregoing sounds like a frontal
assault on the raw fooders, but it's not."
WH: "I agree with them that raw foods should
be a major if not sole part of the diet ... because the foods that can
be eaten raw (mostly vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds) coincidentally
have enormously higher nutrient values than the foods that either have
to be, or usually are, cooked."
WH: "Summary: The Raw Fooders are probably
right but maybe not for their stated reasons."
Steven Walsh of the Vegan Society
He supposedly holds a "PhD in Process Systems Engineering from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine and specialises in data analysis and mathematical modelling, and he is Vice-Chair of the UK Vegan Society and has a long-standing interest in vegan nutrition... He is a spokesperson for the Vegan Society in contesting inaccurate media reports on veganism and unsubstantiated health claims by the dairy industry."
The following is a critique of his article: Raw Food: Healthy choices on raw vegan diets.
SW> A raw food vegan
diet may be defined in various ways, but usually entails at least 80%
by weight being raw plants.
there are too few long-term raw food vegans for direct evaluation of
the success of raw vegan diets versus other diets.
SW> We can,
however, evaluate such diets against known human nutritional requirements
to gain a better understanding of the ways in which appropriate raw
vegan diets could benefit health.
SW> Raw vegan
diets comprise three key food groups: sweet fruit, high-fat plants and
green leafy vegetables.
SW> Raw food
authorities differ in the proportions recommended, some suggesting that
2% of calories from green leafy vegetables ...
SW> Green leafy
vegetables and broccoli contain higher levels of zinc, calcium and protein
It seems that several fruits, here shown with a green background, actually have considerably "higher" levels of zinc, calcium and protein" than "green leafy vegetables". Since Walsh "specialises in data analysis and mathematical modelling", it would seem reasonable for him to be honest in a quantitative sense.
SW> Some people
experience dental problems with a very high fruit intake.
SW> Many people will
struggle to maintain weight if they do not include significant amounts
of high fat foods.
avocados, almonds, hazelnuts and macadamias are all dominated by monounsaturated
fats, which are the safest fats to consume in large quantities.
SW> Bananas are a good energy food, being relatively low in fibre and high in potassium.
reliable figures, instead of meaningless, intentionally-deceptive, non-quantitative
terms like "high" and "low" show that several common
fruits are far superior (here shown in green) to bananas for the nutrients
SW> Oranges are rich
in calcium, folate, potassium and vitamin C.
SW> Chimpanzees show
particular enthusiasm for collecting and eating termites, which have
high measured levels of B12
capture, the blood B12 levels of most primates drops rapidly when they
are fed on a hygienically grown and prepared plant-based diet. It is
therefore not surprising that humans also need an external source of
SW> Nori and spirulina
failed to correct deficiency in macrobiotic children ...
SW> Secondly, human
exposure to sunlight at high latitudes and when spending most of the
day indoors is greatly reduced compared with our evolutionary exposure.
SW> During the UK winter...
SW> Thirdly, the
human gut is smaller overall than that of the other great apes and the
human colon takes up just 20% of the digestive system compared with
50% in the other great apes. This results in a dramatically reduced
capability to process fibre, indicating that humans are adapted to a
lower fibre diet than the other great apes, who consume several hundred
grams of fibre per day.
SW> However, it
is plausible that food processing, including cooking, played a major
part in the changes in the human digestive system compared with the
other great apes. Humans may have evolved to rely on food processing.
SW> Cooking increases
the energy available from starchy foods such as potatoes and grains
SW> Whether such
foods belong in an optimal diet remains to be established.
SW> The longest-living
population in the world, the Japanese Okinawans, make extensive use
of cooked grains, sweet potatoes, vegetables and soy products and little
use of raw fruit. However, there is no large group of long-term raw
food vegans to provide a direct comparison.
SW> However, higher
consumption of whole grains is associated with reduced risk of heart
disease and diabetes, so this evidence suggests that grain should be
consumed in unrefined (whole) form rather than eliminated altogether...
SW> As a raw food
diet is often a gluten free diet, it is possible that some of the people
finding such diets particularly beneficial may be gluten intolerant
in varying degrees.
SW> On the other
hand, raw food often requires long-distance transportation and commercial
banana production is an environmental disaster with high pesticide use
affecting plantation workers and local rivers.
SW> The trade-off
is not clear cut. It is likely that local sourcing of cooked foods (e.g.
Scottish oats) has the environmental edge over Jamaican bananas or airlifted
strawberries, but seasonally available local fruits and nuts have the
edge over both.
SW> One universally
recognised effect of a high raw diet is weight loss, and many leading
exponents of raw diets report being overweight on a conventional diet
but achieving a desirable weight on switching to a raw vegan diet.
SW> A common reason
for abandoning raw food diets, however, is excessive weight loss.
SW> However, evidence
to date does not justify a general recommendation of raw vegan diets
in the sense of more than 80% of food being consumed raw, particularly
for children who need a relatively high calorie density.
these rampant errors in facts and logic, perhaps Walsh should invest
less time "contesting inaccurate media reports on veganism"
and correct his own severe errors and prejudicial, non-experiential,
superstitions and silly biases against the very concept of raw-foods,
on which our little ape species evolved quite successfully until the
recent adoption of cooking.
Besides embarrassing himself by presenting false, personal, prejudicial, perfunctory, pernicious propaganda against our evolutionary diet, what other expertise does Walsh exhibit?
Apparently, he is employed by Imperial Chemical Industries, a global chemical conglomerate which, in addition to being a global polluter, produces industrial adhesives, specialty starch, fragrances, flavors, food ingredients, specialty process intermediates, and paints. It seems that supporting a major global polluter and ecocidal organization would be in direct opposition to his alleged "ethical vegetarian/veganism", since pollution and unnatural food additives kill, or weaken, humans and all other animals, but when did ethical dissonance ever get in the way of propaganda?
It seems Walsh is also quite adept at embarrassing himself in public by intentionally disrupting other people's lectures by shouting "Liar!" and other epithets at the speaker, repeatedly, as he did in England while Robert Cohen, the Notmilkman, was lecturing. And another lecture.
In Wash's alleged criticism of an article by Robert Cohen, Walsh is complaining about an article that does not exist, another insight into his, and Nelson's, respect for accuracy in his own writing.
Further, Walsh is generating an accurate characterization of himself by attacking others' legitimate research with his own peculiar brand of pseudoscience:
Date: Sun, 06 Apr 2003 09:19:23 -0500
Dr. Campbell is a principal investigator in the Cornell-China-Oxford Project on Nutrition, Health and Environment, a massive survey across the far reaches of China that investigates more diseases and dietary characteristics than any other study to date. : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Loren Lockman and the
Vacuous, not Vicious
| One of the
more embarrassing and meaningless concepts bouncing about in the alternative
diet movement is that of "Ethical Veganism", or "Ethical
Vegetarianism", wherein the argument for a plant-based human diet
is supposedly founded on "ethical", or "moral", principles.
What its proponents, and opponents, alike clearly do not understand is that "ethics" is highly idiosyncratic; that is, "A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.", or "A particular strange or unusual habit, way of behaving, or feature that someone or something has".
Thus, an individual's personal sense of "ethics" is originally the result of early, parental conditioning: (Do this! Do not do that!), and later, "ethics" are just made up to suit the particular circumstances as one's world view changes and, hopefully, matures.
That is, there is no objective standard of "ethics" against which one can test or measure one's own "ethics" to determine their validity, or lack of validity. Therefore, any particular set of "ethics" is equally as valid, or invalid, as any other set.
The obvious consequence of this is that any discussions of "ethics", especially those always-humorous ones between vegetarians/vegans and meatarians, wherein each falsely tries to convince the other that their "ethics" are wrong or inferior, are simply a waste of time.
Similarly, any discussions of "animal rights" vs., or related to, "human rights" are totally nonsensical for the same reason: there is no objective standard of "rights" whatsoever, they are just made up for personal convenience.
Sincere vegetarians/vegans would do well to abandon all such meaningless discussions and devote the energy saved to some useful organization that is actually doing some tangible good, such as Greenpeace or EarthFirst!.