Sunday, June 1, 2014

Trolls Inspire Gift of Sheep

Dear Trolls,

I can't thank you enough for trying to set me and my poor, misguided low-carb and paleo friends on the right path. It must be painful for you to read blogs and articles about eating things like bacon-wrapped shrimp, coconut chocolate tart, juicy barbecued ribs, and full-fat lemon ice cream. Nevertheless, you soldiered on to show us the way to vegan/low-fat/CICO/food reward/MMEL enlightenment. Your kindness and time and effort you've shown are appreciated.

But I do have two things to say. First, you're wrong. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there it is. Nearly all of us have already tried eating less and moving more, or reducing calories and fat, and the community is full of former vegetarians. In fact, hunger and fat accumulation are driven by hormones. This isn't the gospel according to Gary Taubes, it's in endocrinology textbooks (see this and this). High-carb diets aren't the answer to diabetes, a disease of carbohydrate intolerance. This is common sense and the common experience of thousands of diabetics who've used low-carb diets to mitigate their disease. (See this and this.) And saying that the problem is too many calories is as useful as saying that the problem with an overflowing toilet is that there's more water coming in than going out.

Ah, you say, but what about all the literature and research on low-fat and vegan diets? The research on low-fat diets is actually unimpressive (see this for a short rundown). Further, at least two main vegan authors are frauds. Neal Barnard claims in The Power of your Plate that anthropologist Richard Leakey has said that humans evolved mostly as vegetarians. Dr. Leakey said exactly the opposite in books he wrote shortly before and after The Power of your Plate came out. The one source Dr. Barnard cites actually says,"There was probably a major change in the diet of early humans, with a large increase in meat eating, at that period..." (page 249). See this and this. Likewise, T. Colin Campbell of The China Study fame wrote a book called The Low-Carb Fraud, which, unlike Dr. Campbell, I took the time to fact check. There are more errors, misleading statements and outright lies than there are pages. (See this.) How can we believe anything they report when they've told so many whoppers? And why lie if low-fat vegan diets have good results?

Photo from Heifer International.
Second, your misguided advice is nevertheless well-intentioned. In the spirit of helping strangers out of nothing but human concern, I've donated $1 for every troll comment I've seen since I started counting on May 20. Today, I went to the web site of Heifer International and donated $11 for all the comments (and threw in another $9 because of the way donations are packaged). Ten dollars of my donation went toward one share of a sheep. Sheep milk, according to Wikipedia, is higher in protein and fat, a little higher in carbohydrate, and much higher in calories than cow or goat milk. Sheep from Heifer International provide milk and wool for families living on rugged terrain. The charity says,

The wool sheep provide is a valuable resource, providing warm clothing for families and children living in harsh environments. Entire communities depend on sheep for their livelihood. Donating sheep gifts to a community:
  • Provides warm clothing for families living in harsh environments 
  • Boosts income through sales of extra wool 
  • Enable families to Pass on the Gift to others quickly 

Sheep can graze the hilliest, rockiest pastures unsuitable for other livestock. They can also provide milk for hungry families. Your sheep donation makes a perfect gift; sheep are adaptable and are able to survive nearly anywhere in the world.
To Christopher, Carbsane, and some random trolls over at Dr. Briffa's blog, you're an inspiration.


tess said...

wait, wait ... let me run to the kitchen and refill my glass (which HAS been holding San Pellegrino water) with some good Petit Syrah to DRINK TO YOU!!! attagirl, Lori!

Lori Miller said...

Mmm. Either of those would go well with a lamb chop.

horfilmania said...

Great article Lori. It's amazing how many depressed, stressed out, bored, nutritionally challenged and with nothing better to do with their time trolls are out there. The wasted time could be put to better use like volunteering to their favorite charity and doing community work. Glad you are turning their trolling into some good use. The charity you have highlighted is excellent as it reinforces the idea that ancient cultures knew what was good for them nutritionally aka animal products.

Lori Miller said...

Thanks, Horf. Heifer International says, and it makes sense, that the people they serve work hard and need the protein and calories from animal products. And if their land is too harsh for anything but sheep, I don't know what kind of plant food they could grow there.

As to trolls' nutritional state and energy level, they typically say what fine health they're in. If they're so healthy, why don't they go do some cardio instead of bothering people?

tess said...

[evil chuckle...]

Lowcarb team member said...

I quite enjoy a rose wine with Lamb .......

All the best Jan

Rick Gladney said...

I love your sense of humor. I would like to give my opinion as to why vegans are the way they are. It has little to do with what is healthy for the body, it has everything to do with what is healthy for the planet. I guarantee you 99% of vegans start off as environmentalists then move into the "elite" status of vegan. That's why there as mad at us as they are. Some of them may not know why their as mad at us as they are. I have a confession to make. I'm a conservative republican. In other words I believe we should put the health and well-being of the individual above what may or may not be good for the planet. That is why they troll you. Your insulting their religion. What else but faith could cause people to eat this way? I can't think of anything. You've heard the media reporting about how much water it takes to raise a pound of meat....that unsustainable they say. I notice how pious their comments are and how they feel much more superior to us, morally. They might as well scream "I'm sacrificing my body, my life and my children's lives for the sake of the planet, and you swine are going to sit there and eat raw beef like pagens". It reminds me of the way people put down religions they don't approve of. Not based on actual problems and concerns, but simply because your not acting exactly like them. They same reason protestants and Catholics don't get along. It's an exercise in philosophy not science. I hope I haven't offended anyone but being a vegan is just sad. Talk about nailing yourself to a cross.....I digress.

Lori Miller said...

The smug superiority some of them have is annoying, but however they want to eat is fine with me. What I don't like is their disruption of conversations, making extra work for administrators, and confusing the confused with PubMed cut and paste.

I'm all for taking care of the planet, and I think animals and part of the solution. I'm not an expert on conservation, but if they eat local flora, fertilize the ground, break up the soil with their hooves, and provide nutrient-rich food, isn't this a good thing? Vegetables have their place, but plant foods have to be irrigated, fertilized, sprayed for pests, and shipped. Land has to be cleared to grow them. I'm not sure how 30 bananas a day in a temperate climate helps the environment. Likewise, overfishing is a problem now. It might be less of a problem if we hadn't been convinced that red meat would give us a heart attack.

Veganism is a religion for some people. How many people stood by T. Colin Campbell after Denise Minger used his own data to show he made up his conclusions to fit his agenda?

Rick Gladney said...

One thing I have learned since being on paleo is that cheese is bad for me. Before I use to think vegans were crazy for not eating it. I use to think that was a religious aspect of veganism. What possible harm could come to animal that has been milked??? They obviously need the protein. I feel kind of guilty because when I see them being interviewed on camera I laugh. They look sick with sunken eyes and blotchy skin. They say that there enlightened by the perfect diet. We don't have vegans down here in Georgia so I don't know any personally, but I still think it's a religion. Why wouldn't they drink breast milk from a human? How could that violate another living thing? And bees are insects that produce a surplus of honey naturally. How could someone be so concerned with bees?? If their that concerned for bees what if they swatted a fly or a spider?? Didn't someone make a religion like that. Buddhist??

Lori Miller said...

As I recall, Buddhism was around for a long time before some of the monks decided they should be vegetarians. I don't think Buddha was a vegetarian; I know the Dalai Lama isn't. But bugaboos about eating meat did take hold in Buddhism; this might have led to some artificial selection in places like Japan for people who were more tolerant of a high-carb diet.

As I understand it (and I'm not an expert on vegan views), their problems with dairy are 1) factory farming and 2) what happens to male dairy calves. Most of them get eaten. The bee problem is a head scratcher. At many orchards, bees have to be brought in to pollinate the flowers.

If you're curious about veganism, you should read a book called The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith. Keith was a moral, political and nutritional vegan for 20 years until she learned how animals fit into the environment, how monocrop culture is harmful, and how human digestion works. Sadly, by the time she discovered this and started eating meat again, she'd done permanent damage to her health. The first chapter, should you wish to read it, is on her web site.