As you’ve probably heard by now, Lierre Keith, author of the fabulous book The Vegetarian Myth, was attacked by three vegan nut-jobs on Saturday while giving a speech.  They threw a pie laced with cayenne pepper in her face.  If that doesn’t sound like much of an attack, keep in mind that it’s nearly the equivalent of being attacked with pepper spray.  And frankly, I’d be outraged even if the pie was made of whipped cream.  (No wait … that would be a dairy product; the vegans would never stoop to such cruelty just to assault a human being.) 

Fortunately, Keith is recovering.  Jimmy Moore wrote to inquire about her condition, and she replied:

My eyes are still puffy and blurry, but the pain is definitely better. I think the worst part was hearing people cheer my assailants while I was being assaulted. I don’t want to live in a world where people cheer while someone has cayenne rubbed into their eyes.

Yes, people were cheering — while three men in masks attacked a 45-year-old woman who already has a damaged spine.  My, what courage. 

I’d like to say I’m surprised, but I’m not.  The animal-rights wackos have a long and proud history of attacking soft targets.  As my comedian friend Tim Slagle once pointed out, they’ll happily throw blood on women wearing fur — but strangely, they never feel inspired to attempt a similar protest on men wearing leather. 

Nearly as disturbing as the attack was the ability of some vegans to justify it in their fatty-acid-depleted brains.  Here are few quotes from a “news” site, with my comments:

Some will undoubtedly argue that the pieing was an attack on free speech, but Keith has been afforded more speech than most people on the planet will ever be, courtesy of PM Press.

Well, gosh yes, once someone has been afforded more than his or her share of free speech, it’s perfectly okay to use violence to correct the imbalance.  I’m sure that’s what James Earl Ray had in mind, too.  Although if you really think about it — and I’d suggest consuming an egg or two before tackling this one — you and Lierre Keith have been afforded exactly the same amount of free speech.  The only difference is that more people have elected to listen to her.

In fact, she is profiting from the soap box she has been given to pretend she is a radical environmentalist who just happens to jet around the country to and from her home in rural Massachusetts.

Making a profit and flying on a jet?  Truly unforgivable.  Since Al Gore has set himself up to make millions in the carbon-credit business while flying all over creation in a private jet and living in a mansion that uses 20 times the national average for electricity, can we expect you to toss a pepper-pie in his face anytime soon?  Or will you remain true to form and attack Tipper instead?

In a world where vegans and vegetarians are a definite minority, face constant bombardment with pro-meat messages our American cattle culture, and frequently have to deal with direct attacks from government, law enforcement, and multinational corporations that profit from the sale of factory-farmed meat and dairy, Ramsey Kanaan of PM Press, himself a long-time vegan, strangely chose to pile on with yet another attack on vegans, this time being especially traumatic in that it comes from the inside of the supposed radical environmental movement.

Those direct attacks from the government on the oppressed vegan minority are an outrage, all right.  Just last week, storm troopers dragged a dozen vegans out of our local Whole Foods and shot them in the street.  It’s a shame you don’t live in a country where you’re free to just ignore those traumatizing pro-meat messages and continue living as a vegan.

Through the Bound Together collective, of which Ramsey Kanaan is a member, Lierre Keith has been asked to speak in the Bay Area repeatedly. The mean-spirited book and these speaking engagements are largely one-way conversations with Keith dominating the dialogue.

Wait … you mean she’s been asked to speak repeatedly?!  Wow, that usually only happens to people who have something interesting to say and can therefore draw a crowd.  But I see your point about the one-way conversations.  It’s got to stop.  In fact, nearly every time I attend a speech, the speaker just stands up there speaking and speaking and speaking, without ever asking me what I believe.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself, “Damn!  If only I had a pepper-laced pie, I could bring some balance into this dialog.”

But today, anonymous masked peoples stood up and refused to allow PM Press and Bound Together to yet again try to cram Lierre Keith down our throats. They stood up for many who have suffered silently, without a voice, since the publication of her book.

I hear you, bro.  I remember the glory days when people were allowed to choose which speeches they’d attend.  Now, of course, the meat industry kidnaps vegans at gunpoint and crams Lierre Keith’s speeches down their throats.  Those were some true freedom fighters who attacked her.  More bravery like this, and perhaps someday vegans will be allowed to publish their own books, give their own speeches in public, or — dare I say it? — express their opinions on their very own blogs, instead of being forced to suffer in silence.

The article was bad enough.  Here are a few bits of wisdom from vegans commenting on the article:

Lierre Keith was appropriately treated when she was physically stopped from continuing to advocate for and incite the murder of innocent non-human beings.

Can’t argue with that.  Next time I see some vegan farmer tilling the soil and killing thousands of non-humans in the process, I’m going to mace him in the face.  (No wait, I keep forgetting about vegan logic:  it’s okay to kill creatures in the quest for food as long as you aren’t killing on purpose.)

She was pied, get over it. Big deal, even IF it was a spicy pie. Somebody call the waaaambulance for this loser. This action was both hilarious & totally appropriate.

Yeah, a little spice in the eyes is hilarious.  Nothing to fuss about.  Any chance we could meet in person so I can share a few laughs with you?  I do this bit with Tabasco sauce that’s just side-splitting.

Lierre obviously comes from a privileged perspective if the very first thing she said was “someone call the cops” as only the privileged automatically think of police as their friends and defenders. Lower classes and darker skinned people do not immediately look to police for help. They’ll take the help if it’s there, but they don’t assume police generally exist to serve them.

That’s why I enjoy watching “Cops” on TV:  it just cracks me up seeing all those people who come from a privileged perspective calling the police on each other.  Last week I saw a repeat of the episode where the guy in the smoking jacket answers the door and says, “Yes, officer, my wife Muffy is such a pill, I’m afraid she let loose with the pepper-spray in the middle of a heated discussion about the relevance of Kantian ethics in modern society.  Could you be a dear and slap some cuffs on her?  And I won’t object if you make them uncomfortably tight.”

But if you’re suggesting Lierre Keith should deal with being physically attacked in a manner more befitting the “lower classes and darker skinned people,” I’m pretty sure we can round up plenty of volunteers to administer the appropriate justice.

Has anyone considered that it wasn’t Vegans who pied who but an agent provocateur trying to create division?

Damn, you caught us.  See, that’s the thing about us meat-eaters:  we take ourselves and our identities as meat-eaters so seriously, we sit around and try to think of ways to split up the vegan movement.

Message to Keith and others who promote oppression, repression and murder of the innocent, and destruction of the planet, however misinformedly well-intentioned – “No more free ride!”

By all means, please start physically assaulting anyone who believes eating meat is beneficial.  I’d suggest you start with Fred Hahn.  That will give you a chance to field-test your theory that avoiding meat actually makes people stronger.  (Although I predict the theory will turn out to be misinformedly wrong.)

As a vegan I’m both mad at and ashamed of the people who did this. They are bullies.

You sound eerily sane.  How long have you been a vegan?  (To be fair, more than a few vegans were disgusted by the attack.  Good for them.)

Some commenters suggested the attackers were suffering from the “vegan rage” Keith describes in her book.  That was my first thought as well.  But since then, I’ve decided we may be confusing a correlation with a cause.  Yes, they could be prone to rage because a vegan diet has depleted their brains.  But I think it’s just as likely they’re militant vegans because they fit the personality type described so brilliantly by Eric Hoffer in his book The True Believer.  I plan to write a post on that topic later in the week.  It seems more appropriate for my other blog, so it’ll probably end up there.  I’ll let you know.


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98 Responses to “Vegan Nut-Jobs Attack Lierre Keith”
  1. Hi Tom,

    Some of these comments are almost as bad as the attack itself! It’s all very ironic considering that veganism is supposed to be based on an intellectualism. As always, thank you for putting a humorous spin on an unfortunate situation.

    Veganism has always struck me as mostly emotional, despite what they say. Humor is how I keep my sanity.

  2. Verimius says:

    Hi Tom,

    The Benny Hill theme is a tune called “Yakety Sax” by the late American saxophonist, Boots Randolph.

    You don’t have to post this.

    Naw, I’ll post it. I like trivia, and others may want to know the name of the song.

  3. Steve Wilson says:

    I posted a correction on Toms other blog but as Sizzlechest has bought into the lie here it needs to be put right. Lierre Keith is incorrect in reading a joke thread on the PPK as being serious. It wasn’t. Here is the original thread: http://www.postpunkkitchen.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=19376

    Obviously a joke, unless Lierre was referencing a different cuckoo vegan thread somewhere else??? lets at least put this bit of misrepresentation to bed once and for all.
    From an ex-vegan Type1 diabetic now low-carb and healthier as a result :)
    Steve

  4. Cheryl says:

    It’s funny that people actually think it was vegans who did this, rather then just a mere publicity stunt. Vegans care about animals AND humans as well as the earth, environment, etc. This is just someone trying to get people to be afraid of vegans because it is becoming so favorably popular to save the earth rather then torture it and all who live on it, Both animals and humans.

    I hate to break it to you, but we non-vegans really don’t care about you that much. We’re not sitting around trembling in fear about a vegan takeover, wondering how we can make people dislike you.

    I don’t know anyone who’s self-righteous about being a carnivore, and the cowards who did this were self-righteous @$$holes.

  5. Lotus says:

    This article is so biased and misinformed. There are no demonstrators that throw blood on men wearing leather? Ask again. This is like saying ignorantly in an article if pregnant women should be told what to eat “no problem except for sushi – and I don’t see women in Japan swearing off the stuff”. It’s just plain ignorance. And no, vegans don’t attack weak and soft targest. I’m not a vegan but I’m gonna defend them. If you haven’t noticed yet, the attacks are non-violent. Blood-throwing is not painful, except for pepper-throwing. Yes, this one was a violent attack, but then it’s quite silly to say “why don’t they attack someone stronger?”. It’s not about strength or violence. It’s about protest and sending a message. How will you show some message to men that have less self-control because of their high testosterone levels? It’s about protesting, not violence.

    And all those women wearing fur just deserve it. They’re one of those ignorant women that can’t learn how to dress properly in winter. Humans don’t need fur. You just need more layers of clothing. Stop nagging and wear sweatpants under your normal pants. How can anyone expect to be warm in winter by just wearing underpants and normal pants? No wonder people are freezing and then use this to justify fur-wearing. This or next year I’m going to Himalayas and I will be wearing only cotton and high-tech winter polymer fibers.

    Saying that vegans have fatty-acid-depleted brains doesn’t make you any better than those that threw a pepper pie. And it doesn’t matters if the woman has spine issues, if it wasn’t an attack. It’s just a protest. Pie throwing would be more humiliating rather than violent. And there’s no such thing as courage, so saying “my, what courage” is a poor argument. I studied psychology as a hobby and courage doesn’t exist. Neither does cowardness. Study psychology before I explain you this one. And you also need to study nutrition. There are plant sources of omega 3, so vegans don’t lack them.

    As extremist vegans look like, they have a good point. I’m a philanthropist and well, all food aid is vegan. Most food project are about growing crops because animal farming steals too much food. So next time someone nags in the west at the food prices and how poor they are that they can’t afford enough food, they need to look at how much food they waste just to make beef and pork. Growing chicken is far more efficient. It’s simple physics, not astrophysics. You aren’t feeding yourself. You’re fueling your tank. Fat works the same for us as it does as biodiesel, except without fire.

    Being a philanthropist we’re also educating people and I will always support and educate others about veganism. And I will also teach about proper nutrition, which not many omnivores do except for spewing more ignorance by saying “apple has vitamins, proteins build muscles and milk makes bones stronger”. A vegan predominant diet is beneficial for health. I still eat fish, they’re mostly carnivores and it’s either me or the fish that will eat them, but there are studies showing how low-protein vegan diets reduce cancer risk or deactivate cancer. And as for those myths, well, google nutritional value of apples, amino acids actuallty build your muscles and milk is causing osteoporosis. Some simple logic should tell you something about protein. We all know our body will break down the proteins that we eat, so how could proteins build muscles if they are broken down? All what you need are amino acids, not proteins. It makes blood acidic.

    I’d reply to your incoherent ramblings, but I’m going on the old debating rule: when your opponent is making a fool of himself, don’t interrupt.

    • Regina says:

      I’m a little late to the game, since I just finished hearing an interview on Bailors podcast and thought I would look up some more info about Lierre and I saw your name attached to a link – so of course I had to check it out…..

      I think Lotus is lying…..every argument just given could only come from a vegan so I love your reply, but if it isn’t completely obvious: carnivores don’t care about fur so much (I don’t really have any but I don’t care that it exists – though I would prefer no small animals were clubbed to get it), “plenty of plant sources of Omega 3″ need I comment any more? that is the most common vegan argument (well that and B12), what do people buy when they can’t afford food – processed wheat!! HELLO!! but I am sure the argument still is that the meat is why everyone is sick and obese….but let’s just keep science out of your rant….vegan.

      Oh, and who knew you had so many vegan followers…LOL

      I do seem to attract them. I also attract mosquitoes, so perhaps there’s a connection.

  6. Walter Bushell says:

    That last sentence is an insult to @$$holes, which are an important — nay vital — part of all of us.

  7. Lotus says:

    Btw there is nothing wrong with using planes to spread the message of pollution. So what if Al Gore flew a private jet? How else could he come to his destination to spread the message? I’m a philanthropist and I’m often spreading good knowledge about nutrition and environment. So is it hypocritical to burn fuel until I get to the destination? No. Find a better fuel or transportation source, rather than trying to bash this “hypocrisy”. It’s only few thousand people that do this and we often invest in efficient transport. It’s the rest billions of people that burn gas guzzlers. Those few planes with scientists going to Antarctica hardly pollutes at all. Your car pollutes more because planes are more efficient when it comes to speed, distance and cargo.

    Are you missing the point on purpose? The nutjobs whose comments I was quoting were justifying the attack on Lierre Keith because she’s an environmentalist but flies on a plane. I was pointing out that Al Gore dos the same thing and wondering if they’d attack him too. And by the way, Keith flies on commercial airlines. Gore flies on a private jet, which uses WAY more fuel per passenger. So if he’s so concerned about the environment, why doesn’t he just fly United, or Delta, or Southwest?

    • Andrew says:

      I’m a philanthropist too and I want to do the whole world a favour and lodge a big pie sideways in this guy’s throat. He can choose the filling. I what know you’re thinking – sticking a pie in his throat won’t stop him typing his pompous drivel. However many studies have shown a correlation between not typing and having a big pie lodged in the throat and I’ll bet that there’s a causation that goes BIG PIE LODGED IN THROAT => NON TYPING OF DRIVEL. Hell if I can get a research grant I’ll subject myself to a trial right now, why only last week I … ughhh …

  8. RickSantos says:

    Tom

    I doubt these vegan punks would have tried that on a large fit and strong male, capable of running them down, dragging them back and beating them into submission in front of the crowd.

    I doubt it as well. The animal-rights nutjobs only seem comfortable attacking women.

  9. Paul451 says:

    A low-carb cruise! That’s cooler than Cool Itself!

    Now, something I’m more than a little disturbed about. I checked out Dr. Davis’ Blog and he’s saying butter is the Spawn of Satan. How can this be? I have a lot of respect for Dr. Davis and I’ve recommended his blog to many friends. But, can it be there’s no consensus among low-carbers that butter is a fundamental part of the LC way of eating?

    I don’t believe low-carbers should strive for consensus, which (despite what Al Gore thinks) is not conducive to good science. We should strive for knowledge, and debate is part of the process. Dr. Davis offered one view of the study; Peter at Hyperlipid offers another here:

    http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2010/03/butter-insulin-and-dr-davis.html

  10. cy says:

    I relate to the author in so many ways – during the last 35 years due to so many intellectual information out there + friends and teachers I became a vegetarian at least 8 times and failed maintaining it due to different reasons. Mainly not being satisfied bodily and mentally. Now, I believe in a Healthy balance in my life that includes a healthy portion of organic vegetables, Nuts, beans and meat from truly healthy sources which for example consider fish being wild caught; chickens roaming freely on the land or called pastured and of course my red meat being treated well and 100% grass-fed as much as it is available – I must say when I watch all of the above standards I feel satisfied. Now I have total respect for vegetarians and meanwhile believe most of them are not open to hear the complete story. Unfortunately when we go one extreme we create hate for the other extreme.

  11. Cord says:

    I bought the book today, after reading about the incident. Also picked up a copy of Fat Head, so I could qualify for the free super-saver shipping : )

    I’d been wanting both anyway– I was a vegetarian for several years and it wrecked my health. Still a few kinks to work out (hopefully), but re-introducing meat to my diet and cutting carbs (and cutting out wheat!) have helped tremendously. This post was the kick I needed to go ahead and get the book already.

    Lierre and I thank you. Enjoy.

  12. Dana says:

    Hey, I’ll stand up and be counted as a self-righteous carnivorous a$$hole. I would also love to see the vegan ideology disappear because I’ve learned too much about human nutritional needs to believe it is anything but harmful. I don’t like to see people huffing airplane glue, either.

    But I’m not a famous published author so I figure I’m safe for a while.

    I hesitate to publish your comment for fear of making you a target. But our readership is still small enough to ensure your safety.

  13. Tom Luongo says:

    Tom,

    Great blog and a great movie as well. As for Vegans, well, I just see them as a self-correcting problem, ultimately. It is never, under any circumstances, acceptable behaviour to violate a person’s body or property without them having done harm to you directly. It’s disgusting. No matter how much you believe a person to be wrong on a subject, it does not give you the right to use force against them.

    Ta,

    Well said.

  14. Monica says:

    Great blog, it’s terrible how people are completely ignorant and dismissive of a vegan lifestyle, they know literally nothing about anything and just blindly support horrible meat corporations that are poisoning them http://www.fourgreensteps.com/infozone/featured-zone/a-vegducation-in-veganism-five-reasons-to-eat-less-meat-

    Considering the number of ex-vegetarians here (including myself) who looked into the matter after feeling lousy without meat, I’d say it’s unlikely we just blindly support eating meat. We agree, however, that cows aren’t meant to eat corn. Have you read the book? She deals specifically with the other claims made in the linked article.

  15. The vegans I know believe in non-violence and respect for life, where that life agrees with you or not. It is not acceptable practice to pie anyone; it is an assault and a rather primitive way to make your point.

    The vegans and vegetarians I’ve known never would approve of this behavior either.

  16. . says:

    The pies were not “laced with cayenne pepper”. She made that up after the fact so she’ll get publicity. Plus, and inside source says she planned the whole pie-throwing incident in the first place.

    Yes, I’m sure that’s the case. And I’m sure the CIA actually flew planes into the World Trade Center, but alerted all the Jews to stay home that day. You’re a moron.

  17. Steve says:

    The letter of the law for Free Speech doesn’t apply to private property. The owner of this blog owes me nothing. I’ve deleted rude comments from my own blog.

    I posted a comment here this morning.

    It was polite, but it was not in agreement with many people. I see that it and another comment I referred to are gone.

    Before people start passing judgments about how “that group of people” can’t tolerate hearing views that don’t agree with their own they might want to pause to reflect.

    My apologies if the disappearance of the comments are due to a technical or other issue.

    I’m not sure which comments you’re referring to, Steve. I haven’t deleted any. I checked the spam folder, and your comments didn’t go there, unless you posted them under the name Viagra.

  18. Stevie says:

    Isn’t there something fundamentally wrong with calling the police at an anarchist event?

    Not as fundamentally wrong as three men attacking a woman. If Keith were a professed anarchist, you might have a point, but she’s not. And my guess is that most of the self-proclaimed anarchists in attendance have no flippin’ idea what “anarchist” actually means. If they did, they’d get the heck out of the Peoples Republic of California.

  19. Steve says:

    Going to school, studying a subject, getting a degree in it, working in a related field and researching a subject in a professional capacity makes a person an expert.

    Keith is a writer with a liberal arts background. She has written on a number of technical, medical and scientific related subjects in her book that she does not have an education in. People who have the education Keith lacks in those subjects disagree with her on many things.

    It is not a popular opinion on a medium such as the internet where people limit their exposure to mostly what they agree with, but education, research and experience matter. A lot.

    Even positive reviews on Amazon have pointed out factual errors she has made. That should be the epitaph of non-fiction book.

    A few people are still fans of her book despite the factual errors, because the book tells them what they want to hear. I don’t mean that as slam, many human beings react like that sooner or later about something.

    BTW, I do not approve of the pie throwing incident.

    You seem to be operating on the assumption that in order to be considered an expert or even educated in a field, you must study it in school and receive a degree. In school, you will read books and attend lectures, with many of those lectures consisting of a teacher reciting from the books. You can become just as educated by reading on your own.

    I’m an independent software programmer. When I went to take out a mortgage some years ago, the loan officer asked for a copy of my degree. I said I’d be happy to go find it, but it’s in journalism. She asked, “Then how can you be a software programmer? Where did you get your certificate?” So I had to explain that I don’t have any certificates; I read books and taught myself programming.

    And by the way, I’ve been hired to fix badly-programmed systems that were designed by people with computer-science degrees and Microsoft certifications in programming.

    For a more relevant example, I once had to explain to a doctor that LDL comes in different particle sizes and the large, fluffy particles aren’t harmful. He had the medical degree; I didn’t. But he knew less about cholesterol than I did.

    So I’m not impressed one way or another with what certificates people have or don’t have. I’m impressed with what they actually know. If you read Keith’s book — I’m betting you haven’t — you will have a very hard time making the case that she didn’t do rather a lot of research before writing it.

    And if you haven’t read her book, you need to ask yourself if you’re also limiting your exposure to what you agree with.

  20. Steve says:

    Whether or not the pies contained cayenne pepper or hot sauce varies depending on which anonymous who claimed to be there makes the allegation.

    Here is a video of the prank.

    I’ve gotten tiny amounts of cayenne pepper in my eyes cooking. I could not pull my hands away from my eyes. The video shows Keith holding her hands out in front of her, not putting her hands in her face as would a person who just got cayenne pepper in her eyes.

    Red and white make pink.

    If there was hot sauce in the pies, wouldn’t the pies in the video be pink
    instead of white?

    Lets get some perspective. This is a picture of a pepper spray victim:

    This is a picture of Lierre Keith after having pies smooshed on top of her
    head ( not in her face ):

    Gosh yes, I see. Those wonderful, peaceful vegans couldn’t have really laced the pie with pepper because, uh, you see, they’re VEGANS, and therefore they can’t posibly be violent assholes. All vegans are wonderful people. Keith just decided to lie to everyone to drum up some PR, ya see.

    Congratulations on achieving True Believer status. You would’ve made a perfect Nazi. (No, we didn’t actually gas anyone! It was de-lousing spray!)

    And even if you can make yourself believe there was no pepper in the pie, smashing a pie into the face of a woman with spinal degeneration still makes them violent assholes. Sticking up for them, on the other hand, makes you a moron.

  21. Steve says:


    You seem to be operating on the assumption that in order to be considered an expert or even educated in a field, you must study it in school and receive a degree

    Yes I do, as has the world for a number of centuries, for very good reason.

    And what would that reason be, exactly? Please explain how listening to a teacher recite facts makes you an expert, while reading the same information outside of a school doesn’t. Please explain how even though I’ve built computer systems for major corporations, I’m not actually an expert in my field, since my degree is in journalism, not computer science.

  22. kes_ says:

    By attending school you don’t get to pick and choose. Self teaching a trade such as programming provides you with immediate feedback. Self-teaching science allows a lot of bias into your education because it isn’t challenged, because you can pick and choose.

    I am not saying she isn’t right – hell, I am firmly paleo. But I sure as hell am not going to waste my time listening to a self-proclaimed expert.

    Keith also advocated similar and worse sorts of actions in her role as an anarchist – so live by the sword, die by the sword.

    Frankly, I’m still mystified by the notion that to be an expert, you must attend a university. By that logic, Gary Taubes has no understanding of nutrition science, because his degree is in physics. I also have no ability to analyze studies, good or bad, because my degree is in journalism. Apparently the only thing I’m actually qualified to do is write.

    I remember some very good professors from my college days, and I also remember biased morons. Standing inside the bounds of a campus does not remove bias or confer special powers of logic and analysis. I see comments in forums all the time along the lines of “I KNOW saturated fat causes heart disease, because I have a degree in nutrition from the university of (insert college name here).”

  23. Geoff Black says:

    relatively new to being,”serious” about nutrition and the “truth” surrounding it. Boy am I confused. Is there anyone, any one source to reference that isn’t biased or ‘in someone’s pocket”?

    I don’t believe Lierre is in anyone’s pocket. Try some diets, track your results.

  24. venuspluto67 says:

    I have to say that I’m rather negatively impressed by the self-pitying pretensions to victimhood in that posting from the Indybay website. As someone who used to be a college-campus radical leftist when I was young, foolish, and socially maladjusted, I’m not unfamiliar with that unfortunate mindset.

  25. Stephon Agave says:

    Sometimes having a formal education in a field counts.

    Below is a link to a review of Keith’s book written by an author and a Registered Dietitian:

    Review of “The Vegetarian Myth”
    http://www.theveganrd.com/2010/09/review-of-the-vegetarian-myth.html#comment-1992

    Yes, I see your point. If a reviewer on a vegan website (surely an objective source if ever there was one) takes issue with a few pasages in the book, it must prove that Lierre, myself, and thousands of other ex-vegetarians merely imagined all the health problems we experienced, then later imagined those problems went away after returning to the omnivorous diet humans thrived on for hundreds of thousands of years.

  26. MC says:

    Vegans appear to be just like all the religious fanatics I have the misfortune of running into. They’re all hypocrites! I have a friend who is proudly vegan, and is constantly reminding everyone around him how the vegan lifestyle is good for the planet, doesn’t kill animals, etc…
    I’ve seen him slam on the brakes, jump out of the car (a large SUV. (He’s from the Al Gore school of green planet thinking)), endangering everyone around him, to remove a few worms from the middle of the road! I couldn’t believe it.
    Anyway, in this case, Ms. Keith was on the receiving end of this type of thinking, and as is the case with all the religious nuts, the vegans actually believe they were justified in their actions.

  27. “only an idiot lets an expert contradict their own experience”. Dunno who said that but it stuck in my mind. If I’d taken all the advice I was given by qualified experts – heck, let’s just limit it to M.D.s – I’m pretty sure I’d be dead today.
    If a qualified nutritional expert told that vegan they were better off eating meat, they’d take it seriously. Yeah right.
    We are all, potentially, experts in nutrition because we can all potentially read, cook, eat, and live. It’s food, folks, everyone does it, no-one has a monopoly. If you have to trust anyone, trust the diet doctors who have actually been answerable to large numbers of patients who came to them with health problems; that would include Dr Eades and Dr Atkins. Don’t trust an expert who’s speciality is torturing rats or adding up questionaires, over one who gets results.
    Which raises another issue – these vegans are not particular about using vivisection research to back their arguments, rather than just trusting in millenia of human experience.

  28. MC says:

    Everyone here should read ‘The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet, by Robb Wolf. Great book, great advice.

  29. Maureen says:

    Hi- I see that I’m about 9 months late with my comments here for the heated discussion. I am a 28 year old woman and I have been a vegetarian for 17+ years, and I celebrate my vegetarian date like alcoholics celebrate their sobriety date. I was 11 years old and NOT from a vegetarian family. In fact, I was the only vegetarian I knew. I made the decision mid-hamburger. Over the years I have had brief vegan periods, usually prompted by reading radical vegan blogs, as Lierre talks about in the beginning of the book. I have never dated a vegetarian, though I admit it would make my life easier- I usually don’t like other vegetarians and vegans- I know I’m going to get hate mail for this. I came across Lierre’s book in doing research for my own blog on the environmental sustainability of vegetarianism. I haven’t yet fully written the article. I was motivated by the fact that many of the soy-products I like are obviously factory produced and not in their natural form, so they can’t possibly be more sustainable than local meat right? Anyway, I’m a lifelong vegetarian that supports choice. The bottom line for me comes down to the fact that I don’t want to eat meat, and nobody can tell me whether I have the right to or not. I believe as humans we have an inherent moral code, and mine tells me not to eat meat, but animal products for me are necessary for survival. I have no problem with hunting- I live in Pennsylvania where deer are more dangerous to humans than is hunting, so I am okay with hunting as long as the animal is used as much as possible. I still won’t eat it. :) My boyfriends tease me and my parents wouldn’t cook separately for me, but ultimately every time I look at a menu it is my right to choose what I want to eat, as it is everyone else’s. The meat-eaters will dangle a piece of bacon and say “oooh don’t you want some” No. But vegans in my experience are the worst- they seem to think its okay to judge me for my choices. Argue with me over cheese, as if they’re going to somehow win points with whatever God they pray to if they make me feel guilty about a slice of pizza.

    I’ve gone on pretty long here, but the actual bottom line is that education should be the goal, for everyone. It’s a sign of educational depravity that anyone would Pie in the face someone who challenges their beliefs.

    P.S. I once woke up to my little brother and his buddy putting raw steak on my face. He was 8. real adults, as described by lierre, would not have pie faced anyone.

    If your moral code says don’t eat meat, then I agree, you shouldn’t. Lierre discusses the morality quite in her book, so if you haven’t read that section yet, I suspect you’ll find it intriguing. Bottom line is that we should all respect each other’s decisions on the matter.

  30. Steven Ault says:

    It’s difficult to understand the motivation behind the book ‘The Vegetarian Myth’. Is it the meat industry’s response to the findings by the International Convention on Climate Change? Is the motivation psychological? Is vegetarianism too mainstream or too ‘square’ now for someone like Lierre Keith, a feminist anarchist who opposes authority? I suggest the latter. It’s a strange book, and I don’t think too many colleges or universities will purchase it! No self respecting vegetarian or vegan should be perturbed by this book. After all, the science, the facts, the statistics all point to the a need for lower meat (and probably dairy) consumption. This book is ‘pseudo scientific’ and based purely on opinion. Do you listen to scientists and nutritionists, or a feminist activist? You decide. This ‘Meat Head’ bloke has some serious malfunctions! Who is he?!!! Is he not an extremist himself? His terminology would suggest so!

    Well, damn, you caught us! The only reason anyone would suggest that eating the foods we ate for millions of years might actually be good for us is to support the evil meat industry, as you surmised. And as you also figured out, there are no scientists anywhere who believe animal protein is good for us … only feminist activists believe that. Brilliant analysis, my tofu-eating friend.

  31. Exhale-this is tough stuff says:

    Well, not sure if I’ve come to the right place based on the above- but here I am nonetheless looking for an informative, balanced, open dialogue with people who are concerned with questions ethical, environmental and political about what we consume…

    I am currently vegan, quite healthy… and have been for the past ten years. I chose this diet under Lierre’s “Moral” category… making zero claims that it is nutritionally a better choice- I just can’t be convinced of that even though I subscribe to veganism right now.

    I have never thought that killing was wrong… never been squeamish about the blatant reality that life requires death AND also knew that I could never support the meat industry… that that form of mechanical indifference to life is perhaps the most violently cruel practice- in its banal detachment- that could be concocted.

    And…. I certainly resonated with Lierre’s book… I consider myself animist and cannot argue with the adult, life-cycle position she presents around the necessity of death for life… brutal, and violent at times and still fraught with beauty and creation.

    I am also currently working through both the “Omnivore’s dilemma” and the work of Gary Francione…

    Folks, I truly am on a fact finding mission such that I can make some balanced choices for myself that resonate with where I’m at.

    With that, I would love to have a list of the points that people have taken issue with in Lierre’s book, and possibly replies to them therein. Crop rotation? Kelp fertilizers? Let’s talk through the nitty gritty. I would really appreciate it if you’re up to it.

    I am left with a “Now what?” type feeling after reading her book… I still don’t feel to eat meat… living in a major Canadian city, with zero ability to hunt, no land to participate in the type of land use she supports…

    I have started looking into “ethical”, grass fed meats in my area… trying to decipher what edibles are top-soil lovin’ and producin’… and…. but….

    I worry that as a planet we have gone too far in the direction of mono-crop sustenance and factory farming to ever reach the dreamy place that Lierre sees as ideal (as do I). I wonder if technology and bizarre products… extremes of diet… will need to be the answer to a too far gone system?

    I am far more comfortable will the “natural violence” of the honourable killing of an animal as may have been the case on my great-grandmother’s farm or in the traditions of some of north america’s first peoples… but wonder how to live that out “now”.

    Veganism at least attempts to set forth with the intentionality to reduce suffering… as misguided as Lierre notes it to be (she is right).

    Intentionality, I believe, is so important… I cringe at the thought of those who have never paused to consider their impact… their role… the respect that should be afforded every morsel of what we eat using Lierre’s book as an excuse to just go ahead and continue doing what they’ve always done or start eating meat without a second thought… Flipping to her scathing criticism of farming vegans and using that as fodder to bash unbelievably well-intentioned people (complete with all their flaws) doing their best to grapple with deep ethical questions and live a better life. (I don’t know any vegans like the “pie throwing” ones… am embarrassed by them to be true…)

    I think Lierre’s book is a long time needed and essential part of a vital debate- but that there is more required. Wish I knew what that was.

    I welcome any and all information, comments, questions etc. and would especially appreciate any thoughts on the question of soundness of Lierre’s book and the specific debates occurring around those points.

    Also- I would love to hear more about how people are applying Lierre’s work into their daily lives on any and all of an individual, family, community or global scale.

    Many thanks.

  32. Exhale-this is tough stuff says:

    Found this link really interesting. Lots of great fodder for debate.

    http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/faqs/

    Hope others find it useful.

  33. Exhale-this is tough stuff says:

    Questions #5 and #12 look at questions Lierre addresses in the Moral Vegetarian chapter.

  34. Kathy from Maine says:

    Just one question that has always been in the back of my mind when I hear about PETA or some other group throwing blood on someone wearing fur.

    Where do they get the blood? Do they all donate a pint?

    Ha, I never thought of that. Maybe they saved it from their one member who had the guts to accost a biker wearing leather instead of a woman wearing fur.

  35. Don says:

    Here’s a nutcase vegan that thinks she knows what she’s talking about reviewing Lierre Keith’s “The Vegetarian Myth”. Her credibility goes down even farther especially since she’s a well respected and well informed registered dietitian. God, just hate those vegans!

    http://www.theveganrd.com/2010/09/review-of-the-vegetarian-myth.html

    “Well informed registered dietician” is a contradiction in terms.

  36. Andrés says:

    You should concede to her, veganrd, that she doesn’t erase disagreeing posts and she strongly promotes B12 supplementation. She promotes unfermented soy, though. Moreover, there is a very good review of “The Vegetarian Myth” pointed out by a commenter: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3M4LC3USB5H3S?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_cr_rdp_perm. I haven’t read the book (nor I will, since I couldn’t care less about vegan ideology), but if the references are as A. Perri states them to be, it seems that it is some levels bellow Gary Taubes’s one in research thoroughness (I will buy GCBC in the short term just because that thoroughness). Not invalidating, but just as Nesy and others like to point out, you have to dig yourself to grasp what actual scientific research is saying, and it is not first class research if you don’t go to the sources. If I am getting a distorted picture, please let me know.

  37. Rexhungus says:

    I recently watched the video of the incident and was outraged. Obviously she is making an impact and shaking the vegan establishment enough for them to act. I just bought her book and look forward to seeing what the fuss is all about. If I ever get a chance to attend a Keith speech I will show up with a bowl of sliced beef, sit in the front row and indulge. I probably won’t have any issues until a group of brave souls wearing masks jump me when I’m not looking and at my most vulnerable.

    I look at groups like PETA and whatever vegan organizations that are out there as havens for the mentally imbalanced. Sure there are sane people and those that think before they act, but there are enough whack jobs in those groups to give them a bad name. Its another form of religious extremists, which in my mind is evil in its own right.

    If you haven’t seen this show or this episode I recommend it. I love these guys! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inFtOMx8nDU

  38. Wes Shaffer says:

    That really disgusts me with the vegan pet food thing Dogs and cats are carnivores. This is 21 second clip is from Futurama.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRSLQu-d6ZQ

  39. Kirsten Lovette says:

    I’m a vegan of about twenty years, I don’t know exactly when I became vegan – my family became vegan when I was young. I’ve never eaten meat/animals, except for accidental insects like aphids and such. I’m 27 years old, and I have never had any serious female problems like Lierre describes. My longest cycle was 35 days, which was very unusual. My health is good, and I don’t feel like anything is wrong with my diet. I work as a caregiver, and I carry people my size daily. I also play the sport of Judo, and I frequently ride my bike to work to save gas.

    I don’t think it’s ok, what those people did to Lierre with that pie.

    I am currently reading The Vegetarian Myth, and I am close to the end of it. The beginning of the book was shocking to me, because my whole family is vegan, and I have never even heard of a vegan being as sick as Lierre. Lierre’s book was very offensive because it seems to say that vegetarians and vegans are bound to have serious health problems and nutritional deficiencies. However, she does admit that Seventh-Day Adventists have longer, healthier lives than average Americans. She does say that Mormons beat Adventists, which may be true.

    Even though I was offended by her book, and I have no plans to stop being vegan, I did learn some things, like about lectins and phytates. The main effect this had on me was to resume taking my calcium supplement, which I have taken sporadically throughout my life, but thought I would dump in favor of more green, leafy vegetables. It also made me think that I need to soak and drain my beans very well, overnight, before I cook them. I used to be a salad-disliking vegan, but this year I am trying to eat healthier, and so far I’ve managed to quit potato chips, and add a lot more salads. My diet is not low-fat, which is something Lierre claims is a necessary attribute of vegan diets. She also seems to put coconut into the same class as animal foods, indirectly. Coconut is sometimes a part of my diet, and it doesn’t bother me that it comes from Sri Lanka. I know coconuts don’t grow in Arizona.

    In the end, I had to conclude that Lierre’s nutritional problems arose from her environmental diet and lack of nutritional guidance. I am sure I would starve to death if I tried to eat locally and environmentally. We have lots of cactus in Arizona, which are delicious, but that won’t sustain human life for very long. We have lots of pecans and vegetable farms and apple orchards, but these all require wells for water – this is the desert! Some things in my diet cannot come from Arizona. I also know that the key nutrient in a vegan diet is B-12, which may be found in yeast, but I just take a vegetarian chewable multivitamin every day to make sure I get my B-vitamins and any other vitamins and minerals I may have missed in my diet. I have never lacked protein. I used to eat a lot of soy products, but I now limit soy/tofu to once a week, because I read a book about it four years ago. I don’t eat TVP or isolated soy protein.

    One thing Lierre said in her book was that there are some people in existence who do not have the genetic components necessary to manufacture their own long-chain fatty acids from plant foods, and must eat them from animal sources. I had not heard this before, it seems very strange. I suppose this genetic variable does not exist in my family.

    Lastly, Lierre’s description of tryptophan and B-vitamin deficiencies and their relation to depression, anxiety, anorexia, and bulimia was very educational. My cousin said she worked in a group home briefly, and one of the resident teen girls was a bulimic vegan. Now I understand why this would happen. It is very sad, but I don’t believe that a vegan diet necessarily lacks tryptophan or B-vitamins. I think if a teenager wants to be vegan, she should have education about nutritional requirements and proper supplementation. My mom bought a 5-HTP supplement for my dad, and something like this might help a sick vegan.

    I’m glad your vegan diet isn’t giving you health issues. However, I’ve known a handful of vegan personally, and every one of them had major health issues, including one who had the degenerating spine issue that afflicted Lierre. Another lost 50% of the bone mass in her jaw and required reconstructive dental surgery.

  40. Kirsten Lovette says:

    It just baffles me that the writer of this blog has never met a vegan without serious health issues. We certainly exist, and Lierre attempts to deny our existence.

    Amenorrhea in women of child-bearing age is a very serious problem. Although most women would be happy to be free from periods, it is a necessary part of female biology, associated with a cycle of hormones that affect calcium absorption and deposition. Amenorrhea does lead to bone loss. It is generally caused by caloric deficiency. This often happens in athletes, even though they are usually not vegan. It also happens in anorexics. Not eating enough, whatever type of dietary habits you have, can cause this problem. It is not caused by veganism.

    I read her book and she doesn’t deny that there are vegans without health problems. She recounts the health problems she and other vegan friends experienced.

  41. Ruthie S says:

    I am so grateful for your and Lierre’s voices of razor-sharp intelligence, humanity, and truth amidst very ill societal norms. Thank you.

  42. Veganist says:

    Hello Tom. I have been reading some of your post where you have strong opinions of vegans and vegetarians and after watching your documentary Fat Head this morning I was a bit disappointed to read the type of things you have been saying to people. Now let’s start off, I am a vegan, but I am not here to tell you are wrong and I am right. Now those people who threw these pies, whether they were vegans or not is plain out wrong. It doesn’t matter if the victim was a woman, a person with an injury, or Arnold Schwarzenegger. You don’t throw pies in peoples faces for any reason, what so ever, no matter who they are. Violence is against veganism, and that includes violence to humans and animals. Now I know I can’t be pure 100% cruelty free, that’s not rational, but I make a strong effort to do what I can.

    Now I have been reading the comments and something that was striking to me, was when I read YOUR comments Tom, I see a lot of name calling and putting people down. I have read what the vegans have wrote and not one of them called you any names, or tried to put you down in any way. They were just plainly trying to state their points. At no time did these “angry, self righteous vegans” call anyone a moron, a Nazi, said your brain was depleted in anyway, called anyone an a$$hole, troll or called you a nut-job which you have called people numerous times in your comments and articles.

    I find these responses kind of childish when it’s coming from a man in his 50s. These comments are almost or equally as childish as those people who threw those pies in that woman’s face.

    Coming back to that subject I wonder how the backstage staff didn’t notice black cloaked/masked people backstage? Where is the security? That entrance was very smooth (all in single file) when it wouldn’t have been that way if security was doing their jobs. Plus there are technicians, clean up staff, sound crew, managers, organizers and no one notice these 3 dudes on the sidelines c’mon? My father works in security in a bar and when there’s a disturbance, even on the busiest days where the bar is jammed packed, security is at the location in seconds, so how these people passed security, management staff, general public, admissions crew, organizers baffles me!

    Back to my point, it seems like your comments are very hostile and include a lot of name calling and put down towards people. Even if people comment and just state their vegan, you claim that their trolling. You have called so many vegans trolls, that brought up good arguments as do you, but if some one brings up an argument that favors yours, they are not trolls. So are you calling people trolls just because they are indifferent to you? Both omnivorous and vegan sides have brought up amazing points but only one side you claim are trolls. Why?

    I know this is your blog, and you can do what ever you please with it, but it surprises me that some one who made a very informative documentary can be such a name caller and frankly… a bully. Now you may say well I am just standing up for my “cult” as you seem to think that veganism is a self righteous religious group but no matter who the person, what their belief, what colour they are, gender or nationality, no one deserves to be called names such as a$$hole, moron, or nut-job. I have read your comments for hours and would like to keep reading them but every time I see you call someone names I just think to myself “Tom, is that really necessary to get your point across?” You may think it is, or it isn’t, but if your trying to represent some one who advocates a high fat, high saturated diet, you should probably bring down the name calling or you might turn people away. It just brings me down when some one who has made a well put together documentary could bully in a way that a 4th grader would.

    Again, this is your blog and I am not here to tell you what to do, and I wish for a day where omnivores and vegans can at least be at peace with each other. They don’t have to like each others philosophies or eating habits, but name calling? I highly recommend you don’t encourage behavior such as name calling. Please Tom :)

    Peace Be With You!

    You’ll have to be more specific. I’m polite to people who are polite. I call people trolls if they keep showing up here preaching the same old nonsense from the same old cherry-picked sources. It gets tiresome. This is a blog clearly dedicated to low-carb/paleo diets. I don’t bother visiting vegan blogs to argue with the writers because I’m not on a mission to convert the heathens, unlike some of the vegans who show up here. I have no problem with vegans who choose that diet for themselves and don’t try to preach to the rest of us.

    Some also attempt to post several times under different names — easy to spot because the IP address is the same — and yes, I call those people trolls.

  43. Isabel says:

    Hello!

    I’m very disappointed by the way you speak.
    You could add humor to your words without being rude and so judgmental.
    Your article is just as hostile as the pie throwing.
    Seriously, i don’t understand why meat eaters have raised this war against Vegans.
    Do you feel insulted by them?
    What exactly is so wrong about people that fight for animal and human rights and that Live in more harmony with this beautiful Earth? Why does this nobel action irritates so many people?
    I Love it, and fortunatly i’m growing myself to be like them. Not the trowing pie king of people, but the ones that give up on craving and confort to built a better world with their everyday actions.
    Go Vegan and Go Respect*

    War against vegans? Are you serious? If you ever hear of a meat-eater physically attacking a vegetarian for not eating meat, be sure to let me know. if you ever hear of a meat-eater walking into a grocery store and trashing the vegetable aisle, be sure to let me know. If you ever hear of a meat-eater spraying carrot juice on a vegetarian for refusing to wear fur, be sure to let me know.

    I don’t have any problem with vegans being vegans. But I definitely have a problem with those who act like the vegan Hezbollah.

  44. SMC says:

    ‘The Vegetarian Myth’ is chock-full of factual errors & promotes harmful, unhealthy habits quoting dubious / illegitimate sources. Author Lierre Keith misrepresents herself by packaging her misnomers & ‘myths’ in the form of knowledge-based advice while telling meat-eaters what they want to hear. She claims to be a feminist but is a fraud in every sense. As for this site, the only sound advice contained herein is from contributors, in the ‘Comments’ section. Shame!

    Another vegan nut-job chimes in.

  45. sandy stewart says:

    check out the documental movie forks over knives very well known Cleveland clinic heart surgeon states that meat eating is the cause of heart disease and by not eating MEAT heart disease as WE KNOW IT WOULD NOT EXIST but I still eat fish now and then I personally think as a person ages they should eat lighter because the digestive juices slow down which just makes sense. You don’t want that meat sitting in there too long ugh… I do have gallbladder problem but that’s why I cant eat red meat without a gallbladder attack my body cant digest meat. So for now I eat vegetarian with some fish no dairy or meat. I am thankful I can eat the way I do.

    • Tom Naughton says:

      Perhaps you missed the post about how Bill Clinton’s doctor chided him for eating a roll and told him plenty of vegans have heart attacks.

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