From The News …

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Interesting items from my inbox and elsewhere …

Why people hate vegans, part whatever … and how to deal with them

If I’m ever in Toronto again, I’m having a meal at this guy’s restaurant.

Animal rights activists were horrified this weekend when the co-owner of a Dundas West restaurant they’d been protesting for weeks staged what appeared to be a counter-protest of his own.

The restaurant in question, Antler, is known for serving “local seasonal and wild foods” that are native to Canada, such as bison, boar, rabbit, duck and deer.

A group of local activists had arranged a protest in front of the restaurant on Friday evening, writing on Facebook that it would be their fourth of such protests outside Antler.

Yeah, yeah, the usual holier-than-thou nonsense from vegan zealots. That’s not news.  But the owner’s method of dealing with them was:

About an hour into their demonstration, protesters say that the restaurant’s co-owner and chef, Michael Hunter, “brought out an entire animal leg and started cutting it up right in the window on a table reserved for diners.”

Event organizer Marni Jill Ugar wrote later that night on Facebook that she felt Hunter had been “taunting” the group by cutting up a deer leg right in front of them.

Aw, jeez, you try to annoy the crap out of the owner and his patrons, and he responds by taunting you? What is this world coming to?

“Once the deer was cooked Michael Hunter, owner of Antler, sat back down at the window to eat the dead deer,” she wrote.

“Look in the window. Look at Michael Hunter. That deer was treated like a joke. That deer was an innocent animal who did not want to die.”

Same goes for all the innocent animals who are killed to farm your soybeans, you mental midget.

At one point, a couple of police officers arrive and go into the restaurant. They are seen speaking to Hunter as he continues to prepare the meat.

After about a minute, Hunter packs up his tools and meat. Both he and the police officers are then seen smiling as they walk away.

They’re smiling, I’m laughing.

Meatless sliders?

Speaking of soybeans, White Castle is now making meatless sliders:

Vegetarians who once found it impossible to eat fast food have a new option that will give them the true White Castle experience.

The fast food chain is introducing the “Impossible Slider.”

It’s the first plant-based and scientist-developed burger to hit the fast food market.

Yeah, that’s the key to good health: eating foods developed in laboratories by scientists.

It’s made with a meat substitute that apparently tastes and even bleeds like real meat, but is made entirely out of plants.

If you want something that looks like a burger, tastes like a burger, and even bleeds like a burger, just eat a burger. Nobody ever goes looking for meat that looks and tastes like tofu.

On the other hand, the next time vegans decide to protest outside Antler, perhaps the owner can cut up a bleeding meat substitute in the window.

Meat and Men, Part One

As you probably know, the vast majority of vegans are women – around 75%, according to one survey I saw. So why is that? A study reported in Science Daily gives us the answer:

According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers are influenced by a strong association of meat with masculinity.

“We examined whether people in Western cultures have a metaphoric link between meat and men,” write authors Paul Rozin (University of Pennsylvania), Julia M. Hormes (Louisiana State University), Myles S. Faith (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), and Brian Wansink (Cornell University). The answer, they found, was a strong connection between eating meat — especially muscle meat, like steak — and masculinity.

In a number of experiments that looked at metaphors and certain foods, like meat and milk, the authors found that people rated meat as more masculine than vegetables. They also found that meat generated more masculine words when people discussed it, and that people viewed male meat eaters as being more masculine than non-meat eaters.

The authors of the study seem to consider the association of meat and manliness a problem we must overcome:

If marketers or health advocates want to counteract such powerful associations, they need to address the metaphors that shape consumer attitudes, the authors explain. For example, an education campaign that urges people to eat more soy or vegetables would be a tough sell, but reshaping soy burgers to make them resemble beef or giving them grill marks might help cautious men make the transition.

Or you could just make those soy burgers bleed. But as for those “cautious” men, perhaps they just intuitively understand the effects of swapping meat for soy …

Meat and Men, Part Two

Here are some quotes from a study in my files:

A randomised crossover dietary intervention study was performed to evaluate the effects of replacing meat protein in the diet with a soyabean product, tofu, on blood concentrations of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, androstanediol glucuronide, oestradiol, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and the free androgen index. Forty-two healthy adult males aged 35-62 years were studied. Diets were isoenergetic, with either 150 g lean meat or 290 g tofu daily providing an equivalent amount of macronutrients, with only the source of protein differing between the two diets.

Okay, so they divided up the men and fed one group meat, the other group tofu. And here are the results:

The mean testosterone:oestradiol value was 10% higher (P = 0.06) after the meat diet. SHBG was 3% higher (P = 0.07), whereas the FAI was 7% lower (P = 0.06), after the tofu diet compared with the meat diet. There was a significant correlation between the difference in SHBG and testosterone:oestradiol and weight change. Adjusting for weight change revealed SHBG to be 8.8% higher on the tofu diet and testosterone:oestradiol to be significantly lower.

So the meat-eating men had a higher testosterone to estrogen ratio, and lower levels of sex hormone-binding globulin. Wikipedia tells us SHBG limits the bioavailability of hormones like testosterone, and then adds this little nugget:

SHBG levels are usually about twice as high in women than in men.

So I’m pretty sure swapping soy protein for meat isn’t something most of us men want to do … even if the soy burger bleeds.

A meat-eating man sets a record.

If you saw Super Size Me, you may recall the interview with Don Gorske, the guy who eats a Big Mac every day. Frankly, I wasn’t sure why Spurlock included him. He was lean and fit, and thus seemed to undermine Spurlock’s premise that eating at McDonald’s makes people fat.

Anyway, Mr. Gorske recently reached a new milestone:

Another day, another burger, and one major McMilestone for one man.

Don Gorske, 64, recently downed his 30,000th Big Mac from McDonald’s.

He’s eaten at least one almost every day, since May 17, 1972.

The Wisconsin man has a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. In case you’re wondering, he says his cholesterol and blood pressure are normal – and he weighs five pounds less than he did 5,000 Big Macs ago.

And he somehow managed to avoid having a liver that resembles an alcoholic’s … perhaps because unlike Spurlock, he’s not a closet alcoholic.

How to kill raccoons slowly

Raccoons have become the bane of my existence. Remember last summer, when I found out Rocky Raccoon VI was living inside the chicken coop – after he wiped out half the flock?

In the past month, I’ve trapped and killed Rocky Raccoon VII and Rocky Raccoon VIII. Both of them managed to find a way into the chicken yard – Rocky Raccoon VIII apparently climbed a tree, leaped onto the net and chewed a hole in it.

Our last remaining flock is now so small, we’ve gone from selling eggs to buying eggs at the grocery store when we run out. It was a real letdown to put eggs in the grocery basket after all these years.

Anyway, some raccoons are apparently feeling the effects of eating too much people food:

Here’s another reason for keeping raccoons out of your compost bin: our leftovers are giving them high blood sugar.

A new study by a group of Ontario researchers found that raccoons with easy access to human food waste were significantly heavier and had higher blood glucose levels than others.

The findings, published last week in the journal Conservation Physiology, compared data from three groups of raccoons: those with high access to human food waste living on the grounds of the Toronto Zoo, those in a conservation area with moderate access to garbage, and those in a farming area with hardly any access to food waste.

Blood glucose level is determined by measuring for the presence of a glycated serum protein (GSP). The urban raccoons averaged GSP levels more than double those of their rural cousins.

So the raccoons eating human food have high blood sugar – and double the glycated proteins of the country raccoons that kill my chickens. And what do researchers blame for the high blood sugar? Too many leftover donuts? Breads? Pretzels? Candies?

Of course not:

That doesn’t surprise Suzanne MacDonald, an animal behaviour specialist in the psychology department at York University.

“They’re eating high fat, high salt, just like we are. It’s not surprising that raccoons are mirroring what humans in cities look like.”

Yeah, it just HAD to be the fat and salt, of course.

And that’s why I can’t retire from blogging anytime soon.


50 thoughts on “From The News …

  1. Elenor

    We don’t WANT you to retire from blogging! Retire from programming so you can write for US more!

    (Selfish? Qui, moi? Non non! I wish to save the world! Have a burger!)

      1. Walter

        Then you start work on one for adults.

        Seriously, movies have an audience that web sites and blogs just don’t reach, in spite of books and web sites are more informative. “Seeing is believing” is just too true, despite the relatively low information content of a movie and the relative difficulty of checking references.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          There’s definitely a tradeoff going from a book to a film. Before deciding what to cut, I put a scratch track of all the narration, character dialog and expert interviews onto a timeline in Premiere. It ran three hours. Now it’s 90 minutes.

          1. Walter

            Relatively easy compared to condensing say, _Big Fat Surprise_ or _Good Calories Bad Calories_ to 2 hours.

            For long books, the movie either omits much of the important material or is a totally different story. Hollywood generally preferrers to do the equivalent of turning “To Kill a Mocking Bird to _Kill mor’ Mocking Bird.

  2. Tom Welsh

    “So the meat-eating men had a higher testosterone to estrogen ratio, and lower levels of sex hormone-binding globulin”.

    Which is exactly what extreme feminists and the PC fanatics want to prevent. Food that makes men more manly? What horror! Abolish it and force men to eat food that makes them grow breasts and become sterile.

    That is the way to a better, more mhumane world. One without any human beings in it, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs…

    Speaking of which – time for some super-healthy bacon & eggs; it’s breakfast time here in England!

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Meat = toxic masculinity? Well, Kellogg did promote cereal as a way to tame runaway sexuality.

    1. Walter

      It’s been suggested that soy is responsible for 8 year old girls going into puberty, perhaps by exposure to soy based baby formula. On the whole soy may be worse for females than males.

  3. Desmond

    Maybe eating discarded bleeding soy burgers will save the raccoons?

    I know if I got one I would throw it away… so Rocky IX is welcome to it.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      It would be cruel to make Rocky’s last meal a soy burger. We lured all the Rocky Raccoons into the trap with a tin of cat food that was all meat products.

  4. The Older Brother

    So, in the meat vs. industrial waste produ…. er, tofu study, if the diets were isoenergetic, what does this part mean?:

    “Adjusting for weight change revealed …”


      1. Walter

        AND added a throwaway about lower effective testosterone (possibly) lowering prostate cancer risk.

        Castration is very effective for that.

        1. Walter

          Castration also stop male pattern baldness.

          Despite these advantages, castration remains an unpopular option, embraced by a small minority — IIUC — most of whom identify as women. (I seem to remember that castration is recommended for some other forms of cancer, but that is in extremis.)

    1. Walter

      If the men who ate the soy lost weight the paper would have made a big deal about it. So I have to assume based on my knowledge on endocrinology that the soy eating men gained fat and lost muscle.

      They didn’t have to point that out in the abstract, but for those who have eyes it’s there.

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        Yup. Can’t just read the abstract and accept the conclusions. Most researchers have an agenda.

  5. Bonnie

    I agree with Elenor – write more, work less. 🙂

    Those animal rights people are insane – don’t they even think about what they’re doing?

    Re: Meatless meat. I never was a vegetarian, but there were non-meat foods I liked – meatless burgers at Dairy Queen were one. I was also very fond of a lentil-based sandwich spread I made. Once my diabetes caught up with me, those foods were out. 🙁

    Re: Raccoon diets. When things like this hit the news, they NEVER mention the sugar. Which is why I’ve had people tell me they don’t eat sugar – while eating a pastry.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      You’d think at some point, it would occur to these people that high glucose might be caused by eating foods that are broken down into glucose.

      1. Walter

        And especially fructose. Even our bread is loaded with sugar, and pastries much more. Probably bread no longer tastes sweet to people on SAD.

        I can remember buying and eating pure fructose because it didn’t raise blood sugar and the causal chain that leads to it raising blood sugar is longer and more complex.

          1. Walter

            The science was sound as far as it went. In fact, has anyone done double blind placebo controlled trials comparing fructose vice sugar as sweetener? The not using fructose vice sugar is IIUC made on theoretical grounds and as Taleb says, ‘Empirical observations take precedence over reasoning from theory.

            The thing is that the glucose in sugar contributes little to sweetening effect, so about half as many calories are needed and the glucose rasises blood sugar blocking the conversion of fructose to glucose.

  6. June

    You realize that the raccoons are reaching Mission Impossible level chicken coop penetration? All that good protein and healthy fats from the chickens and eggs are accelerating their evolution. For all of our sakes, start leaving packages of Twinkies and Ho-Ho laying around, otherwise they are going to figure out how to pick locks.

      1. Walter

        Raccoons have extremely sensitive hands and can open most combination locks by feel, just like trained people. That is, of course, city raccoons who we have been educating by Darwin. (Learn fast or die young.)

        Isn’t raccoon control discussed in gentleman farmer publications?

      2. Dianne

        We’ll probably keep ahead of the raccoons as long as they don’t develop opposable thumbs. When that happens, it’ll be Katy bar the door.

      3. chris c

        If they become diabetic maybe they will lose their thumbs.

        Also if you feed them enough soy and cornflakes maybe they will be unable to reproduce.

          1. Walter

            Well getting into your hen house is a dead end for them. They get some free meals and pay with their lives. You are culling the brightest so reducing the intelligence. Except for the raccoons that are smart enough to not get into your chicken house.

            I do hope they are not that smart or the human race is doomed.

  7. Dave

    I rarely read comments on news articles, but was curious about the one you linked to the Toronto restaurant. Great to see most of those that left a comment indicated that they are now going to try the restaurant. Major backfire for the zealots. I will be in Toronto for business soon, and will also be doing my best to support the restaurant while I’m there.

    Thanks for all that you do!

  8. Elenor

    G’morning Tom: OT, but for your delectation:’t-listen-to-your-patients-doctor.html

    [Vox Day posts:]
    Don’t listen to your patients, Doctor!
    California disciplines a doctor for doing what doctors are supposed to do []:

    [Vox Day quotes site:] In a decision that could signal how California’s fierce vaccine debates will play out in the coming years, the Medical Board of California has ordered 35 months’ probation for Dr. Bob Sears, an Orange County pediatrician well-known for being sympathetic to parents opposed to vaccines.

    In 2016, the board threatened to revoke Sears’ medical license for wrongly writing a doctor’s note for a 2-year-old boy that exempted him from all childhood vaccinations. This week, the medical board settled on a lesser punishment.

    Sears can keep practicing medicine but will be required to take 40 hours of medical education courses a year, as well as an ethics class, and also be monitored by a fellow doctor. He also must notify all hospital and medical facilities where he practices of the order and is not allowed to supervise physician assistants or nurse practicioners.

    Sears found himself in hot water because, according to the medical board, he wrote a vaccine exemption for a young boy without obtaining even basic medical information, such as the child’s history of vaccines. He took the boy’s mother at her word when she said her son lost urinary function and went limp in response to previous immunizations, according to the filing.[/q]

    [Vox Day continues:] They’re going to have to revoke every medical license in California if listening to a patient and taking them at their word is no longer considered proper medical practice. Especially since if a restaurant simply ignored a mother telling a waiter about her child’s nut allergy, they’d probably prosecute the owners.

  9. Walter

    “Yeah, that’s the key to good health: eating foods developed in laboratories by scientists.”

    Especially fast food variations. I bet they replaced the heart healthy saturated fat with cancer provoking polyunsaturated amongst other crimes agains humanity.

    I better stop, lest I start ranting.

      1. Walter

        They probably or the funders no doubt carefully chose the animals used in the research. “Give it to a mouse lab.” I hear experimenters are using lawyers instead of mice and rats because the experimenters become attached to the rodents.

  10. Walter

    To be fair, the goal was to reduce androgen activity to slow prostate cancer.

    “A small number of intervention
    studies have reported effects of various nutrients on
    endogenous sex hormone levels in men. Decreased intake
    of fat (Hamalainen et al. 1984; Dorgan et al. 1996),
    increased dietary fibre (Dorgan et al. 1996) and changes to
    a vegetarian diet (Raben et al. 1992) have resulted in lower
    plasma androgen levels. Previous diet-intervention studies
    have involved simultaneous changes in various dietary
    components, and there is little information available on the
    specific effects of soyabean consumption on sex hormone
    concentrations in healthy adult males.”

    Needless to say, they assumed that because people with lower amounts of item x had better health results for one condition, reducing item x would improve health.

  11. Walter

    I would like to see a scatter digram of the weight gain and loss. 0.4 kg (about 1 pound) isn’t much, but there might be a wide spread with some men gaining much more.

    On the whole the abstract was unusually congruent with the rest of the paper.


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