A Big Crowd Of DENIERS!

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Last year I read The Smear, a highly illuminating book written by a former CBS reporter named Sharyl Attkinsson. As you may recall, I mentioned her in this post and included a YouTube video of her speaking about fake news. She gave this description of Wikipedia:

Anonymous Wikipedia editors control and co-opt pages on behalf of special interests. They forbid and reverse edits that go against their agenda. They skew and delete information in blatant violation of Wikipedia’s own established policies with impunity.

Yup. Like when, say, a vegan editor starts deleting articles about people and films who say animal fats don’t cause heart disease.

In The Smear, Attkinsson explains that much of what passes for major-media journalism today is nothing more than P.R. designed to promote an agenda. She describes the P.R. techniques, including labeling anyone who disagrees with the agenda as a denier or a conspiracy theorist. When you hear those terms, she explains, you’re supposed to just stop thinking about the issue.

Oh, he’s a denier, so he must be wrong. The media says this is a conspiracy theory, so there’s nothing to it.

Just one little problem: throwing around those terms isn’t an argument. It’s not a rebuttal. It doesn’t prove diddly. If CNN says leprechauns are changing votes in voting machines, and I say that can’t happen because leprechauns don’t exist, I may be a DENIER! — but I also happen to be right. If a bunch of tobacco executives testify before Congress that nicotine isn’t addictive, and I say they’ve buried research showing that nicotine is highly addictive, I may be a CONSPIRACY THEORIST! — but I also happen to be right.

When you hear DENIER, you are of course supposed to immediately equate the contrarian with a Holocaust denier. Denier? Has to be kook. Ignore and move on …

So it’s no surprise that defenders of the arterycloggingsaturatedfat! theory have taken to using the terms cholesterol deniers and statin deniers. Here’s an example from an article in The Guardian:

A group of scientists has been challenging everything we know about cholesterol, saying we should eat fat and stop taking statins. This is not just bad science – it will cost lives, say experts.

Wait, timeout. I’ve pointed this out before, but it’s worth mentioning again: whenever a media article includes phrases like say experts, or experts say, or the experts believe, you’re looking at an agenda-driven, biased article. The accurate statement on any controversial issue is some experts say. And of course, other experts disagree. Experts say in an article means this is what I, the reporter, believe and want you to believe as well.

Anyway …

According to a small group of dissident scientists, whose work usually first appears in minor medical journals, by far the greatest threat to our hearts and vascular systems comes from sugar, while saturated fat has been wrongly demonised. And because cholesterol levels don’t matter, they argue, we don’t need the statins that millions have been prescribed to lower them. A high-fat diet is the secret to a healthy life, they say. Enjoy your butter and other animal fats. Cheese is great. Meat is back on the menu.

Heh-heh … notice how she was careful to tells us the dissidents are people whose work usually first appears in minor medical journals.

This is more than bad science, according to leading scientists and medical authorities. It will cost lives. “Encouraging people to eat more saturated fat is dangerous and irresponsible,” is a typical verdict, in this case from Prof Louis Levy, the head of nutrition science at Public Health England (PHE).

Leading scientists and medical authorities … in other words, experts say. And of course, you’re going to tell us exactly why the science is bad, right?

The advice from PHE, the World Health Organization, the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Heart UK and other institutions and top academics is consistent. Butter and cheese may be fine in modest amounts in a balanced diet, but the saturated fat that they contain is potentially risky.

Well, there’s your proof. The organizations that have been preaching arterycloggingsaturatedfat! for decades still do so – as opposed to committing organizational suicide by admitting they’ve been giving incorrect and possibly harmful advice. I’m convinced.

When it comes to statins, there is a huge database of research. Since 1994, the Nuffield department of population health at Oxford University, led by two eminent epidemiologists, Collins and Prof Richard Peto, has been amassing and analysing the data in order to figure out how well they work in preventing heart attacks and strokes.

They have published many papers. In 2016, in a major review in the Lancet, they concluded that lowering cholesterol over five years with a cheap daily statin would prevent 1,000 heart attacks, strokes and coronary artery bypasses among 10,000 people who had already had one.

I see. A paper was published in a medical journal saying statins are wunnerful, wunnerful and save lives. So it has to be true. And yet …

Last week’s letter of complaint asked Dr Fiona Godlee, the editor-in-chief of the BMJ, which publishes the British Journal of Sports Medicine, to intervene, saying the journal had run 10 pieces advocating low-carb diets and criticising statins in the past three years and that the reluctance to run the rebuttal showed a bias and lack of transparency.

Wait, you mean a different medical published articles criticizing statins? Hmmm, let’s do the math … a medical journal praises statins … another medical journal criticizes statins … divide by pi … carry the one … okay, I have the answer: the editors of the medical journal that criticized statins are DENIERS!

That’s the apparent (ahem) “logic” of the article. It’s nothing more than hit piece devoid of any actual logic.

Fortunately, the Wisdom of Crowds has been kicking in, whether the statinators like it or not. Check out this article in Science Daily:

A new study has found that patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease cut their risk of a second major adverse cardiovascular event by almost 50 percent, if they adhere to taking a statin medication as prescribed by their doctors.

Wait, timeout. I have my doubts about how they came up with that 50 percent figure, but here’s the phrase that caught my attention: cut their risk of a second major adverse cardiovascular event. That means this study was of people who’d already had a cardiovascular event. To the very slight degree that statins work, they work better in people who already have heart disease.

I’ve mentioned the site called TheNNT, which is maintained by doctors to help other doctors evaluate the effectiveness and side effects of drugs. According to that site, among people who don’t already have existing heart disease and take statins for five years:

  • One in 104 will avoid a heart attack, but
  • No lives will be saved

In other words, the statin will prevent one non-fatal heart attack for every 104 people who take the drug.

Among people who have existing heart disease and take statins for five years:

  • One in 83 will avoid a fatal heart attack
  • One in 39 will avoid a non-fatal heart attack
  • One in 125 will avoid a stroke

In that major review in the Lancet, statinators Collins and Peto claim statins would prevent 1,000 strokes and heart attacks for every 10,000 people who take them. That’s one in 10. Look at those numbers from TheNNT again and tell me how that’s possible.

And keep in mind, the figures cited on TheNNT were compiled from the studies that were published. As we all know, drug companies used to just bury the studies they didn’t like.  Now they have register their clinical trials ahead of time.

Anyway, back to the Science Direct article:

While that’s good news for patients, the bad news, however, is that researchers from the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City found that only about six percent of patients are in fact following the statin regimen given to them to lower their cholesterol, negating any potential cardiovascular benefits.

Only six percent of people prescribed statins are taking them as directed? Why would people stop taking such a wunnerful, wunnerful drug?

Researchers also found that 25 percent of patients never filled their statin prescription in the first place, and 25 percent didn’t fill their second one.

Again, why in the heck would so many people quit this wunnerful, wunnerful drug after just one prescription?

This article from Healthline about the same study offers some clues:

No drug comes without potential side effects, but the most frequent one experienced with statins is reasonably minor compared to the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

“Myopathy, which is muscle weakness, is the most frequently reported complaint, and severe myopathy (rhabdomyolysis) only occurs in about 1 in 10,000 patients,” Dr. Victoria Shin, a cardiologist with Torrance Memorial Medical Center in California, told Healthline.

That figure is, of course, absolute poppycock. One in 10,000? According to TheNNT (again, using figures from the studies that were actually published), one in 10 people who take statins for five years are harmed by muscle damage.  Not a bit of weakness. Actual damage. So Dr. Shin is only off by a factor of 1,000.

I recently watched an excellent Netflix series titled The Pharmacist, about a pharmacist (duh) who began raising hell about the opioid crisis and pill mills nearly 20 years ago. In one episode, we learn that Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, insisted that less than one percent of people taking the drug become addicted. I’m sure they had (ahem) “research” to back that claim. But does anyone believe that figure is even remotely accurate? OxyContin didn’t become known as Hillbilly Heroin, with a huge trade on the black market, because only one percent became addicted.

The percentage of side effects reported by Big Pharma in their own trials are pure fiction. See if you can find 10 friends or relatives who’ve tried statins. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts (and you can keep the donuts) at least three of them experienced muscle pain and weakness. In fact, I recently came across this study of statin side effects:

AIM: We investigated the incidence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in patients treated with statins for cardiovascular (CV) risk among the United Arab Emirates (UAE) population.

CONCLUSION: The incidence of ADRs among statin users was 42.6%, and frequent ADRs (49%) were noted in patients with high CVD risk.

Hmm, let’s see … in pharma-sponsored research, the most frequent side effect is muscle weakness, but by gosh, it only happens in 1 in 10,000 patients. (Well, severe myopathy, anyway. How weak and sore do you have to get before they label it severe?) Meanwhile, in a study published just this year, 42.6% of people taking statins reported adverse drug reactions.

And it’s not just muscle pain and weakness. Here are some quotes from a recent article on the BBC news site:

“Patient Five” was in his late 50s when a trip to the doctors changed his life. He had diabetes, and he had signed up for a study to see if taking a “statin” – a kind of cholesterol-lowering drug – might help. So far, so normal.

But soon after he began the treatment, his wife began to notice a sinister transformation. A previously reasonable man, he became explosively angry and – out of nowhere – developed a tendency for road rage.

Then one day, Patient Five had an epiphany. “He was like, ‘Wow, it really seems that these problems started when I enrolled in this study’,” says Beatrice Golomb, who leads a research group at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Golomb, by the way, has been running her own research on statin side effects. She says the incidence of side effects is waaaaay higher than one percent, or five percent, or whatever the latest nonsense figure promoted by Big Pharma is.

Over the years, Golomb has collected reports from patients across the United States – tales of broken marriages, destroyed careers, and a surprising number of men who have come unnervingly close to murdering their wives. In almost every case, the symptoms began when they started taking statins, then promptly returned to normal when they stopped; one man repeated this cycle five times before he realised what was going on.

I hope he didn’t kill five wives before figuring it out. Now I’m wondering if Henry VIII was taking statins back in the day.

According to Golomb, this is typical – in her experience, most patients struggle to recognise their own behavioural changes, let alone connect them to their medication. In some instances, the realisation comes too late: the researcher was contacted by the families of a number of people, including an internationally renowned scientist and a former editor of a legal publication, who took their own lives.

Why are so few people actually following their doctors’ orders to take those wunnerful, wunnerful statins?

Because in the internet age, people experiencing the nasty side effects of statins can go online and find out yes, the statin is to blame. Back when my mom had joint and muscle pains from taking a statin, she didn’t know statins were the cause. (Neither did her doctor, who simply prescribed pain pills.)  Nowadays she, or someone she knows, would likely learn online that statins cause muscle and joint pains.  People share articles like the one above on Twitter, Facebook, etc.  The Wisdom of Crowds does what it does.

The statinators want us to remain ignorant and dutifully take the drug. Sorry, but that’s not going to happen. There’s no stopping or denying the Wisdom of Crowds … even if we’re a bunch of DENIERS!

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Don’t Take This Sitting Down

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I call them The Anointed. Nassim Nicholas Taleb prefers the term The Intellectual Yet Idiot, but they’re the same people. Here’s part of his description:

… that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

We can now add 6) how to pee to the list.

Nearly 25 years ago, fellow comedian Tim Slagle and I produced a libertarian radio show (which ran on, I believe, one station) titled The Slagle-Naughton Report. In one episode we reported that in the interest of gender equality, a new had been passed that required men to sit down to pee. But as I’ve mentioned many times, the problem with parodying the loony left’s Grand Plans is that eventually reality catches up to the parody.

In a recent post of leftover news from 2019, I quoted from an article in the Huffington Post:

Male representatives on the Sormland County Council in Sweden should sit rather than stand while urinating in office restrooms, according to a motion advanced by the local Left Party.

Known as a socialist and feminist organization, the party claims that seated urination is more hygienic for men — the practice decreases the likelihood of puddles and other unwanted residue forming in the stall — in addition to being better for a man’s health by more effectively emptying one’s bladder, The Local reported.

While going through my OneNote files this weekend, I was reminded that this issue isn’t isolated to loons in Sweden. According to an article in the U.K. Telegraph, it’s worldwide:

There are many ways to remove a man’s dignity. One of the foremost, however, has got to be forcing him to urinate sitting down.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the Swedes are even attempting to indoctrinate little boys at nursery, drumming into them the message “be a sweetie and take a seatie”.

If I had a young son, I’d teach him to reply with Be a dear and kiss my rear.

But Sweden is not the only country to be contemplating such a radical lavatorial intrusion.

Feminist groups in France and Holland have been campaigning on the issue under slogans like “laissez tomber votre pantalon, et asseyez vous!” (lower your trousers and sit!), and “toch niet weer een vieze plas op MIJN badkamer vloer!” (not another filthy puddle on MY bathroom floor!).

I assume this strategy was spelled out in a feminist essay titled How To Take Whatever Support You Have Among Men And Piss It Away.

The Germans are even more militant on the issue.

That’s a shock.

In 2004, a company called Patentwert produced the WC Ghost, intended to shame men into sitting to deliver. Costing £6, the gadget was attached to a lavatory seat. When it was raised, an automatic voice was triggered.

“Hey, stand-peeing is not allowed here and will be punished with fines, so if you don’t want any trouble, you’d best sit down”, it barked, in a voice modelled on Gerhard Schroder.

They modelled the voice on a former Chancellor of Germany? For a device attached to lavatory seats? I wonder how Mr. Schroder feels about that. Seems a wee bit disrespectful.

I’m going to suggest Patentwert avoid using Donald Trump’s voice for the American version. Some people I know would not only fail to sit down in time, they’d wet themselves before unzipping their pants.

Apparently Patentwert had other ideas anyway.

A prototype intended for American production featured a Texan drawl saying “Don’t you go wetting this floor cowboy, you never know who’s behind you. So sit down, get your water pistol in the bowl where it belongs.”

I’m sure that will go over reeeeeaaal big in Texas.

“Don’t you go wetting this floor cowboy, you never know … (glug, glug, cough) … hey, stop pissing on me, cowboy!”

For the British market, Patentwert planned to create voices imitating the Prime Minister and the Queen.

The Queen?!

“Do be a deah, my good man, and kindly remain standing while (glug, glug, cough) … hey, stop urinating on me, Andrew!”

This entire issue is beyond silly. And yet according to another article in the Independent, a German court even got involved:

For millions of German men it is masculinity’s last domain. But for their wives, girlfriends and partners, it is often the perennial bane of their domestic lives. The question is now: does a man have a legal right to do what comes naturally and pee standing up?

In Germany, the issue is certainly no matter for jokes.

Um … yes it is.

Lavatories in cafés, cinemas and even in private homes are often equipped with red light or “no entry” stickers ordering all male users not to pee im stehen – standing up. They often come complete with graphics showing men exactly how to manage the task of sitting urination.

Well, thank goodness for that. I’m told sitting down to pee is entirely different from sitting down for other business. For example, when sitting down to pee, there’s no reason to grab a magazine first.

Cartoonists have gone further and depicted men interpreting the “not standing” rule all too literally by lying on their backs on the floor while desperately trying to pee into the lavatory bowl.

I did that once, but I was in college and there was alcohol involved. My memory of the incident is fuzzy, but I believe I was thinking that if I stood up to pee in my wobbly condition, there was a mild-to-moderate risk I’d drop my beer.

Men have hit back with the term sitzpinkler, which implies that any man who urinates sitting down is a less of a man.

What a perfect word. I’m going to start calling certain people sitzpinkler on Twitter and see how long it takes them to figure it out. Maybe I’ll start with that South African doctor who’s always trolling Tim Noakes.

But today a German court finally answered the question that has caused strife in Teutonic households for decades. It ruled that men can indeed enjoy the privilege of peeing standing up even though, as the male judge put it: “They must expect occasional rows with housemates.”

This is why battles over judicial nominations are so bitter: put the wrong judges on the bench, and you can end up with laws telling men they have to pee standing up.

But that’s how The Anointed operate. They want to control every aspect of your life … what you eat, what dietary advice you offer (and whether you’re allowed to offer it at all), what kind of vehicle you can drive, what kind of light-bulbs you can buy, what you can say without being de-platformed, and now even your bathroom habits.

Let’s not take this sitting down. I say stand up, men … and piss on ‘em.

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Go Fund Me

      5 Comments on Go Fund Me

I seem to be one of the few paleo/low-carb filmmakers who didn’t use crowd funding to cover the expenses ahead of time. For both Fat Head and Fat Head Kids, I was a crowd of one, doing as much of the work myself as possible and paying the production costs myself as they came up.

Well, maybe I should have thought that one through a little better …

We recently had some late and unexpected bills show up for Fat Head Kids. I was sitting there grinding my teeth and thinking, Damnit, I should have started a GoFundMe campaign to cover stuff like this when we were working on the film.… and then I thought, Well, who says I can’t start one after the fact?

So do me a favor and think of it as the official campaign to get Fat Head Kids produced — only the guy in charge was disorganized and filed the paperwork very, very late. Let’s hope he doesn’t do that with his taxes.

Here’s the donation page.

 

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Obese? You’re Causing Global Warmi — Er, Climate Change!

Well dang, it’s becoming more and more difficult to know who to blame for global warmi—er, climate change.  In my previous post, we learned that climate change is caused by meat-eating men:

Lisa Baker, the Labor member for Maylands in Perth, told the State Parliament her Government should promote reduced meat consumption. She went onto state meat-eating men tend to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than vegan women.

We also learned that white people are causing climate change by eating white-people foods, or something like that:

Caucasian populations are disproportionately contributing to climate change through their eating habits, which uses up more food — and emits more greenhouse gases — than the typical diets of black and Latinx communities, according to a new report published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.

Data showed that whites produced an average of 680 kilograms of the CO2 each year, attributable to food and drink, whereas Latinx individuals produced 640 kilograms, and blacks 600.

Well, there you go: it’s white people, and especially white men, who are causing climate change through their diets. Case closed.

But then I read this article about a study published in the journal Obesity:

First it was farting cows, and now yet another study into the causes of too much carbon dioxide says obese people are producing more than the average person, helping to harm the planet.

Obesity, the flagship journal of The Obesity Society, has published new research that suggests the increased body mass of people will make it more and more difficult to decrease man-made carbon dioxide emissions entering the atmosphere.

Obese people were found to produce an extra 81kg per year of carbon dioxide emissions from having an increased metabolism, an extra 593kg per year from increased food and drink consumption, and an extra 476kg per year from putting more strain on the transportation industry.

So it’s the obese people causing climate change!  Got it.  But wait a minute … we learned earlier that black and Latinx people don’t cause as much global warming because of their dietary choices. And yet according to the CDC, they also have higher rates of obesity:

Hispanics (47.0%) and non-Hispanic blacks (46.8%) had the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, followed by non-Hispanic whites (37.9%) and non-Hispanic Asians (12.7%).

I’m really struggling to assign blame accurately here. Blacks and Latinx people produce less CO2 because of their diets, according to one study. But since they’re more obese on average than white people, they’re producing more CO2 because of their metabolisms and their strain on transportation systems, according to another study.  All I know for sure is that Asians barely cause any climate change at all.

And then there’s the complex relationship between obesity, income and education, as the CDC notes:

Overall, men and women with college degrees had lower obesity prevalence compared with those with less education.

There’s our answer: FREE COLLEGE FOR EVERYONE! Once everyone has a college degree, obesity rates will drop and people will produce less CO2. The planet will be saved.  Glad we got that one figured out.

Among women, obesity prevalence was lower in the highest income group than in the middle and lowest income groups. This pattern was observed among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic women. Among non-Hispanic black women, there was no difference in obesity prevalence by income.

Hmmm … no relationship between obesity and income for black women. But it holds up in the other groups, so my answer is still the same: FREE COLLEGE FOR EVERYONE!

Obesity prevalence was higher in the highest income group than in the lowest income group among non-Hispanic black men. Although the difference was not statistically significant among non-Hispanic black men, obesity prevalence increased with educational attainment.

Wait, what?! Black men are more likely to become obese as they become more educated and earn higher incomes? Well, I guess we could offer free college to everyone except black men so they don’t become obese and cause climate change, but that just doesn’t seem right somehow. What’s a save-the-planet environmental warrior to do?

Ah, I’ve got it: we know the ketogenic diet has helped countless people to lose weight. Let’s get everyone on a ketogenic diet. Obesity rates will drop and people will produce less CO2. The planet will be saved.

But then I remembered reading this article:

The world cannot run on bacon and butter. Aside from the fact that there are not enough pigs and cows on the Earth to feed every person in such a high-fat way, this kind of meaty diet is dangerous for both human health and our planet’s future.

“Eating a keto diet that’s especially high in red meat will be undermining the sustainability of the climate,” Harvard nutrition professor Dr. Walter Willett told Business Insider. “It’s bad for the person eating it, but also really bad for our children and our grandchildren, so that’s something I think we should totally, strongly advise against. It’s — in fact — irresponsible.”

A United Nations report released just last week suggests the world’s beef-heavy consumption patterns are taking a serious toll on the health of our planet: food systems are now responsible for 37% of greenhouse gas emissions, and cow manure is a major part of that equation, as it releases large amounts of climate-changing nitrous oxide and methane into the air.

When I’m looking for unbiased truth about diets and the climate, those are my go-to sources: Walter Willett and the United Nations.

I’m in a real quandary now. We know that men, and whites, and especially white men, are causing climate change because of their diets. But we also know that blacks and Latinx people are causing climate change because of their higher obesity rates. And we also know that the ketogenic diet – which helps obese people become non-obese – causes climate change.

So let me think … what if you’re a white man and enjoy white-people food that produces more CO2, but you’re not obese? Are you more or less to blame for climate change than a black man who doesn’t eat white-people food but is obese? What if you’re a thin LatinX woman, but eat a lot of meat? Are you more or less to blame for climate change than an obese white woman who’s a vegetarian? What if you’re a white woman who eats a lot of meat, but you think you’re a Cherokee because of your high cheek bones?  And what if obese people of any race or gender go on a ketogenic diet and lose 50 pounds? Does the fact they’re now putting less strain on the transportation system offset the planet-killing effects of the ketogenic diet?

There’s just so much blame to sort out ….

I think the solution here is to form a special Climate Change Blame commission that will meet in some exotic location and determine blame points based on race, gender, body mass, education level, income level, meat consumption, and blood ketone levels. Then we’ll finally know exactly how much to blame each person for climate change. Al Gore can fly in on his private jet and give the keynote speech, followed by a finger-wagging Greta Thunberg.

Or we could just decide it’s a load of bull@#$% and go enjoy our dinners.

Let me know what you decide.

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From The 2019 News — The Meat-Free Edition!

I recently posted news items from 2019 that didn’t make it into a From The News post. There were quite a few, so I set aside items dealing with our pals the vegans for a separate post.

Meddlin’ Mayor’s Meatless Mondays

What have I been saying over and over about The Anointed? To solve what they identify as problems, they constantly dream up Grand Plans that require spending more of other people’s money or restricting more of other people’s freedoms. Because they are so supremely confident (despite often being wrong), they feel no obligation to provide evidence that the Grand Plan will work – yet despite the lack of evidence, they will happily impose the Grand Plan on others.

The administration in New York City provided another perfect example:

There will be no mystery meat (or any other meat) on Mondays at New York City public schools. That’s because the city is expanding its “Meatless Mondays” program starting in the 2019-20 school year.

“Cutting back on meat a little will improve New Yorkers’ health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a press release. “We’re expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come.”

Headline from 2030: Americans are slimmer and healthier than ever as planet finally reaches correct temperature. Scientists credit Meatless Mondays.

There’s no evidence that going meatless will make children healthier – in fact, a whole lot of us who tried vegetarianism gave it up because our health went downhill. And good for the planet? Hogwash. You want to see some real environment damage, go see how soybeans are raised.

“Meatless Mondays are good for our students, communities, and the environment,” added Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “Our 1.1 million students are taking the next step towards healthier, more sustainable lives.”

Uh, no, they’re not taking the next step. You’re pushing them and telling them they’re walking.

“Our students and educators are truly leaders in this movement, and I salute them.”

I salute those true leaders too … but you’d best not count how many fingers are in my salute.

Super Bowl Ad Made ‘Em Super Mad

Seems every Super Bowl Sunday, my wife and daughters insist the ads are more entertaining than the game. Normally I disagree, but last year’s punt-fest between the Patriots and the Rams was such a bore, I actually looked forward to the commercials. If you watched the Super Bowl, you may remember this one:

The metaphor at the center of Hyundai’s Super Bowl commercial was simple: An oversize elevator operated by a wisecracking Jason Bateman took passengers up to pleasurable experiences and down to life events everyone wants to avoid.

“Okay, six-hour flight, middle seat,” Bateman says as the car opens onto a cramped plane full of obnoxious passengers guffawing at video screens or sneezing loudly into tissues. “Who’s got vitamin C?”

At another point, the doors open onto a courtroom scene as a grizzled defendant stands up, glares at the man ushered off the elevator and growls.

“This stop: jury duty,” Bateman declares. “Remember, innocent until proven … well, he did it, right? We all agree he did it?”

But one stop in the otherwise innocuous elevator bit has ruffled some feathers, or at least some 100 percent recycled polyester down equivalents.

“Vegan dinner party,” Bateman says as the doors ding open. “Is that even a thing?”

“We’re having beetloaf — Sergio’s specialty,” says the smiling host as she approaches her guests while extending a purple gelatinous concoction.

I had a good chuckle over that Hyundai ad. Needless to say, many vegans weren’t laughing.

But vegans felt personally attacked. Why should their decision to live a planet-friendly, animal-cruelty-free lifestyle be comparable to a colonoscopy or a root canal or a teenager getting “the talk” and hearing about how “even Grandma’s body changed.”

Well, I can think of two reasons: 1) their diet isn’t actually planet-friendly or free of cruelty to animals, and 2) most of us would rather have a colonscopy than adopt a vegan diet.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal rights organization more commonly known as PETA, chided the car company on Twitter. “The trend of 2019 is taking the elevator UP to vegan dinner parties (and an Earth, heart, & animal-friendly lifestyle),” the organization said.

Yeah, veganism is trending up, up, up! That would explain why vegan restaurants are closing (more on that later).  I think Hyundai should have ignored the ginned-up outrage entirely, but they didn’t:

“We are responding in social media that we totally respect veganism and are happy that it has become mainstream,” said Michael Stewart, a spokesman for the car company. “We also hope that vegans have a sense of humor just like the dentists, parents, judges, flight attendants, doctors and even car dealers, the others stops represented on ‘The Elevator.’ ”

Well, you can hope as much, but I wouldn’t count on it.  I’m reminded of a joke:

Q: How many vegans does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: That’s NOT FUNNY, you ANIMAL MURDERER!!

Vegan YouTubers Trigger Vegans By Not Being Vegans

Q: How many vegans does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: That’s NOT FUNNY, you ANIMAL MURDERER!!

Just thought I’d tell that joke again before quoting from this article in The Daily Beast:

Last Sunday, a five-second video clip of vegan YouTuber Yovana Mendoza single-handedly brought down the luminous 28-year-old’s entire career. In it, you can see the raw food advocate, who goes by the name “Rawvana,” smiling at a restaurant in Bali as she prepares to tuck into her meal. But in an instant, the health guru’s face changes, as she realizes her friend’s camera is trained on her plate. She moves to cover it, but it’s too late. Internet sleuths watching the 10-minute vlog later would quickly deduce what Mendoza was trying to hide: a piece of fish.

Mendoza rushed to upload a video claiming she had only been eating fish for two months, as a remedy to the health complications she developed after six years as a vegan.

Wait, what? Her vegan diet caused health problems?! And eating a dead animal was the remedy? No, no, no … that can’t be true.  People are healthier if they don’t eat animals.  Just ask Mayor Bloomberg.

Former fans descended on her YouTube channel, Instagram and Twitter, posting emojis of fish and taunting her as “Fishvana.” Dozens of fellow vegan YouTubers posted horrified reactions to the scandal, unimaginatively dubbed “fishgate.”

“I felt like someone had died,” Mendoza told The Daily Beast. “It was one of the worst days of my life.”

Hmmm, lemme see here … you got caught eating fish, and it led to one of the worst days of your life. I can think of two explanations: 1) members of your vegan fanbase are roughly as tolerant and open-minded as members of ISIS, or 2) that was a really bad piece of fish.

In recent months, several of the most prominent vegan YouTubers have announced they are eating animal products, setting off a torrent of online outrage and abuse, but also posing a philosophical question: What becomes of a vegan YouTuber who isn’t vegan?

She develops colon cancer and dies a horrible death as a result of eating meat. I know this because vegans tell me it’s true.

In a Jan. 14 video titled “Why I’m No Longer Vegan,” YouTuber Bonny Rebecca set the tone for a mass of defections to come: rambling, half-hour-long videos in which the former herbivores apologize to their fans and breathlessly explain the health issues that caused them to start eating meat.

Health issues?! From a vegan diet? No, no, no … becoming a vegan can only make you radiantly healthy. I know this because vegans tell me it’s true.

From there, the dominoes began to fall. Stella Rae, a former adherent of Freelee’s diet plan, announced she was quitting veganism due to bloating and digestive issues.

Digestive issues?! From a vegan diet? No, no, no … humans have the same digestive system as gorillas and can live on the same diet. That’s not what any of the actual diagrams show, but I know it’s true because vegans and Walter Willett tell me it’s true.

Tim Shieff, a YouTube star and former vegan athlete, declared that he ejaculated for the first time in months after eating raw eggs and salmon.

I hope he wasn’t eating in a crowded restaurant. These reactions can be misinterpreted.

Whether one accepts Mendoza’s reasoning or not, the backlash she has experienced is objectively horrifying. Commenters have called her “disgusting,” a “fraud” and a “hypocrite,” and others have told her to kill herself.

We’re vegans because we love all creatures and refuse to take a life. But if you give up being a vegan, please kill yourself.

Her mother used to have a public Instagram account, but decided to go private after getting messages that said she should never have brought Mendoza into the world.

Yeah, Mom really screwed up on that one. She should have had one of those ultrasounds that tells you the child will likely grow up to become a vegan and then go back to eating animal foods. Then, of course, she should have done the right thing …

“One of the things that I loved about going into the vegan lifestyle and diet is that I felt that it was very welcoming and very inclusive,” Mendoza said.

All true-believer cults are “very welcoming and inclusive” when you join them.

“But as soon as you decide to make a change, they turn against you, which is really sad. It doesn’t make people want to go vegan when they see all this hate,” she added.

Ya think?

A Not-So Baffling Connection

Perhaps this article in Psychology Today explains “all this hate”:

I was surprised to learn from a new review article by Daniel Rosenfeld of Cornell University in the journal Appetite that reported vegetarians are more likely to be depressed than meat-eaters. Intrigued, I took a deeper look at this body of research. I located 11 peer-reviewed papers on the topic published between 2007 and 2018. Rosenfeld was right. Here’s what I found in each of them:

A longitudinal study of 14,247 young women found that 30 percent of vegetarians and semi-vegetarians had experienced depression in the previous 12 months, compared to 20 percent of non-vegetarian women.

Investigators from the College of William and Mary examined depression among 6,422 college students. Vegetarian and semi-vegetarian students scored significantly higher than the omnivores on the Center for Epidemiologic Depression Scale.

A study of 140 women found that the odds of depression were twice as great in women consuming less than the recommended intake of meat per week.

The article lists several similar studies. As the author noted, none of these studies prove that giving up meat causes depression. It could simply be the case that for whatever reason, people drawn to vegetarianism are also more likely to be depressed.

Anecdotally, I can tell you that while my factory setting is to be optimistic, I absolutely, positively felt depressed more often in my vegetarian days.

Q: How’d you die, Piglet?  A: I was cuddled by a vegan.

When we were kids, The Older Brother and I built model rockets and shot them into the air. One rocket had a capsule, so we put a frog in it and boldly sent him where no frog has gone before (as far as we knew, anyway). Unfortunately, that was the one time the rocket’s parachute didn’t open. After the crash to earth, we opened the capsule and the frog hopped out, apparently dazed but very much alive.

Our younger sister, who professed a love for all animals, came running over to see if the frog was okay – and accidentally stepped on him.

Kinda reminds me of this article from the U.K. Telegraph:

A farmer has accused vegans of crushing two piglets to death after causing a stampede during their efforts to cuddle the newborn pigs.

200 vegans from the group “Meat the Victims” stormed a farm in Lincolnshire in order to protest against pork. Farmer Sylvia Hook, from Sandilands Farm on Newark Road in Laughterton, said the vegans terrified her family and caused damage to the farm.

She told Lincolnshire Live: “About 50 of them all piled into a farrowing house, immediately the sows are jumping up and down. It’s caused the death of two young piglets through being squashed and two other piglets I’ve had to be taken away to get up and running again.”

“They were picking piglets up, cuddling them – there was a lot of screaming going on. Piglets don’t want to be cuddled. Then unfortunately, they were putting the piglets back in the wrong pens.”

As someone who once carried two piglets from a trailer to a pen, I can assure you the farmer is correct: they don’t want to be picked up or cuddled. Our two piglets screamed like banshees until I put them down. Fortunately, I didn’t attempt to cuddle them, so they lived.

One of the protesters, who calls himself ‘Earthling Ed’, commented: “You cannot love animals and kill them. You cannot love animals and pay someone else to kill them.”

Riiiight. Because if you don’t eat meat, no animals are killed to produce your dinner. Keep reading, Earthling Ed.

Death On Your (Vegan, Cruely-Free) Plate

Check out the death figures listed in this article from ABC in Australia:

A growing number of Australians are embracing veganism as they attempt to move toward a more ethical diet. But while the goal might be worthy, the truth is a little less easy to stomach, says author and farmer Matthew Evans.

The food critic-turned-restaurateur and pig farmer has spent the last few years researching Australia’s food industry and has come to an uncomfortable conclusion: animals will die in our name regardless of whether we choose to eat meat.

Wait, they’re quoting an actual farmer? Farmers don’t know anything about food production and death and icky stuff like that. To get the real scoop, you have to ask a vegan sitting at a Starbucks in a big city.

In fact, he found billions of animals are deliberately killed every year on Australian farms purely to protect fruit and vegetable crops for human consumption.

Mr Evans outlines the impact in his new book, On Eating Meat — which challenges both carnivores and vegans to consider their choices — and cites a number of examples, including:

  • About 40,000 ducks are killed each year to protect rice production in Australia
  • A billion mice are poisoned every year to protect wheat in Western Australia alone
  • Apple growers can kill 120 possums a year to protect their orchards

“So a duck dying to protect a rice paddy for me is not much different for a cow dying to produce a steak,” Mr Evans said.

Well, I suppose the vegans at least cuddle the billion or so mice before killing them.

Dear Vegans: Please Just Stop At Cuddling

Apparently one vegan took his love for animals a bit beyond cuddling, according to an article in the New York Daily News:

A man who has dubbed himself the Sexy Vegan – and even changed his legal name – has taken the notion of puppy love a bit too far, according to charges filed against him in Los Angeles.

Hansel DeBartolo III, 37, who has legally changed his name to Sexy Vegan, was charged with sexually assaulting his dog, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. DeBartolo, of West Hollywood, pleaded not guilty after being charged with one misdemeanor count each of sexual assault on an animal and posting obscene matter.

Good lord. What kind of pooch did this nut-job sexually assault? A nervous, cowering little poodle? A cute, helpless shih tzu?

On Sept. 5, “Vegan posted a video on his social media account allegedly depicting inappropriate behavior with a pit bull,” the prosecutors said.

A put bull?!! I guess the vegan diet isn’t exactly enhancing Sexy Vegan’s decision-making and risk-assessment abilities.  I hope for his sake he doesn’t go to prison. He’d likely walk up to the biggest, meanest dude in the exercise yard and introduce himself with something like, “Hi, I’m Sexy Vegan. I’m going to make you my bitch. Now go get me a carrot.”

Seems to me this guy could use a visit with a shrink.

Sexy Vegan has appeared on the “Dr. Phil Show” twice – once being escorted off by security, scantily clad, after an expletive-laden rant, and a second time when he apologized for said rant.

Ahh, too late. Well, perhaps the authorities can at least get him into some kind of group where ranting and raving and demonstrating a questionable grip on reality won’t make him the odd man out.

He has described himself as a 2020 presidential candidate, reported KTLA-TV.

Perfect.

Go Meatless And Stand Up For Love

Perhaps Sexy Vegan’s capacity for reason was simply overwhelmed because he had a raging … uh, was in an uncontrollable state of excitement. Because according to a (cough, cough) very believable study featured in Game Changers and reported in the New York Post, eating meat will reduce your capacity to love your pit bull. Or something like that:

Eating meat might make your erections shorter and weaker, according to a scientific experiment in Netflix’s “The Game Changers.” Meanwhile, eating more plant-based meals might work wonders for your wood.

To show the impact of meat versus a plant-based diet in sports, three college athletes wore penis rings to bed for two nights and tracked details about their erections. On the first night, they ate a meat burrito, and on the second, a vegan one.

The results were stiffening: The jocks’ erections lasted longer and were reportedly stronger after the veggie burrito, Metro writes.

My, my, how the propaganda has changed. Dr. Kellogg, a eugenicist, created Corn Flakes because he believed eating meat provoked the “animal instincts” in men. Now the vegans are telling us meat will soften our desires.

Admittedly, this experiment wasn’t wildly scientific.

I see.  So the “scientific experiment” wasn’t wildly scientific.  That explains why it was featured in a vegan-propaganda film.

I Went Vegan And Now I Have Cotton Mouth

I sincerely doubt a vegan diet increases sex drive. But if this vegan food becomes popular, it could cause cotton mouth:

Vegan protein made from GMO cotton that could meet the daily requirements of 600 million people could be on the horizon – and, apparently, it tastes like hummus.

Fortune reports that the USDA has given the green light to the commercialization of a cotton plant with edible seeds made with biotechnology.

Protein made from cotton grown from seeds made with biotechnology. How long before it shows up in “natural” food stores?

The new crop was created by scientists at Texas A&M University, who have been working on its development for 23 years.

It took 23 years for scientists to develop? Yup, sounds like a natural food to me, all right.

“It’ll taste like hummus. It’s not at all unpleasant,” said Texas A&M professor Keerti Rathorne, who holds a Ph.D. in plant physiology.

That’s exactly how I describe all the foods I crave: not at all unpleasant. Excuse me, waiter, is tonight’s special not at all unpleasant?

Over the course of more than two decades, Rathorne learned how to “silence” a gene in GMO cotton plants that produce a toxin called gossypol.

A not at all unpleasant-tasting protein made from cotton grown from seeds in which the gene that produces a toxin has been “silenced.” And we’re going to feed it to humans. What could possibly go wrong?

White Men’s Diets Are Destroying The Planet

You knew this was coming, right? Name pretty much any problem (real or imagined) these days, and sooner or later the postmodernist simpletons will explain that it’s caused by men, or white people, or especially white men.  (In the postmodernist mind, that’s how you prove you’re opposed to sexism and racism: blame one gender and one race for everything.)

We’ll start with how men are causing climate change through their food preferences:

Irate farmers have labelled a State MP a ‘green communist’ after she blamed ‘meat-eating’ men for climate change while praising vegans.

Lisa Baker, the Labor member for Maylands in Perth, told the State Parliament her Government should promote reduced meat consumption. She went onto state meat-eating men tend to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than vegan women.

Actually, I produced far more gas in my vegetarian days. And after being married for nearly 20 years, I’ve concluded that women produce just as much gas as men, but are less likely to provide an audible warning so you can leave the room.

Anyway, it turns out the problem isn’t just with what men eat. White people in general are ruining the planet by eating incorrectly:

Caucasian populations are disproportionately contributing to climate change through their eating habits, which uses up more food — and emits more greenhouse gases — than the typical diets of black and Latinx communities, according to a new report published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.

Sounds like a journal that insists on publishing only the most rigorous science.

“The food pipeline — which includes its production, distribution and waste — contributes significantly to climate change through the production of greenhouse gases and requires significant amounts of water and land, which also has environmental effects,” says Joe Bozeman, a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who helped author the study.

The EPA provided data on per capita food consumption rates for more than 500 foods groups, including water, plus estimates from the NIH on individual diets.

The study, written by a student, relies on estimates from the NIH on individual diets. Oh yeah, we’re talking solid science here.

Data showed that whites produced an average of 680 kilograms of the CO2 each year, attributable to food and drink, whereas Latinx individuals produced 640 kilograms, and blacks 600.

I see. So those estimates from the NIH on individual diets produced highly specific figures for different racial groups. Yup, that’s how good science is done.

They also found the diets of white people required 328,000 liters of water on average per year. Latinx used just 307,000 liters, and blacks 311,800. Both black and Latinx individuals used more land per capita with 1,770 and 1,710 square meters per year, respectively, than white people with just 1,550.

So let me get this straight: diets preferred by blacks and Latinx people produce less CO2 and require less water, but somehow use more land. Okay, then.  This paper is sounding more and more scientific.

Nevertheless, white people still made the greatest overall contribution to climate change.

I’m consumed by guilt after reading about this rigorous scientific study, and I briefly considered switching to a black or Latinx diet to save the planet.  But then I realized that would be cultural appropriation.

Vegan Restaurant That Charged Men More Going Belly Up

Remember the vegan restaurant that charged men extra to make up for discrimination, or the fact that men are ruining the planet, or to stick it to the patriarchy, or something like that? Surprise, surprise, it turns out pissing off half your potential customer base isn’t a good business decision:

A restaurant that declared it would charge men 18% more than women for the same service will close its doors at the end of the month.

Handsome Her, a vegan café in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, will close its doors on April 28, writing on Facebook that the two women responsible for running the business “are off to our next adventure up north where we will be doing some hands-on work, something we have missed sorely whilst being at 206 Sydney Rd, Brunswick.”

Let’s hope the hand-on work doesn’t involve cuddling piglets or getting romantic with pit bulls.  The animals have suffered enough.

There is no indication that the restaurant is closing as a result of charging men more than women – a policy that was implemented back when the restaurant opened and only applied one week a month.

Okay, so the charge-men-more policy may have had nothing to with the restaurant’s failure. It may have had more to do with …

Vegan Restaurants Going Belly Up

According to PETA, veganism is trending up, up, up!  According to countless members of The Anointed, people (especially men, and especially white men) need to cut way back on their meat consumption to save the planet!  And by gosh, more and more people are doing exactly that, according to articles I cited above.

Which makes this development reported in the U.K. Telegraph a bit hard to explain:

Vegan restaurants are closing down across the country because of a lack of interest in solely plant-based food, analysis has found.

While there was a much-publicised vegan “boom” over the last two years, with chain restaurants launching animal product-free dishes, outlets which serve only plant-based food have struggled.

Perhaps they should try some bold new strategy, such as charging men extra, charging white people extra, and charging white men extra-extra. They’re ruining the planet, ya know.

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UK Hospitality – which represents the restaurant, bar and hotel sector – said some vegan restaurants could be struggling because they don’t appeal to the wider market.

I believe that’s industry jargon for “the food sucks.”

She said: “Although veganism is gaining prominence and demand for vegan products seems to have soared, actually only a very small percentage of people identify as vegans, just 1.16 per cent in 2018 according to The Vegan Society.

So veganism is going up, up, up and soaring … it’s soared so much that just 1.16 percent of people identify as vegans – and that’s according to a society of vegans who wouldn’t exactly be tempted to underestimate.

Miami Burger – which sold 100 per cent vegan burgers – has closed in Reading after only opening in January. Founder Tom Bursnall said: “When we started we had the full intention of being permanent and long term. Three months in we were getting a very loyal base of customers, but it was too narrow to sustain the very large rent.”

A spokesman for The Vegan Society said: “Veganism has entered the mainstream, which may mean some independent businesses have sadly had to close as large companies are catering for vegans better and taking a big chunk of the profit.”

I see. So veganism is soaring and going up, up, up and has entered the mainstream … but only 1.16 percent of people identify as vegans, and vegan restaurants are closing because large companies are catering to that soaring, mainstream population.

Sounds perfectly logical to me. Either way, I hope vegans don’t go away. They’re a constant source of comedic material.

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On The Serious Growth Podcast with Leo Costa, Jr.

I was recently a guest on the Serious Growth Podcast with Leo Costa, Jr.  It was one of the most enjoyable conversations I’ve had in a long time.  I’m pretty sure if we lived near each other, we’d be good friends and hang out together.  We talked about diets and Fat Head, of course, but also comedy, being good vs. being perfect, life in general, etc.

The audio version is here.

The YouTube version (which allows you to see my bald glowing under my studio light) is below.

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