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.


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?


Vegan YouTubers Trigger Vegans By Not Being Vegans

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


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.


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.


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.


From The 2019 News …

      35 Comments on From The 2019 News …

I’m serving leftovers today: news from 2019 that didn’t make into any of my From The News posts.

Mediterranean Diet Study Recalled

The arterycloggingsaturatedfat! crowd just looooooves to talk about the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. That’s because (according to them) it’s a diet low in saturated fat with lots of vegetables and hearthealthywholegrains!

As you know, there’s no such thing as a single Mediterranean Diet. Some folks in that region eat a lot of pork and cook with lard. Some don’t. Some eat a lot fat, others not so much. Some eat a lot of fish, others not so much. Nonetheless, if you run a search on Mediterranean Diet, you’ll probably come across something like, from the Mayo Clinic:

The foundation of the Mediterranean diet is vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains. Meals are built around these plant-based foods. Moderate amounts of dairy, poultry and eggs are also central to the Mediterranean Diet, as is seafood. In contrast, red meat is eaten only occasionally.

That would be news to the healthy Mediterranean people who eat lots of pork.

Anyway, it turns out there were problems with the Big Study that put the Mediterranean Diet on the map in the first place. Here are some quotes from an NPR article:

Ask just about anybody, and you’ll probably hear that a healthy diet is one full of fruits and vegetables, olive oil, nuts and fish — what’s called Mediterranean diet. A lot of research has suggested people who eat this way tend to be healthier, but it’s been harder to prove whether that is because of the diet or some other factor.

So in 2013, many took notice of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that seemed to provide some proof. The study found that people eating the Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil were 30 percent less likely to experience a heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes than people assigned to a low-fat diet.

It was an observational study and therefore close to meaningless even if the data had been sound. But the data wasn’t so sound, as a dedicated anesthesiologist named John Carlisle discovered:

He read up on statistical methods and looked over more than 160 trials by the researcher, Dr. Yoshitaka Fujii, and analyzed how likely it was that the people had been randomized to different treatments. Randomization is part of the gold standard for clinical studies because it reduces the risk of bias and allows researchers to determine cause-effect relationships.

Carlisle found the odds were infinitesimally small that Fujii had randomized people properly. Since Carlisle’s findings were published in 2012, medical journals have retracted more than 160 papers by Fujii — the most retractions for any one researcher, by a large margin, according to Retraction Watch.

More than 160 papers retracted … and these were peer-reviewed papers. That tells you how well the peer-review system functions.

To quote my own Science For Smart People speech, Scientists are freakin’ liars. We apparently have yet another case of a scientist torturing the data until it told him what he wanted to hear.

Interestingly, the NPR article includes a photo of someone eating beans and whole-grain bread, with this caption below:

Flaws in a study of the Mediterranean diet led to a softening of its conclusions about health benefits. But don’t switch to a diet of cotton candy just yet.

Yeah, that’s what I’ve always found so difficult about adopting a healthy diet: I don’t like living on beans and bread, but the only alternative is to live on cotton candy. I sincerely hope that one of these days, the food industry starts producing meats and eggs.

Anyway, the New England Journal of Medicine has since retracted the paper and replaced it with a version that uses “softer” language, although that paper still concludes that a Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Compared to what? you might ask. The answer: compared to a low-fat diet. So how do they explain that one? Well, it’s the olive oil, ya see …

As far as I’m concerned, we’re looking at people who are healthier than average because their diets are low in processed foods, not low in saturated fats, or high in whole grains, or whatever. Living in a region with lots of vitamin-D enhancing sunshine probably helps too.

Anti-Fat Hysteria Goes Underground

My breakfast today included bacon, eggs and butter. If I were in London, a picture of my breakfast would banned from the Underground, according to BBC News:

An advert designed to run on the London Underground was rejected because it contained bacon, butter, eggs and jam, an online supermarket said. Farmdrop submitted a photograph which included images of the meat, dairy products and spread.

Transport for London (TfL) said it was up to advertisers to make sure any items featured were “high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS)-compliant”. Last month TfL issued a ban on all junk food advertising.

Foods found to be high in fat, sugar and salt are now not allowed to feature in advertisements on public transport.

I dunno … is it comforting to know government agencies overseas are just as stupid as those in the U.S.?

The ban was introduced as London mayor Sadiq Khan said he wanted to tackle the “ticking time bomb” of child obesity in the city.

That bomb exploded a long time ago, Mr. Mayor. And bacon, eggs and butter had nothing to do with it.

Weight Watchers Finding New Ways To Lose

I don’t mean “lose weight,” either. Weight Watchers hasn’t been doing so well in recent years because of competition from other diets … like, say, those that actually work. So how is the company responding? Here are some quotes from an article in USA Today:

For the first time, the preeminent weight-loss company, which rebranded as WW in 2018, is rolling out three customized plans simultaneously, officials shared exclusively with USA TODAY.

The Oprah Winfrey-backed company’s new plan includes whole wheat pasta, brown rice and potatoes – which have cost points in past WW programs – as “ZeroPoint” foods, meaning they don’t have to be measured or tracked.

Weight Watchers – er, WW now – has been on the low-fat bandwagon for years. That’s why most of their packaged meals are based on rice or pasta. Customers have been abandoning the company because the long-term success rate is abysmal. That’s what happens when you sell foods and meal plans that leave people hungry and miserable.

The solution? Well heck, let’s tell people they can now eat all the wheat pasta, brown rice and potatoes they want!

“There’s no foods off limits on any of our programs, and it’s going to be sustainable,” said Mindy Grossman, WW president and CEO, in an interview with USA TODAY. “It’s easy, it’s simple and I think that’s what people are craving for – something they can really live with.”

No, Ms. Grossman, what people are craving is a diet that works.

Sorry, No Dinner — My Printer Jammed

If there’s one thing the world needs, it’s more fake food. Check out this article in The U.K. Guardian:

After the success of the Greggs vegan sausage roll and the juicy-yet-meatless Impossible Burger, the next new food sensation is coming to a plate near you: 3D-printed steaks and chicken thighs.

Printed meat could be on European restaurant menus from next year as Israeli and Spanish firms serve up realistic beef and chicken produced from plant protein. And, within a few years, the printers are likely to be available to buy so that consumers can produce their own at home.

Layers of material are built up by 3D printers until there is a solid object conforming to very precise specifications. The meat can be produced either from vegetable matter or from animal cells grown in a lab. The printer uses these raw ingredients, which come in a Nespresso-style cartridge, to build up a steak or chicken fillet that tastes like the real thing.

Well, if it tastes like the real thing, it has to be good for you … just like those corn-oil margarines that tasted like butter.

Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, co-founder and CEO of Israeli firm Redefine Meat, said switching to printed meat would have huge ecological benefits. “The biggest reason for going to alternative meat is because of the future of our planet,” he said. “We can recycle, drive electric cars, we can shower less, but these changes can’t compete with reducing consumption by one hamburger per week.”

Stop eating real meat To Save The Planet! I’m sure Walter Willett approves.

If I ever print “realistic beef” at home, I’m going to make sure it includes a big label that reads Hey, Dumbass! Don’t eat this @#$%!

The Impossible Carrot?

Every time I see a Burger King ad for the plant-based “Impossible Burger,” I shake my head. After reading the list of ingredients, I think it’s impossible this frankfenfoood is good for you. So I chuckled when I read that Arby’s is going in the opposite direction:

Arby’s is turning the plant-based meat craze on its head by testing meat-based plants.

The company says it has produced a new meat-vegetable hybrid food category called “megetables.” It’s an obvious troll against its fast food rivals, including Burger King, McDonald’s and a dozen or so others, which are adding plant-based meat alternatives to their menus.

First from the Arby’s test kitchen is the “Marrot,” a meat-carrot made of turkey breast sliced into the shape of a carrot. It’s then sous vide for an hour and rubbed down in a “special carrot marinade” made of dried carrot juice powder. It’s then topped with a maple syrup powder, oven-roasted for an hour and topped with a parsley to “give it the full carrot effect,” Arby’s said.

I wish the Marrot had been around when my mom insisted I eat my vegetables.

Arby’s has publicly vowed in the past to not add fake meat to its menu. The Inspire Brands-owned company said it wasn’t interested in selling Impossible Foods’ products, noting the “chances we will bring plant-based menu items to our restaurants, now or in the future, are absolutely impossible.”

I’ve been to an Arby’s in years. I may have patronize them again … unless they start printing their meats.

It’s bucking the trend, as interest in plant-based protein is on the rise. Meat eaters are looking to diversify their diets to be healthier and reduce their impact on the environment.

Uh … no, I’m not.

Take Two Hikes And Call Me In The Morning

This headline from BigThink grabbed my attention: Doctors in Scotland can now prescribe nature to their patients.

Since October 5, doctors in Shetland, Scotland, have been authorized to prescribe nature to their patients. It’s thought to be the first program of its kind in the U.K., and seeks to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and increase happiness for those with diabetes, a mental illness, stress, heart disease, and more.

They’ve been authorized since October 5 … maybe someone from across the pond can clarify, but does that mean before October 5, they were prohibited from prescribing nature? Could doctors get into some kind of trouble for telling patients to go outdoors and enjoy nature? If so, that’s nearly as ridiculous as dietitians in South Africa filing charges against a doctor for tweeting that babies should be weaned onto LCHF real foods.

Anyway, some of the specific advice is certainly interesting:

There is a whole leaflet of nature prescription suggestions that accompanies the program, filled with amusing, charming, sometimes seemingly off-kilter suggestions: in February, you can make a windsock from a hoop and material to “appreciate the speed of the wind”; in March, you can make beach art from natural materials or “borrow a dog and take it for a walk”; in April, you can “touch the sea” and “make a bug hotel”; in May, you can “bury your face in the grass”; in July, you can “pick two different kinds of grass and really look at them”; in August, you can summon a worm out of the ground without digging or using water; in September, you can help clean the beach and prepare a meal outdoors; in October, you can “appreciate a cloud”; you can “talk to a pony” in November, “feed the birds in your garden” in December, and do so much more. All on doctor’s orders.

On any day of the year when the weather allow for it, you can play golf outdoors and look for birdies. That’s the advice I’ve been giving myself — and my blood pressure is outstanding, according to my doctor.

Stand Up For Yourselves, Men

Years ago, my former comedy partner Tim Slagle and I imagined a future world in which eating meat was outlawed. But we also noticed a problem with parodying the loony left’s Grand Plans: give it enough time, and the loony left will turn parody into reality.

We’re not quite at the stage yet where meat is outlawed. But in one of our (ahem) “news” shows, we had a story that in the interest of gender equality, men had been banned from standing while urinating. Total parody, right? It’ll never happen.

Check out these quotes 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.

But not everyone agrees.

Really? Someone dares to disagree with a Grand Plan? Has he been banned from social media yet? Well, all right, let’s see what this Neanderthal’s objection is.

“Men scatter urine not so much during the actual urination as during the ‘shaking off’ that follows,” John Gamel, a professor at the University of Louisville, wrote while addressing the issue in 2009. “As a result, forcing men to sit while emptying their bladders will serve little purpose, since no man wants to shake himself off while remaining seated on the toilet.”

He wrote about the issue. Sounds like a good use of a college professor’s time.

A representative from the party said he hopes to move toward sitting only bathrooms.

With an armed guard to make sure men don’t stand in front of the “sitting only” toilet to pee in it.

You’re Such An Animal When You’ve Been Drinking

This article from an ABC station in Florida wins the prize for the ultimate “hold my beer” story of 2019.

Two men are facing charges after authorities say they caught an alligator and poured beer into its mouth in Palm City, Florida.

Police arrested Timothy Kepke and Noah Osborne last week. The arrests came in response to an August complaint to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission about a video of the incident on social media.

I know their real names are Tim and Noah, but I’m invoking editorial license and referring to them as Bert and Ernie from here on.

“Hey, Bert, I’m bored. Let’s say we catch an alligator and get it to drink some beer.”

“Great idea, Ernie. And then we should post a video of ourselves doing it! We’ll be famous!”

The video obtained by WPBF appears to show Kepke attempting to get the alligator to bite his arm. When it does, Kepke pours beer down the animal’s throat.

“How we gonna get a beer into this big fella’s mouth, Ernie? We gonna stick it inside a ham or something?”

“No, that’s too derned expensive. I got an idea. I’ll just wave my arm around in front of his big, powerful jaws. Then when he opens his mouth to bite off my arm, I’ll pour in the beer!”

“Sounds like a good plan, Ernie. But we should be smart about this and ask ourselves if anything could go wrong. Can you think of anything?”

“Hmmm … well, if he’s trashing around trying to bite off my arm, I could miss his mouth. That would be a waste of a good beer.”

I’m trying to figure out why in the heck anyone would want to get an alligator drunk. How would you even know when the alligator is drunk? As far as I can tell, when alligators aren’t swimming underwater looking for things to kill and eat, they sit around slowly opening and closing their eyes and generally being inert. Toss in picking up a TV remote now and then, and that’s pretty much what I do when I’m drunk.

“What’s he doing now, Bert?”

“He’s just sitting there.”

“Boy, we really got him @#$%-faced, didn’t we?”

I can only assume one of these guys has high blood pressure and, after visiting a Scottish doctor, was told to go out and enjoy nature.

Titans Stun The Ravens

The Tennessee Titans shut down the highest-scoring offense in the NFL on Saturday night and won 28-12 to advance to the AFC Championship game. That has nothing to do with diet or health, and it’s not news from 2019. I just never get tired of saying it.


Happy New Year

      32 Comments on Happy New Year

Welcome to The Twenties. That’s got a nice ring to it, eh? The two previous decades had sucky names. First we had The Aughts, or The O’s, or whatever. We couldn’t call the next decade The Teens until three years had passed, and even then it was a namby-pamby name. But now it’s The Twenties.

Thirties, Forties, Fifties … given my age, I’m pretty sure the decades will have catchy names for the rest of my life.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions until at least the weekend after January 1st. I figure if I make resolutions the day after celebrating New Year’s Eve, I’m likely to let guilt cloud the process … you know, like when a guy wakes up with a hangover and swears he’ll never drink again. Better to let a little time pass so reason reasserts itself.

One resolution I’ve already made is to get back to posting more than once per month or so. I believe I had a mild case of burnout happening in 2019. As I mentioned a few times, it was an … uh … interesting year at the programming job. We seemed to have an unusual number of emergencies and/or major projects happening last year. Sometimes the major projects created the emergencies. I wasn’t working 60-hour weeks all the time (although I certainly had some of those), but I frequently went home feeling brain-fried from spending the day solving sticky problems. Then I’d think to myself, I could write a post or watch this series on Netflix … yup, Netflix it is.

I’m rested now. My last workday of the year was December 13th, which gave me nearly three weeks off. For the most part, I spent my end-of-year vacation chilling. I slept late, watched movies and series that have been sitting in my Netflix watch list for months, and watched almost every NFL game shown in our market. I was of course delighted when our Titans made the playoffs. I don’t expect them to go all the way to the Super Bowl, but if they win this weekend and spare the world from another Super Bowl featuring the Patriots, I’ll consider it a successful season.

Another resolution I’ve already made is to get back on my anti-fungal-overgrowth program. I ran out of the CandiBactin tablets some weeks ago. Then we had a batch of the not-yogurt go bad on us for some reason. It had a spoiled-milk odor, so we dumped it. With all the holiday hubbub, I didn’t get around to making new batch. I wasn’t in a hurry because the symptoms of the fungal overgrowth had gone away, so I considered myself cured.

Ha! Riiiight … and Santa Claus is going to bring me a pony.

A few weeks off the program, and the symptoms started returning. A bit of itchy skin here, a bit of we think it’s your prostate but it might be your colon or maybe both discomfort there, followed by some weight gain as a bonus. I’ve since re-supplied the CandiBactin and made a new batch of the not-yogurt. Apparently keeping this thing at bay will require regular maintenance.

The only Fat Head activity I did over vacation was to start reading Real Food On Trial, by Tim Noakes and Marika Sboros. The publisher sent me a copy months ago, and it’s been sitting on my desk waiting for me to have the time and energy to tackle it. When I finally cracked the thick book, I found myself reading very small type. I remember how as my dad got older, he started buying those large-print books for seniors. I hoped I’d never need to do that – and I haven’t. Instead, I bought the Kindle version of the book and increased the font size. I still have a few chapters to go, but when I’m finished, I’ll write a full review.

Consider that a New Year’s resolution. Happy 2020 to you all.


Causes vs. Effects: A Diet/Golf Analogy

      26 Comments on Causes vs. Effects: A Diet/Golf Analogy

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. And to our non-American friends, I hope you had a lovely Thursday. Now on to more important things …

I became a golf addict in my thirties. As often happens with entertainers, it was partly the result of running around with a show-business crowd. Standup comedians don’t work until evening, so a lot of them play golf during the day. Between my fellow comedians and my golf-addict dad, I got sucked in.

After we moved to Tennessee, I managed to keep the addiction at bay for nearly 10 years. I went to the recovery meetings and followed the advice: don’t watch golf on TV, don’t take practice swings with imaginary clubs, don’t hang around with your old golfing buddies because they’ll trigger the craving, etc. I was confident I’d never golf again.

Then my danged nephews (The Older Brother’s Older Sons) conspired to get me hooked again. They employed cult mind-control techniques, such as calling me up and saying, “It’s supposed to be nice weather when I visit. Maybe we can go play nine holes” or “When you guys come up for the birthday party, you should bring your clubs.”

I tried calling my sponsor, but in a near-whisper, he told me it wasn’t a good time to talk. In the background, I heard a THWACK! followed by someone yelling “Nice shot!” so I assumed he was at an archery tournament and being careful not to disturb the archers.

Stripped of any support system, I weakened and succumbed. I spent a golf-binge weekend with the nephews. Ahh, the sweet, guilty pleasure of that first good hit …

Next thing I knew, I was parked in front of my computer at 2:00 AM, wild-eyed, holding a debit card in my right (trailing-side) hand, ordering new clubs. I engaged in the typical rationalizations: my 61st birthday is coming up, I work hard and deserve a little treat, and those single-length irons everyone’s talking about couldn’t possibly cause as much emotional damage as my old Cobras.

Yup, I was hooked again.

The only thing worse than being a golf addict is being a golf addict with a lousy swing. My dad suffered from that sorry combination in his later years, and the stress triggered delusions. As he drove past pastoral settings, he imagined he saw potential golf courses that had been wasted for lesser purposes:


“Something wrong, Dad?”

“Just look at those gently rolling hills, the grassy meadows, the pretty little stream. Get rid of those headstones, you could put a good golf course there.”

I realized that to avoid the same fate, I must either give up golf again or develop a decent swing. I chose the latter. I’m happy to say I’ve already made progress. Finding a golf swing that works, as it turns out, is similar to finding a diet that works: ignore the so-called experts whose advice is technically correct but doesn’t fix the problem, and take advantage of social media to find those rare teachers who actually understand how human bodies function.

I became a so-so golfer in my standup-comedy days. I usually hit the ball when I swung at it, and even had some marginally impressive rounds. But when I started playing again this year, I kept hitting it thin. Or fat. Or I’d duck-hook it. Throw in a few curse words known only to Irish-American golfers, and I’d be my dad at my age, but with less hair.

I shot some slow-motion video of my swing and found to my horror that I had a major “chicken wing” issue, which means my left arm was pulling into my body and my hands were flipping at the ball instead of swinging through it. A chicken-wing swing looks like this:

Telling myself “don’t do that” didn’t work, so it was off to seek the wisdom of crowds on the internet – an advantage my dad never enjoyed.

I sent a video of my swing to an online teacher. He replied that the chicken-wing and flippy hands were the result of not properly shifting my weight. (You can see in the photo above that my weight is still on both feet.) You’ve got to start the downswing by rotating your hips, continue rotating them through the swing, and get your weight to your left side before impact. Do these drills to practice getting into the correct positions. Start the drills in slow motion, then gradually pick up speed.

I did the drills. I could move through the correct positions in slow motion, but that was just posing. Put a ball in front of me, and it was chicken-wing/flippy hands time again.

What the …

So I kept searching YouTube for videos on fixing a chicken-wing, preventing flippy-hands, etc. The experts – most of whom are certified PGA teaching professionals – all said pretty much the same thing: the chicken wing and the flippy hands happen because the body stops rotating. You’ve got to rotate your hips and shift your weight to the left side before impact. Try these drills …

I spent hours practicing rotating my hips and shifting my weight just before swinging at the ball. It always felt forced and awkward. I’d get out the video camera, make a very conscious effort to turn those hips … then watch the video and see my hands flipping at the ball, chicken-wing arm fully on display.  Even worse, consciously stepping onto my left foot and cranking my hips around caused my head to drop down and to the right, away from the ball.

Son of a … this can’t be so friggin’ difficult.

Back to YouTube. Since the root of the problem was (according to the certified experts) a failure to shift my weight, I ran a search on golf weight shift. I came across videos explaining the proper weight shift in minute detail: start with your weight on the balls of your feet, then as you begin taking the club back, push most of your weight back onto your right heel, then push off the ball of your right foot and into your left heel, then drop the club into the “slot” and rotate your hips toward the target … oh, and swing the club into the ball too.

Oh yeah, that’s not complicated at all. I remembered an impression I formed when I first visited a teaching pro 30 years ago: the typical golf lesson consists of a talented athlete telling some schlub how to perform a complex and precisely timed series of moves he’ll never master because he’s not a talented athlete. Something like this:

You want a one-piece takeaway, so start the backswing by moving your arms, shoulders, hips and hands all together. As you turn away from the target, push your weight to the inside of your right heel, and let your left knee will bend out towards the ball. When your hands pass your waist, cock your wrists so the club and your left arm form a 90-degree angle, then allow your arms to move across your chest, but keep the “V” of your forearms together. Continue rotating until your hips have turned about 20 degrees, your back is facing the target, your left shoulder is under your chin, and the club is pointed towards the target above your head. To begin the downswing, push off your right foot and rotate your hips, then step hard onto your left heel, straighten your left leg a bit, and turn your belt buckle towards the target. You need to avoid casting the club too early, so as your weight shifts left, just let the club drop until your right elbow is in front of your right hip. Hold the 90-degree angle until your hands pass your right leg, then release the club by rolling your right arm over your left and letting your wrists uncock. Keep your head down until the ball is gone, then come up onto your left leg for a high finish. If you can relax and do all that smoothly in about one second from start to finish, you’ll hit the ball very well.

I began thinking perhaps I should sell those clubs I just bought while they’re still shiny and new. I can just play disc golf – after all, I’m pretty decent at that game.

Then I came across a video titled GOLF WEIGHT SHIFT IS AUTOMATIC-REALLY REALLY!!

Ahh, that’s nice to know. Shifting the weight is autom – wait, WHAT?!  I’ve been trying (and mostly failing) to train myself to shift my weight while swinging a club, and this guy is telling me it’s automatic? How the @#$% can that be?

Remember how it felt the first time you read Protein Power, or Good Calories, Bad Calories, or The Primal Blueprint and realized you’d been struggling for no reason? Remember that AHA! moment when Eades or Taubes or Sisson explained that if you try starving yourself thin, you’re just fighting your own body, and that “consume fewer calories than you burn” is an effect, not a cause? Switch to a real-food diet low in carbs, and your appetite and calorie intake will regulate itself – remember how it felt to finally have someone explain that? That sense of relief … combined with a bit of anger over all the time you wasted following bad advice?

That’s how I felt when I watched the video below (and many more later) by golf instructor Shawn Clement – who reminds me a bit of Mark Sisson. If there’s anyone I’d describe as a paleo golf instructor, it’s him. He relates the swing to motions our brains have already been programmed to accomplish easily. You can watch the video below, but I’ll paraphrase what he says in this and other videos:

If you ask someone to throw a rock or a spear or a frisbee towards a target, he’ll always do the same thing, without fail: take the arm back, cock the wrist, plant the lead foot, rotate the hips, sling the arm toward the target, then release. Ask him exactly when he cocked his wrist, or planted his foot, or turned his hips, he’ll have no idea – but he’ll do it correctly every time. That’s because humans have been throwing things at predators and prey forever, and the kinematic sequence to make that happen is hard-coded into our DNA. We don’t have to learn it. Our bodies and brains already know it.

So why do you struggle to shift your weight and rotate your hips when playing golf? Because you think your task is to hit the ball, so you’re making the ball your target. Your brain doesn’t see any reason to keep rotating your body once you’re facing your target.

But if your task is to throw the clubhead toward a target that’s down the fairway, your brain will fire that hard-coded kinematic sequence, and you will plant your foot, turn your hips, and sling the club – without thinking about it. Shifting your weight and turning your hips isn’t the cause of a good swing; it’s the effect of choosing the correct task.

I felt like a bit of a doofus for not realizing this before. I play disc golf. When I sling a disc toward the basket, I do everything Clement describes: take my arm back, rotate away from the target, cock the wrist, plant my lead foot, rotate my hips towards the target, follow through with my arm and shoulder, etc. – and I never think about it. That sequence just happens. All I’m thinking about is where I want the disc to go.

To remind our bodies that we’re throwing the clubhead toward the target, Clement even has a video showing how to literally throw the club underhand and down the fairway as a drill. I watched that video and several others at night. The next day I took some foam golf balls and a 9-iron out to the front pastures. Yes, I reminded myself, the ball is there, but it’s not my target. The target is that utility pole way out there. My task is to sling the clubhead toward the target and let it pick up the ball along the way.

BOOM. Left foot planted, hips rotated, weight shifted, arms accelerated, hands released, and I ended up standing on my left leg and facing the target. Every time. Without fail. Without thinking about the sequence.

I’ve since watched dozens of Clement’s golf videos. He frequently returns to the same idea: humans suck at thinking about individual body parts – he cites research to back up that statement — but we’re geniuses at automatically moving them in sequence to accomplish a task. Too many golf instructors look at the effects of a good swing and think those are the causes.

Sound familiar? Kind of like when the so-called experts tell you to focus on calories, calories, calories, but can’t explain why most people stayed lean back when nobody knew how many calories their meals contained? Matching their calories to their energy needs wasn’t the cause of being lean – that was the effect of eating real food. It was automatic.

As I watched more of Clement’s videos, I noticed he used to be quite a bit heavier. So imagine my delight when I came across a video where he explains that he lost 50 pounds on a primal diet after reading Grain Brain and meeting a guy named Mark Sisson. I doubt Sisson had any difficulty getting him to understand that matching calorie intake to energy needs is an effect, not a cause.

Because of YouTube’s viewers of this video also watched … feature, I came across another excellent golf instructor named Mike Malaska. His voice and vocal patterns remind me a bit of Dr. Mike Eades. So does his attitude towards the so-called experts.

I’m paraphrasing here, but in one of the first videos I watched on his channel, he said something like this:

Golf is the only sport where you swing at a ball and yet most instructors tell you to forget about your hands and focus on your legs and hips. Would anyone tell a baseball player, or a tennis player, or a ping-pong player, or a hockey player that the arms and hands just go along for the ride? Of course not. But that’s what we tell golfers. We tell them to crank through with their hips and force themselves into these various positions. Those positions aren’t the cause of a good swing. They’re the effects of a good swing. You swing the club with your hands and arms. If you relax and let the arms and hands do what they’re supposed to do, the body rotation and the weight shift will happen automatically.

Can you learn to swing a golf club by focusing on body parts and positions? Yes, but you’ll be fighting against your natural instincts, you’ll probably be inconsistent, and there’s a good chance you’ll hurt yourself.

That sounds a wee bit like:

We tell people to focus on calories and force themselves to eat fewer calories than they burn. Eating fewer calories than you burn isn’t the cause of getting your weight under control, it’s the effect of adopting a good diet. Can you lose weight by focusing on calories and going hungry all the time? Yes, but you’ll be fighting your natural instincts, you’ll be miserable much of the time, and there’s a good chance you’ll screw up your metabolism in the process.

If you’ve ever taken lessons or watched YouTube videos on golf and gone bleary-eyed with all the advice about hips, legs, feet, shoulders, elbows, rotating the core, shifting the weight, holding the lag, etc., etc., compare that with the simple advice Malaska gives here:

He doesn’t specifically say to throw the clubhead toward the target, but if you watch what he’s doing as he describes the “lever system,” it’s the same idea in different words: it’s an underhand throw and release toward the target.

That’s pretty much all I think about now: using my hands and arms to sling the clubhead underhanded towards the target and letting the lever system work. The body moves in response, but I don’t have to think about it. It’s an effect of the swinging motion, not a cause.

Causes vs. effects. The effective teachers — the teachers whose advice works — understand the difference, whether we’re talking about weight loss or golf.

I’ve been practicing what I learned from Clement and Malaska, and originally planned to take those lessons (and my new clubs) to an 18-hole course on my birthday three weeks ago. An emergency situation at work delayed those plans. I finally had the free day and the pleasant weather to play 18 holes the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

When I played 18 holes with The Older Brother and his Older Sons back in August (the day we dumped my dad’s ashes in the water hazard), I shot way over 100 and had more bad swings than good ones. On Thursday, I shot 85. I only took three swings all day where I skulled the ball – because I forgot to sling the clubhead toward the target and went back to trying the hit the ball. As soon as I reminded myself of the actual task, the swing came back – effortless weight shift and all.

I’m no more athletic now than I was in August, but I looked like a completely different golfer … because I kept scouring the internet until I found teachers who understand the difference between causes and effects and followed their advice.

Just like when I finally learned how to be healthy.