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(Comparative Anatomy and Physiology Brought Up to Date--continued, Part 9E)

Potential reactions to information
in this paper: Part 2

Evolution and Vegetarian Choice:
Continued Dogma or a New Honesty?

Based on past experience (some of which was quite unpleasant), it is possible that some "spiritually advanced, peaceful, compassionate" raw/veg*n diet advocates will react to the information in this article with some of the following.


Attacking the messenger while ignoring the message

Hateful personal attacks by dietary extremists--e.g., pejorative name-calling, claiming that I am anti-vegetarian, anti-raw, etc.--can be fairly easily predicted. One fruitarian extremist group (that, in my opinion, behaves like a hate group--an opinion shared by many others) has attacked me on numerous occasions in the past with defamatory lies and threats of violence. I have also been attacked by other fruitarian extremists (e.g, promoters of crank science theories) and even a conventional veg*n extremist (a notorious Internet "kook"). Please note that:

I am both pro-vegetarian and pro-raw. Readers should be aware that I am a long-time vegetarian (since 1970), a former long-time (8+ years) fruitarian (also a former vegan), have followed natural-hygiene-style and living-foods-style raw vegan diets, and am both pro-vegetarian and pro-raw. However, I am definitely not a promoter of, or a "missionary" for, any specific diet. In reality, I am tired of seeing raw and veg*n diets promoted in negative ways by extremists whose hostile and dishonest behavior is a betrayal of the positive moral principles that are supposedly at the heart of veg*nism. (See the site article Assessing Claims and Credibility in the Realm of Raw and Alternative Diets for insight into the behavior of extremists.)

Nitpicking inconsequential issues while ignoring the relevant ones

Any small errors in the material here (and, given the size and scope of the material, there are likely to be a few errors despite a considerable amount of fact-checking) do not by themselves (alone) invalidate the major points or conclusions given here. No doubt extremists will greatly exaggerate the presence (and importance) of any small errors they can find. Past experience with certain fruitarian extremists who have dishonestly misrepresented my views so they could nitpick them suggests that the material on this site will be misrepresented and subject to nitpicking as well. Again, see the site article, Assessing Claims and Credibility for a discussion of related extremist tactics.

How will you react?

As a reader of this paper, you have the choice of how you react to the information here. Will you use it as an opportunity for self-examination regarding the information you use to back up your dietary philosophy? Will you try to ignore it, using nitpicking and rationalizations as an emotional shield to avoid considering the material herein? Or, will you behave like an extremist and threaten or attack me or the other writers on this site, thereby promoting hatred and negativity? If you are tempted to follow that route because the material here challenges your "lunch philosophy," then please stop and think: Will raw/veg*n hatred make the world a better place? Are hatred and threats simply a new type of raw/veg*n "compassion"?

I suggest that readers ignore personal attacks and nitpicking, and focus on the actual issues rather than getting sidetracked by such diversions. Instead, focus on evaluating the myths, fallacious logic, crank science, and unsubstantiated claims that are prevalent in the raw/veg*n movement, and ask yourself: Do I really want to participate in (or condone) promoting the raw/veg*n movements using such dubious means?

Dishonest raw/veg*n diet gurus

Every time I have raised the issue of the dishonesty, crank science, and even hostility that are common in the promotion of raw/veg*n diets, many people quickly rally to the defense of the diet gurus. In so doing, they are making certain implicit assumptions (though perhaps not consciously). The assumptions are that negative, dishonest means are acceptable (or may be condoned by silence or lack of opposing comment when one is aware of it) and/or may even be necessary to promote raw/veg*n diets. (This is pretty much an "ends justifies the means" argument.)

Needless to say, such assumptions are outrageous. I hope that you share my view that raw/veg*n diets can and should be promoted in honest, positive ways, with legitimate science, and with complete respect for those who choose other diets. There is no need for myths, crank science, or dietary racism in promoting raw/veg*n diets.

Should You Eat Meat?

The objective of this paper has been to examine the claims made in various comparative "proofs" of diets, and not to promote one diet over another. Similarly, this website does not seek to promote a particular diet. Instead, the focus here is on providing you with information for your consideration and evaluation.

With that in mind, the question of whether you should eat meat is a question that only you can answer. The role of spiritual or moral factors in such a decision is at your discretion, i.e., you choose whether to include such factors in the decision process. As a veg*n for moral/spiritual reasons, I strongly encourage you to consider such factors, if appropriate in your case.

It is certainly not my intent here to promote meat-eating, only to clarify the scientific facts, and to hopefully dispel some of the myths/crank science associated with raw/veg*n diets. However, ultimately, diet is your personal responsibility, and your personal decision, as well.

A few comments are relevant here, in context.

The comments above are provided to stimulate discussion and research. The above is not intended as an individual dietary prescription or recommendation.

A New Beginning?

Newer knowledge can help in self-assessment. I hope that the information in this paper has been of interest to you. I also hope that you don't react with denial (rationalizations, excuses) or hostility (attacks, threats). Instead, I hope that you use the process of "mentally digesting" the information here as an opportunity for in-depth self-examination of the attitudes you may hold toward diet, and as a real opportunity to expand your vision about the human species'--your own--actual dietary heritage.

This common heritage we all share has had a profound impact on human physiology and anatomy, and also exerts its effects internally (mentally) in how we experience our bodies' programmed biological reactions to different foods. A helpful result of knowing this is that it more thoroughly explains why we crave certain food types, giving a better perspective on the challenges facing those of us in modern times eating diets that may significantly differ from the species' evolutionary diet.

The pervasive nature of the false claim that "humans are natural veg*ns" has had its own, long-term, impact on the veg*n movement. Unfortunately, many veg*ns have developed very strong attachments to their "lunch philosophy," and it has become a pseudo-religion for some (with the dietary extremists being, in effect, hateful and fanatical followers of the pseudo-religion). However, if you follow a veg*n diet because of underlying moral or spiritual factors, please stop and think:

The information presented in this paper should, hopefully, make clear that many raw/veg*n "diet gurus" are promoting misinformation, myths, and logical fallacies as part of the raw/veg*n "party line." Unfortunately, junk science and crank science are far too common in the raw/veg*n community, and some extremists have earned their very bad reputations for hostility and dishonesty, as well.

Myths and crank science: a good basis for the raw/veg*n movements? And now, consider whether these factors--myths, logical fallacies, crank science, hostile behavior by some raw/veg*n extremists--are a good basis for the long-term growth of the raw/veg*n community. Are these the factors that will expand the community and build a stable basis for the future? Or, rather, are such factors simply the seeds of a long-term, self-destructive erosion of the raw/veg*n community's credibility? An erosion that only stands to spread as the increasing influence on nutritional science of emerging evolutionary knowledge sets the record straight and exposes the above myth-making to a wider public for what it is?

Personal choice: myths and crank science, or reality and honesty? Each of us has a choice: we can cling to false myths and crank science, or we can open up to reality and strive for an honest basis for our own diets, and for the larger raw/veg*n communities as well. I hope that you will give serious thought to your choice.

EPILOGUE: A Personal Note to the Reader

Writing this paper has been a major effort for me. It consumed most of my spare time for months: evenings, holidays, Saturdays, Sundays, and so on. Believe it or not, this paper was a real labor of love. My motive for having written it is to educate individuals about the myths of raw/veg*n diets, and thereby to help in what way I can to encourage reform on these issues in the raw/veg*n movements; to encourage the raw/veg*n movements toward a more consistently honest basis; and to encourage people to be skeptical of the dishonest and/or delusional crank science and myths that are promoted by far too many "diet gurus."

I hope that you have enjoyed this paper. If so, I encourage you to read more of the material on this website, and also to invite your friends to visit the site and read the material here.

Thank you for reading, and I wish you good health, and good thinking!

P.S. I encourage all to also read Appendix 1. It is relevant to the subject and will likely be of interest to many readers.

--Tom Billings

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GO TO PART 1 - Brief Overview: What is the Relevance of Comparative Anatomical and Physiological "Proofs"?

GO TO PART 2 - Looking at Ape Diets: Myths, Realities, and Rationalizations

GO TO PART 3 - The Fossil-Record Evidence about Human Diet

GO TO PART 4 - Intelligence, Evolution of the Human Brain, and Diet

GO TO PART 5 - Limitations on Comparative Dietary Proofs

GO TO PART 6 - What Comparative Anatomy Does and Doesn't Tell Us about Human Diet

GO TO PART 7 - Insights about Human Nutrition & Digestion from Comparative Physiology

GO TO PART 8 - Further Issues in the Debate over Omnivorous vs. Vegetarian Diets

GO TO PART 9 - Conclusions: The End, or The Beginning of a New Approach to Your Diet?

Back to Research-Based Appraisals of Alternative Diet Lore

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