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(Assessing Claims and Credibility in Raw and Alternative Diets--continued, Part B)

Examining extremist attitudes and dogma in raw veganism

Let's now compare the views on this site with the more extreme views one may encounter in the raw vegan movement, on an issue-by-issue basis.

Convenient and contradictory attitudes
toward science and evidence

Examine the position of the extremists on issues for which there is significant scientific evidence. Do they acknowledge reality, or are they in denial?

Review the (documented) scientific information on this site regarding ape diets, and the fossil-record evidence that shows humans are natural omnivores/faunivores. (See Part 1 of Paleolithic Diet vs. Vegetarianism: What Was Humanity's Original, Natural Diet? as well as Comparative Anatomy and Physiology Brought Up to Date: Are Humans Natural Frugivores/Vegetarians, or Omnivores/Faunivores?) Also, review the (documented) evidence on this site that modern cultivated fruit is the product of human-controlled breeding and management rather than the "perfect, natural" food as claimed by the extremists--which is a point some simply ignore or avoid. (See the Wild/Natural Fruit vs. Modern/Cultivated Fruit Table.)

These issues are addressed in a systematic, documented approach on this site; in particular, the raw/fruitarian "party line" on these issues is discredited. Further, the evidence here is backed up with substantial scientific documentation, which we actively encourage you to check. If you check (enough of) the references cited by extremists, you may find that they are misquoting and/or misrepresenting their sources on critical points.

Consider the impact of the above information on the credibility of those "experts" who promote the raw/fruitarian party line. If they promote false dogma on these issues, can you believe them on other issues?

Extremists often display a general pattern of picking and choosing when to accept scientific evidence, and when to reject it.

Typically, science (i.e, specific papers or findings) will be accepted by such individuals (and even promoted) when it assists in promoting their idealistic dietary dogma. But it will also be rejected as invalid, e.g., via such mindless slogans as "science is cooked," or claiming the results are invalid because they are for "mixed diets," whenever science debunks their dogma. Additionally, extremists may display an unreasonably aggressive anti-establishment mindset, equating establishment science with evil, and thereby selectively rejecting specific research for political (rather than scientific) reasons. Examples of this are as follows:

The pattern of promoting science when convenient, and ignoring or denouncing it when inconvenient, raises further questions regarding the lack of credibility of true-believing dietary promoters. The above examples further illustrate that such individuals are in denial of reality, an apparent occupational hazard for those with extreme views.

Logical gaps, internal
contradictions, and leaps of faith

Extremists often have inconsistent views on the "proper" use of the human intellect.

You might encounter extremists who want you to: (1) use your intellect to agree with them that the raw vegan diet is the optimal, "natural" diet you should follow; then, (2) discard all of your intellect, even the most basic human tool-making skills, and limit your food choices to fruits and leaves, which are (falsely) claimed to be the only food choices of mythical "naked apes (humans), without tools."

Needless to say, the above "logic" is really inconsistent nonsense. Even chimps use tools; should we humans voluntarily take ourselves lower than the chimps? The naked ape hypothesis, presented as self-evident or "revealed truth" by some, is so ridiculous that it might be hilarious, except that some people actually believe it. (By the way, naked apes without tools are not limited to eating only fruits and leaves: one can collect a wide variety of animal products--eggs, insects, snails, etc.--in that manner.)

The extremist view of human intellect is similar to their view of science--use it when it helps to promote dietary dogma, ignore it at other times. Again, this reflects an underlying lack of rigor in failing to pause and think through the evidence and logic behind their views, and thus a parallel lack of credibility.

Examine extraordinary claims using basic common sense and logic. This provides an excellent credibility check.

In other words, if you stop long enough to begin thinking carefully and critically about what those touting some exclusive "ideal" diet say, you will immediately reject many erroneous extremist positions. (By the way, we encourage you to use logic and common sense when evaluating the material on this site as well. We make no claims to infallibility, and welcome civil, coherent comment and criticism.) Some examples of extremist views that contradict logic and/or common sense are as follows.


(Signs of Emotional Instability and Denial of Reality in Dietary Extremists)

Back to Frank Talk by Long-Time Insiders
Back to Psychology of Idealistic Diets

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