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

Examining extremist attitudes and dogma in raw veganism (cont.)

Signs of emotional instability
and denial of reality

Those who promote (obsessive) fear as a motivation for their "ideal, perfect" diet are promoting eating disorders (mental illness) rather than a healthy diet.

One does not have to go far in the raw vegan movement to find people promoting rawism using pathological fear as a major motivation factor. In particular, the following fears are often actively promoted: fear of cooked food, fear of protein, fear of mucus. Fear, if it becomes strong enough (which can happen if one believes the "party line" strongly enough), can turn a raw diet into an eating disorder similar to anorexia nervosa. Fear is not the basis for a diet; it is, however, the basis for an eating disorder.

Fear is an unsuitable motivation for a diet because of the central role of diet in our lives. There is a difference between rejecting a food based on calm reason, and rejecting a food from an emotional stance based on fear or other negative emotions. If you habitually base a food decision on negative emotions, those negative emotions become a part of your psyche. Another way to say this is that if your diet is motivated by fear, you are effectively bringing fear to the table when you eat. In this way, you are placing fear at the very center of your life: this is a very bad idea, as habitual fear is a toxic emotion. Some readers might claim that fear of unhealthy foods is in fact a good motivation because it will keep you away from bad foods. However, if you think about it, you will reject such reasoning as false, as outlined in the following discussion:

Consider the common example of junk-food. You, personally, choose whether or not to eat junk-food. There are no gangs roaming the streets forcing people to eat junk food at gunpoint. The government does not send police or soldiers into your home to force you to eat junk-food. Not only is junk-food consumption your free choice, but unless you make it yourself, you have to go out and buy it/pay money for it so that you can eat it. Now, since junk-food consumption is a free choice, you can also simply recognize that it is not good for you, and, without any fear, choose to not eat it. Instead of feeling fear or other strong negative emotions when you see (or think of) junk-food, there is the calm, rational knowledge that it is not good for you, so it is best to avoid it, and you simply choose to eat other (better) food instead. Your reaction here, and your food choices, should be based on calm reason, not the implicit promotion of paranoid/pathological fear (or extremist slogans that implicitly promote fear).

To summarize this point: Those who advocate a diet based on the implicit promotion of pathological fear (by "demonizing" certain foods or components of foods, e.g., protein) are promoting eating disorders, a type of mental illness. Are such "experts" credible? Also consider: Will promoting fear really make the world a better place?

When told that their "ideal, perfect, natural diet" is not working for you, how does the extremist react? What does their reaction say about them, and their credibility?

Extremists often retreat into rationalizations and excuses, e.g., they may say it's your fault, you are not "pure" enough yet, you need coaching, you need more faith/positive thinking to succeed, among other responses. Alternately, such individuals may speculate and say the cause of the failure is non-optimal living conditions, or other non-diet factors. Let's evaluate these responses.

Appeals based on the
"cult of personality"


Does the dietary guru implicitly (i.e, subconsciously) promote authoritarianism--rather than independent thought--by their words and actions, and what does this suggest about their credibility?

Extremists may characterize some of the contributors to this site as "failures," because all of the principal writers here eat limited amounts of cooked food, and some of us have experienced problems with raw diets.

Horrors! We eat some cooked foods! We are impure! Call the dietary purity police right now to report this terrible crime! ;-) And while you're at it, also call a mental health professional to discuss how dietary purity has somehow become a critical, but warped and dysfunctional part of your personal self-identity. :-)

Reminder: The principal writers on this site have long experience in raw diets. In many cases, we have more experience than some of the prominent extremists.


(Examining the Personal Diets of Raw Vegan Gurus:
A Potential Tool for Assessing Credibility)

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

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