Vegetarians Are Great…

…Targets for Fupa Punching

I absolutely cringe when vegetarianism is brought up. There has never been a more wrong, hypocritical, and annoying nutritional zealotry. Say what you want about the Zone diet idiots, at least they eat meat. Today we are going to execute the notion that vegetarianism is relevant by debunking its moral and ethical reasoning, its proposed health benefits, and explain why its holding your female friend back in training (guys who at least pretend to lift aren’t vegetarians; the Illuminati quietly assassinates any perpetrators).

Moral Hypocricy

It pains me to even pretend to entertain the notion that vegetarians are doing something righteous by refraining from consuming meat. This topic is high on the “Things that make me want to break noses” list. Okay…deep breath…we can get through this without a heart rate of over 100bpm.

Some vegetarians don’t eat animals because they have an overt respect for the sentient of life. Some do it for religious reasons. Some are advocates for animal rights.

I guess destroying plant life is okay to pro-life people? They are selective in what living organisms they destroy; this automatically means that they don’t care about “the sentient of life” because they are willing to end some, but not others. In reality, they would only avoid hypocricy by not eating anything and starving themselves to death.

Let’s avoid discussing why religious avoidance of some or all meat is comical; people get upset when I discount fairy tales (Sleeping Beauty isn’t real, guys).

Besides, most of moral vegetarians are concerned with animal rights. They care about the fact that animals suffer. They ignore the evolutionary fact that this process has occurred throughout the history of living organisms. Life consumes life to make life. Life ends and then more life consumes that dead life to make life. This is, oddly enough, called The Mother Fucking Circle of Life (vegetarians never saw The Lion King, I guess). It has happened since the beginning of time.

Homo sapiens have evolved to be the dominant species in the world. It’s the result of a fascinating and beautiful process that led us to have brains and the ability to think — the ability to be passive aggressive vegetarian assholes. The one true purpose in life is to survive in order to procreate and pass our genes onto future generations. A species will eat whatever they can in order to survive. In fact, it is common practice in the “wild” — something that we have descended from — to kill and eat the offspring of your own species. It’s not evolutionary advantageous for me to allow Frank’s kids to pass his genetics along while his wife is still around for me to pass my seed into.

Sound callous? That’s what life is. Life is hard, but life will always find a way. This is how it has always been, and this is how it will always be regardless of the dominant species.

Oh, and we homo sapiens amazingly evolved to eat both plants and animals. It’s a byproduct of the evolutionary process that led to who we are today. It was necessary for us to survive in almost any environment, any harsh condition in the world. The result is that we are meant to eat animals. If you’re religious, you have to accept evolution, and when you do, you have to accept that your god set you up to survive the best way that you could. That means your god intended for you to eat meat. He wants you to eat meat. He needs you to in order to survive. It’s pretty clear: either your god wants you to eat meat or maybe your evolutionary DNA figured out that there were plenty of things to eat in the world and evolved to consume them all. Life will find a way.

Let’s return to the present. I love animals. I have two dogs that I cherish deeply. I lay on the floor with them, I kiss them, I nibble their ears, and I play with them. What’s the difference between my dogs and a cow? Or a chicken? My dogs bring something to the table. They prove their evolutionary worth time and time again by providing a service to humans, and nowadays that means they bring happiness, delight, and soft, furry cuddling. Have you ever cuddled a cow? No, because it doesn’t give a shit. It’s too dumb to do anything because it has evolved to be a source of consumption. That’s the cow’s purpose. 

Don’t get me started on chickens. Chickens are such assholes. They are dirty, they smell, and the run around acting like dickheads until you can get them back in their pen. They cannot go fetch a downed duck, hunt a boar, or herd cattle. Chickens and cows are pretenders while dogs are a smart, capable species that have dominance over these other pretenders.

The point is that all species aren’t created equal. There’s an inherent food chain everywhere, and animals we consume are near the bottom. We control them so that we can keep their numbers up high enough to continue eating them. If I had a choice from copious selections of beef at the store — even though that animal is stabbed in the neck while standing on a conveyor belt — and a situation where I could only eat beef once a week because there were fewer cows, but they were allowed to wander around, doing nothing a lot more but not “suffering”, then I’d rather the cows be inconvenienced than me. Because that’s what happens in the circle of life. If anything, it’s the cow’s fault for not evolving to be more dominant.

Look, boys and girls, the world isn’t black and white. There are rare instances of true good and evil in the world, but mostly it’s a mixed collection of gray. We may have moved forward into a civilized species, but we will always need to survive off of lesser capable species. The dinosaurs did it, the mammals did it, and now we are doing it. In fact, accepting the concept that one species dominates over another is an appreciation for the sentient of life and how it came to be.

The Ultimate Hypocricy

Unbeknownst to the righteous cavalier who fights for animal rights is the fact that millions and millions of animals are killed every year as the result of cultivating grain. And producing products that we use every day, ranging from the wood in their home to the electricity powering their flashy iPad that allows them to go online and post on the internet about their support for animal rights, kills animals. What do you think happens to the rodents, the mice, the birds, or any other animal in a field or forest when those resources (wheat, crops, wood, etc.) are collected? They savagely die at the hands of gnashing metallic teeth that cultivate the grain and their homes are destroyed by the human presence.

Suddenly it’s okay to eat this grain, to use the wood from the forest, but it’s not okay to eat the cow? Either way, the animal is just as dead. And if suffering is the issue, is it not suffering to be chopped up to death by giant blades? Not suffering to lose your home and have your entire family killed? Unless a person grows their own crops, builds their own home, and sews their own clothes, they are killing animals somewhere for their personal gain. Selective killing is still killing, and all of the piously righteous fucks are not willing to sacrifice to truly support their cause. This is the Ultimate Hypocrisy.

Wake up, little girl. The world isn’t black and white.

The Health Argument

Ahhh, now that is out of the way, we can have a lovely discussion of telling vegetarians why they are still wrong. The health argument for not eating meat usually says that vegetarianism is more healthy and that meat is bad. In both cases, the support for either of those erroneous claims stems from awful, horrid, and diarrhea-quality research. I’m shocked that the “meat causes cancer” thing is still around. I had a vegetarian tell me that recently, and it was like getting smacked. I don’t have time nor do I want to synthesize all of the shitty research, but let me lay it out like this:

Research on the human body is extremely difficult to do. There are so many factors that can effect just one result, much less many results to result in “good” or “bad” health. This goes for almost all performance training and nutrition research. Furthermore, nutrition research is usually  based on epidemiological studies that cannot account for the array of variables that effect a person. Correlation does not show causation, and data can be cherry picked to prove a given point. Research with the human body is not concrete; it is not chemistry or physics. Therefore, when you see research on any of it, be extremely skeptical, even if there are lots of studies saying the same thing. For more on this, read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes or The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo.

 

Colpo actually dives into “The Vegetarian Myth” in his aforementioned book. It points out that the studies do not differentiate the hundreds of other lifestyle factors that would effect diabetes, cancer, CHD, etc. Vegetarians are typically more active, they typically exercise, and the hippy kind eats more vegetables, nuts, and seeds than their “average American” counterpart. The average American will eat processed food, lots of sugar and carbohydrates, drink alcohol, and smoke. Changing the inclusion or lack of meat is not the explanation for better health results in vegetarian populations.

The “meat causes cancer” thing still exists from the “lipid hypothesis” that fat is what causes heart disease (it doesn’t). Read Taubes’ book (mentioned above) for more than you would ever want to read on the shitty research that evolved this hypothesis. Saturated fat was believed to cause heart disease and cancer, and it just doesn’t. Eating low quality foods, consuming grains, increasing systemic inflammation, developing auto-immune diseases, being fat and un-active — these are the things that are carcinogens. It literally is mind-blowing to me that people see the obesity rates increasing since the ’70s and don’t think that it’s due to a) the government reccomendation to eat a high percentage of carbohydrates and b) the increasing availability of shitty processed food. Below is a map of the incidence by state over time (data from the CDC).

 

Once again, a vegetarian is wrong. Their diet inevitably consists of a large percentage of carbohydrates. For the hippy vegetarian, who eats like a bird and is probably active (hiking, running, cycling, etc.), they will stay thin and wiry. You can usually see these types at Trader Joe’s, REI, or Whole Foods. I suspect that the human species will eventually split; us normal humans won’t be able to procreate with these non-meat eating, low body mass and density individuals. In future progressive societies, they won’t know what to do with plant-eaters. After unsuccessful attempts at raising them for work or as cattle, they will inevitably be hunted for sport in Madagascar until extinction.

Speaking of extinction, meat eating has prevented the buffalo from slipping into extinction. The desire for buffalo meat has acted as a catalyst for American industry to raise and care for this species, therefore preventing them from dying off. That’s more than what the hypocritical vegetarians can claim in their animal killing, environment disrupting lifestlye.

The Power of Protein

Some vegetarians will claim to consume protein, but this is usually in the form of soy or tofu. Soy and tofu are excellent at emasculating males and rendering female’s contribution to society worthless. If the shit hits the fan, these will be the first people to die off because they don’t offer any practical physical skills due to their feebleness. And get out of here with that “I know a guy/girl who is very fit and a vegetarian,” because they are either a) supplementing something to be that way, b) the exception and absolutely not the rule, and c) still a fucking hypocrite. Vegetarian levels of protein are ineffectively low and completely inadequate, especially for training.

Protein Power, by Michale Eades, will provide plenty of detail as to why protein is powerful. Yet protein is an essential component of muscle, skin, cell membranes, blood, hormones, antibodies, enzymes, genetic material, and basically everything else in the body. Everything. Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, have an array of important functions like regulating protein synthesis and are used in metabolism. Fat in the body can be derived from dietary carbohydrates and carbohydrates can be derived from proteins, but “proteins of the body are inevitably dependent for their formation and maintenance on the proteins in food, which are digested and the resultant amino acids and peptides are absorbed and used to synthesize body proteins” (Amino Acids and Proteins for the Athlete, by Dr. Mauro G. Di Pasquale). This means that the body cannot create proteins within itself and must get them from food.

This is why unhealthy and fat people who increase their protein intake start losing body fat, increasing lean body mass, and feel better without changing anything else in their life. Focusing every snack and meal around protein will help reduce other crappy foods and help change the consumed percentage of the macro-nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats). This is necessary for performance and strength increases.

Attractive successful athletes eat meat

When we train — by stressing the musculature and the system with compound movements done with a barbell — damage occurs. Muscle fibers, tendons, ligaments, and even bones have received an adaptive stress that has damaged them at the cellular level. Since the body is constantly adapting to its environment and any stress imparted on it, it aims to improve these structures so that it can handle that same training stress again in the future easier (or handle more stress, or a greater amount of the same stress). Proteins are needed in all of those structure’s cells to help heal and improve them, but proteins are also needed to make hormones, enzymes and countless other ingredients that are necessary for the processes and reactions in the body.

Proteins are necessary. Eating like a vegetarian will NOT provide ample protein for proper training. It will not provide enough whole proteins (there is no way to make a whole protein out of various grains despite their feeble attempts). It will not provide a variety of healthy, complete proteins. If a person is serious about their training, their physique, and their health, they will forgo vegetarianism for a healthy diet with ample meat.

“But meat makes me sick!”

I bet. If you don’t ever eat a class of food, and then start consuming large doses, it will certainly make you feel queasy at first. This is the result of not eating meat, and a chief complaint I have heard. Remember that the body adapts to a presence or lack of stress. If you stop eating dairy products, you will stop producing lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the sugar lactose. This means that lactose is running rampart in your digestive tract, and you get farty with potential diarrhea. The same thing happens with grain and gluten; you stop eating it and your digestive tract heals to the point where the gluten protein will disrupt your healthy intestines when you reintroduce it.

Yes, if you fuck your body up, then you’ll need to do something to fix it. People with Type II Diabetes have to do the same thing. If you become resistant to insulin because you’ve eaten a crappy, high carbohydrate diet for a very long time, then you need to increase your insulin sensitivity to return to good health (assuming permanent damage hasn’t been done). It’s hard, and it doesn’t happen quickly.

In the case of protein, the body won’t create as much gastric acid (hydrochloric acid and some other stuff) to break down the proteins in the stomach if there aren’t ever proteins there. A former vegetarian should a) slowly and progressively reintroduce small quantities of meat and b) consider supplementing digestive enzymes to help break down the proteins in meat. This is necessary to fix previous ill-informed actions. When you do something that doesn’t fit with the context and result of evolution, there are negative side effects that need to be rectified.

Oh vegetarians…

As you see, there is no argument whatsoever that supports vegetarianism. There is no moral argument that doesn’t make the individual anything other than a hypocrite trying to create a life narrative that lets them actively protest something (instead of actually doing something about it). There is no health argument that makes sense for vegetarianism. I’ve even had someone tell me that they felt better and healthy not eating meat. Well, if they compare it to their previously crappy lifestyle and diet, then it makes sense, but that doesn’t make it right or optimal.

Do I throw poop on vegetarians and punch them in their fupa when I see them? No. I don’t even engage in this topic unless they bring it up. If they want to fail at self righteousness or be ineffective and most likely unhealthy, that’s there prerogative. But if your friend is trying to train, lift weights, get stronger, get faster, get powerful, and look great, then you cannot continue letting them be a vegetarian. They’ll never approach an optimal physique, performance, or energy levels. And if they are accepting this mediocrity, then it’s your prerogative to surround yourself with people who don’t want to win at life.

For more on anti-vegetarianism (and some laughs), see these awesome articles from Maddox (one, two, three, and four).

115 thoughts on “Vegetarians Are Great…

  1. I was at Whole Foods with the kids this weekend and they were trying samples. There was a sample station for a Tamale Casserole, which was pretty good. I grabbed the recipe card, and the dreadlocked-dweeb working there tells me that “the version on the card is vegan, so it’s a lot healthier” than what I was eating. He shut up quickly when he noticed I was giving him a “what the fuck are you talking about” stare

  2. To play the devils advocate because I used to date a vegetarian (I know, I know. Im making amends to the world)

    The argument isnt so much that we didnt evolve to eat meat but that we have reached a point in human evolution and technology development that we no longer need meat to survive (because synthesized proteins, etc) so killing sentient beings is no longer necessary. Therefore, vegetarians are simply continuing to evolve. Its us meat eaters that are behind the curve.

    And the moral argument also extends to being able to feed the world on the farm land that we use to feed americans beef. Now, it’s a very poor argument but it exists and any take down of vegetarianism should include it.

    But yea. Excuse while I nom this bacon burger.

    • This is the facile goofball argument I hear most often about vegetarianism.

      Cryogen is correct, but I’ll add a bit –

      Genetically, humans are nearly identical to our forebears of 100,000 odd years ago. Prior to that, humans spent millions of years evolving. The key here is the MILLIONS of years.

      Your girlfriend did not spontaneously evolve in one generation (assuming her parents were a meat and potatoes type, but it doesn’t really matter). She is NOT more evolved than a meat eater, and instead is rationalizing a bogus ethical choice with a fallacious argument and a basic misunderstanding of evolution.

  3. If one is to believe Richard Dawkins’ “Selfish Gene” model for evolutionary biology, wherein organisms are basically vessels that serve genes so that those genes may reproduce, and fitness is a function how well an individual serves that purpose, then the fact that we humans breed cattle and chickens for our consumption is the best thing that could ever happen to those animals. Their fitness went to the roof, thanks to us.

    • The counter argument, of course, would state that this was achieved only the expense of biodiversity, and the devastation of forests, etc. in order to sustain such immense populations of animals which now constitute over 90% of the vertebrate biomass (not counting humans of course).

  4. I don’t know how you keep reading the rants I write in my head but keep doing it. You say things in a much more humorous way than I naturally think.

    Vegetarians……Face palm.

  5. To start, I eat a fuck ton of meat. I am the Angel of Death for Chickens.

    Anyway,

    All things considered I have to hand it to Vegetarians. They are less morally culpable than the rest of us. Being a vegetarian is the more “right” thing to do.

    An intelligent vegetarian who makes his diet choice for morality probably doesn’t do it out of consideration for animal suffering. Fuck Farm Animals. They have no soul/mind/whatever gives you moral worth. But still, in order to create a pound of soybeans or apples or anything grown in the ground it takes FAR, FAR more energy and resources to make the caloric equivalent in meat.

    The immense amount of fuel it takes to house, feed, process, and store the world’s meat combined with the immense amount of shit these animals shit out of their shitters leaves a pretty gnarly impact on the environment.

    The fact that humans are much better suited to an omnivore’s diet than a vegetarian’s diet is, for moral considerations, irrelevant. If we follow that logic then a mutant human that has a life expectancy of 60 years but (through some magic) can live to see 80 if he supplements his diet with crushed blood diamonds and columbian cocaine is justified in consuming these items to prologue his life even if that consumption negatively impacts the lives of other people.

    • many vegetarians share this basic anti-human sentiment. Man has no right to live long, man has no right to optimize his health at the expense of a few fucking trees and cows, man is the only unnatural organism and all the other animals regulate themselves in love with nature and blah bla.

      If you are so anti man just end your life, that’s what I think, but I guess their idea is just to end the life of the humans that do not agree with them

  6. I’d like to know how gorillas get so jacked from a mostly vegetarian diet. Do they produce significantly more testosterone than humans or what?

    • Imagine what they’d look like if they had BBQ every now and again. But really, the belgian blues are also completely vego as well, and they look pretty jacked, but that’s selective breeding. Similarly, if only the most physically capable specimens are every allowed to breed, that’s exactly what happens.

    • No, gorillas are ruminants. All the fibers we just poop out their digestive systems are able to turn into fat. Another win for us not being vegetarians.

  7. Man, this article made me lose some respect for you. Not because of the argument–I eat meat myself, frequently, in fact–but because of its poor quality. A quick list of gripes:

    * For many vegetarians it’s not that no life should be lost, but rather the quantity of life destroyed should be minimized. Since it takes a shit load of grain to produce a little meat, pursuing a vegetarian diet would destroy less life than a diet including meat.

    * People clearly don’t have to eat meat to survive, as there are plenty of living vegetarians, though you suggest that people do.

    * “Let’s return to the present. I love animals. I have two dogs that I cherish deeply.” I hope you recognize the amusing parallels between this statement and the lines about “I have plenty of [gay, black, female, etc.] friends, but…” Just sayin’.

    * I suppose the cow cuddling line is supposed to be funny but it came of as deranged. Same goes for chickens.

    * “Look, boys and girls, the world isn’t black and white.” Except for eating meat. Cleary, that is mandatory.

    * “Eating like a vegetarian will NOT provide ample protein for proper training.” What about GOMAD or stuffing your face with eggs or milk?

    * You don’t even touch the environmental argument for vegetarianism.

    Kind of a weak, unoriginal, unfunny polemic. You can do better.

    • Shame your not capable of better.

      * For many vegetarians it’s not that no life should be lost, but rather the quantity of life destroyed should be minimized. Since it takes a shit load of grain to produce a little meat, pursuing a vegetarian diet would destroy less life than a diet including meat.

      Ahh you do realise cows eat grass right? Not grain? That grain fed cattle is from (largely american) consumerism pressures to reduce the cost? CAFO meat is not meat. Google “Polyface farms” and “Holistic management” – grassfed beef farming that is actually HEALING the land. Pursuing a vegetarian diet destroys more life, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Go out and look at the microfauna and other life on a piece of land that gets destroyed by broadscale monocropping (which is the only way to feed the world with grains – and petroleum based chemical fertilizer – but its fucking heaps better for us right?)

      * People clearly don’t have to eat meat to survive, as there are plenty of living vegetarians, though you suggest that people do.

      They clearly have to eat meat to thrive. If survival is your only goal good luck to you. I want more from my body (especially brain).

      * “Let’s return to the present. I love animals. I have two dogs that I cherish deeply.” I hope you recognize the amusing parallels between this statement and the lines about “I have plenty of [gay, black, female, etc.] friends, but…” Just sayin’.

      Huh?

      * I suppose the cow cuddling line is supposed to be funny but it came of as deranged. Same goes for chickens.

      I love chickens and cows, so kind of agree with you, but they are certainly reaching their full potential doing not a lot more than looking for things to eat.

      * “Look, boys and girls, the world isn’t black and white.” Except for eating meat. Cleary, that is mandatory.

      See thrive vs survive comments.

      * “Eating like a vegetarian will NOT provide ample protein for proper training.” What about GOMAD or stuffing your face with eggs or milk?

      Not ideal and not healthy in the long term. Gomad + eggs are not good for you in bulk quantities in the long term. They will probably help you achieve your 70sbig status if thats your goal, but your insides cop a hammering.

      * You don’t even touch the environmental argument for vegetarianism.

      See polyface farming and holistic management. (quite a few farmers in AU are doing this now as well).
      Environmentally REPAIRING land that was destroyed by once “growing” grain (corn, wheat, soybean etc). Repairing land, building topsoil, and growing delicious beef. You cant feed the world with vegetarianism. You cant be environmentally responsible whilst growing petroleum fertilizer based, chemical pesticide resistant broad acre monocrops that are heavily subsidised.

      Vegewhatever fanboi fail.

      Nice rant Justin.

    • There is no environmental argument for vegetarianism. We simply don’t have enough agricultural land to feed the world without anyone dying. So, vegetarians are essentially, through their misguided nonsense about things not having to die, killing a large percentage of the world’s population.

      • If land used for raising livestock was used to grow grains or the grains fed to animals were fed to people instead, we could feed a lot more people.

        That would be stupid, but your argument is wrong.

    • *Eating grass fed meat can be more sustainable than producing grain

      *Whether cows eat grass feed or its left to rot, the methane produced is the same

      *Wetlands emit 95% of the methane in the world

      *If land is managed properly eating animals is the most sustainable way to go

      * Just because there are living vegetarians doesnt mean they are healthy or living optimally. Very sick unhealthy people are still living. What do those vegetarians squat?

      *Eating meat isn’t negatively affecting animals than not eating them. So the dude on coke and blood diamonds is not a comparison

      • * Gross fed beef is not more sustainable than producing grain. Beefing up cows is inefficient. Cows are warm, cows walk around, cows waste energy. It takes a fucktonne of energy to produce one ready to eat cow. FYI my family own a grass fed beef farm.

        • Grass is a perennial plant that adds nutrients to the soil since the plant isn’t going anywhere. Cows help in the process by grazing spreading the grass seed around. The result is healthy top soil.

          Grain is an annual (only around for 1 year) that sucks all the nutrients out of the ground and into their seeds thereby destroying the soil. This is the whole reason for fertilizers, which obviously bring problems. Annuals also require a ton of water, which means irrigation and diverting rivers. How’s the Colorado river doing these days? Amazing all of that water can get diverted to farms before it even hits the ocean.

          Speaking of water, do you have a pond on your farm? How much algae does it have by midsummer? The pond is getting polluted by all of the fertilizer laced water running into it. Good luck pulling any fish out of there. A considerably bigger version of this happens every summer on the ocean outside of New Orleans.

          According to a NOAA 2009 fact sheet, “Seventy percent of nutrient loads that cause hypoxia (dead zones) are a result of agricultural runoff of this vast drainage basin” which includes the heart of U.S. agribusiness, the Midwest. The discharge of treated sewage from urban areas combined with agricultural runoff deliver 1.7 million tons of potassium and nitrogen into the Gulf of Mexico every year. In 2010, the Gulf of Mexico dead zone was the size of NEW JERSEY!

          Dead zones are reversible though. The Black Sea dead zone, previously the largest in the world, largely disappeared between 1991 and 2001 after fertilizers became too costly to use following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the demise of centrally planned economies in Eastern and Central Europe. Fishing has again become a major economic activity in the region.

          So back to that grain you’re growing… Are you really helping out the earth?

  8. I do feel your arguments all seem to be very short sighted.
    The key here, as earlier eluded to, is that consuming animal tissue is far more enegetically costly than consuming a diet solely based on plant life. Now I know we all think that driving around In a big truck that does fuck all miles per gallon is cool, and that large cattle farms that are created by widespread deforestation is cool because at least we have beef. Well it’s not. It’s fucking stupid. The simple fact is that you are on this earth to pass on your genetic information and that is it. If you leave behind a world that is devoid of polar ice caps, has drastically decreased biodiversity higher surface temperatures and higher higher water levels then all you are doing is effectively reducing the time that your genes will survive.
    I am not a vegetarian,I enjoy meat, I also love to squat. But I want my kids to be able to squat, and I want at least 10 more generations of my genetic material to know the satisfaction of a heavy squat. Destroying the earths living conditions will not achieve that.

    • Not saying this as a rhetorical question, but I’d like to see some numbers comparing Big Corporation cattle farms and the produce industry in terms of their carbon footprint. I can’t imagine much a difference between the places pumping out non-meat, processed foods (corn, and soy specifically) vs. meat production.

    • What do you think of large grain farms that are in existance because of widespread deforestation? Cool as well?
      Why is beef the enemy? You do know that cattle can be grown outside of a CAFO?

      Nothing will destroy the earth like subsidised petroleum based monocropping. It already has.

      • Grain farms are shitty. But feeding the equivalent amount of people with beef would wipe out shit shittonne more forest.

        Grass fed beef uses A LOT of land. Cows eat a lot, they need to be consistently rotated through paddocks to give the grass a chance to regrow

        • Please read on the subject. Grassfed beef when done in a manner that mimics nature (mobbing and rotation through paddocks) will create
          More calories per acre than any monocrop.
          More “cowdays” per acre then simply letting them sit on pastures doing their thing.

          Please view the polyface link on youtube below and do some more reading.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tKvkehHsOE

          Your going to tell him he isnt producing more calories per acre? Going to tell him he cant feed the world considering he is running 1 cow per acre per yr with his methods?

          • ITT guy thinks farming in way that mimics nature will feed 7 billion people.

            Think about energy expenditure in rotation of animal stocks, in slaughter, in packaging and in the fact grass is not a brilliant use of land for co2 capture.
            I had a look for this quick as I only have about an hour before I need to go to bed for work so if it’s a pile of crap call me out. I just had a quick skim. http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6252

            You can’t pick and choose who you feed. I will say it again. 7 billion mouths.

  9. only problem I have is when people claim meat is bad for you.

    A fast food burger that’s half filler and grilled in soybean oil, smothered in sugary ketchup and shoved in a bun made from hydrogenated oil, sugar, and white flour? A shitty hormone stuffed chicken breast wrapped in flour based batter and deep fried in vegetable oil? I agree that shit is nasty and not meat.

    A – preferably – grass-fed 16 oz Ribeye with a chunk of butter on top, a side of grilled asparagus drizzled with olive oil or more butter? A mound of slippery, tender bacon on top of a mound of free range eggs and a side of pork sausage? AMERICA.

    If you think eating meat is immoral or bad for the environment well there’s nothing I can say to that. It’s an opinion. And you’re entitled to it. In fact, I’m probably with you on the environment part because I eat grass-fed whenever I can and would love if the Big Corporation Feed Lots would be slaughtered (see what i did there) and never come back.

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  12. As someone who was once a weak vegetarian and now a rabid consumer of all things meat, I have to agree that this post was severely lacking.

    Oh and this: “…consuming grains…these are the things that are carcinogens”. Almost in the same breath you rightfully condemn the pious zealotry of vegetarianism and then reiterate your own brand of paleo-fanaticism.

    What do vegetarians (those who tout its “health benefits”) and paleos have in common? Their ideologies are both based on spurious nutritional science.

    • Look at the longest lived populations in the world and you ‘ll generally seem to find cultures that don’t avoid grains, so I’m going to keep on using bread to mop up the juices from my steak.

          • Reminds me of this:

            The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

            On the other hand, the French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

            The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

            The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

            Conclusion: Eat and drink what you like. It’s speaking English that kills you.

  13. I’ve never cuddled a cow…but I have cuddled a bear….his name was Taylor and it was in Key West. Greatest. Night. Ever.

    I have started helping a female friend get in shape (from afar) by offering some starting points in both training and nutrition. The first thing recommended after the initial cut the junk out was to gradually increase the amount of protein at each meal or to add it in period for meals that didn’t have it. It’s only been a few weeks but she has noticed a great difference physically, energy wise and in workouts.

    • BTW by Taylor I mean the great grizzly bear of a man Taylor Ray for those who know. Just wanted to clear that up so that didn’t come off as weird.

  14. Justin,
    Firstly, let me say it appears from your articles earlier in the week you are clearly capable of rational, critical thought. In saying that, your introduction condemning “nutritional zealotry” is hypocritical given the lack of balanced rational and critical thought in some of this article. Sure, you made some logical points, but you failed to seriously address any of the counter points.

    Now let me preface this by saying I’m a big meat eater, but I don’t agree with several of your points regarding morality. Also I don’t have enough time to do this response justice, so apologies if it is unorganised.

    1) Moral hypocrisy. You are putting words in vego’s mouths here. Firstly, there are probably multiple moral arguments about meat consumption, the one you are debunking is concerned with sentient beings. A vego’s main concern with sentience is the ability to experience and comprehend pain/suffering. Plants do not suffer the same way animals suffer.

    Related: http://io9.com/5937356/prominent-scientists-sign-declaration-that-animals-have-conscious-awareness-just-like-us

    The moral argument is consistent. You don’t have to agree with it, but there is no need to create a strawman argument to knock it down.

    2) Some people kill and eat dogs. I’m guessing this would probably offend you. It offends me, but I don’t share the same cultural background as those people. If they want to kill and eat dogs – fine, but don’t make the poor thing suffer unnecessarily.

    3) Homosapiens evolved to become the dominant species in the world BECAUSE OF GRAINS. No matter how shitty they are for us, they do a damn good job of being easy to cultivate and allowing us to multiply. From an evolutionary/survival perspective, grains are the ultimate food source.

    4) I don’t mind raising and killing animals. Our culture has evolved so that is acceptable. Our culture has also evolved to the point where most of us consider unnecessary violence and cruelty as repugnant. I prefer my edible animals to live and be killed in a way that minimises their suffering.

    5) Reducing cruelty to animals will not mean you can only eat steak once per week. It means steak will be more expensive. If you value your steak, you will still eat it as much as you want.

    6) I agree that the proposition that we aren’t meant to eat meat is ridiculous. The optimal human diet, and especially a lifter’s diet should have a fair amount and good variety of meat in it. The problem is it is IMPOSSIBLE to feed the world this way. Good ole grains have done their job too well and now there are too damn many of us.

    We should CELEBRATE vegetarianism. Those poor bastards are forgoing the joys of meat so it is more abundant and cheaper for the rest of us.

    7) The ultimate hypocrisy. STRAWMAN. Yes – some animals are undoubtedly killed in harvest. But this number is undoubtedly far lower than the number killed if everyone ate a good amount of meat. If the moral goal of a vego (which may not all be the same) is to minimise animals suffering/death, then the death of animals in agriculture production is morally defensible.

    I do agree with some of your arguments regarding technology consumption. But in the world we live in today you have to pick your moral battles. Unless you want to go live in the woods, it is impossible to fight all moral/ethical battles at once. Does this make them hypocrites? Possibly, but I’d much rather people gave a little bit of a shit about their impact on other people/animals/the world than consuming with wanton indifference.

      • I read your post and it’s largely irrelevant. Just because fewer animals are killed means that the argument is okay? Killing is still killing.

        If there was a guy on trial for torturing and killing a baby, would it matter if he did it to just one baby, or ten babies? No, he’s still killing babies.

        And if someone was concerned with the sentient of life, they’d man the fuck up and be concerned about all life instead of just some life.

        This argument and discussion are so boring.

    • Solid response. Normally I love these articles but this was a rage-fest of half-truths and not much substance frankly. I was hoping for some good factual/scientific stuff here. This was less about the pros/cons of an omnivore diet and more about hating vegetarians. + I have always disliked the argument made against those who attempt to improve their world but pointing out OTHER areas they have not fixed. If you cannnot recycle ALL garbage, you are a hypocrite for recycling any. This sort of thinking will excuse any type of behavior. We are all trying to find a healthy balance between being selfish jerks and Mother Teresa. Do what you can without being a prick. I’m seeing a lot of moral superiority & douchebaggery on both sides.

  15. I remember getting so pumped reading those Maddox articles in high school. I hadn’t checked that site in years.

    As I read this I found myself hoping there would be a picture of an attractive woman buried somewhere because the points made in the article need to be shouted from the rooftops and nothing gets Internet hits like attractive women.

    Nicely executed.

  16. 3) Homosapiens evolved to become the dominant species in the world BECAUSE OF GRAINS. No matter how shitty they are for us, they do a damn good job of being easy to cultivate and allowing us to multiply. From an evolutionary/survival perspective, grains are the ultimate food source.

    Homosapians created “Civilisation” with the help of grains. We did not “Evolve” because of them. They are not easy to cultivate without inputs people (like you) dont realise. They are not the ultimate food source. They are not healthy nor even close to complete nutrition. They end life prematurely, what is your definition of evolution again?

    7) The ultimate hypocrisy. STRAWMAN. Yes – some animals are undoubtedly killed in harvest. But this number is undoubtedly far lower than the number killed if everyone ate a good amount of meat. If the moral goal of a vego (which may not all be the same) is to minimise animals suffering/death, then the death of animals in agriculture production is morally defensible.

    The ultimate hypocrisy and strawman arguments are those that use “undoubtedly” and other unquantifiable terms to try and make an argument. Can you find anything resembling science that shows the life below the soil is less than the live above it? Therefore the rape that is monocroping is harming less life?

    Anyone who knows anything about the topic understands that pound for pound, there is greater live in the soil than above it. Does it not count? A good farmer knows he grows more “meat” below the soil than above it.

    And grass fed beef, rotated through pastures yada yada yada returns more calories per acre than any grain farmer could produce.

    • * I used evolved in a sense broader than genetics, should have made that clearer.

      * Regardless of how difficult grains are to cultivate. We managed to do it thousands of years ago, en masse.

      * Grains may end life prematurely, but not before reproduction occurs. Hence the explosion of human population, thanks to grains.

      * Interesting point about underground life and I concede to your greater knowledge in that particular area.

      Surely there must still be some below soil life in grain production? I have no clue.

      Can you point me towards any evidence about the kcal/acre of grass fed beef vs other food production. I would like to believe that, but I’m not sure so it’s true.

      • You need to read Salatins book, Salad Bar Beef. Seriously consume everything he has to offer, and there is plenty online. He is consistently producing, year on year, more calories and more profit per acre – with zero inputs.
        Your parents might be able to mix it up a little and implement his suggestions. You wont go backwards in production. Where I live in Australia, there are plenty of people doing similar, and a local beef producer has his paddocks seperated into 27 paddocks and rotates them throughout the year.

        “The Vegetarian Myth” is an excellent read full of citations to studies showing caloric value in meat production vs grain, as well as soil health improvements – written by an ex vegetarian/vegan who has long term health issues as a result (skeletal muscle wasted away due to lack of protein among others).

        And if you think there is “some” (you use “some” like it could be better?) life left in the soil after grain production? Watch the documentary “King Corn” and come back to me.
        Summary as follows.
        1 – hire land
        2 – get subsidy from gov
        3 – plough soil (machines)
        4 – plant grain (machines)
        5 – sit back and wait
        6 – pesticides
        7 – talk to farmers about how “this is the only way its done to make money”
        8 – harvest your entirely inedible corn
        9 – send to factories for processing into various edible forms
        10 – collect further subsidy from gov
        11 – break even at best.

        FYI Salatin plants forests on his land, not removes them. Critical to his pest control (and his pigs).

        Sorry you copped it, I havent ranted online in a long time.

  17. I’m surprised there wasn’t a mention of the problem with Vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarians. That’s the biggest criticism of vegetarianism from me–there are no good non-animal sources of B12.

    • Ah, good point. I haven’t encountered a trainee who is belligerently a vegetarian and the issue bores me, so I don’t really look into it more than I have to.

  18. i totally understand the whole not wanting to be involved with the killing of animals part of vegetarians and i think it is a fair argument. i love all things meat and all types of meat, but have no interest in dispatching said criters (although i know full well that had i been raised in a different time or gone deer hunting w/ my dad for the first time when i was 3 or 4 my viewpoint would be different). i feel bad for the deer and possum dead on the side of the road and don’t even want to think about the conditions that the typical animal destined for the grocery store lives and dies under
    (yeah, i feel bad following the trailer full of turkeys stacked on top of each other on the way home from work at 3 am too)…but i don’t have $25 to spend on that ‘organic grass fed humanly raised fair trade raised in someones house as part of the family’ strip steak from whole foods, i’ll just have to close my eyes. stick my fingers in my ears and hum when i get that guilty feeling.
    on a side note, in the future when i am more financially secure i would love to have the land to raise my own cows, pigs, chicken, bison, goat and lamb or whatever my heart desires.
    another side note, and admittedly slightly off topic, had a friend at work who was a very conservative christian who went to church twice a week, refused to curse, never touched a drop of alcohol, or do anything ‘immoral’ with a girl; but went out every night to spotlight and kick possum (to those of you not living around good ole fashion country folk that is hunting deer at night, killing just to kill, and putting you’re best shit kicking boots on to send that possum to the other side)…he didn’t quite understand the irony

  19. All this talk about how much energy it takes to provide meat to all all corners of the world is such bullshit. People are focusing on the wrong problem; there are just too many goddamn people on is planet. If we lived smaller, and focused on community-based trading, agriculture, etc, this world would be a much better and healthier place to live and thrive.

  20. Hunting and killing one’s own food is the best way to obtain the healthiest, most nutritional meat. It makes a person appreciate his food much more since he has to work for it and it removes that barrier between killing and eating. Eating is killing, so we should accept it. Iif a person is really concerned about his food, to the extent possible he should grow his own vegetables and fruits and hunt his own meat. If a person eats meat but doesn’t want to hunt because he doesn’t want to “kill,” then it’s time to get serious and recognize the incoherence in his personal philosophy. On that note, T-minus 3 days to resident goose season and t-minus two weeks to deer archery season.

  21. I was a vegetarian for more than ten years, I still hate myself for it. It was in my teenage years, and when I started out, I was a relatively unhealthy one. It seems so pigheaded and I feel like my parents should have forced me to eat meat. I also blame the simpsons, but mostly myself. It was only after introduction to Paleo and responsible animal agriculture and the host of problems that Paleo clears up, that I took the plunge.

    However, I was still able to lift and grow due to obscene dairy consumption and eggs everyday. Animal slavery I was okay with, but not death products.

    Unfortunately my wife is still vegetarian. For her she has always hated the taste of flesh, but is aware that she should eat it for her health. Maybe enzymes would help her acquire the taste.

    Thanks for the PSA. I am amazed how annoying I now find proselytizing vegetarians, even though I used to be one.

  22. cows CAN be cuddled. bulls too. http://honeyrockdawn.com/2011/03/hey-blondie/

    anyways, just wanted to make the point that all animals are animals. all animals are potential dinner, potential work helpers, potential cuddlers….. don’t diminish those who must consume dogs for protein, those who cannot do their job without the help of an ox, and those who love and cherish their fowl for guarding their property against strangers and providing eggs. the food chain goes in a different order in different places.

    but i agree with everything else you said, nice post!

  23. Justin, I’m an avid follower of your blog but this post disappointed me. There was good info here but it came across as just an unprofessional rant. You can definitely do better.

    In other news, had a huge PR today and couldn’t wait to Friday to post it. 31 strict pull-ups at 215# bodyweight! Last time I broke 30 I was only 185#

    • I have never thought of this blog as professional. informative yes but professional never. That would be boring. The vegetarian post, while inaccurate in some points was entertaining.

      All yo guys getting bent out of shape because Justin didn’t give vegetarians a fair shake need to loosen up.

      None of the purposes/aims/objectives of 70’s big seem to include discussing carbon footprints, sustainability or climate change. If you want that, go elsewhere.

      I come here to get half decent info on way to improve my physical self and get good laughs.

      Justin, please continue with the politically incorrect rants as you see fit, especially if they are funny.

  24. I dunno. I eat meat because it’s tasty. It seems that you all are riled up because these folks not only eat the wrong thing, but [b]they think that they’re better than you[/b]!!!

    Some of these “vegetarians” who eat five dozen eggs a day or piles and piles of chia seeds or plankton extract or whatever are pretty damned jacked. But, no, they’re usually not the top competitors, and frankly, living off chia seeds sounds like its own punishment.

    But if being pretty damned jacked while living to their ethical or religious creed is their thing, I’m not gonna hate on them for it.

  25. “Let’s avoid discussing why religious avoidance of some or all meat is comical; people get upset when I discount fairy tales”

    FUCKIN SAAAUUUCCEE BOOOOSSSS STICK IT TO EM BOOOIIIIII STICK IT TO EM

    DONT CALL IT A COMEBACK JLASCEK BEEN HERE FOR YEARS

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  27. I’ve never met a vegetarian who intimidated me.

    I HAVE met a few vegetarian women who scared me, though.

    I view vegetarians as I view the local IT-office twinkie-and-pepsi-holics; Both useless (and assless) but at least the twinkie-eaters don’t get all preachy about it.

  28. Hey, remember that time a strength coach/writer penned a magnum opus about a controversial hypothesis in physics, without studying anything about it, and managed to change someone’s opinion about it?

    Neither do I. So why would you assume your uninformed opinion about vegetarianism would change anything?

    I registered just to post this comment—you really disappointed me with this post. It is clear that you have never had a serious discussion with a well-informed vegetarian about this topic (and I say this as a meat-eater). Your “chickens are assholes, therefore eating them is okay” logic puts you about one “moron curling in the squat rack” away from being a cannibal.

    The one major plus of this post is that several comment threads derailed into some interesting facts about grass-fed beef.

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  30. I was in an organic grocery store a couple of years ago and saw that they had vegan jerky. I actually kinda got pissed off in the store and shouted “VEGAN JERKY, WHAT AN OXYMORON!” Completely embarrassing my girlfriend. But… I never had to go back to that store.

    Can you do something on how lame this gluten free shit is? It’s starting to take up too much space on the menus.

  31. New to registering for the site but have been enjoying the content for a while!

    I’m all about some vegan-bashing because people are normally so appalled that someone would even debate “vegan is healthier”.

    Two things though: 1. I didn’t evolve to eat meat…I was CREATED to eat meat! 2. People who don’t eat meat for religious reasons (as a staple) normally look severely malnourished.

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  34. Lost a lot of respect for you, man. You clearly have an anti veggie agenda. Your arguments are completely based on your own opinions and you don’t take differing opinions into account.

    I was born and raised a vegetarian, and I will die a vegetarian, you can throw stones all you want, but I am at peace with my moral choices. From the looks of this article, you are projecting some of your own moral issues onto the vegetarian/vegan community.

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