Diets Vs. Rewilding

I have always tried to speak neutrally when discussing the problems with the vegan ethical system… Until today. You heard me right folks, I finally feel fed-the-fuck-up with the all the veganism bullshit. The truth comes out! Enter the following rant at your own risk…

It all started a few days ago when Penny Scout sat reading one of her celebrity gossip rags. She came across an article about Natalie Portman, the greenie of the moment. According to the article, Portman enjoys traveling the world and spreading goodness on the off season, wishes she could ride a bike everywhere and eats a vegetarian diet. This doesn’t sound that strange or new to me. The insanity begins in that, every article in every kind of publication lately, seems to focus around “green” issues and “green” celebrities. You can look anywhere without seeing the green bullshit.

I sat down this morning for breakfast and started reading one of the local papers, the Willamette Week. The feature article this week revolves around the 10 year anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol and how, geez the U.S. sure acts crazy not signing it! You know!? (snoooore) Anyway, the article quotes a local vegan store owner who says:

“I think that people are aware [that veganism is touted as a solution to global warming]. That’s not my motivating factor for being a vegan, but a lot of big groups are using that as an emphasis point right now, when people are giving a shit about their carbon footprint and all that. ‘Look, it’s not just a bunch of animal-rights people! It’s the U.N.!’ I think for the most part, it’s not the people I know’s main reason for doing it. It’s just kind of an added bonus.”

I get angry and I shut the paper. I sit there seething in animosity, sipping my earl grey tea and thinking “Derrick’s right. We are totally and completely fucked.” Than a young woman sits down at the table next to me. The waitress comes up. She orders something. “Are you a vegan because our pesto has dairy in it.” The waitress tells her. “Um. Yeah, I’m vegan,” replies the girl, proudly and smugly, like the waitress just asked her if she acted in the summer blockbuster or if she plays in some famous band, “Yeah. I have a band. I’m cool.” “Yeah. I’m vegan. I’m doing my part to stop global warming.” And than I lost it and rushed home to write this.

I have written so much stuff about how the vegan diet destroys more in the end than any “good” it might provide. I feel kind of like I have beaten the dead horse to a bloody mess by this point, but I don’t care. The rage I feel at a “solution” that looks worse than the current system suffocates me. I feel like bursting into tears, but the rage feels too strong at the moment.

As we discussed in Agriculture Vs. Rewilding, grain-based diets stimulate a population growth feedback loop. That should look like enough proof that a vegan diet supports population explosion, deforestation, desertification and over-all ecological collapse. The second largest reason the amazon rainforest experiences clear-cuts involves the growing of soy beans, a vegan staple. Trees, specifically old growth forests act as the largest carbon-sink in the world. The amazon rainforest itself does more to prevent climate change than anything people can do.

Veganism as a solution to global warming looks as insane as corn ethanol as a solution to peak oil. These do not work as solutions. They work like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. Agriculture has caused all of our problems. So what do we come up with as a solution? MORE AGRICULTURE! FUCKING GENIUS! All veganism does involves cutting out the middle man of meat. Why feed grain to directly to cows when you could feed it directly to an ever growing population of humans? Yes, factory farms fuck shit up. But farms fuck shit up more via civilization.

The worst of it does not involve the diet, nor the people who choose the diet, but the attitude, hostility and blind righteousness that seems to appear in people when they eat that way. “Yeah. I’m vegan.” If I could sit down with a vegan, I could explain in 5 minutes how the diet adds to the population explosion which works as the central problem with all environmental destruction. But like fundamentalist religious nuts who think they have found the one right way to get to heaven, the vegans I have spoken with refuse to hear anything else. The denial runs so deep it creates a complete refusal of any kind of clear-thinking. Perhaps this just looks like karma; I acted this way when I ate a vegan diet too…

The problem lies in that, when easily spelled out like this, veganism looks so ridiculous a solution to any environmental problem it seems hard to believe anyone would buy into it. Since it has such a huge cultural momentum, people think , “Wouldn’t someone have figured this out by now? Some idiot who wears a loin cloth and covers himself in mud can’t have figured this out. No one else has said anything about it. He must have gotten his facts messed up somewhere.”

I don’t hate vegans, but I fucking hate veganism, the mythos. I believe systems produce people. Civilization produces the subset of mythologies called veganism. People for the most part can “choose” this mythology, only so far as it doesn’t really mean they have changed the their culture in anyway that will make the world a more biodiverse place. On the contrary. If vegans really cared about animals they would see that agriculture destroys habitat and kills more animals. The mega-fauna face extinction because of agriculture!

To vegans who choose the diet because they feel better, please ignore this tirade. Though I seriously doubt those who claim it makes them feel better. I used that excuse as a smoke screen for denial when I followed the vegan diet. I don’t mean to say that just because I did that, every vegan does, but that since I did it, and my friends did it, and I have read plenty of info about how un-healthy the diet works on the human body, I seriously doubt anyone who makes that claim.

It comes down to this: any lifestyle promoting agriculture only furthers deforestation, desertification and global warming. DUH. This should seem self-evident, but apparently people prefer to remain in denial.

For more of my redundant anti-vegan elitist garbage, check out my other three rants:

Civilization Found in Vegan Ethics

Hey Vegans, Plants Have Feelings Too

Pizza Vs. Rewilding

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18 Comments on “Diets Vs. Rewilding”

  1. (First reply. 🙂 )

    Preach it, brother!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months now, and many times I’ve wished to respond. Now I can.

    I’m a yoga teacher. Yoga espouses a vegetarian diet for many reasons (some very good). Many yogis and yoginis become vegetarian when they seriously follow a yogic path. That’s not bad, necessarily, but I believe it’s not good, either.

    I’m a carnivore, as well. I eat free-range, organic, locally-raised buffalo, pork, lamb, and chicken. I have a very soft spot in my heart for Alaskan salmon (we bought 9 fillets a couple of months ago, frozen, straight off the boat; we have one left 🙁 ). I drink milk (“the perfect food” according to many yogis).

    People seem to think that “not eating meat” means that you are practicing “ahimsa” (trans. “non-harming”). I disagree; you are harming a LOT! You are harming your body by not giving it the nutrients it needs (biologically, humans are omnivores). You are harming the environment by promoting large-scale grain agriculture and monocropping. Since you don’t eat the meat, some predator attacks instead, ripping deep gashes into the neck of the poor, defenseless animal and causing it serious pain on its way to a bleak death. Yep; vegans and vegetarians harm plenty. We all do.

    I write about this a lot on my blog, Paleo Yogi ( ). It is important to me to experiment, to learn, and to grow in the knowledge that the body is the vehicle for our soul/spirit/mind; if it isn’t healthy, or if its environment isn’t healthy, it can’t be used efficiently. It’s like feeding your car peanut butter and driving it underwater – no go.

    Preach on, brother. I’m right there next to you.

  2. Veganism: An eating disorder disguised as a philosophy!
    Pretty mean to say that, but to live as a vegan (no animal products consumed or worn/used) requires complete dependence on both agriculture and industrial processes.
    An individual would have a hard time making those formed-tempeh fake-chicken nuggets, but could easily raise a chicken and whack its head off.
    The funny thing is the folks who are poor enough to have to eat a vegan diet (beans&rice) are frickin’ thrilled to get a chunk of pork once in a while.
    Vegans need to prove that they are better than others, and with every bite of animal products that they abstain from they prove it to themselves.
    For the record, I’m an omnivore, just like every non-civilized person in the world was, is, and will be! (And I did say WILL BE, because you gotta believe in a future!)

  3. Haha! I think part of the reason vegans are so self-righteous is they are transferring their anger at being jealous they can’t eat what they really want.

    I feel that the protein chapter of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon discusses the subject of meat eating very reasonably. For example going along with Paleoyogi…Believe it or not I lived in an ashram once! I sure did miss garlic and onions!…She cites a study saying when Hindus move to England where sanitary conditions are better they experience sudden bouts of pernicious anemia because the food they were eating back in India contained tons of insects.

    She also postulates that while temporary fasting from meat may be beneficial it is probably not good for most people in the long term, and states, “Even so–it is a mistake to think that meat- eaters lack spirituality–many highly spiritual people eat meat regularly. Perhaps they instinctively realize that when we eat animal products we are accepting reverently and humbly, the requirements of the earthly body temple in which is the soul is temporarily housed, even as we look forward to the day when we have completed our earthly assignment and our souls will be free to return to a higher condition, one in which we will no longer be dependent on foods provided by the animal kingdom. Seen in this light, strict vegetarianism can be likened to a kind of spiritual pride that seeks to “take heaven by force” and to shirk the earthly duties for which the physical body was created.”

    I particularly like that last line, especially if you read the word pride as arrogance.

    When I used to drive to shows with my morally superior straight-edge vegan friends we would stop and eat french fries…at McDonalds. That’s how fucked up this is. I see vegans as just another bizarre anomaly of civilization…like ravers or furries or the KKK.

  4. I read a short article on you in Ready Made as I was tearing pages out of magazines to help inspire my local zine staff before recycling the glossy paper. As I am stranded in a snow storm, I had plenty of time to peruse the internet, so, I thought I would check out your blog.
    The first bit of vegan bashing I saw initially pissed me off. So, I read the entry. This entry, Then, I was confused, and more angry, and there were more entries, so I read more, and was more confused and angry by the theories (and comment battles) held within. At some point, I ended up at Pizza VS Rewilding. This did not necessarily clear up the one thing I am confused about, but I had finally read it enough times to have my internal lawyer (that factor in your brain that reads something, and attempts to make sense out of it every way that it works, and sometimes find a loophole) flip the OH switch.
    I was vegan for a short while. I actually only became vegan to show how arrogant I was to begin with: my vegan friends told me that, as a carnivore, I could not eat vegan for a week. I bet them I could. And I did. I surpassed my week and went on for two months. Two months of being a intensely poorly planned vegan who barely slept, smoked like a chimney, and drank constantly. Because I was so clueless from having a diet based solely on eating highly processed foods, huge servings of meat and dairy, and the like, I managed to drop fifteen pounds in two weeks. Even being an American female in her 20s, I couldn’t really be excited about that (hey, I’m not an eating disordered 15 year-old any more). Something was obviously wrong. Formerly having the capacity to be a nutritionist, this should not have happened. It was actually so difficult to eat anything that was processed (because it wasn’t vegan) that I ended up starving on a daily basis. But I didn’t let it go, because of the little badge that one seems to develop when they set out on a process such as this. A sort of superiority that applies to an extent. But, the same way carbon credits don’t really make sense to me (if you want to cut your output, drive less, or better yet, don’t drive at all… etc.), vegans should not automatically get this feeling. To an extent, I am beginning to believe this feeling of superiority needs to be earned through some serious research. In my third week of starving veganism, I finally broke down and started hanging out with my vegan friends. Unlike many vegans and vegetarians I had met before, these people knew what the hell they were talking about when it came to eating, supplementations, and things like that. Immediately, I ended up liberating books from a chain-store I despise, and learning how to cook vegan. In my lifetime, the only time I had ever cooked vegetables had been when I was a eating disordered teen. I steamed glass Pyrex bowls full of frozen vegetables in the microwave, threw in a portion of margarine, and applied a heavy coat of salt. They kindly explained to me the things that were completely wrong with the way I had currently been eating. After about a week, I was learning things about cooking vegetables that I had never even considered. This eventually lead to reading up on how to cultivate vegetables in different ways (there are a lot of great books on this at public libraries, “The Budget Gardener: Twice the Garden for Half the Price” by Maureen Gilmer teaches about composting, nutrients, cheap ways to start good gardens, and how to garden in off-seasons (see: hotboxes)) and doing nutritional research on veganism, and other ways to live without raising billions of animals a year to feast on. My diet has improved phenomenally, along with my ability to cook. But the point is, after two months, I couldn’t take being vegan any more. I was in poor shape. Unfortunately, when I started eating meat again, my health worsened. So, I am in the early phases of flexible vegetarianism. I eat seafoods occasionally, and tidbits that would otherwise go to waste even less. My choice to do so was more for health and the environment than moral reasons (though I do not condone the way animals are mass-produced, treated, fed, raised, or killed). Though I say I am a vegetarian (and that’s more or less where I am right now) I am not. I would not call myself a vegetarian, because I don’t intend to be. I say it to make people aware of that fact that I would not choose to eat meat at this point unless I have to or need it. Americans are very stuck on labels. My theory on the matter when it comes to eating animals is, if I could not kill it, then I do not deserve to eat it. If I didn’t live where I did now, then I would choose to personally kill my own meat products. I know I could and have gutted fish: I can eat fish. I’m still a little off on chickens… and cows are a no-go because they are horribly cute, and the ones on the farm near my house are free-range dairy cattle with no antibiotics and hormones. My ethics change when it comes to scavenging, because if it is going to be wasted, it should be fair game. The animal is dead, and the long process it took to create the protein (for carnivorous fish, it is 5 pounds of meat for every pound of fish, for cows, I believe it is five pounds of grain and 50-100 gallons on water for a pound of meat) is being completely wasted. I serve food at a hotel, so I know how much is wasted at one small banquet, it is sickening. Grains, to an major extent, make me sluggish if they are refined at all. I don’t eat refined grains. I like bread, but it’s a winter treat over a daily occurrence. I agree with the fact that Americans eat too much wheat. I choose to refrain from eating grains as much as possible (though I do love how it is the biggest part of the food pyramid when that place should be reserved for vegetables).
    Unlike most vegans, my vegan friends are largely anti-soy. They dislike soy for the huge corporate aspects which you sort of mention and the health implications. I hate tofu; it tastes like squishy air. But soy is in everything now, from bread to sausage. Check the labels. The soy industry is on its way to being the next BIG [Soy], like big oil. And luckily, these kids don’t eat processed foods, or anything from fast food chains or restaurants. I wish I knew there were more vegans that were as well informed or conscious as they are.
    The thing I was confused about from your argument was your belief that more grains means human population explosions. To an extent that makes sense. But, at this point in time, humans reproduce much like lemmings: with no wonder or worry for the amount of required space, water and food that is required to sustain our ever lengthening life-spans. There are already too many human beings on the planet to feed regardless of the food-production. Thanks to mass farming operations, and genetic engineering, affluent countries can afford to waste 25% of the food that is produced (reading “The Green Book” made me feel bad about existing, but I am better informed for it) while overeating another 15% of that food. If you ever read this far into this epic comment, fleshing out your theory on the matter would be thankful. On that note, I have forgotten what my point was besides to ask that question and explain my stance on food and the vegans of Lincoln stance on what they are doing.
    Furthermore, I think that 2009 should be the year that is devoted to a pretty significant cause that I do not think anyone has a reason to disagree with: The Year No Child Should Be Born. Everyone should stock up on prophylactics and hormonal birth control, and any other method that would be sufficient to not get anyone on the planet knocked-up for one single year. What effect that would have, I don’t know. I consider it a fair idea that would give everyone the time to think about whether or not reproducing is for them, and what implications that has for the planet, our race, and how much money and time it takes to raise another human being, let alone the ethics behind how children should be raised in this day and age. Some people should not be allowed to have pets because of how irresponsibly they are raised and treated; the same should go for children. Just because you can have them doesn’t mean you should. And with 45% of pregnancies in the United States being unplanned, 2009 could be a great year for family planning principles.
    I wish I was kidding.
    That would also give everyone time to start their own personal gardens in their free time that they are not being concerned with being knocked-up or having knocked someone up, which would help local buying and growing, and the issue of feeding everyone. Perhaps then someone on the citizen level would know how to grow a vegetable. Because, you were right again, no one really knows how to do that anymore either.
    The last note I have on veganism is that the last book I was reading on eating in a vegan manner was called “Becoming Vegan”. It was horribly informative, and I wish more ‘vegans’/vegans/and vegetarians would read it and notice the idiotic mistakes they are making on an hourly basis. I can’t agree with everything in the book (obviously, I’m not vegan, but I will cook that way for my friends) but, like most facts, the medical and chemical facts speak for themselves. Unfortunately, like most facts, interpreting them is up to people to do, and people and science make mistakes. They still can’t decide what the fuck is the right diet for a human being. Or at least they won’t agree on it. Besides that point, vegans are from 0.02 – 1.3% of the US population. Give or take a percentage or two, since these things are hard to track, so their total impact isn’t that big. EVERYONE in the US should eat less refined grains, less grains, and less mass-produced products in total. This is beside the point that in a post-apocalyptic world (major crash of governing systems/total chaos) that a vegan diet would be out of the question: deficiencies in B12, iron, calcium, and iodine can lead to death at the extreme.
    In total, I just wish everyone would be more informed. Vegans like to pretend they are high and mighty and know everything about food, while carnivores like to pretend that vegans are idiots while they learn nothing about food and down another butter-soaked 12 oz. steak with a butter-soaked mashed potato with sour cream and sea salt, a regular soda, and a shitty American lite beer. All the while, everyone is having tons and tons of unplanned babies that we can’t afford ecologically or financially to support.
    Jesus, that has to be the most epic comment ever.
    Nice to meet you, anyway.

  5. Hahahaha. Wow. Long comment full of good stories. Thank you for sharing!

    I too do not support factory farming or the unethical treatment of animals. I do not support any form of domestication, animal, vegetable or mineral. Seriously.

    What we know about population growth:

    Any animal population that has a surplus of food, grows to match that surplus. Humans included. A population cannot grow without an increase in food availability, usually made available through an increase in “efficiency” in food production. Therefore, a population explosion implies more food production. Civilizations specifically occur when agriculturalists begin to store grains and have a surplus of food on hand to combat the fragility of agriculture. It works more efficiently as vegans constantly point out, in terms of food production. You can have much more food if you go vegan than if you raise cattle.

    Which shows us why cattle raisers never formed civilizations.

    What we know about birth control:
    It didn’t work last year, nor the year before, nor the year before, nor the year before, nor the year before, and so on. What makes our civilization vastly different than previous and other ones involves a strange myth we have: when something doesn’t work, we do it more. Schooling doesn’t work? We need more schooling. Laws don’t work? We need more laws. Politicians don’t work? We need more politicians. If civilization doesn’t work, we need MORE CIVILIZATION. And so on.

    The cultural meme of birth control cannot stop the natural force of population growth to food surplus. At least not in our culture. Humans, given a food surplus, will reproduce like lemmings. Civilizations surplus, our surplus, a surplus of the grains wheat, soy, rice and corn, fuel our population growth. I agree that we have already far exceeded the carrying capacity. If everyone switched to a vegan diet, we could exceed it even more.

    I think more and more people will turn vegan in the following years as that diet works as the only way to continue our insane population growth. People won’t realize they have chosen more civilization rather than less and will only do more damage to the topsoil and everything else in the long run.

    I have tried many diets. I have never felt better than when I ate the paleo diet. Not exactly the way the book says, but more or less.

    I used to say if I can’t kill an animal myself, than I won’t eat it. But when I had the intense experience with the plant people I can no longer separate plants and animals simply because we can’t “hear” plants scream with our ears. I heard them scream with my heart and I felt forever changed. I just don’t see a difference. All life holds the same level of sacredness, even the things our civilization does not call “sentient.” And I would much rather get my protein from healthy meats than disease-causing grains. As a side note, the reason I stopped the vegan diet was because I had a friend who was vegan for 7 years and when he ate meat again he puked for days. It was because all of the bacteria in his guts that help digest meat had died off. Anyone who is serious about surviving collapse would not want to have serious digestive problems if they had to start eating meat to survive. (though if they could maybe carry some acidophilous with them or something 😉 )

    Thanks so much for the questions and the stories. Let me know if you have more questions or need more clarity. I love talking about this stuff, and it really fuels me to have to come at it from different angles.

  6. One more thing… in terms of food surplus in storage, grains store much better and efficiently than meat, another added “bonus” in agricultural production.

  7. I think the core of this article is just aimed at the heart of agriculture like the last one was. It’s basically saying the margin of eco-damage between vegan agriculture and omnivorous agriculture is so slight that’s it’s almost not worth examining. If you eat a farmed cow, it’s more grains that just eating grains, but at the end of the day, it’s still grains.

    As far as diet is concerned, I don’t bring up the vegan argument. I get right to the heart of it and discuss gardening and wild foods.

  8. Thanks for the reply, Scout.
    I suppose I’m just glad no one is mad at me for the epic sized comment/story.
    I forgot to mention that I am, in a certain way, going to agree with you that civilization is a major part of the problem. Someday, I think I may have a child (children? who knows). But, that is years off, and has to be considered at the time. As of right now, I have five years of solid birth control committed to. No babies for me in 2008. Or 2009. Or 2010. Etcetera.
    My issues with civilization come from a very punk/anarchist state. The system is bad, the system does not work, and all the people in it allow that to keep happening. People ignore the problems of today, and put them off until tomorrow until there is either no way to reverse them, or reversing them will take huge commitments of time (years, decades, centuries, millenniums) . I despise the way our culture works. Everyone and everything has become so separated that people are afraid of each other. Which is so stunningly stupid, as humans are traditionally a tribal/pack animal. I am very fond of collectivism. If I could afford to, I would run a collective right now. I value team work. I wish more people understood these things. Or would at least be knowledgeable about topics before arguing a point into the ground. If I could know everything, I would. Humans should definitely consider becoming life-long scholars along with all the other things we think are so important.
    I appreciate the fact that you are willing to discuss your points, and are knowledgeable about them. Keep up the research.
    As for plants being sentient, yes, they definitely are. I’ve read numerous reports about weird things that plants do (for instance, if one tree that is near other trees begins to get sick, they other trees immunities have been known to change to suit the sickness the first tree had gotten, protecting them from the disease). All life is sacred, and wasting anything we eat is a poor choice. So, I’m with you there. Though, without the odd experience. I want to do that now in the spring (there’s half a foot of snow on the ground here). One thing, and I might change my opinion on this later in life, is I consider personal or community gardening a good thing. This is on the level of me growing tomatoes versus a factory farm producing tomatoes. That way I can feed myself, my friends/family, and if there is still more, have food for the harsh winter here, or make a little money to pay for my heating bill. To say the very least, I am trying to ‘mature’ morally and ideologically, and be knowledgeable about what I believe in.
    Anyway, thanks for the reply.
    I’m going to keep reading, and maybe commenting.

    That lovely little book, “The Budget Gardener” by Maureen Gilmer, that I checked out from the public library, is being sold used on for $0.01. So I bought it.
    By the way, thanks for the major inspiration: I’ve been trying to write some articles for a zine I wanted to start locally, and I’ve been drawing a huge blank on writing for about six months. Now that I’ve been engaged mentally, I finally have some shit to say to my future reading base. Thanks!
    (If you have any tips on that, it would be welcome. I’m from the mid-west, so there are tons of things on the coasts that take decades to get here. The zine thing is one of them. There are currently none in town, and I have never come into possession of one from anywhere near here. California is the nearest place.)

  9. Hey Milkofamnesia,

    Haha. I only get mad when someone posts a long tirade back at me that clearly shows they missed every point. Your long post was a great one because you told your personal history with the diet and I appreciated hearing it. You also helped me clarify/flesh out things a bit more and I love doing that. I guess what I’m saying is, your message did not feel combative, which would have put me off. Thanks!

    I’m glad you feel like commenting more and that you feel inspired to write! It makes me feel good when I hear that. I will check out that book for sure.

  10. Hi Peter- Okay- So I’m still confused. When you say “population growth” – are you referring to number of children born, or number of children who survive long enough to also reproduce? It seems like there are some factors that are being ignored- Like dead babies/children. If there is not a surplus amount food or even obviously enough food those kids will die, right? I agree with the statement that people reproduce like lemmings, that people for the most part don’t take into account available resources when they are “getting it on”. (fucking) So hypothetically if we are living in balance with nature, not overproducing food or infants, does that mean we are not getting pregnant, or that when we are getting pregnant those babies die from malnourishment via lack of breast milk or available food?
    I hope I’m not being dense here, but this is one of the things that I’ve really wondered about with the whole anti-agriculture, population boom thing. What does it actually mean on the ground? what would a scale back in agriculture mean for me as a woman? As a reproductive being?

  11. Yeah, of course agriculture is really fucked up, and smug, self righteous vegans are hilariously off base. Yeah I’m vegan, but if it’s dumpstered or hunted, then I am not vegan, per say.
    That being said, what is a viable alternative to vegansim? lots of us live in cities and rent, etc. and lack the resources to hunt and gather (as agriculture, even on a small scale seems to be a no-no).
    also, after the eventual collapse, what is to stop this from happening all over again? if agriculture is the ‘demon engine of civilization’, what is to stop somebody from planting a seed and beginning all of this again? Yes, agricultural knowledge got us into this mess, but how do we go about ‘unlearning’ it? I hate agriculture on a theoretical level, but faced with famine, how many of us would abandon a principled stance against agriculture in favor of ourself and our community? it seems to be a pandora’s box type of dilemma.
    this shit weighs heavily on me, and I really don’t have any answers, other than the defeatist idea that perhaps being too neurologically advanced just isn’t benificial for a species. In the meantime, I’ll stick to a diet that seems to be the least harmful, while still acknowledging that it certainly will not rescue us from the mess that we’ve created over the last 100,000 years or so.
    bummer, dude.

  12. Hey Martha, I’m not ignoring you. Haha. I really want to sit down and analyze what I know about food dynamics, population growth, agriculture and horticulture. I’m a little confused myself after reading about the NW coast horticultural techniques. I’m going to find some time when I can sit down and really comb everything I’ve learned about it. Maybe we can have a screening of Daniel Quinns population dynamics video that Willem has.

  13. finally! someone who hates veganism whos opinion i actually respect. being a high school student, most arguments against veganism go something like this: “wtf vegan? like, why would you do that? but, meat and cheese are so good omg anyone who doesnt think so is fucking stupid.” so this is a very nice entry to come across. i really enjoyed your show in dc last night (i was the girl with the automatic rope/hair braid maker) and i wish you luck on your adventures!


  14. What a load of bullpoop! Rainforests are disappearing to feed cows, not people. I’m guessing that when you were a vegan for ten minutes or so you were the kind of insufferable dietary stormtrooper you rail against. I’ve seen a few of those on the blogs, but I’ve got to tell you that none of my vegan friends are that way.

    Get a life.

  15. ” “Um. Yeah, I’m vegan,” replies the girl, proudly and smugly, like the waitress just asked her if she acted in the summer blockbuster or if she plays in some famous band”

    So there’s a phenomenon that I occasionally catch. It’s usually something like “Oh, Bono from U2 thinks he’s SOOOO awesome because he’s an activist!” Then I usually respond, “What has he said or done that corroborates that claim?” I then go into a 25 second tirade (due to average attention spans) on how people usually try to talk shit about people who do stuff because activism makes most people like selfish assholes.

    I dont think I could be more bummed about the conservative assclownery surrounding anti-vegetarianism. “I don’t hate vegans, but I fucking hate veganism.” Riiight. Just like racists dont hate black people, just certain black people; just like misogynists dont hate women, just certain women; just like every cowboy has a sad, sad song. Vegetarianism is as bold and as beautiful as it’s made out to be, and I’ll explain that in a minute after addressing your main points.

    “As we discussed in Agriculture Vs. Rewilding, grain-based diets stimulate a population growth feedback loop. That should look like enough proof that a vegan diet supports population explosion, deforestation, desertification and over-all ecological collapse.”

    There is no future for industrialized civilization. That’s fo’ sho’. But to say we should stop using agriculture in general right-fucking-now is about as ridiculous as it gets. “Saving the world” entails keeping a lot of humans alive and not letting them completely plummet; gradualism instead of complete population collapse. Even if you’re anti-human, there’s a moral imperative at work here (uh-oh! morals!) to save something. And if you honestly want people to stop eating agriculture, I’m going to play the overshoot card on your dangerously-naive-ass: if 6 billion people “lived off the land” (h/g style), the land would be completely obliterated (as well as making bajillions of people starve). Kind of like primitivists who use computers, agriculture is obviously a necessity right now.

    “The worst of it does not involve the diet, nor the people who choose the diet, but the attitude, hostility and blind righteousness that seems to appear in people when they eat that way. ”

    Weird, because I know a few vegans and more vegetarians, and most of them are scared to admit they’re vegan/vegetarian, much less smug or righteous. It doesn’t help that sell-out mother fuckers like you are trying to preserve your conservative roots: “Oh look at me, I walk around in a loin cloth, but I talk shit about radicals too! I’m not so bad!” It’s like Michael Moore talking shit about vegetarians to find common ground with conservatives.

    Vegetarianism in a nutshell:
    1. It is wrong to kill animals for the fun of it.
    1a. If you eat animals only for the taste, that’s “the fun of it.”
    1b. If you have no other way to eat (Inuit or weird-assed allergies), it’s not an issue.

    2. Plants may have feelings, no doubt they do, but to each organism its respective needs.
    2a. Humans have certain needs that plants do not.
    2b. It is not ok to do to animals what is done to plants.
    2c. If I have sex with an unconsenting patch of flowers, that’s not as wrong as having sex with an unconsenting human.
    2d. It would be wrong to leave a person in complete isolation (defined as “being away from humans) for 30 years – but it would not be wrong to leave a plant in isolation.

    3. Plants and animals have different needs. (it needs reiteration)
    3a. Plants have different nutritional needs than humans.
    3b. Plants do not have the same literal feelings as humans. They do not have our central nervous system.
    3c. It couldn’t be fucking stupider or more worthless to assert that plants and animals have the same feelings. Do people on anesthesia feel the same pain as people without it? Seriously. Why would plants, because they “feel something,” automatically be considered to feel the same stuff? Do they have the same psychological reactions as humans? How do plants do on the Milgram studies? Do plants have a blindspot in their visual field? Because plants can “feel,” can plants then “see” with eyes the way that we can?

    4. Vegetarianism immediately REDUCES agricultural dependence.
    4a. About 80-90% of agriculture raised today is raised for non-human animal consumption.
    4b. It’s like 2000 gallons of water to make a pound of beef versus 200 gallons of water for a pound of wheat.
    4c. Vegetarianism does not NECESSARILY depend on agriculture. That’s so fucking stupid I want to bust grills. How many of our ancestors were unequivocally vegetarian a million+ years before agriculture?

    I hate this “radical” nihilism that says “we’re not using morality and everything is equal.” Quinn is guilty, “Urban Scout” is guilty, and so is every other person trying to roll conservative over vegetarians. I also dont know why everyone is trying to avoid the use of morality. This whole fucking movement is based completely and entirely on morality.

    You cannot get away from morality. If you want to save the world, you are by fucking definition attempting a shift based on morality. If it’s bad to rape and exploit people, it’s not because there’s some magic morality existing outside of us that says it’s wrong. It’s based on the concept of HARM, and if it’s wrong to rape people, it’s because of the harm to them or their dignity. It’s not wrong to make fun of a sapling tree, whereas it IS wrong to make fun of a human child; that’s not an a priori morality, but a reality based on the consequences of actions.

    Now dont get it twisted, I support a lot of (and most of) what “urban scout” is about, but if you aint down with relieving harm acrossed the board, and you are going to try to bolster credibility with conservativism, then fuck you “urban scout.”

  16. Scout,

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying. You’ve got some great points and ideas. The one thing I feel is a shame is your emotional view towards vegans. I generally feel that when a person has strong negative emotions toward another person/way of life, that they can easily become blind to reason and tolerance. In a more ideal, wild type of life, a vegan diet probably wouldn’t be feasible due to the lack of nutrients from what local plants there would be. You need a variety of plants to live well without animal products. Now, that isn’t a reason to say vegan = bad. Also, because something might not be possible in a rewilded world doesn’t mean it is contributing to a industrialized one. How so? Because the meat that meat eaters usually eat, (hehe, odd sentence structure) comes from industrial meat farms. So does most produce come from industrial farms. Now the trick here is animals eat plants. Ranchers either grow food for their animals or buy it from a farmer. This means that you aren’t cutting plants out from your diet by being a meat eater. You seemed to be against grains particularly and most animals are fed grains almost exclusively. A hunter gatherer would be a great way to live but I hear most of your critiques being against vegans, and few critiques about meat eaters who get their food via industrial methods, which is where the majority of meat comes from. I think you’d gain more respectability if you said all food coming from industrial/agriculture methods should be avoided, and this would include meat. I am sure you do say such things but I’ve seen more works of yours that seem one-sided. A little balance and less emotion would give your words more power. 🙂