Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for June 19th, 2019

Why are people so irritated at vegans?

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I just encountered it myself. I left an answer to the question, “Why should one be vegan when animals are going to die anyways and fed to other humans?” and it was the obvious answer: “Because a whole-food plant-based diet is healthful” and included some information to substantiate the healthfulness of a WFPB diet. The comment I got from one Quoran:

This post shows what veganism does to your brain.

No one else believes that a few years of being a vegan can save huge numbers of people from death.

Try this vegan site: www-smugbastards-com.

He was objecting to the chart I had posted (shown at the right). While he might have provided an argument that other factors may have also played a role (e.g., weight loss from reduction in calorie intake), the “www-smugbastards-com” pretty much shows signs of hostility (and also showed a noticeable aversion to looking at the data.

I was puzzled. I’ve heard that vegans can be annoying, but I couldn’t find anything in what I wrote to arouse such hostility. Does eating meat make people irritable? 🙂

A friend pointed out this article in Vox by Abigail Higgins:

Food critic William Sitwell isn’t the first person to express hatred toward vegans, but he might be the first to lose his job for it.

Sitwell stepped down from his job as editor of Waitrose Food, the magazine of a UK supermarket chain, after his email response to a freelance journalist pitching a series on plant-based recipes went public.

“How about a series on killing vegans one by one. Ways to trap them? How to interrogate them properly? Expose their hypocrisy? Force-feed them meat? Make them eat steak and drink red wine?” he wrote.

Selene Nelson, the vegan freelance writer, was understandably shocked — and made the email public. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” she told BuzzFeed News, which published Sitwell’s email. “I’ve written about many divisive topics, like capital punishment and murder cases and domestic violence, and I’ve never had a response like that to any of my articles or pitches.”

Sitwell’s response created a media firestorm, and Waitrose was quick to distance itself, saying in a statement, “Even though this was a private email, William’s gone too far, and his words are extremely inappropriate, insensitive and absolutely do not represent our views.”

Sitwell apologized immediately after the email was made public, calling it an “ill-judged joke” and claiming that “I love and respect people of all appetites be they vegan, vegetarian or meat eaters.” But when the controversy didn’t die down, he was forced to leave the magazine.

The challenge vegans face

Sitwell’s response was beyond the pale, but he’s not alone in expressing dislike for vegans.

Matt Ball of One Step for Animals wrote that “vegans are viewed more negatively than atheists, immigrants, homosexuals, and asexuals,” citing a recent study by Cara MacInnis and Gordon Hodson. “The only group viewed more negatively than vegans were drug addicts,” Ball added. He also cited another analysis that found that “labeling a product ‘vegan’ causes its sales to drop by 70%.”

Anthony Bourdain once wrote that “vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit” and called vegans their “Hezbollah-like splinter faction.”

So why all the vitriol?

We still don’t know exactly, but there are a few theories. One is that vegans make people feel guilty. People tend to interpret someone’s choice not to eat meat as condemnation of their own choices, which can make them pretty defensive.

Other people have suggested that it comes from the cognitive dissonance that eating meat produces: Most of us like animals, so eating them feels kind of messed up — even if we don’t realize it. Vegans also represent a threat to the status quo, and cultural changes make people anxious.

Plus, even vegans will admit that sometimes, they can be kind of annoying. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 June 2019 at 3:32 pm

California report card

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Kevin Drum has an interesting post on how California measures up these days, and it’s worth looking at if that sort of thing interests you. (I am reminded of a friend whose recommendations often ran, “It’s the sort of thing you’d like if you like that sort of thing.) But since California does represent a certain cross-section of America, and since I lived there for more than 30 years, it seems of interest to me.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 June 2019 at 12:25 pm

Making a mountain of a molehill: Unneeded tips for switching to a vegan diet

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Calling your diet “vegan” defines it only what the foods you do not eat—that is, it states that you don’t eat foods derived from animals (meat, dairy, eggs). The problem is that it provides no clue to what you do eat. A diet of beer, popcorn, corn chips, white bread soaked with maple syrup, and soda pop qualifies as a vegan diet (but is also quite a poor diet).

I prefer to say that I eat a “whole-food plant-based” diet. “Whole-food” means minimal processed food—thus I don’t eat processed foods marketed to vegans, foods like cashew “cheese” or soy “cheese,” of the imitation meats (breakfast links, “bacon,” etc.). Processed foods are weird in general and also tend to be high in sodium. So I buy beans, (intact whole) grain, and vegetables and cook them. That’s my diet, along with mushrooms and fruit.

I’ve pointed out Cronometer.com, which makes it very easy to verify that you’re getting all appropriate nutrients. The only nutrient that has driven me to a supplement is calcium. My regular foods provide plenty of iron, zinc, protein, vitamin C, etc. Drinking almond milk or oat milk or soy milk would probably provide the calcium (since those are supplemented with calcium), but (as noted) I avoid processed foods.

I also (because of diabetes) don’t eat any refined sugar or foods that contain it, or foods make from flour, or potatoes, rice, or corn in any form: any of those ramp up the blood glucose more than I like. (See this post.) I’ve also quit eating salt, at the cost of two days of food tasting bland—but then my taste adjusted and I find I don’t miss it.

It really has been interesting and fun, and the fiber content of my meals is much higher than before: I’m getting well about the daily 38g recommended for men (actually I’m getting more like 50g-60g per day). I did have a minor problem for the first few meals of figuring out how to approach the means (see this post), but a problem that’s solved after preparing just a few meals is not a big problem.

Still, the following Guardian article by Sirin Kale may answer some question. I think the issue people have is that they are mentally trying to compare their current diet, which they know, with a whole-food plant-based diet, with which they have no experience. Such comparisons (of something you know with something you’ve not experienced) are difficult. Kale’s article begins:

More and more of us are going vegan. The environmental and ethical case for a diet free of all animal products, including meat, fish, dairy and eggs, is compelling. According to research from the University of Oxford, going vegan is the “single biggest way” to reduce your impact on the planet. And that is before you consider the ethical arguments against eating industrially farmed animals, which have an appalling quality of life and are often pumped full of powerful antibiotics that may pose a risk to human health.

But if you are a lifelong meat-eater, it is hard to know where to start. We asked some leading vegans for their advice for adults who want to make the transition.

Should you jump right in? Or is it better to dip your toe into a plant-based diet first?

“I don’t think there is a right answer about whether to do it immediately or not,” says Henry Firth, one half of the vegan social-media sensation Bosh!. “It’s about what’s right for you and what’s sustainable for your lifestyle.” Some experts suggest easing into veganism via a sightseeing tour of the world of vegetarianism, while others favour going cold tofu.

Katy Beskow, a longtime vegan and the author of three bestselling cookbooks, suggests a gradual approach. “The availability of vegan products means you can do it so much more easily than before. My advice is to replace products in your diet with alternatives step by step, be it milk, mayonnaise or yoghurt. That way, you won’t see a difference.”

How do I deal with negative responses from meat-loving family and friends?

Kill the haters with kindness – and delicious food. “You can make your meat jokes or tell me I’m going to die, but I’m comfortable with my decision,” says the author and columnist Isa Chandra Moskowitz. “Treat people with kindness, even if they are being jerks. And cook for them – you get to show them how yummy things are. It’s a really beautiful gesture that stops people from being aggressive and helps them to see that the food is good – and you’re OK.”

Be empathic towards people expressing negative attitudes. “I can understand when people have some negativity towards veganism because I was in that position once,” says the YouTuber, chef and author Gaz Oakley. “It was just fear of the unknown and not being educated on the matter.” Treat such encounters as a teaching opportunity – but don’t lecture people. “If I’m at a party and someone makes a little dig about veganism, it’s just about educating them and making them feel at ease. Say stuff such as: ‘I never thought I would be a vegan until I saw this or found out this.’ Don’t be judgmental or argue back. Just try to educate them as best you can.”

Humour helps. “I remember doing a TV programme once where someone asked me: ‘How bad are your farts because you’re a vegan?’” says the poet, actor and musician Benjamin Zephaniah. “I said: ‘Your farts smell of dead, rotting flesh. My farts smell like broccoli. Don’t worry about mine, man – think about yours.’”

How do I make sure I am getting enough protein? . . .

Continue reading.

I have to say that every question raised has been a non-issue in my experience. I did have one response from someone who seemed quite threatened by my having chosen a whole-food plant-based diet, but it was quite clear that this was due to some of his own internal problems and issues, so it didn’t bother me (because it was so irrelevant).

Written by LeisureGuy

19 June 2019 at 10:35 am

Kidney Stones and Spinach, Chard, and Beet Greens Don’t Eat Too Much

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Very interesting. We don’t eat spinach very often at all, but chard fairly often. But my big takeaway is to eliminate my vitamin C tablet. Yesterday, with the tablet I had 1111% of my vitamin C requirement; if I had not taken it, I would have had 329%, which seems plenty to me. Today, having already taken the tablet (1000mg), I’m at 1245% of my vitamin C requirement. No more vitamin C tablets for me.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 June 2019 at 8:56 am

Eufros Violet and Penhaligon Blenheim Bouquet

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The violet fragrance of this Eufros shaving soap (by JabonMan) was a delight given the late-spring morning, and the Bruce synthetic brush from Italian Barber did an excellent job of making a thick and creamy lather. Three passes with the inestimable iKon stainless open-comb, and then a splash of Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet on my totally smooth face: a great way to start the day.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 June 2019 at 8:04 am

Posted in Shaving

Stubble Trubble and Spring-Heeled Jack

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For some reason I had a memory slip yesterday and failed to post my SOTD. I very much like Stubble Trubble’s Up & Adam, but ST is no more, so I treasure this tub. The Solar Flare is a fine brush, and the lather (fragrance of espresso and vanilla) was lovely. Three passes with the Charcoal head (an Edwin Jagger clone) on that Wolfman Razors handle, and then a splash of Spring-Heeled Jack from Phoenix Artisan, and I was set for a fine day, or as fine as it could be as I endure a cold.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 June 2019 at 6:21 am

Posted in Shaving

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