Monday, December 2, 2013

Watch the Veganism/Vegetarianism Debate Wednesday by Live Stream, and Live Tweet It!

Hey Folks,

The "Don't Eat Anything With a Face" debate on Intelligence Squared US is fast approaching, and, even if you won't be able to attend live, you can still watch the live stream, follow the live tweets, or live tweet it yourself! And if you miss it, you'll be able to watch it on-demand afterwards through the YouTube video, which will be embedded on the web page for the debate. 

Below, I provide more information about the debate and how to watch it and participate in it.

Joel Salatin and I will face off against our worthy opponents, Dr. Neal Barnard, president and founder of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and Gene Bauer, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, to debate whether exclusion of animals products from the diet is the best dietary choice from a health, ecology, and ethics perspective. John Donvan will, as always, be moderating the debate. He is also a correspondent for Nightline.

I look forward to an enlightening and respectful debate. I don't agree with them about veganism, but I appreciate Dr. Barnard's dedication to using nutrition to prevent and reverse disease rather than just surgery and drugs to treat it, and I appreciate and mostly agree with Gene Bauer's thoughtful opposition to industrial factory farming.

Barnard and Bauer will be arguing for the motion "Don't Eat Anything With a Face" and Salatin and I will be arguing against it. The live audience votes before and after with clickers. Whoever persuades the most people toward their side is declared the winner. The web site will also report a more detailed breakdown of how many people changed their minds from each position (for, against, undecided) to another.

The debate takes place live at the Kaufman Center in New York City at 6:45 eastern time. It also live streams via Fora.TV, embedded in the Intelligence Squared US web site. Remember to account for differences in time zones if you don't live on the east coast of the United States. After the debate is over, it will be available to watch on-demand, but it generally takes a day for the video to go up.

Here is the web page for the debate:

Although it doesn't count toward the declaration of a winner, you can cast your vote online. The page keeps a continuous tally, which at the moment marginally favors the "against" position (our side). You can also leave comments, read relevant articles, or learn more about the debaters. Most importantly, you can watch the live stream beginning at 6:45 eastern time on Wednesday, December 4.

You can watch the live stream on a mobile device. The last time I tried, it took me a few minutes to figure it out. When I used the main icon that shows up on the screen, it took me to an error page saying my device didn't support flash. But I clicked another button more to the lower left and got it working, so at worst it should require a little toying to get it started. Update: The Partner Relations and Marketing Manager from Fora.TV told me to direct folks to use to this link to avoid problems while watching the live stream on a mobile device.

If you'd like to participate in the debate on Twitter, the handle for Intelligence Squared US is @IQ2US and the official hashtag will be #vegdebate. Other relevant Twitter handles include mine, Joel Salatin's, Neal Barnard's, and Gene Bauer's.

Enjoy! I'd love to hear what you think of the debate in the comments!


  1. Can't wait! If I can figure out the time difference from Korea, I'll be listening!

    1. Thanks! Don't forget if you miss it, you can watch the video starting the next day!


    2. Hi Chris, I would love to see the video. Can you please share the link, for some reason I am not able to find it. Thank you for all you do!

  2. While the debate sounds interesting, there isn't any question that humans were designed to consume meat. Veganism is a philosophy and has nothing to do with physiology. Any vegan attempting to debate this fact is delusional and would be very easy to crush as the data they've produced during past debates has been totally debunked over and over. It's also very easy to find.

    1. Yes, it is obvious because our canine teeth are so big as to rip through a raw piece of flesh. (sarcasm) Unfortunately, I think this "contest" will be a waste of time as those that attend are probably already convinced to one side or the other. They should only allow people who are the fence to vote.

    2. We don't need large canines to rip through flesh. We have large brains and can use tools.

  3. A near or total vegan food intake practice DOES NOT SUPPORT the ability to help our INNATE IMMUNITY PROCESSES to keep our bodies from attacking itself with the self (auto) antigens it needs to fight. That can only happen when we eat animal products as the Paleo Age peoples did, and as wild animals do.
    To understand this concept you can write me and ask for the "Innate Immune Alliance Defender" paper I wrote for y'all. (I respect your privacy) I am Dr Pieter Dadler, DDS, MD, ND (HON pROF), PHD

  4. Alhtough i applaud vegans' dedication to not kill animals, I am a full-on omnivore. I feel like crap on a vegetarian diet, lose weight, and have no energy. 100% opposite on a meat-and-veggies diet. I'm already a natural athlete, but damn do i feel powerful when I practice sports since I started the GAPS diet. I'm absolutely against cruelty towards animals, and the whole industrial meat industry. This is one of the msot disgusting technological "advances" ever. Local farms is where it's at. Grass fed meat FTW!

    Vegan's ask: what makes us meat-eaters feel superior that we give ourselves the right to kill other animals to feed ourselves? I say the exact opposite: it's precisely because we are NOT superior, because we are all part of just part of the system, (the same energy, the same oneness, whatever you want to call it) that it's ok for us to eat other animals. Let's stop with this superiority complex, this righteousness, and live the way we were made to.

    My uneducated 2 cents.

    Can't wait for the debate.

  5. I look forward to it. One thing that concerns me is the name itself. Using the slogan from one side of the debate as the name of the debate itself isn't even remotely balanced by any reasonable standard. I really hope that is not indicative of the overall tone of the debate.

  6. Chris: Neal Barnard has no background in nutrition science. His training was in psychiatry and he's never had a practice. He spends his time fundraising for PCRM (his animal rights nonprofit that masquerades as a medical organization) and writes books that claim a vegan diet will cure diabetes, Alzheimers, and whatever else ails you. Tip: ask him to provide you with a copy of his CV and see what happens.

  7. Anon: the IQ squared debates are contested in the Oxford style, beginning with a statement or premise posited by one side. It serves to pique the interest of the crowd. I've listened to almost all of the them as podcasts and I think Dahlbeck has been fair. I'm tuning in.

  8. Comments from watching the debate....

    1) Debate was one-sided in that the "For" side's arguments are all based on Factory Farming end results to the environment and human health. While the moderator repeatedly announced that both sides where in agreement that Factory Farming was problematic - there still was no where to go on the "For" side since that's all their arguments/research are based on.

    2) I was also struck by the comments that on the Sanctuary Farm they may sterilize some animals - trust me, that is not an unharmful or peaceful treatment of animals or humans.

    3) Lastly, yes I was on the side of Chris/Joel before the debate, but appreciate all the elements their side of the debate bring to the table from the historic information on how humans have not only survived, but thrived on a traditoinal diet that includes animals/insects, and how the scientific/technical/health research backs up this history, and lastly the discussion on farming practices that change the current paradiagm.

    Well done gentlemen explaining the circle of life....

  9. They Essenes were vegetarians, lived a pure life and were aware of the forces of nature and the cosmos. In The Essene Gospel of Peace, Jesus speaks to the crowd and says, "kill neither men, nor beast, nor yet the food which goes into your mouth. For if you eat living, the same will quicken you, but if you kill your food, the dead food will kill you also. For life comes only from life, and from death comes always death”. Jesus continues to say, “For everything which kills your foods, kills your bodies also. And everything which kills your bodies kills your souls also. And your bodies become what your foods are, even as your spirits, likewise, become what your thoughts are”.

    Marty McEvoy. CPA, LSC, Graduate of University of Illinois, 1972

    1. Marty, your comment supports my belief that vegetarianism is a religion. Not everybody is religious or could be convinced by religious arguments.

      I eat meat because I found out I feel better and healthier when I do. I experimented with different diets, and never ate junk food more that occasionally. For the people like me philosophical side of the meat-eating just doesn't exists. I guess, human race is bad for our planet, and not eating meat doesn't change anything into a positive direction. Agriculture is detrimental for the environment, unless it is a grass-feeding meat rising and a garbage-utilization through feeding food left-overs to farm animals. I do try to buy mostly grass-fed meat because it is healthier and good for the environment. I never thought that vegans are morally superior, just a bunch of idealists which is normal to have in a prosperous society.

    2. To find vegan-friendly words attributed to Jesus, who presumably is your God, you had to ignore the entire Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is what Jesus believed, the New Testament is what he is most reliably reported to have said and done. The Old Testament prescribes rules for the humane slaughter of animals, the New Testament tells the story of the prodigal son ("Kill the fatted calf") and of Jesus catching and distributing fish.
      You can of course choose to reinterpret all that to suit your personal beliefs, but that's not really faith.

    3. At 1:04:40 in the debate video, you will see Gene correctly agree that "life often comes from death."

  10. You seriously think the results of that debate were legitimate?!?!?!? Are you kidding me?!? Is anyone really so outlandishly gullible that they seriously think that half the people who went into that room that day went in as meat eaters, and came out believing that they would radically change their diet and never eat anything with a face again?!??!? Can anyone really be THAT gullible?

    Who do you think Neal Barnard and Gene Bauer are? I am sorry, but what this illustrates is a profound ignorance of who Neal Barnard and Gene Bauer are, and what it is that the organizations that they represent actually do. They are professional propagandists with countless direct ties to what the FBI has determined is the number one domestic terrorist threat, animal rights terrorism.

    Neal Barnard, the former lover of Ingrid Newkirk (the founder and head of PeTA) was the head of the PeTA Foundation, which controls PeTA's purse strings. PeTA, the organization that pays the legal fees of animal rights terrorists, and has publicly offered to pay the legal fees of anyone accused of an ALF (the nation's foremost domestic terrorist org) related crime!

    Barnard created a phony physician's organization, and gave it an official sounding name, the Physician's Committee For Responsible Medicine, to purposely mislead the public, and you don't think that he would fill the audience with vegangelical ringers? In reality, less than 1% of the PCRM are actual physicians! It is not a physician's organization by any stretch of the imagination. Barnard is a professional propagandist, plain and simple, and nothing more. Here is what the American Medical Association had to say about Barnard and his org:

    "The AMA continues to marvel at how effectively a fringe organization of questionable repute continues to hoodwink the media with a series of questionable research that fails to enhance public health. Instead, it serves only to advance the agenda of activist groups interested in perverting medical science. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is an animal "rights" organization, and, despite its title, represents less than 0.5 percent of the total U.S. physician population. Its founder, Dr. Neal Barnard, is also the scientific advisor to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an organization that supports and speaks for the terrorist organization known as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF)."

  11. cont...
    Gene Bauer's organization, Farm Sanctuary, is for the people who don't think that PeTA is extreme enough! They have countless direct ties to animal rights terrorism. The former head of propaganda under Barnard's tenure at PeTA, Bruce Friedrich, is now the head of propaganda for Farm Sanctuary! Friedrich is infamous for writing an essay in support of the ALF's most destructive terrorist tactics, which the ALF uses to justify their terrorism to this day. Here is what Firedrich, Farm Sanctuary's Director of Strategic Initiatives had to say:

    “If we really believe that these animals do have the same right to be free from pain and suffering at our hands, then, of course we’re going to be, as a movement, blowing stuff up and smashing windows. For the record, I don’t do this stuff, but I do advocate it. I think it’s a great way to bring about animal liberation … I think it would be a great thing if all of these fast-food outlets, and these slaughterhouses, and these laboratories, and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow. I think it’s perfectly appropriate for people to take bricks and toss them through the windows, and everything else along the line. Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it."

    Barnard and his org were behind the program to disseminate their org's comic books, telling children that their parents are murderers for eating meat, to children, and you don't think he and Bauer, the money behind the ALF, would fill up those seats with vegans pretending to be open? Here is an image of the cover of one of those PeTA comic books:

    If there is one thing that the PeTA, Barnard's fake physician's group, and Farm Sanctuary love, it is that sort of sneaky propaganda. It is not a coincidence that the Huffington Post publishes pro-PeTA-Farm Sanctuary-PCRM puff pieces disguised as legitimate news on a daily basis; they took advantage of the Huff Post's volunteer structure and took over two sections (Huff Post Green and Huff Post Health).

    Filling the audience of that debate with vegangelical ringers pretending to be objective is small potatoes for them. Again, if you seriously believe that half the people who went into that room that day who went in as meat eaters, walked out believing it is never ok to eat an animal with a face under any circumstances, which was what was being voted on, you need to have your head examined (just don't get psychiatrist Neal Barnard to be the one to do it.)

    I really hope that this debate didn't do a lot more harm than good. Pretending that the results are legitimate, as if that many people really suddenly decided that it was not ok for them ever to eat meat again, is ignorant and irresponsible. Every major form of sustainable agriculture depends on food animals. Veganic gardening is not a major form of sustainable ag. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Farm Sanctuary has been putting an extraordinary amount of money and time into their full-scale propaganda war on biodiverse sustainable ag, and the threat should be taken very, very seriously.

  12. I'm a different "Anonymous" from the commenter just above :). I, too, however, was puzzled, and later disturbed, by the results of that debate, which I watched from start to finish. It occurred to me that people could easily have pressed the No 2 button at the beginning (against the motion), even though they supported the vegan point of view, and then press No.1 at the end, seeming to have switched their vote. In fact, I was very surprised that only about 24 % of the audience supported the statement "don't eat anything with a face" at the beginning. I'm positive there were way more vegan/vegetarians in that audience! So I don't think this was a true result. Much too easy to manipulate. That said, there were things that Chris didn't talk about (or not much) that I wish he would have brought to the fore. 1. The difference between eating muscle meats only, and eating the whole animal, including bone broths, organ meats and skin, providing a much more balanced diet than solely muscle meats, and a wider array of vitamins and minerals. Particularly liver! When one of the men on the "for" side said that there is no vitamin C in meat, I waited for Chris to reply that there is lots of C in liver, especially raw or lightly cooked. But he didn't….. I also wished there had been an opportunity for him to talk about traditional preparation of foods versus modern methods. I don't quite know how he would have related that to the meat issue, but I'm sure it's possible, as in eating meat along with gelatin-rich sauces and stocks. Also the issue of children! I cringed when Dr. Barnard (I think it was him) talked about the importance of having our children eat plant-based diets--yikes! The importance of full-fat dairy and yes, RAW dairy could have been mentioned here--I don't think raw dairy was mentioned once! Also, I didn't think this debate even remotely resembled an "Oxford-style" debate, with it's totally disciplined style. To me, the moderator seemed biased from the start--watching his face carefully when introducing the debaters is revealing, and also how he stifled Chris' comment on the other side's research, which was a perfectly legitimate line of inquiry, in my view. In all, a somewhat disappointing debate, but believe me, I'm still firmly on the side of WAPF!!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I agree that I wish Chris had gotten more speaking time, but it seem like the moderator kept shutting him down. :\ It seemed like Barnard got way more screen time than anyone else, and was allowed to continue unfettered as he brought up studies that are scientifically unsound (e.g., the "China Study", which I admit even Gene Bauer mentioned (disappointed in that; I was hoping Bauer would stick to ethical arguments), and saying that cooking meat creates heterocyclic amines as if all cooking is equal (obviously it's not)).

      Honestly, the debate couldn't been two, three, four or more times as long as it was and it's unlikely that all issues regarding health, ethics, and the environment and sustainability could have been adequately covered. I agree that it was a disappointing debate, and it was FAR too easy for the vote to have been manipulated.

      Oh and it did seem like the audience was biased towards the "for" (do not eat anything with a face) side. They kept interrupting the debate with applause for random things that Barnard or Bauer said. GRAH. :(

      Deleted and edited to correct a typo. <_<

    3. I am cynical enough about Barnard's agenda to think that Barnard could have seeded the audience with a bunch of supporters that were instructed to manipulate their voting to provide his team the win.... he has been around long enough to know how to make impressions whereever he goes.

    4. M doc, that doesn't make you cynical, just realistic. The chance that all of those people went in there as content omnivores, and came out believing that they would never eat meat again because it is not acceptable under any circumstances is ZERO. There is no question about whether or not it is a sham; It was absolutely, positively a sham. The head of culture jamming/propaganda for both of their organizations, Bruce Friedrich, lives for that type of stuff. Cloak and dagger propaganda is their stock and trade. Propaganda theater/culture jamming is what he does. It would have been absolutely astonishing if they had not filled the audience with vegangelical minions that had been instructed to skew the vote.

      As noted, supposedly the audience consisted largely of omnivores at the beginning, yet, the frequent applause and cheering painted quite a different picture. Again, there is literally no chance that the audience was not full of PCRM/Farm Sanctuary plants.

      Make no mistake, the PCRM and Farm Sanctuary are serious about their hardcore decptive tactics. It is no coincidence that the former spokesman of the PCRM, Jerry Vlasak, is now the spokesman for the nation's foremost domestic terrorist threat, the ALF. Here is a typical quote from Vlasak:

      “I think we do need to embrace direct action and violent tactics as part of our movement … I don’t think we ought to be criticizing someone, whether we’re criticizing [them] because they’re writing letters, or whether we criticize them because they’re burning down fur stores or vivisection labs. I think we need to include everybody in that circle.”

      Bauer's organization, the money behind the ALF, may be the scariest of all. You may have heard about the nonstop terror, death threats, and harassment endured by the Sustainable Ag dept at Green Mountain College, at the hands of Farm Sanctuary's crusade against them:

  13. There were so many troublesome issues in this debate, it is hard to know where to begin.

    Regarding Neal Barnard, he has spent 20+ years as a clandestine animal rights activist that has earned him and PCRM a spot on He has also spend those years publicly speaking, honing the discussions that are known to push people's buttons.... You may have noticed the reference to impotence that came right out of left field--it always seems to get the men to straighten right up and listen! He has been funded from the get-go by PETA, and has never actually spent any time in primary care. If he did, he would notice his idealism would have a nice dose of reality--that not everyone does well on a vegan diet, or any diet for that matter, and for a wide variety of reasons.
    One of the linchpins in the pro-vegan argument has long been Dean Ornish's Lifestyle Heart Trial, which used a combination of diet, exercise, smoking cessation and meditation TOGETHER to demonstrate objective signs of reversal of heart disease; the vegans have simplified it as just the absence of meat as causing all the coronary blood vessel changes on PET scanning. The study was indeed the first proof that you could reverse heart disease, but even Ornish would state that it does not conclude that a meat free diet is the cause of the reversal (Ornish admits to eating at least egg whites as part of his diet--why would he need to do that if he could get all the protein he needed from plant foods?). It is too bad that Chris Masterjohn correctly outlined ALL the changes in the diet that Ornish created only in his concluding statements, well after the audience had been seduced by the seemingly powerful Ornish argument (that reversal was caused by not eating meat) that Barnard made in his opening statements. Since there have been no credible attempts to replicate this study in an attempt to refine the question, the question has gone unanswered. There are now new lines of study that identify inflammation as the cause of CHD, whether by various chemicals in cigarette smoke or foods, or food elements themselves, such as sugar.

    It seems that the factory farming criticism continues to confound the pro-meat argument, and unfortunately, that may be because, quite frankly, there are too many people on the planet now, and of course too many that want their meat quickly and cheaply, and too many that no longer have the time or ability to raise their own livestock. This debate seemed to bring up the topic despite Joel Salatin denouncing it at the outset. In fact, Neal Barnard directly accused Salatin of having a factory farm, and Bauer even went after the conditions on Salatin's farm.
    Since most of the audience were well-to-do New Yorkers who can simply afford to have a conscience, I am sure hearing some of Bauer's arguments tugged at their heartstrings, despite the "circle of life" arguments countered by Salatin. It would have been nice to hear if Bauer would admit to the possibility that an animal could be killed humanely (since veterinarians do it every day). As Michael Pollan pointed out in Omnivore's Dilemma, animals raised on a Salatin farm can expect a better quality of life than they could ever get in the wild, and perhaps even a longer one, but the trade off is, you get killed ("murdered" is the graphic term used by Bauer) at the end. Most farm animals wouldn't have had a life at all but for the farmer allowing it to happen, so I wonder how the animal would look at the trade offs?
    Barnard should have been held to account on his black and white "no" answers, since most scientific studies show correlations, not causations; unfortunately, his smooth style, and his title as a physician allowed him to get away with that with the audience who were mindful of his credentials.....Kind of like Dr. Oz, unfortunately.

  14. Continued:
    Although the debate was about eating anything with a face, it was really about veganism/vegetarianism, so it would have been interesting to hear what stance Bauer and Barnard would have shared with their audience regarding eating eggs, milk products and honey, since these processes can be done humanely and without killing anything. I am always left wondering what vegans feed their pet cats, since they are obligate carnivores, and even their dogs, which could survive on a semi vegetarian diet, but they were clearly never intended to eat one.
    The adverse effects of heat on many foods was exploited better by Barnard than by Masterjohn and Salatin. Although Barnard mentioned how cheap beans and rice were, no one challenged him on how limited that nutrition would be, and how many people do not tolerate these foods very well without intestinal problems, because in part, these are new foods in the human diet, evolutionarily speaking.
    And how did Barnard get away with calling Atkins' diet a fad diet? It should have been made roundly clear that vegetarianism and veganism are the real fads, as they have only been in existence for 150 years, and have no historical basis whatsoever. Leakey's speculation that human have been meat eaters only since the use of tools is ridiculous, given that animals from insects to snakes to smaller primates have been meat eating for as long as they have been alive, without ever using tools. Barnard got away with that one as well.

    As Rosenkrantz said at the outset of the debate, dietary choices are really more about people's identity-- their politics, their morality, their values--and no amount of science by association is going to change people's minds. As a primary care physician, I have seen people do well on vegan diets, and I have seen them do poorly. As Denise Minger says, we are all special snowflakes, and we all deserve to find the diet that works best for use. Chris said as much in his closing statements, but it is too bad he looked like he was reading, alot more than Barnard, who maintained eye contact with his audience throughout most of his discussions. Too bad he has a huge hidden agenda that most newcomers are completely unaware of. Perhaps he should tell everyone how much PETA pays him every year before embarking on debates supposedly for the common good.

  15. Perhaps my biggest disappointment with the debate, aside from the obvious fact that of course, Farm Sanctuary and the PCRM stacked the audience with their vegangelical minions in order to fix the vote, was that Barnard was allowed to get away with his smokescreen of misdirection concerning B12. B12 is the Achilles heal of veganism, and there is really no defending it, so instead, the vegan propaganda talking point sites instruct people to use misdirection, just as Barnard did.

    It works like this... they cite studies that note that mild B12 deficiency is actually quite common in the overall population. From there, they make the specious argument that because it is common, it is a "red herring" (as Barnard said) to single out veganism. In reality, their argument is complete and utter nonsense, because vegetarians, and especially vegans, are at a vastly higher risk of severe B12 deficiency than omnivores. Here are two separate studies that both found that regardless of supplementation, less than 1% of omnivores suffer from severe B12 deficiency, compared to an absolutely staggering 52% of vegans:

    When Masterjohn made the entirely appropriate point that Barnard's claim had no basis in reality, the moderator admonished him for it, and that may have thrown him a little. It seemed to me that the moderator was overcompensating to try to be fair to the vegan side, and in the process, created a clear bias against Masterjohn and Salatin. Masterjohn started to explain that the levels were astronomically high for vegans and vegetarians, but because he was cut off before he could make the only really relevant point, which is that the rates for vegans are vastly worse than for omnivores. Since Barnard had already said that rates of B12 deficiency were bad for everybody, vegans and omnivores alike, as if they were the same for both groups, which is blatantly false, pointing out that vegans had high rates of B12 deficiency was useless, without clarifying that they are vastly worse than seen in omnivores. In other words, becvause Masterjohn was cut off before he could ever effectively make that point, and he wasn't able to come back to it, Barnard's blatantly deceptive ruse worked like a charm.

    Also, strangely, Bauer was completely let off the hook for his implication that he could get his B12 from plant sources, and that it wasn't important for him to worry about supplementing regularly. That really was a shame, because he put a lot of ignorant, naive vegans at risk of serious health problems by perpetuating that myth and being allowed to get away with it.

    Amazingly, Barnard actually tried to spin the fact that studies show that damage from B12 deficiency among vegans is permanent, not something that can be fixed by just adding meat back into the diet, as an argument against eating meat, despite the fact that it makes you overwhelmingly less likely to ever develop severe B12 deficiency in the first place!

    Astonishingly, Barnard even made the bizarre claim that meat eaters are worse at absorbing B12 because of stomach acid! Indeed, stomach acid, which people on all plant diets tend to be lower in, is essential for the successful absorption of B12. That might actually explain why severe B12 deficiency is still so astronomically high among vegans, regardless of supplementation.

  16. Another thing that I had hoped to see was some mention of the fact that more than a dozen studies have confirmed that vegans suffer from substantially higher rates of elevated homocysteine than omnivores.

    For what it's worth the teeth argument is one of the weakest arguments for us being adapted to meat eating. Gorillas eat very little animal protein, aside from insects, which don't require big fangs. However, there are very, very important differences between us and gorillas. Proprtionately, their large intestines are vastly longer than ours, allowing them to get most of their energy from converting fibrous plant matter into short-chain fatty acids. We would die on a gorilla's diet. And not surprisingly, our small intestines are much larger than theirs, because unlike gorillas, we evolved eating meat and cooked foods. Also, unlike a gorilla, we do not have a cecum that effectively breaks down cellulose. It is absurd for vegans to use gorillas as an example of what we should be eating. The large intestines of chimpanzees are about three times longer than our's as well, and as expected, their small intestines are much smaller too.

  17. This debate might also have benefitted from a quick refresher on what is good science, and what is not....such as placebo controlled studies, double blinded studies, meta analyses, vs observational and epidemiological studies, and especially anecdotal observation masking as being relevant.
    While I can excuse anyone for their personal experiences on diet directing them to learn more about the topic, it was tough to listen to Gene Bauer's "I don't worry much about supplementing my B12" as a justification to a generalized principle that vegans don't have to worry about B12. I would be surprised if his levels were anything close to minimal even with occasional supplementation, given his 25 year+ vegan habit, but in any event, his experience is an n=1 standard that few could call reliable science.
    When Barnard describes his father dying of cancer and dementia, based on eating grass-fed beef, I just about fell out of my seat. Pretty liberal interpretation of an n=1 study! If that is Barnard's grasp of science, it is breath-taking---he somehow knew that any of the other foods his father ate couldn't have done it, or even the smoking that Barnard had referred to. I wonder how Barnard would characterize American Vegan Society founder Jay Dinshah's death at age 65 of a heart attack, after being a lifetime vegetarian and long term vegan?( And there are others who failed the vegan experiment--how would Barnard explain this equally important n=1 data? Once you have committed yourself to the conclusion (as Barnard has with the healthfulness of a vegan diet), you are no longer a scientist, but a cherry picker of science. That makes Barnard particularly dangerous, as he uses his outwardly professional appearance and credentials to further his agenda. He has effectively turned his back on science, as he has lost his objectivity.

    Barnard also mentioned studies of meats as hot dogs and other processed meats, and while Salatin did bring up the fact that these studies were not on grass fed higher quality meats, Barnard closed down the argument with the death of his father as proof that grass fed meat doesn't prevent anything. The moderator should have caught that, but because it was let go, the audience sucked it up.
    I await Chris and Joel's postscript, as we are looking for your analysis on all of this!

  18. I found Bauer’s philosophical underpinnings somewhat concerning and I think he has entered into a paradox.

    If, as Gene argued, animals should be treated with mutual respect, how does one justify sterilising them? Gene would argue that sterilisation is necessary, in order to keep populations under control.

    The following question must be asked of Gene: Is it possible to treat animals with mutual respect if one sterilises them?

    If Gene answers no, then we must accept that, if man is to co-exist with animals, there is no possible way to do this in a manner that affords mutual respect. Moreover, an answer in the negative would amount to a confirmation on Gene’s part that even he is unable of treating animals with mutual respect; if Gene answers yes, then the necessary logical conclusion is that sterilisation does not interfere with a relationship of mutual respect - on this basis, Gene would also be required to argue that the sterilisation of other human beings would not interfere with a relationship of mutual respect.

    And herein lies the troubling paradox Gene must come to terms with: Gene cannot argue that he treats animals with mutual respect despite sterilising them, without also arguing that it might be necessary, in order to keep populations under control, to sterilise other human beings.

    1. Did anyone else find it disconcerting when Gene answered Chris's question "what does that post-animal-farming world look like?" with the answer that the animals that were "imported" into North America should be left to go extinct? ("Cattle are now ranging where bison used to range... I think bison should be back there." So what happens to the cattle? We sterilise them and let them die off completely? What about chickens? Obviously we won't sterilise turkeys because apparently they're endemic to North America (even though not ALL species are native to North America, as Bauer seemed to think).)

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  22. You sounds like a bunch of sore losers. While I think the voting pre and post debate was easy to scam, I did like the way each side presented their arguments. I didn't like the disrespectful comments that came from both sides. Nobody is going to make a life-changing decision regarding what they eat in an hour long debate. Either way, it is an person's right to choose to eat or not eat an animal.

  23. Hi I am doing an academic survey ...would request the people to participiate in it


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