Monday, April 18, 2011

Low Fat Raw Vegan vs Paleo.. The debate

Well folks, the debate took place on Friday the 15th April, our time, (down under), and I believe Kveta and I were one of the 1000 plus that listened in to the event live.

It was sort of entertaining, but I must admit it left me a little frustrated.

In his closing statement, Richard (the cooked flesh eater), claimed that Harley (the calorie counting vegan) was more debating against general omnivores than Paleo specific, but to be honest, Richard was doing exactly the same, debating more against veganism than Harleys more specific version of low fat, and raw.

Neither party really went overboard loosing their cool at any time, which admittedly surprised me with Richard, as when I briefly attempted a discussion with him over at his blog, his responses (and those of the bulk of the rest of his disciples) were generally quite primitive in nature, and consisted of a fair bit of name calling.

Richard gave a bit of an odd response to the question about whether he at all felt any moral qualms about his chosen diet, stating something about the rights for humans not coming from the fact that we can feel pain and suffer like animals, but rather that we can think. As if animals are themselves incapable of such, or as if every human is capable of such. Clearly neither is true.

He also very much showed his ignorance by stating his view that a vegan based lifestyle would destroy the earth and kill off animals by destroying their habitat. He clearly has neither an idea how much land is lost due to livestock farming, nor how much more environmentally sound an agriculture based predominantly around fruit tree growing has the potential to be. Perhaps he is comparing more a nomadic based lifestyle, of hunters and gatherers living in small tribes, something likely far afield from his own lifestyle choice.

The point was also made about Harley being too skinny in the eyes of a Paleo, but when Harley countered that his body weight and size was comparable to most other endurance athletes, Richard fully dismissed this, saying that his athletic prowess had nothing to do with the debate at hand.

Then there was that whole comparison he made of liver versus a bowl of fruit.. I mean yuck, who cares how much nutrient is in either (!).. one is dead and unappealingly disgusting, the other is vibrant, colourful and sweet..

Harley handled himself pretty well, but I do know that he has a tendency to exaggerate the truth at times. Not about his athletic fetes, I don't doubt those for a second, but he does state that he shares a flat with a paleo flat mate, and if it's the guy I believe it to be, then I don't think it's quite factual to be labeling him as paleo.

He also brought up the old adage about sticking a rabbit and a piece of fruit in with a baby and see which one it eats.. I used to like that one, but honestly, if you think about it, most omnivore parents would not give their babies living animals to kill themselves. They would kill and rip it open first. I would guess that an innocent baby would want to stick both items (the apple and the flesh) in their mouths, as that's how babies find out about the world.

Sure though, I will merit that the vast majority of humans don't have the heart to take a knife to a cows throat and kill it for lunch.

A little too much talk of triglycerines and the B12 critters (whatever they are) and their ilk for my liking, but I guess for many that's what they want to hear.

When Richard claimed that "the china study" had been debunked, Harley countered that, yes, by a 21 year old girl who he doubted the existence of. Personally I thought this a pretty weak response.. I mean, it's not that I myself have read the China study, nor have any great desire or intention to do so, nor have I seen the debunking response, but dismissing a debunk purely on the supposed age and gender of the debunker is a little unfair. (it may well be the debunk is weak by it's own merits, but if the author is genuinely a mystery, it may also be there was far more research put into it than Harley is aware).

And, this has little to do with his side of the debate, and is more about me wanting to be that small voice for fruitarianism, he also made that statement about not knowing anyone that eats just fruit (he knows Kveta and myself at least). But I guess he is entitled to believe that those of us that claim we do, are all liars, though I can't help but think still that Harley somehow feels threatened by the idea.. Also, I am quite curious to know where he get's his data from when he states so matter of factly that Ross Horne was not vegan.

Anyhow, Kudos to both parties for stepping up to the microphone and airing their view points. If you want to listen to it, here it is:

Listen to Harley vs Richard -

DurianRider vs the Animal Debate

Or if you want your own copy of the debate, then you can order one here:


Friday, April 15, 2011

Crazy World News - 13 - Eggs soaked in piss.

The truth, we're told, is often stranger than fiction, and this is surely one of those cases. Apparently, A certain chinese province is going wild about the latest delicatessen, - schoolboy urine soaked eggs!

Dongyang people boil eggs in boy’s urine and sell them for 1.50 yuan (just over 20 US cents each). They're said to be selling like hot cakes!

Now for me, eating birds eggs is pretty bizarre enough itself, boiling them adds to the chaos, and doing so with urine, and being allowed to simmer all day(!).. well, that's just the icing on the sugar of madness.

In 2008, these tong zi dan (Boy eggs), were listed by the city of Dongyong as a local intangible cultural heritage.

See: Boys Urine Soaked Eggs Listed as Local Specialty

Crikey.. Actually, on a similar note, I recall watching "An Idiot Abroad" (an excellent TV documentary series well worth watching), a guy named Karl Pilkington who travels to see the 7 wonders of the world, one of them being the great wall of china. Anyhow, he gives his view on the chinese way of eating, which to be sure is not much more bizarre than his own, just different.. See this video about 2 minutes in, where they show yet another way eggs are eaten in that part of the world..

And if you found that bizarrely fascinating, have a look at this one:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guy builds his own island out of plastic bottles.

I recently stumbled onto this bit of interesting news, not exactly fruitarian in nature, but certainly innovative and inspiring.. It's about a British guy, ex-pat, named Rishi Sowa, living in Mexico, off the coast of an island called "Las Mujeres". He's built himself a small tropical paradise from recycled materials, predominantly discarded plastic drinking bottles.

According to this youtube video, the claims are, that he is totally self sufficient on an island no bigger than the size of a tennis court.. Growing his own small vegetable garden with pawpaw, tomatoes, spinach, cocounuts, cucumbers etc..

It's not mentioned in the video, but my guess is it's highly likely he is fishing too.. .

His island is a work in progress, and grows steadily each day as he is forever in search of additional discarded bottles too expand his home. It uses alternative energy sources to power the small electrical devices he uses, and he's even designed his own washing machine that works solely on the constant wave motion around the island.

This is how his island currently looks:

spiral island

It's difficult to imagine the work he must have put in getting it just to the stage it is at.. fetching sand from the beaches to create a more island looking base to his home, and growing mangroves along the edge to stop sand errosion.. Actually, that's one of the aspects that puzzles me most about this project, - how does he stop the sea constantly stealing back the sand from his beaches?..

His plan is to one day, when he feels the island is ready, to raise the anchors and push out into the ocean becoming his own independent country. Though it seems difficult for me to imagine that the island will ever be sturdy enough to withstand heavy seas, (apparently this is his 2nd attempt as the original island was destroyed by a hurricane!), from what he's managed to accomplish so far, provided the Mexicans don't commandeer his little makeshift paradise, my guess is it seems likely he will achieve his goal.

To find out more, visit his website:

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Harley Vs Richard.

Well folks, I've mentioned this briefly earlier, but without making too big a fuss of it, as at the time, no date had been fixed in stone..

But that's just changed! A time-slot has been allocated, and both parties seem keen to come head to head..

click to enlarge


In the green corner we have Durianrider Harley, who is taking the low fat raw vegan glycogen calorie obsessed 80/10/10 stance. And in the dripping blood red corner, Neanderthal Richard Nikoley, the high fat cooked zombie flesh eating paleo stance. Both parties are no doubt already firmly entrenched in their ways, and I seriously doubt either would be at all open to change their stance, so the debate will not be about convincing themselves or each other, but hopefully should be of some benefit to others who have yet to fully decide their paths.

The debate can be viewed live (just visit, watch the intro video, and sign up to receive a link to the event). It'll be structured, with limited times allocated to each party, with both stating their cases, and both having time following to ask and answer each other questions.

It'll take place at 6pm PST on the 14th April (which works out to midday on the 15th here on the east coast of Australia).

I was reading up on Richards Blog, and he seems pretty confident, as do most of the comments from his followers who admittedly, are not the sharpest tools in the box. No doubt similar confidence is being expressed over at 30 bananas a day..

If nothing else, I'm sure the debate will prove itself entertaining. Enjoy

Friday, April 08, 2011

13th International Vegan Festival..

Admittedly, I'm a tad late getting this news out there, but for whatever reason, the grape vine infoline must have been moving trickle slow, as I've only just heard word of the event.

It seems that Spain this year will once more be hosting an international vegan festival.. The 13th of it's kind, and 2nd to be organised by Francisco Martin, who just so happened to have also organised the 7th festival which took place in Tossa del Mar (North East coast of Spain in September 1993).

The International Vegan Festivals are by no means yearly events, but get organised purely when someone is brave enough to do so. Their focus is on promoting veganism, and bringing more vegan awareness to the world... Generally there are several guest speakers that turn up for the event, with talks ranging from creation of simple vegan cuisine, to renowned doctors talking of the nutritional benefits of a vegan diet (as oposed to an ominvorous one), a lecture or 2 on raw foods, if you're lucky maybe even one on fruitarianism!.. Some informative videos might get shown too, and there's always the odd walk arranged, outing, or early morning yoga meditation sessions. Each event is different.

The events normally attract a wide range of visitors from all corners of the globe, so I reckon it'd be a good guess that there'll be at least double figure countries represented..


This years festival will take place in just 2 months from now, in Malaga, southern Spain, at the beginning of June.. (June 4th to June 12th, 2011).

I've been fortunate enough to have attended 3 of the festivals myself in the past, the 6th held in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, England in the summer of 1992. The 7th in Tossa del Mar, and the 9th which was hosted by my good friend Zalan, at his guesthouse/retreat in Hepburn Springs, central Victoria, Australia, during the Christmas week of 1998..

Francisco Martin, the organiser of this years festival, is himself a raw food vegan of very long standing, probably some 30 odd years or so, give or take, and it was actually he, and a lecture he gave during the 6th festival, that helped me finally wake up and see the sense of becoming a raw vegan back in 1992.


I'm sure this years event will prove to be equally mind opening for many, and am sorry that I never got the news out earlier..

Should anyone out there wish to attend despite the ever so short notice, or just find out more, then go here: 13th IVF, Malaga, Spain.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Knowledge vs Belief.

Still pondering over the recent attempt at debating with paleos, I've decided to hone in on another of their flawed arguments. One guy countered something I said by writing "the trouble with vegans, is they don't think, they believe".. Now putting aside that the guy who wrote this must surely have been thinking none too straight himself, (to the best of my knowledge, thought is a clear necessity for belief), what he really meant to say was that rather than rely on knowledge, we tend more toward belief, trust and faith.

Now.. there's no way that I will be denying this is very much true for myself, I do go very much on belief. Ethics and morality are about belief and opinion.. I acknowledge any views I may have on nutritional science, are purely based on belief and personal experience.

But what I further wish to underline, is that the vast majority of the paleos out there that talk of knowledge, and of concrete fact, are very much themselves in denial of their own beliefs. Knowledge requires first hand experience of something. Thus, if I believe I know something, and tell you it, you will not then also know it.. No matter how much you trust me, there will always be the chance that I myself am either misinformed, not reporting the truth in it's entirety, exaggerating or for whatever reason, outright lieing.

Many Paleos claim to know how paleo man ate. As if they themselves have traveled backward in a time machine, and witnessed first hand. As if they themselves have been studying fossils, been on archeological digs, seen remnants of foods from a time period that they themselves have personally carbon dated to be in the period they believe it to be.

Indeed, I recall some years ago, how a discovery of some cave drawings in South Africa, were tested by a group of scientists.. carbon dating proved the drawings to be older than any other hithertil discovered cave paintings.. In fact so old, that it meant rethinking the whole history of the dawn of humankind. There was much furrour within the scientific community, but as the drawings gained more publicity, a little old lady of some 80 years old odd, stepped forth from the masses, and claimed she herself had drawn the cave paintings as a young girl.. Further investigation proved that this was infact fact.

Despite being widly accepted as fact, evolution theory is itself very much that.. THEORY. There are so many missing links and unanswered questions. I'm not trying to say I'm a creationist, far from it. I sit on the fence as it were, and blatantly claim no knowledge. Sure, I have been known to voice my opinion that the garden of Eden may once have existed, and that fruit was (and still is) our one true fair. But I don't know this is true. For all I know, we may all have been genetically engineered by aliens. Or one person once hypothesized that for all we know, the whole universe could have been created at 2pm in the afternoon on April the 1st 1911.. Stars, planets, life, plants, animals, people with fully formed memories of lives they never had and experiences never experienced.. The whole darned kaboodle. (happy 100 years today!).. Some might even think the universe was sneezed out of the mouth of a giant green dragon, (and wait fearfully for the coming of the great white hanky!).

Some great logical reasoning here.. enjoy!

Sure I'm curious to know the truth of the origins of existance.. but beyond curiousity there is little else. I believe with veganism, it matters not.

But back to the Belief vs Knowledge. Many people claim they know things they really only believe. People quote nutritional science as though it were completely undisputed fact. But the problem with nutritional science, is that it is as yet far from being complete. There are clearly conflicting theories out there, and we're liable to claim the one that suits us best as fact. Which is why I try and steer clear of nutritional science. It being still in it's infancy, it's highly unreliable. And yet the paleos are mostly fully blind to this, to them, it is as if they themselves know.

Sure, they're not the only ones that have a tendency to claim knowledge when it is only belief that is present. Richard, the owner of the blog I gave my tuppence worth on, has agreed to hold a video'ed debate with DurianRider Harley, the Low Fat Raw Vegan. Both are likely equally certain of themselves that they have knowledge and that the other is misguided. Of course, I'm much more inclined toward Harleys general thinking than Richards, but I'll not be kidding anyone in claiming knowledge either way. It'll surely be an interesting debate, though I seriously doubt that either party will be swayed. - The last rumour I heard was that it would take place on the 7th of April, in just 6 days time. I'm sure when and if a date is finally fixed, news will spread rapidly.

To me, the whole vegan issue cannot be debated through incomplete science, or dodgy history, as both sides will purely be expressing their opposing opinions based solely on beliefs. It is purely an ethical issue. It matters not one iota to me if cavemen ate meat, or even if meat eating helped to develop the brain. The issue now, currently, is that we have an awareness of the suffering of others, and should do our best to help minimise or avoid it.

History will always be disputable, so I tend to look to the future and envision a harmonious world, at peace with itself, with a live and let live balance reigning supreme.