’10 Ways Vegans Are Ruining The World’ Debunked
A Response to AllTime10’s Video
After my video response to AllTime10s video ’10 ways vegans are ruining the world’ I felt I needed to turn it into an article because it so widely encompasses do many myths around vegan diets. Many have hailed their original video as factually incorrect but there is still a lot of support in the comments and many of you suggested a response so we are going to take a closer look at their 10 claims and see how they stand up to some research and some basic logic. Surprisingly, I think there’s some stuff we can learn, some things I learned for sure about these topics.
Here is a link to the original AllTime10s video in case you are curious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
10. Environmental Footprint
Yes, they actually accuse a vegan diet of being bad for the environment. This is essentially the equivalent of calling the sun cold or the ocean dry. They once again point to the lettuce emits more GHGs than bacon comparing calories, easily one of the most ridiculous and impractical comparisons ever made (1). According to the USDA, we ate an average of 71 lbs a year or 3.2 oz of red meat in a day (2), the caloric equivalent to almost 6 heads of lettuce a day. Right there you can see how impractical this comparison actually is for the environment. Here is a study done on this topic that actually looked at diets. The high meat bar is the average US consumption and the vegan bar is less than half of that (3). I would say this is intellectually dishonest but it’s not even intellectual. The reality is that animal products are actually ruining the environment. Livestock is a leading – if not the leading – emitter of GHGs (4, 5, 6), amazon destruction (7, 8), species extinction (9), uses 1/3 of our freshwater (9), half of our land in the US (10), 1/3-1/2 of the Earth’s grain (11 – FAO: “Almost 50 percent of the grains produced in the world are fed to livestock”), creating dead zones and destroying coral reefs and so much more.
FROM THE STUDY: “Though difficult to quantify, animal product consumption by humans (human carnivory) is likely the leading cause of modern species extinctions, since it is not only the major driver of deforestation but also a principle driver of land degradation, pollution, climate change, overfishing, sedimentation of coastal areas, facilitation of invasions by alien species, (Steinfeld et al., 2006a) and loss of wild carnivores (Ripple et al., 2014a) and wild herbivores (Ripple et al., 2015)… (9)”
9. Crazy Hormones
The video goes on to say that “Soy will give you manboobs, and make you lose sexual desire.” This is another situation where they are claiming the exact opposite of the truth. Do you want to hear about some crazy hormones? How about actually mammalian hormones in cow’s milk? You may have seen this study before (12) which demonstrated that after drinking milk subject’s testosterone dropped by 20% and their estrone, a type of estrogen increased by 25% in both sexes! So switching from cow’s milk to soy can prevent this going vegan can prevent this hormone manipulation. As I mention in my soy manboobs video, here is a study (13) where men drank 400 ml or 1.7 cups a day – a considerable amount of soy milk. Their testosterone stayed the same: “we did not find any differences in changes of total and free-testosterone concentrations between the two groups” but it slightly lowered their estrone, again, a type of estrogen by a slight 3%. Yes, it technically made them more manly though by comparison it left their hormones alone – which is what you want. And if you take those phytoestrogens and concentrate them and feed them to men? This meta-analysis looked 36 groups of men who ate soy consumption or isoflavone extracts, literally concentrated the phytoestrogens that are in soy, and concluded:
“…neither soy protein nor isoflavones [phytoestrogen in soy] affect reproductive hormone concentrations in men…” (14)
8. California Drought
They go onto to spin vegans as a drought-promoting force of evil mentioning that “[almonds] need millions of water to be produced.” But looking to this UC Davis chart (15) it is clear that almonds water us is far outweighed by raising feed for animals. Almonds don’t even get their own bar and I would add that the almond fraction of that bar represents 82% of the almonds produced on the planet while all of the animal feed represents a laughably low amount of the total animal foods produced.
7. Blood Guacamole
Their next jab at vegans is that since there are gangs in Mexico that own avocado farms or strong arm famers and vegans eat avocadoes that vegans are once again ruining the world. We have literal shrimp slaves in Thailand (covered in this video) and I would be surprised if vegans ate much more avocado than the average person if at all. Clearly 90%+ of avocadoes are consumed by non-vegans. Should everyone, regardless of their diet maybe purchase avocados grown elsewhere? Yeah, why not? But you can’t just find a plant food with something bad in the supply chain and say vegans are ruining the world. Especially when animal products are so violently harmful to the environment, actually objectively ruining the world.
6. Cancer and Heart Disease
At this point they actually try and say that vegan diets will promote cancer and heart disease using the most tenuous connection I have ever witnessed. They point to the increased in an arachidonic acid gene in multigenerational vegetarians – not even vegans – and how arachidonic acid promotes heart disease and cancer. Alltime10s says “If veganism continues in popularity, it could cause these health care risks to increase further.” The data show the opposite of their fearmongering! From this meta-analysis, average vegans had 15% lower cancer rates (16).
As for heart disease, from this whole food vegan trial, reversal of heart disease in the angiograms, measurable artery clearing in 3.5 weeks, and 100x lower incidence of heart attack and stroke for those that stuck on the diet compared to those that dropped out (17). Can you imagine the healthcare saving from 100x lower heart attack and stroke?
As for arachidonic acid itself, the reality, animal products are loaded with arachidonic acid and vegans are way better off in this realm.
5. Nutrient Deficiency
They immediate pull out their B12 guns with “A whopping 92% of vegans are deficient.” I would say this is dishonest, but they clearly just borrowed it from another dishonest person somewhere on the internet. Ahh I see, Kris Gunnars, low carb blogger for Authority Nutrition’s article which is literally titled ‘WHY VEGAN DIETS SUCK.’
4. Mental Health
3. Starving South America
“They compared three groups: people who don’t grow or eat it, people who eat it but don’t grow it, and people who do both. They found that as the purchase price of quinoa rose, so did household welfare in all three groups. The welfare of those who produced and consumed quinoa rose more quickly than the other two groups, but even families who didn’t produce quinoa saw an effect.”
And this is a very poor area of Peru. So they might not be able to buy the quinoa, but at least they can buy food now. The ultimate kicker, from another paper, quinoa farmers never even cut back their consumption of quinoa in the first place (25). Also, the price has crashed down to around $2.5 a kg (26), probably because people were told it was hurting farmers…to buy their crop?! Don’t know how to cook quinoa? Click HERE.
1. Cashew Burn
So Alltime10s, vegans may be ruining your world, your BBQ, because they cause cognitive dissonance by highlighting the inconsistency between your beliefs and habits, but no, vegans are NOT ruining the world. In fact, they are helping the world in almost every way you mentioned. Maybe I should make 1,000 reasons meat eaters are ruining the world?
In the end, clearly they just knew it would be popular to rag on vegans and then continued to spin probably the crappiest spider web of anti-vegan lies I have ever heard. Like those webs spun by spiders on drugs. This is METH SPIDER level. Top ten crappy spider webs, #1 goes to ALLTIME10s!!! You can simply view the sources used in the their video, look at the links referenced below it…NONE!! Now compare that to this article. I would go as far as to say that they should consider taking this video down but we know that will never happen.
4. Animal Agriculture a Leading Emitter of GHGs: http://www.fao.org/3/