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Jack Norris, vegan Registered Dietitian on Raw Diets


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I think vegan and raw foods will always clash. It's risky promoting both so heavily on a website and I get criticized a lot for it. In general, they are quite different.

 

I've probably go to more vegan events than anyone because of my job...I travel to 20+ vegan events per year, over half the year traveling, and I also hit up half a dozen raw events per year as well. So I hit the circuit from coast to coast more than anyone in the industry that I can think of. I observe a lot while I'm out there.

 

The groups are very different, have different ideas and philosophies and share some major differences as well. Some things are common, but not as much as many people would think.

 

These groups will always find ways to clash, but will also find ways to support each other.

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Hi Robert,

I was just thinking of you. I know we're putting you in a tough position. I'm really using all my disipline to be respectful....I have a respect for all vegans. I've never attacked cooked-fooders, but 2 or more of them have attacked me for...I don't know why.

Fad diets like raw foodism
Some people think veganism is a fad. I was a vegan for 13 years(50% cooked). Now I'm a 90% raw vegan who still eats all 6 food groups. That requires having an open mind. But someone here assumed I'm closed-minded.

 

The way I see it, vegan and raw are close relatives: both natural, both healthy. So I don't get why there needs to be hostility. It should be discouraged.

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I agree, and I feel for everyone being attacked or doing the attacking. People get passionate about beliefs, values, ways of eating, culture and what they perceive as truths.

 

It's a touchy subject.

 

I attend raw events and see animal products being consumed, worn, and used. I attend vegan events where people bash the raw food movement.

 

I'm in the middle of both worlds. Even my DVD www.veganfitnessteam.com promotes a 100% raw person, and one who is nearly all raw, and one who is all vegan, not raw.

 

It is tough because of the passion behind why we do what we do and how we identify ourselves.

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I think vegan and raw foods will always clash. It's risky promoting both so heavily on a website and I get criticized a lot for it. In general, they are quite different.

 

Very true but you continue to promote it, especially since you are considering raw food vacation prizes for next year's vegan vacation. While I realize you are becoming very active in the raw food community, you must realize that not all of your forum members are on the same page with you. This has, no doubt, gained some members and lost some based on people's philosophy. But continuous debating is possibly not healthy for any forum.

 

 

The groups are very different, have different ideas and philosophies and share some major differences as well. Some things are common, but not as much as many people would think.

 

Bingo!

 

These groups will always find ways to clash, but will also find ways to support each other.

 

Not that I've observed on any fitness based vegan website, including this one.

 

I don't know the cost involved, but I thing a vegan raw fitness forum should be started. By this point there should be enough raw vegans to support such a forum - without any debate from other vegans!

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The thing is, there is no way to please "everyone" and I've tried to figure out ways to please the most people as I can over the past few years, changing sections, adding new ones, taking some away, welcoming all types of vegans.

 

It's much harder than people think.

 

I think there are a few all raw vegan fitness forums out there, but we don't want to exclude all our raw friends here like Lean and Green and many others who are our friends in person and online.

 

In general, I think eating raw foods are great. Plant based whole foods are awesome and I eat them all the time....fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc.

 

It's the dogma, spiritual, and other aspects that don't make a whole lot of sense that surround the raw food community as a whole that I don't really like and have problems with.

 

If you think there are some strange ideas shared here on the forum, try attending some of the retreats and festivals.

 

It is hard situation to be in since so many people on the forum do enjoy raw foods and want to have a place on the forum too.

 

It is a vegan bodybuilding forum, but all of us eat raw foods (fresh fruit, raw veggies, nuts, etc.) almost every single day so it seems like it should have a place.

 

I still believe raw and vegan will clash, but in many ways they do support each other and can learn from each other.

 

If it becomes a big problem to more than a few people to but many, we may take a survey and see if this forum would be better off without a raw section, which is something I have been thinking about for months, even though I'm in that community all the time.

 

As we've talked in person, running a forum is a lot more challenging than it seems and everyone has their own ideas and input, which is always appreciated, I just can't implement all of the feedback I get.

 

But if the community agrees on ideas for change, I'm totally open to it, because it is the community, not me, who really runs the forum and keeps it active and growing.

 

I also realize we lost members who didn't like the raw section, which surprises me because there are 20 other sections, meaning the raw section is about 5% of the forum and can easily be ignore (which is how I view many sections...I just ignore them). But I do know people have left because of it, so I acknowledge that. I also know that tons of people have enthusiastically come here as raw athletes to chat about it too. I figured dedicating 3%-5% of the forum to a raw food section would be pretty harmless and welcoming to those interested, just as the martial arts section is to those interested in that topic and ignored by the rest.

 

We'll see how we progress and what direction we move in. I try to be as even, fair and inclusive as possible, even if I take some heat for it.

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I figured dedicating 3%-5% of the forum to a raw food section would be pretty harmless and welcoming to those interested

 

Problem is that they spread like a disease all over the forum

No but I think the main issue is that when a non-raw vegan wants help with his/hers diet (getting more protein, fats, b12 or whatever) and post something in the regular health and nutrition forum there are a swarm of raw foodists who post and say stuff like "you don't need more than 20 grams of protein per day to build muscle" and when asked to back their statements up they just reply that "the strongest animal on earth blabla fucking bullshit and charlie abel blabla more bullshit". When we comment in their section it's like we're tresspassing behind enemy lines and we are treated extremely hostile because we do not agree with their ideas about a healthy diet. They want to be able to spread raw food "propaganda" in the cooked forum but we shouldn't be allowed to even present scientific facts in the raw food section. If the raw food people would stay in the raw food section only this wouldn't be a problem and I would totally agree with all that you said Robert. But it isn't the case and it's making this forum to a laughing stock and that's a problem you need to deal with.

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I totally hear you. I don't read the forum much, I mostly post photos and journal comments and hang out in the regional sections but I have been getting a lot of feedback about raw ideas being shared among various aspects of the website, which I do need to pay attention to and listen to.

 

I really don't care what other people outside the forum think about it, though maybe I should. But I just don't. So I assume it's just laughable to maybe 1 or 2 forum communities out there which have similar themes but don't tolerate raw ideas.

 

Even though I don't agree with all the raw ideas, I always have a hard time limiting people and reducing their ability to share their thoughts. Just like I enjoy sharing an unpopular view of atheism, or an unpopular view of veganism within mainstream culture. I love having that ability to do so and feel comfortable doing so. What if they're right to some degree? What if some of the ideas really have value and can be of use to people? Maybe they aren't right and maybe it's all dangerous info. I'm not sure. I just wanted to provide a platform for discussion.

 

But at the end of the day, I want to keep the majority of the forum members happy and if that means that we shy away from raw food discussions, maybe that is what we'll have to do. And I'll let the forum speak up and speak out about it, maybe in the form of a poll.

 

Like I said, I'm not really bothered by what one or two websites think about our forum because I look at the stats and see that our forum is more popular than ever as far as new members joining, posts per day, new core members participating regularly, etc. From my end, not being exposed to outside thoughts, aside from some controversy in the animal rights section, every thing looks good, busier than ever, more popular than ever (even if it appears that since some long-time members left, it's not as popular; it's quite the opposite). So it hasn't bothered me, but if it does indeed bother the members here, and enough are bothered by it, we'll address it and perhaps make some changes that fit the desires of the majority of people.

 

As always, I do like to mention that running any forum, vegan or not, is always more challenging than you can imagine. Ever member has his or her ideas of how everything should be run without understanding a lot of the fundamental principles that make a forum work in the first place. But I do listen and I am open and I have made dozens of changes throughout the years and will continue to do so in the best interest of the community.

 

I do appreciate the concerns expressed from all sides of the issue at hand.

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There are plenty of raw food forums, including raw food fitness forums.

 

This forum is popular because of it's members, the fun we have, etc. so a lot of people are drawn to it, raw or not and feel comfortable here as a raw food vegan.

 

And some of the other raw food forums can get a little heated, no pun intended, "who's more raw than who, etc."

 

I think that experiment of removing the raw food section may be worth trying and has been encouraged by some people.

 

Worth noting...this is a relatively new section and is one of the most popular as far as overall posts. It wasn't my vision that it would happen that way, but it did. It still doesn't mean it's our focus or anything like that. Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness is the focus and I believe the best way to achieve success in that is by a combination of raw and cooked vegan foods. But I did want to mention how popular the section seems to be.

 

Shall we take a poll as to whether we should keep or remove the raw food section?

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This forum is popular because of it's members, the fun we have, etc. so a lot of people are drawn to it, raw or not and feel comfortable here as a raw food vegan.

 

That is why I came and why I stayed, but I think aspect of the board is eroding fast.

 

And some of the other raw food forums can get a little heated, no pun intended, "who's more raw than who, etc."

 

That is becoming the case here in association with raw foodism.

 

Shall we take a poll as to whether we should keep or remove the raw food section?

 

It might be better for you just to make a decision.

 

We live in a post-Diebold age. You don't want people who don't like your final decision, no matter what it is, to start making accusations about people creating accounts to vote more than once.

 

Its your board, your ball.

 

Thanks for taking the time to deal with this Robert

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II don't think raw people are joining because of the raw section. I joined because of the words bodybuilding and vegan(BTW, some people don't think those 2 go together ether). The members are vegans interested in fitness; and some of them are also interested in raw food. So raw-fooders will be here anyway. I don't think anything can be done about that. But.... it could be handled like this:

20 grams of protein
Yea, that's bad advice. But instead of blaming raw-foodism, just explain why it won't build muscle. Btw, most raw fooders get 35-130 grams a day. Raw food itself is not anti-muscle - crazy ideas are found in every group of people.

 

All pioneers are originally laughed at. Without pioneers, we'd never progress. You can never please everyone; trying to creates problems.

 

Segregation creates stereotypes of people: If we segregated bodybuilders and raw-foodists, bodybuilders wouldn't get into raw food, and vice versa. And it drives people further apart because they're not kept balanced by each other. If we all stayed in "our own section", we won't learn as much.

 

I had a question about raw, but now I'm gonna sign up on a raw forum just to get that answer. Problem is, the answers may be similarly one-sided. Then I couldn't deduce the truth.

Edited by New World Vegan
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If we all stayed in "our own section", we won't learn as much.

If you read my first post in this thread you'll see that this was sort of my will too. What bothers me is that the raw people on the forum doesn't tolerate us questioning them but they question us all the time.

 

Robet, Yes please try and remove the raw forum and we'll see where it takes the forum. If you don't remove it please make the health and nutrition forum a cooked forum or "mixed forum for non raw people" or whatever.

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i have read through this thread again and again and i see a lot of valid points on both sides of the argument. i am a cooked vegan, and i prefer it that way, having tried the raw thing for a brief stint. Lean and green (whom I live with) is a raw vegan and he would have it no other way. There are times when the heated debates of this board come to play in my day to day life while sharing a kitchen and what have you. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes its really frustrating and i just wanna yell "where's your proof?" and times where i feel like my diet is being critisized just as much as i question his.

 

But when it all comes down to it (and I've had a lot of time to think about it) it doesnt fucking MATTER! He will never agree with me that tofu is healthy and i wont believe that cooked broccoli is bad for you--and thats ok. Both sides just have to take everything with a big ass grain of salt. I am happy with my diet and he is with his.

 

As far as the forum goes, you know, each and every one of us had to sift through a bunch of bullshit in our lives to find out what worked for us as individuals. for those of us who already know our stance with the raw vs. cooked debate, we know what to listen to and what to discard. And for those people who are new to nutrition, thats just kind of how it goes--you decide for yourself what to research and what to experiment with and what to believe. almost a rite of passage or something.

 

I dont see anything wrong with questioning or even debating, bouncing ideas of each other etc. but please for the love of GOD, just TRY and respect each other. I cannot count the number of times i have muttered under my breath how stupid a certain thread is or what an awful idea someone has put out there. Put your own good ideas out there then. johan, i definately think you know your shit-i love your posts. but beating the same issue into the ground again and again and again is going to not only cause nothing but headache but will probably scare of new members and regardless of cooked or raw, more vegans is a good thing and we can all agree to THAT.

 

As far as deleting the raw section for a while, i agree with beforewisdom-robert, its your call and thanks for taking time out of your super busy schedule to deal with this--again.

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Dani, I appreciate your thoughts and am very fond of both you and L&G. If the majority of raw foodists who post on this forum were like L&G then we would not be having these never-ending debates. While it's easy to say "just ignore certain posts" or "everyone get along" - it's just not happening and it's been going on for almost a year. The amount of debate and animosity on this forum has increased significantly since the raw section was added. I am not against raw foodists and have had quite a few as friends. However, on this forum, the addition of a raw food section has led to some unforeseen negative consequences.

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I can agree with this.

 

I didn't foresee it either, as I wanted to welcome everyone, especially as many of our regular members, including myself, dabbled in raw foods within the past two years.

 

We used to have what was considered by many (I still have all the feedback reports) to be the most friendly and fun vegan forum out there, free of fighting, etc.

 

We enjoyed that for a couple of years and then suffered some growing pains, some losses of some of our most active members, etc. and things have changed.

 

I know a lot of people still have fun and we still have active DC and Portland, and German communities, though not as active as they have been in the past, and people are still making new friends all the time and the forum is in fact growing faster than ever before.

 

But I can agree that it has changed a lot over the years and the focus hasn't been on bodybuilding quite as much and debates over which vegan foods are best have dominated conversation.

 

I'm not around much to read, but I post, a lot. So I do rely a lot on feedback and maybe now is time to make another change, just as we have done many times in the past.

 

All I really want is for the community to thrive and have fun as a "community" as we have for years. I love seeing people coming together, beginning friendships, starting relationships, inspiring each other to bring out the best in all of us. We can get there again, because at one time, we were the best at it.

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I can see it now....2 weeks without a raw forum....The people in the nutrition section will be saying "give these people their section back!"

 

I don't think the raw forum brought raw people. Raw is gaining in popularity and the raw forum was adding because of the popularity. Interest in raw will still be here without that section.

 

I'd like to add more perspective. The reason people don't like vegans is that vegans try to get people to change. People don't like change. I think that's the complaint about raw foodists.

 

There'll always be debates, especially when it comes to food and emotions.

So it comes down to policing people that stir up trouble.

 

At times like these, I'm reminded of advice from the most controversal member here: "Shud up 'n train". I'm gonna take that advice now.

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Hey guys,

 

So I know I'm a pretty recently registered member here, but I've been lurking for a while so I've seen lots of things happen. I started looking at this site almost a year ago when I ate cooked vegan foods. I've been vegan for 14 months and raw for about 5 months. I had lost a good amount of weight when I went vegan and after browsing the Health and Nutrition forum, it gave me the inspiration and information to gain good muscle back, even 10 pounds heavier than pre-vegan. There was (and still is) a lot of pretty solid information going around. But I was still looking for answers to some of my problems. Seeing a lot of raw foodists really sparked my interest in pursuing eating raw. Right now I'm really grateful that I've gotten into raw foods and I have VBB to thank. Going to other raw forums was just unsatisfying since they weren't entirely focused on the health aspect but the religious, wacky, goofball side of it. VBB's raw section was kept in check by all other members who are really well educated in fitness and are good people, overall.

 

I think that once you omit the raw section, the VBB forum will become anti-raw and shun any mention of it. Many raw fooders are still experimenting and while there aren't heaploads of scientific theory out there, most can testify their experiences, some are negative, some are positive. I think the most that raw vegans can give their experiences. And they should respect people's decision to eat cooked foods and vice-versa. If someone is looking to carbload, I would tell them that I eat tons of fruit for that, but there are tons of cooked food options for that if they want.

 

Most people who come here are looking to discover new things. If I wasn't able to get info on raw foods, I wouldn't have been able to take this step in my life which I'm really happy about. We just need to encourage people to be respectful of people's views. If someone is legitimately trying to go raw, they don't want someone coming in and saying what they're doing is wrong. And that goes the same for people who eat cooked food. We need to realize that both are legitimate forms of eating, people live long healthy lives in both instances. Let's judge by experience and get good scientific information out there, all while being respectful.

 

I don't know how to do this exactly, make a sticky post that encourages this, regulate shit stirrers from stirring shit, discourage people from using unscientific or illogical evidence, hell, make a raw vs cooked battleground section (sort of a punching bag to let out anger, haha).

 

I don't know, I just want people to have the same chance I did to get into vegan fitness or discover eating raw. I think everything can co-exist as long as it's good and vegan.

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I appreciate all the feedback:

 

I closed the Raw Food Section for the following reasons:

 

1. We don't break up nutrition sections into raw and cooked and there really isn't any reason to do so, therefore I removed the raw section within the Nutrition category. Now it is all one section, including all food choices.

 

2. We were widely considered among many forums and communities to be the most friendly vegan forum on the internet, period. Many of us who have been on the forum for years experienced that and remember those days well. Many of us have forum members as our best friends, as a result; including myself. I introduced the Raw section to recruit more members. It was my idea, and mine only, so I take credit and fault for that. It resulted in a lot of in-forum fighting and people not respecting one another because of different views on health within the vegan community. That is not what we've been known for and not what we wish to be known for.

 

3. We still welcome all ideas and areas of thought and invite different perspectives, we're just consolidating things to keep everything related to nutrition in one location.

 

4. It is our hope that we'll restore the "community" that made us so well known throughout the internet and in magazines and even books for the great atmosphere we had here.

 

 

I moved all the Raw posts to the Nutrition section, so that is where they will hang out and all topics relating to nutrition and health will go in that section whether the topic is raw, cooked, baking, or cancer...all nutrition and health stuff will go in the same section and category.

 

Nothing has been lost or deleted. Just moved.

 

I fly out tomorrow and will not be able to be reached for a day or two, but I doubt it will be a major issue. We implement changes to the forum all the time. This is just standard operating procedure.

 

Thanks.

 

Raw threads within this section are still encouraged and respectful discussion is still encouraged.

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So the decision has been made.

Actually it means that the raw food section has been deleted, and i am not happy about it.

I liked the raw section, I only read that one. I dont read other raw forums, because it was my favourite, same with Storietime, vbbf helped me to go vegan and then raw. Now, it has been deleted because one guy (who only posted on the raw section to tell how bad is it, all the time).

I am not angry of anybody, but I think it was better that way.

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Because one guy? Read whar Robert said, read what everyone else said and comment later. If you are reffering to me as the one guy you are way out of bounds. There's a lot of people that do not like the raw section and are happy that it's gone.

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Hey everyone I can see the fasination with raw.... I love raw food and discovering lots myself. Nothing wrong with either food. Cooked or raw. I did see microscopic pictures of food where cooked had lost more nutritients from cooking but again that depends on heat and how it is cooked and for how long. It does not mean if you want an occasional plate of something cooked it is working against you. I don believe that to be true. I think the essence here is health, feeling good, and being vegan! I went to a few raw food meetups which I loved, but there are rarely any discussions on animals... it is all about the food...and I saw a lot of honey, which I don't agree to be vegan.

 

Now I understand food is important because I am the first to say health is fundamental and I feel sad for you for not making the effort for your health specially if your representing veganism ... because people are always judging and if your tired sugar filled and sick then your are inclined to push people away from the cause. But the essence is raw foodism has almost become a isolated group. The movement has shied away from animals and the environment all together... or so it seems base on what I have seen. Again I think raw foods kicks butt. I blame the raw food movement for trying to move away from vegans like it is something more elite. I want the same as a raw foodist and more. I want health, strength, I want animals to be treated right and I hate that we are destroying the one earth that we all share. These three are the fundamental principals and you can include human right in it if you'd like. RAW OR COOKED there is more here to concentrate on and it is what this site is all about dispelling those myths about being vegan that are so negative, helping everyone here... not turning against each other because we are in this together, to help people with their nutrition and workout and to answer any questions that we may have.

 

I love the idea of raw food and I now have more options in my meals and may include a lot more when I get the time and the chance.

 

I hope all of you get my point. I agree with Robert that we are isolating ourselves as different but at the end we are all really the same.

 

I consider all of you like my second family... one who understand my frustration and there to comfort me when I need answers.

 

Thanks everyone for bringing all your great ideas and research to the site... I learn more every day.

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I am the only person who has been on the forum since day 1 and I have watched all the changes, created a lot of the changes, helped solve problems and have been proactive to prevent future problems. I make my decisions based on a lot of history and factors that only a handful of us have been on here long enough to understand.

 

We don't have problems in the martial arts section between martial arts people and non martial arts people. We don't have problems in the bodybuilding section between bodybuilders and non bodybuilders, and the same could be said for every single section aside from politics which by nature causes tension, high emotions, stubbornness, etc.

 

From what I observed, the Raw Food Section, which I created, was the only section that caused not just some problems, but quite a few over the past couple of years, including the entire feel for the forum and has impacted the "community" feel of the community dramatically.

 

Truth be told, I almost closed the Raw Food Section 6 months ago, it has been on my mind for about a year and nearly shut it down a number of times, but decided against it.

 

I know not everyone is happy, but I challenge any of you to run a forum of this style year after year and try to please everyone. You can't. I do the best job I know how to do, and since 2002 I think I've done a pretty good job keeping this a fun place people enjoy.

 

Raw topics are still welcomed and encouraged in the nutrition. Food without heat does not need it's own section on a vegan bodybuilding forum anymore because of how it impacted the entire website community during the time we had it there.

 

I hope you all understand, and if not...sorry. There are plenty of other forums out there.

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I've had to make a lot of decisions over the years, 90% of them 90% of members don't know because they weren't around back then. I've been doing it for many years. I've had to ban one of my best friends, have had the website shut down, have suffered through multiple website crashes, have been criticized by people who don't know much about me or know how influential I have been in the Vegan Bodybuilding movement, going back to the late 90's.

 

It's all part of it. Of course, I get the praises when things go right, too. I'm just trying to make this a place that people enjoy spending time around. I cannot please everyone but the decisions made over the past few years have been aimed as supporting as many active members as possible, while trying to foresee the future, preventing issues, and being innovative and creative, pioneering new ways of thinking.

 

I hope people will see that, and if not...time will reveal the success or failure of the decisions made.

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