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Posts posted by Bill

  1. Congrats Amy on being strong! We all need to rant now and again. I bet things will get easier over time!


    By the way, one rhetorical trick I use when people ask something along the lines of, “Is it safe to be a vegan” or “Are there any nutritional downsides”?


    I answer, yes, “there certainly are some downsides”. Then I go through issues like B-12, vitamin D, calcium, how people can eat junk vegan food, excessive sodium, eating too many fried things….etc. Then I explain how all of those problems can be overcome, relatively simply. I’ve found that this tactic is pretty good because: 1) you don’t appear brainwashed, 2) you acknowledge their gut skepticism isn’t completely without merit, and 3) you can credibly convey how easy the inherent problems in veganism can be solved, and 4) it gives you a bit more credibility in general because some of the problems that vegans encounter overlap with people on any diet (eating processed/fried foods, excessive sodium). Then, if people are still interested, then you can discuss some of the evidence that shows the huge upsides of avoiding meat, dairy, and eggs and the numerous studies that underline the importance of plant foods, especially fruits and vegetables.


    Another strategy to use is to ask them questions that will prove you right. For example:


    You:“Have you ever heard of any studies that show that vegetables can fight cancer?”


    Answer, “Yes, I once heard something about tomatoes…etc”


    You: “Exactly, dozens of studies in the last few years show the phytonutrients and phytochemichals have a key role in preventing cancer”


    That technique allows them to psychologically take credit for the information that you’re giving them.


    Another technique to use, when people are joking with you/giving you shit for your diet, ie, saying “I’m eating a juicy steak right now!” is to say something like, “I’m eating some tasty grass and alfalpha right now!” In other words, while joking with the person, minimize what you eat to absurd levels that even the most skeptical meat eater would know to be too limiting. They might then ask, seriously, “where do you get your protein?” Or some other valid question. I think the point is to refuse to engage in a serious discussion when the person is mocking what you eat. If they don’t want to engage in serious discussion, then that’s fine too.


    Anyway, these are just a few things I’ve done when confronted my skeptical or hostile people. Good luck!

  2. After watching the webcast and after looking at the photos, I have to say that I'm really impressed by Phil Heath. According to Pro Bodybuidling Weekly, he was in 1st place with a lot of judges at pre-judging.


    However, I really don't have enough of a trained eye to say who shoud have won, but Phil probably would have got my vote!


    Also, I've listened to probably every Pro Bodybuilding Weekly podcast and have read lots of interviews...etc, and although I don't know any of these guys (unlike Robert, Roid Rage, and a few others) it seems to me that the guys in the top 5 or so are all very humbe, nice, professional guys. It's a bit hard to have a dog in the fight when you kind hope that everyone does well. With that said, I guess I'm glad that Dexter won, so that we'll have more diversity of physiques in the future.


    Also, if you had no idea how much people weighed or how tall they are, the contest might go to David Henry. He looks amazingly shreded and in great condition! I guess that shows why the 202 is a great idea.

  3. I don't see how a raw diet diet would be a bad thing for those guys given they eat enough. Maybe it could offset some of the health effects of steroids and other bad things they use


    Freeman is big on salads and greens (although far, far from raw or vegan). I'm glad to see he did well.


    but i think it's cool to see that the trend to set the most massive guys on top is (hopefully) over.


    I agree with Xphilx there. The O will be a more fun show to watch in the future if a wider variety of physiques could credibly win. When Victor gets back in the ring next year, you coud have at least five or six peope who coud win the Olympia, and maybe even more. That should be fun to speculate on. So although I like Jay, I'm happy to see some more variety of physiques. Congrats Dexter!


    I'd love to read a detailed write up from Robert and other people who were there!

  4. I actually really like McCain and Obama, but I agree with Obama on just about every issue.


    Basically, the format and Jim Leher allowed both candidates to fairly successfully and accurately get across their thinking on the issues. Neither candidate made major gaffes, and both made solid performances, in my opinion. Therefore, I think if you were for one candidate before the debate, you probably won't have your mind changed. So, I think beforewisdom is right, that what swing voters think is really what counts. So far, it seems Obama scored a sizeable "win" with swing voters:


    There are already some numbers coming in measuring perceptions about who “won” tonight’s presidential debate. To start, CBS News polled 500 uncommitted voters and found:


    * 40% thought Obama won, 22% thought McCain won, and the rest thought it was a draw

    * 46% said their opinion of Obama got better tonight

    * 68% think Obama would make the right decisions about the economy, compared to 42% for John McCain

    * 55% think McCain would make the right decisions about Iraq, compared to 49% for Obama


    MediaCurves held a focus group, and while Democrats and Republicans broke along party lines, independents gave the edge to Obama on every segment:


    * 61% of independents said Obama won, compared to 39% for McCain (”tie” wasn’t given as an option)

    * Independents rated the segment on Russia as Obama’s best, giving him the edge 66.7% to 33.3%

    * Independents rated the segment on government spending as Obama’s worst, giving him the edge over McCain 53.4% to 46.6%



  5. I have little doubt that you are not racist but it is not for you to convince me or them but rather change the question in the first place to how am I treated in society so that a paradigm shift can happen in yourself and spread outwards. I think that when we can objectively look at self and place in society it nullifies the OPs question of what can I do to help a movement, because we have liberated ourselves from the rigid system of oppression and racism and class based unconscious elitism. When we are aware of how things work and how perception feeds into class objectification we can than find true means in which to subvert the beast.


    after all as Buddha said "we are what we defend against. "


    Interesting, I was also thinking about this in terms of the Buddhist idea of “wrong perception”, and that most human conflict leads from incorrect perception. Personally, I realize that I probably have lots of prejudiced and sexist views, (just to name a few!) and it’s always interesting to become aware of them.


    Anyway, going back to the original question, when I read Malcolm X’s biography and other books by African-American writers many years ago, as a privileged upper-middle class white American, I really was sad to see, essentially, how the systems of white culture had put blacks at such a disadvantage. I also wondered whether it was any of my business, frankly, to do anything to “help” people of color. I think it’s easy to mock rich, white, do-gooder types, for their yuppiness, their desire to speak for the “voiceless” (even when the so-called "voiceless" can speak for themselves), the self-gratifying desire to impose solutions on groups that do more harm than good, irrespective of their good intentions. But to those who are given much, great things are expected. And, I’ve often seen a similar type of psychological dilemma, to a lesser extent, in some of my affluent black friends.


    A lot of the progress that has been made in the United States has been made through multi-ethnic coalitions of people who have never been recorded in history books. Obviously, too, black people have contributed positively to many institutions and communities and to the positive moves forward in American history, on many fronts.


    So, do some black activists want help from whites to achieve “revolution”? Doubtful. But revolution is almost always predicated on violence. (But to be fair, there are probably some communities in which white people’s help probably is extremely limited in its usefulness). I think most people who take a more realistic and practical view of things, in which social change is based on smarter policies, mutual understanding, and dialogue, would probably advocate that we’re all in the same boat together, and that we should all work together on an equal basis, while recognizing that that may be very hard to do. Also, even Malcolm X, famously, near the end of his life, was deeply influenced by the universal nature of Islam, and by extension, saw that working with other outside his own group wasn’t impossible. Interestingly, even at his most radical points, he still did college tours of predominately white campuses trying to persuade them, which suggests to me that he wasn’t even entirely convinced himself of the demonization and complete un-usefulness of the white race.


    Also, on a slightly unrelated point, although race is an extremely powerful force in American life due to history and self-chosen identity and identity forced on individuals through no fault of their own (ie. people are seen as "black" because that is the way people in society see them, whether they choose that lable or not), nonetheless, “race” is still a fairly arbitrary social construction, and demographically it is going to get less potent over time, most likely. By 2050 or so, white people will be in the minority, and a generation or two after that, everybody may be some conglomerate of former “races”.

  6. There are so many people who would choose this vegan way in a heartbeat if they could see the examples like Occto and Rob, I know I was one of them.


    Great point! I was once like that. I just assumed you couldn't be strong without lots of animal protein (even though I wasn't ever a fan of meat, cheese, or eggs). In the US, that sort of thinking comes from a lifetime of intense socialization that is hard to overcome.


    I think wearing the shirt, being positive, being friendly, and being strong, and being healthy is probably a great form of silent activism.


    I think it's also worth pointing out that often the people who are the most satirical/attacking of veganism are sometimes the people who feel the most challenged, and are the people who might, potentially, down the road, be open towards changing their eating habits. You're planting a seed in their store consciousness, if you will.


    Keep up the good work!

  7. How about because when these people that abuse drugs get liver or kidney failure, they steal livers or kidneys (already in limited supply) from people who have done NOTHING abusive to themselves, but maybe inherited a disease that results in liver/kidney failure and need a transplant.


    This is a good point. But on the other hand, kidneys process protein, and excess protein in a diet leads to kidney failure. see what Dr. McDougall says:


    Excess protein increases the flows and pressures in the filtering units (called nephrons)—causing the kidneys to wear out and fail sooner. Within seventy years of following the high-protein, Western diet people lose on average a third of their kidney function, but this is inconsequential because of their reserve capacity—as seen by people who function normally after removal of one entire kidney.




    So it may be that steroids allow people to put on another 20-80 pounds of muscle that they would not be able to hold under normal conditions, and to maintain that mass, they need lots of protein, which places stress on their organs. A lot of that protein, obviously, comes in the form of whey shakes. In other words, they're consuming drinks that are 90% (or more) factory processed protein, not protein found in the form of whole plant foods. It just seems to me that if you are so freakily huge that you eat a 14 once steak, 5 chicken breasts, and a few whey shakes per day, you're putting a wrecking ball through your system, regardless of any drugs you may be taking.


    In other words, it may be that people can, through steroids, have muscles that go way beyond what nature ever intended may be the primary cause leading to kidney and liver failure. If that is true, (which it may not be), then it seems that taking steroids shouldn't be seen as the main cause, but rather, consumption of excess protein should be.


    But then again, according to Dr. Fuhrman, more than 90% of the common chronic illnesses people suffer from are strongly related to improper diet (heart disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes....etc). If that is the case, why moralistically blame bodybuilders who use steroids and criminalize their activities when a person who eats fast food is putting himself/herself at a similar risk of getting a long term health problem? Both end costing the health care system a lot in terms of resources (money and doctors' time).

  8. I knew that the nazis are outspoken about animal rights but I acctually didn't think anyone of them was vegan


    What does it mean to be a "Nazi" in this context? I mean, besides the anti-Semetic aspect, I always thought it had to do with pan-German pride (at the crazy fringes, of course). Or is this just a phase that teenagers go through?

  9. I´m a little bored of this "he takes steroids"discussions!


    I agree! I'm a bit of a libertarian on this issue...as long as they are only affecting themselves, then who really cares.


    Since everyone knows that anything goes in the IFBB, it's really an equal playing field, just as natural competitions provide an equal playing field to people who want to abide by those rules.


    I used to work out at a gym that had a lot of roids, and no one there looked anything like the pros, even though some people were really doing some impressive workouts. I think it's easy to underestimate the other factors that Robert mentioned: time, dedication, genetics.


    Anyway, the Wolf does look really good. I can't wait for this years O (I wish I could go)! I bet it'll be:


    1) Jay

    2) Phil Heath

    3) Dexter

    4) the Wolf

    5) Tony Freeman


    Of course, a lot of it depends on what Jay brings, and I think you could make a concievable case for names 1-4. But since the Wolf seems to be looking pretty good, maybe that would give an edge to the big guys, meaning a battle between Jay-the Wolf-and Phil Heath? I don't know.

  10. Actually I dont really care what politicians do just like I dont care what anyone else does as long as they leave me and my stuff alone.


    I hear what you're saying there, CollegeB.


    I'm not a big fan of politicians using hunting as a means to show that they're "tough": like Kerry going dove hunting in 2004, or Palin hunting moose...etc. It hints at the idea that participating in violence towards animals proves that one would not hesitate to use violence in international relations (or other forms of relations). Not only does an animal die in the process, but it simplifies what challenges the US will face in terms of foreign policy, especially since many issues would be better solved through a variety of non-violent means.

  11. It is getting a lot of press, which I think is great. It's important to get people talking about the cancer risks from meat and this is a good way to start that dialogue.


    I agree. I think it's a great commercial.


    It's sad that most "kid foods" are foods linked to cancer and heart disease: hot dogs, fries, burgers, chips, candy, pizza, cheese, Lunchables...etc. Parents and kids should be informed about this.

  12. I'm surprised they even asked about calcium since their traditional diet is plant based. Dairy has been making its way into the orient, but it isn't a traditional food.


    Very true. But there is the same type of corporate propaganda about calcium as there is in the US. A popular commercial that played for years featured an old man who, after taking calcium pills, was able to climb up five flights of stairs without any troubles! Calcium=energy and pep!


    Dairy and milk are both starting to make it big in China as well.

  13. It's interesting. In all my years of being a vegan in mainland China and Hong Kong, I can't remember once hearing about the protein question. People have asked about deliciousness and balance or calcium, but never really protein.


    I guess it just shows how a whole societies can get obsessed or culturally indoctinated in thinking in certain ways.

  14. Once again, this is in war time. Getting muscle and being stronger will help in every situation, but being TOO big from weight lifting can hurt if you get shot and wounded, and needed to be taken away with your comrade's dragging you. All of a sudden all that extra muscle becomes a burden


    I agree!


    Here's another part to the story:



  15. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, something positive may come out of it indirectly (ie. people seeing the killing, and then going vegan). And it seems that Oliver's intentions are good (even if his actions are deplorable). But I somewhat doubt the idea that if all people were aware of slaughterhouse conditions they'd automatically become vegan. I mean, people throughout history have raised and slaughtered animals and have been aware of inherent cruelty in the process. The thing is, people have an amazing ability to rationalize and justify negative and destructive behaviors (in all aspects of life), in my opinion.

  16. I loved "Super Size Me". When I was teaching, I showed it to more than 300 students two years ago in Shanghai, and we had a series of activities connected to the movie as well.


    Anyway, here's a (fairly positive) Economist review of the new movie:


    Look behind you

    May 1st 2008

    From The Economist print edition



    A comedian seeks Osama bin Laden


    ON THE pretext of looking for the world's most wanted man, Morgan Spurlock, television producer, documentary-film maker and director in 2004 of the irreverent “Super Size Meâ€

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