Monday, March 4, 2013

Jon on Honesty and Trust

Related to the recent discussion of the shortfalls of vegan health myths:

At Anne Arundel Community College, I chatted with an athlete who was very interested in vegan eating, but was concerned about protein / amino acids. I gave him the info I knew, noted that a lot of what he was saying came from Frances Moore Lappe in the '70s and that new information had forced that position to be modified/renounced, though there were some things to look into. I Guided him, and told him he could read more in detail about protein at veganhealth.org. I told him that I liked Jack's approach to nutrition because he just looks at what the science says about a vegan diet, and responds in an impartial manner, even telling vegans findings that aren't always flattering to veganism. By doing this, you know that the good things Jack reports really are good. This seemed to be exactly what this guy wanted/needed to hear -- that there's a credible source out there. He eagerly wrote the info down, and said he would check it out.

This whole issue of trust reminded me of an interaction I had last week. I did an online Q and A, and a fellow vegan criticized me for admitting that before being a healthy vegan, I was a healthy meat-eater. I guess I was supposed to say that I was in the hospital, on my last breath, and then I found veganism. I'll now live to be 150 years old (minimum). But I think that when we just speak honestly, more people will hear us out. We've got a compelling enough case that we don't need to exaggerate the truth. We're trying to have a long and extended dialogue with society, and the thoughtful individuals we're trying to convince aren't dupes. When we concede to one point, the other will often concede to another point, and will then give us more attention.
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