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The Pink Stuff

August 2012
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I went out on what was intended to be a really slow recovery ride yesterday afternoon.  With the wife and kids taking our niece down to the airport for her flight home they weren’t expecting to be back before 8 pm so I had plenty of time.  My legs were feeling quite a bit wiped out even after a day off.  I did pretty well, at the beginning, to keep my speed down too, which is quite the departure from my normal…  Usually I’m on the gas just as soon as I clip in but I can still feel the effects of my Century on Saturday so I managed to stave off my normal urge to roll out – at least for a couple of miles, actually almost exactly two, before I started winding it up.

Getting into town (and heading into the wind) I slowed it down a bit before hitting the main road west.  With the wind at my back I really started rolling but decided to stop by Assenmacher’s to talk to Matt for a minute.  We got to talking about the distance rides, his century coming up and about how everything played out at the Tour des Lacs while he was working on a woman’s road/tri bike…  Eventually the conversation evolved to what I was doing for mileage and speed while I was out and I told him that I was trying to take it easy after Saturday because I’d cramped up pretty bad after the ride and was still feeling quite tight.  The tri-girl mentioned that I should try electrolyte caps and asked what I did to remedy the situation…  She looked just a touch more than surprised when I told her that my remedy was a double quarter pounder and medium fries.  Her remark was, “Oh, the pink stuff, but you’re so skinny”(?).  As with most vegetarians, I got to hear one more time, about how meat always made her feel “bad” after she ate it – of course, I always assume this as “physical” bad, I presume she could have meant “mental” bad but that just seems too silly.  I won’t bother getting into the rocket science of protein, exercise and the fact that burning a lot of calories requires a lot of food.

Before I get into the remainder of the discussion about meat (pink stuff), I would like to point out that the Double QP value meal actually makes a lot of sense.  Here’s why:  I’d consumed more than enough water on my ride.  In addition, I drank 64 oz of Gatorade.  Even so, my legs were cramping really bad, so what’s next in line that I could be deficient in?  Salt.  From there, it’s well-known that McDonald’s hamburgers in particular are high in sodium.  A Double QP and medium fries later and I was no longer cramping.  Amazing how that works.  Now, did I find this path from a great wealth of knowledge in how the human body works?  Of course not, had I been able to draw on that I’d have had the electrolyte caps in the first place.  It just seemed to make sense as things were happening – and it worked so I must have been right.  In addition, when the DQP popped into my head as the thing to eat, it could definitely be labeled a “craving”.  Spend enough time paying attention to what your body needs and it’ll give you a little heads-up in the form of a craving.  When I crave a salad, I’m on the greens just like I am a burger.  When I crave fruit, I’m all over the apples (bananas are a staple with me, I never crave a banana).

Now, with that explanation out-of-the-way we can get to the meat of the issue.  Vegetarians never cease to amaze me.  First of all, rarely are they as thin as they think they are, and even if they are thin, the vast majority of them look sickly as hell.  Now, tri-chick, she was absolutely thin – a whole lot skinnier than I am, but she didn’t pass the “sickly as hell” test.  She was literally skin and bones held together with a few strands of muscles and tendons and because she looked to be quite a bit older than me – which means she was probably my age + or – 2 years – she looked beat (tired).  Of course, as all vegetarians do, she went on for a time about how good she felt.  Well, I’ll tell you folks, she may very well feel good.  It’s distinctly possible…  She sure didn’t look it though.

Now, what happened next, I have a little shame in admitting…  As she talked to Matt about vegetarianism and how good it makes her feel, I described my lunch to one of the other technicians:  A Famous Dave’s Ultimate BBQ Burger (Dear God is it good):  “A juicy ground beef patty beneath a pile of Georgia Chopped Pork with two strips of jalapeño bacon, melted sharp American cheese and our signature Beam & Cola BBQ sauce”.  I followed that up with the notion that I’d have a few hot dogs for dinner – hot dogs always make the veges cringe…  That’s when Matt jumped in and accused me, rather correctly, of teasing her.  I did plan on having hot dogs for dinner, though I scrapped that for something vastly healthier, but I didn’t need to add insult to injury.

In the end, I just don’t understand vegetarians.  Their insistence (or rather persistence?) on epistemic closure is rather befuddling.

I just thought of something interesting…  Now I know there are plenty of runners, triathletes and cyclists who go the vegetarian route, but I’ve never heard of a vegetarian mountain biker.  Is there such a thing?

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11 Comments

  1. Could you possibly elaborate a bit on two things: Your last little claim: “In the end, I just don’t understand vegetarians.  Their insistence (or rather persistence?) on epistemic closure is rather befuddling.” And one earlier: “I won’t bother getting into the rocket science of protein, excercise, and the fact that burning a lot of calories requires a lot of food.” just curious about what exactly you mean. (seriously, i’m not trying to ambush you :))

    • bgddyjim says:

      Specifically, there are two types of vegetarians, the normal folks who just choose not to eat meat and be happy with their decision and those who expect the world to stop eating meat because they don’t. They do stupid things like throw paint on women who wear fur coats, believe in made up stories, like the notion that humans weren’t made to consume meat and are a general pain in the butt to anyone who doesn’t believe as they do.

      It is that second group, the now-to-be-named Level “5 Vegan” (usually insanely Liberal), who claim that normal folks like me who are “closed minded” because we won’t consider their way of life. The epistemic closure shot was from the 2004 elections where the mainstream media accused Conservative voters of “epistemic closure” because they wouldn’t accept the idea that Liberal policies don’t suck the life out of the economy (how shocking after four years of it, eh?).

      It’s a stupid way of saying that certain people are closed minded, as stated by intellectuals eight years ago… By my using the crack in that way I’m humorously stating (without stating) I’m smarter than certain people think they are.

      The comment about protein, the “not rocket science” is that someone who exercises intensely requires 60% carbs/40% protein immediately following intense exercise so the body has what it needs to refuel. Meat is the best (and simplest) source of protein known to man – which is why it makes sense to eat it… Now this isn’t always the case, on my Blogroll, click on “it’s all about the legs” – he’s a vegetarian and a much faster cyclist than I am… But the good kind, one of those who is simply happy with their decision but pretty much leaves us omnivores alone.

      The rant in general is a commentary on the need of certain people to interject their beliefs into other’s lives – thereby attempting to assert control over their actions by nagging… Or to verbally assault an innocent stander-by for the egregious act of eating a burger and fries.

  2. This is the wife part of nomeatbarefeet, and I think that you might want to avoid saying there are “two types” of vegetarians, you sound as bad as the vegetarians you clame are looking down on you… And really… you are going to call a specific kind “good” that’s just bad PR. I also want to know where these vegetarians and vegans are, because I know a fair few and have never seen them, on everyday occasions, attack an omnivore because of their choices. If you are getting paint thrown at you, then you likely wore fur near a animals rights protest, and in that case, you really wern’t thinking were you? You are pigeonholing a whole group of people beacuse of the actions of a few, it is like condeming all members of a group because of the radicals, and that leads to well… fear, hate, war, death, genocide, etc… so you might want to limit the amount you bad mouth a “type” of people because of the voices of a slim minority.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Fair enough point on the PR, though I fail to see how pointing out bad behavior is bad PR – it may not be politically correct, but I really don’t care about being politically correct. I differ from the “bad” vegetarians who simply won’t let us meat eaters live in peace. It would be impossible, in the physical world, for someone to care less about whether or not you only eat veggies. Nor do I attack you for your choice, I respect it. I also respect you enough that I don’t bring up all of the problems associated with being a vegetarian because unlike the selfish vegetarian, I assume that they know what the hell they’re doing and leave them to it. The attacks on the “fur wearers” were random acts of violence, were not located at animal marches and were wide-spread (even if it were, what gives those bastards the right to ruin another’s property?). Take a look here: http://www.myspace.com/aussie_fashionista/blog/422825279 and do us a favor and read the comments down below. Here’s another from a friendly site called “No Compromise”: http://www.nocompromise.org/news/jeffw.html, the commentary is hilarious. As if cops don’t have better things to do that go around arresting people for no good reason… That dope.

      I didn’t pigeonhole anyone, you’re doing that. I’m saying the actions of the “bad” one’s are riduculous and divisive. Case in point: Comparing a rant about obnoxious vegetarians to genocide is just about as ludicrous as you get. You forgot the WWII Internment Camps here in America – oh, and McCarthy, him too (he was right by the way). Oh, and why not throw in the Left Wing Stalinists and Marxists too?

      I have no problem with the normal vegetarian (my wife happens to be a chickenetarian and a pescatarian and a porketarian – well, bascally she won’t eat red meat) who just goes on about their life. My daughters and I eat burgers like they’re going out of style and I never hear a peep from my wife – that’s the way it should be. My problem, as I stated more than clearly several times, is with the kooks who can’t get over the fact that the world won’t quit eating meat because they choose not to.

      Look at it this way – I’m a recovering drunk. I drank enough to fry my liver in 6 years to the point I only had a few years of drinking left before I started to die of cirrhosis of the liver… The way the “do as I say” vegetarians act, to emmulate them, I should advocate that the world stop drinking and producing alcohol because I can’t handle it and choose not to drink it anymore.

      I can’t even believe that there are people that self-centered and egotistical out there, but there are, and I certainly will not sit buy as they verbally bully the rest of the meat eating population as if we should feel some kind of BS guilt for eating meat. If they bring that nutty crap to me, I will call them out every single time for the selfish, self-centered, egomaniacal kook that they are. Or I’ll poke fun at them as I did in the case I described above.

      And then I’ll write humorously about it here. Sans death camps of course. I leave that to those who post comments in the comments section.

      😀

    • bgddyjim says:

      PS. So much for the initial comment not being an ambush… Sheesh. I should have better known better.

      Note to self…

  3. In my wife’s defense, I really didn’t intend these comments to be an ambush. I simply wanted more explanation on what exactly you were saying. That being said, I am glad that the discussion is underway.
    A few points…
    1. I looked over the two sites you linked. Apropos the first, was there a specific comment that you thought we should looked at? Some are anti-fur some are not; some are thoughtful responses and some are purely impulsive¬–Nothing striking to me. Apropos the second link, it’s obviously biased towards the guy who was arrested, so it’s going to be slanted. That being said, I grew up in Syracuse and if they are like the cops in Rochester or Albany then I am sure that they can be rather rough; and if this guy Jeff was known as an “agitator” then it’s not hard to believe that he was roughed up by the cops. So not for nothing, though I certainly cannot argue with the second arrest.
    2. I think that you are making a gross over-generalization by saying that “there are [only] two types of vegetarians”: the “good” ones (presumably these are the ones you describe as being “happy with their decision” and are supposed to keep their mouths shut about it) and the “bad” ones (whom you describe as the “Level ‘5 Vegan’ (usually insanely Liberal)” and “who expect the world to stop eating meat because they don’t”). If this is how you see all vegetarians/vegans then you are either being may to hyperbolic or you have clearly only been exposed to a small sample size.

    Are you pigeonholing? Well, if a vegan doesn’t keep their mouth shut about their decision and tries to engage change in someone then it looks as if, by your own admission, that they are one of the “bad” kind. But that’s ridiculous. You can engage someone you disagree with in discourse, even saying that they are wrong about their choices, without being this kind of “Level ‘5 Vegan’” that you are describing. Yes, there are lots of those kinds of people out there—they are the zealots, the “kooks” (as you call them)—and most times I feel that their actions are rash and counterproductive. Chucking paint on someone is probably not going to make someone wearing fur change his or her way, just like (proverbially) beating someone over the head with the bible won’t make an unbeliever change his or her ways.

    Both of us try to live by example, demonstrating that our plant-based diet can be good for everyday and for being an athlete, though we will not hesitate to state where we stand on the issue. However, I resent the claim that to be one of the “good kind” of vegetarians/vegans means that I must be “one of those who is simply happy with their decision but pretty much leaves…omnivores alone.” Were the people who didn’t say anything about slavery the good kind because they left the slaveholders along? Are those who don’t say anything about the harmful effects of global warming the good kind because they leave the gas, oil, and coal companies alone? Am I the good kind for NOT saying how harmful the pharmaceutical industry’s practices are concerning HIV/AIDS medication in the third world? Being silent is not synonymous with being good, and saying that people should not eat meat does not amount to “verbally bullying” not does it make me a “selfish, self-centered, egomaniacal kook”. We haven’t even touched on all the other issues surrounding eating meat (e.g., financial issues, excessive pollution, ethical, political)—would raising concerns apropos those different issues make me “selfish, self-centered, [and] egomaniacal”?
    3. I don’t think this is the space to debate the merits of a plant-based diet, and it is clear where you stake your flag, but there remain more than a few sources that acknowledge the benefits of such a diet. Even the USDA has offered guidelines that acknowledge these facts. Though they are still guilty of the sin of omission: they say what we should eat more of (e.g., fruits, veggies) but are hesitant to mention those foods that we should eat less of (e.g., meat and cheese). See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/neal-barnard-md/the-new-dietary-guideline_1_b_816436.html and the full report http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/publications/dietaryguidelines/2010/policydoc/policydoc.pdf. There are also numerous sites that show that a plant-based diet is not only possible but beneficial for athletes. http://www.nomeatathlete.com/ might be one of the most well-known (Note: please don’t take my use of this site as an endorsement by Matt of any of my comments here; I am merely using his site as a kind of general example, an example “ab uno disce omnes.”)

    I don’t think that one can say, as you do, that “Meat is the best (and simplest) source of protein”. What is “best” and “simplest”? You can get all the protein you need from a plant-based diet, **you just have to be conscious of what you are eating** (which, hopefully, is something that we can both agree on.
    This has officially turned into a rant, not a response. I really do apologize. As a phd student I sometimes get carried with my responses to comments and soon find myself shoulder deep in words. I understand that there can be lots of conflict between vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores, but I hope that conversation and discussion can overrule yelling and name-calling.

    • Sorry I started a new comment rather than a reply. I hit the wrong button.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Fair enough. My hunting buddy Bill was on a chickenetarian diet. He went into stage 3 kidney failure because of a lack of iron.

      The doctor prescribed steak so he bought half a cow. Now he’s fine. When I say “the simplest, best source of protein it is through that filter.

      Advocate all you wish, it won’t change the fact that daddy’s having ribs for dinner.

      The point that you’re missing after all of this typing is that I’m willing to allow you the right to live your life as you see fit, as wrong-headed as I believe that is. I advocate for less intrusion in your life, protection for you from politicians who would outlaw vegan diets or prosecute parents of children whose parents mistakenly malnourish their children with vegetarian diets (I happen to know a few nurses at major hospitals that have relayed some horrific instances of this). While vegetarians, for some unknown reason, vegetarians are of the impression that their way of life should be practice by everyone else.

      That, specifically, is what I take issue with.

      As far as your understanding (or misunderstanding) of global warming and other political hot topics, this blog remains as politically neutral as is possible (with the exceptional of a semi-political rant every once in a while). We won’t be having that discussion on my site. One thing we can all be sure of, anyone who believes wholeheartedly in global warming (or a lack thereof), is only aware of half of the story.

      • I def agree with the “absence of political commentary” part. We try to stick to the occasional rant (as do you) and shove the rest of it to the side. There are certainly some crazy parents out there who have no idea how to implement a lifestyle of heathy eating for their children, but I’m sure you would agree that that is not a problem endemic to just veg parents–just look at the obesity rates in this country! Most of those parents are strict fried-omnivores. Its just people’s lack of commonsense and willingness to reserach and learn about what they are feeding to their kids. Stupid people.

        I am certainly not trying to sway you, and even if I was you would still just be eating what you want, which is your right. And I want everyone to have that right. I guess my question is, one way or the other, when does “food choice” cross over into paternalistic territory (ala seat belts and smoking) where rules and regulation are their for our own good. I think there are times for such paternalism, but the ‘when’ and ‘where’ and ‘how’ need to be discussed ad nauesum.

        I hope that discussions like this about food (what should and shouldn’t be eaten) and the benefits of different ways of eating will continue to spill over into the wider media–especially where are kids are concerned, because they are the ones who need establish and maintain good eating habits (things that have been too often neglected).

        Keep at it mate, and thanks for the verbal engagement.

      • bgddyjim says:

        You bet.

        The only problem I have with the paternalism is that A) once you begin down that path, all is lost. That’s not how we do it in America and B) once all is lost, and that is the only result because there is no end zone to paternalism, there will always be a call to ban just one more thing… I say enough has been taken, no more!

        Besides, look at it this way, who do you trust to regulate what your kids eat? Chances are, you get someone like me before you get someone like you… Do you really want me dictating to you what to eat? I doubt that very much.

        You can’t regulate the human spirit. If I want to be fat, there’s not one thing you can do to stop it. Ban Oreos? So what, I’ll make chocolate chips in my oven… Good luck figuring out the regulation on that.

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