“Vegans are too weak and are too low energy to train with me.” The man who said these words is Ido Portal, an amazingly talented individual who has mastered the art of movement. But why would he say such a thing? This is what I want to address today. The reason why I say “end the debate” is because it’s become more about identities and emotion than anything scientific or knowledge based.
Stop the Fight Between Diet Types
As you can see in the video below, Ido said these words during a Skype call with a guy who follows the 80/10/10 diet. Clearly he’s not seen Frank Medrano.
It’s comments like these, including emotionally charged judgments from the vegan crowd, that create conflict between people who represent different diet types. The reality is, every vegan or vegetarian was probably once a meat eater, and through their journey started cutting it out. And likewise, a meat eater could have once been a vegan or vegetarian and felt it wasn’t for them. Or that meat eater could be on their own journey of shifting their diet. The same could be said for the vegan or vegetarian who may also one day switch.
The reason we fight about diet types is because we identify with them and thus become emotionally invested. Someone says something and we lump ourselves into that crowd and immediately take it as a personal attack.
Regardless of which side you are on, does it make sense to judge someone else because of the food they are eating? Do you actually know the journey of the other person and why they eat the way they do? Is it possible that maybe they could one day adjust their diet to be just like yours? And would that make them any better of a person?
The reality is, the ignorance on both sides of the “diet wars” is astonishing. You have people like Ido saying vegans can’t be strong and aren’t fit enough to train with him, and you have vegans or vegetarians who say meat eaters are animal haters who are going to die young because of their choices.
Yet neither perception serves a purpose and both have their merits and inaccuracies.
It’s Okay to Talk About It, But Switch the Perspective
I myself don’t eat meat or dairy products. My diet is essentially vegan, but it’s not 100% strict. And do I call myself vegan? No. Why? Because I choose to eat what I feel will keep me healthy and that’s simply how I look at it. I also choose to avoid animal products because I don’t wish to support their production. But I wouldn’t judge anyone who does eat them. I also don’t label myself because the “diet war” has created such a negative stigma on various diet types, a stigma that’s the result of ignorance and a lack of empathy. Choosing to label yourself can create some really awkward social moments, and that’s a sad thing.
No matter what diet type you follow, find out information for yourself before generating opinions and judging others. I’ve heard so many stories of “this person tried this diet and got sick” that I could write an entire encyclopedia on this topic alone. The challenge is, the vast majority of the time, the people trying different diets are not doing it “right” to begin with — too much food or too little, too much processed foods and not enough fresh, poorly balanced meals, etc.
The truth is, until we educate ourselves on the full implications — medical, environmental, and social — of our diet, we are simply talking from an uneducated space that often turns emotional. Like with any solution, even if we find out what is a better route for us all as a whole, does it make sense to cast out others who don’t follow the new understandings?
Let’s remember that at the core, we’re all the same. We’re all human beings and we are all here for the same purpose. Whether it’s something like diet or even a political view, let go of the differences and just accept each other. Let’s talk about things, learn from one another, be open, move things forward, but let’s stop fighting about who is right and wrong. It’s not helping anyone, and only divides us further.