Is Vegetarianism the Answer?

When Roosh posted this video of Gwen Stefani while noting how well she has aged, I immediately thought, “I’ll bet if I Google her name and vegetarian, something will pop up.”

Sure enough, it did:

Unlike many of her rock peers, Stefani has aged gracefully and maintained her form on stage for over 25 years. Going vegan has helped her persevere, and she notes “’t’s more for my brain than it is for my body.’ Yet veganism and exercising is not solely about mental health for Stefani, as she goes on to admit, ‘I like to wear clothes too much, so I try to keep focused.’

Mimi Kirk is a vegan. She’s 72.

William Shatner, who is a boss player at 80 years of age, was a vegetarian at one time.

Then of course you have Jack LaLane, a vegetarian, and Jay Kordich, a vegan.

Sylvester Stallone is something of a vegetarian.

Bill Clinton went vegan:

  • Antonio

    Becoming vegan for the “advertised” health gains, I’d… maybe… think of it.

    Just don’t let their sectary propaganda mess with your mind. The vegans I’ve heard of keep on defending their “lifestyle” because they are “aware” of the nature and care about the poor animals that are slaughtered for food.

    For I, I am quite sure I won’t be able to give up on a good steak with mashed potatoes and a beer.

  • Mickey D

    Confounding bias. People who are vegan/vegetarian are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors unrelated to diet, eg exercise.

    • http://dangerandplay.wordpress.com dangerandplay

      Ask why is it that people who engage in healthy behaviors find veganism.

      When a bunch of people who pay attention to their health all tend towards veganism…maybe there is something to that decision.

      • Mickey D

        The health-conscious lean vegetarian because we’ve had decades of bad government science and hyperbolic media campaigns telling us that meat and fat are unhealthy. I’m sure all those good-looking vegans buy organic, too, which has turned out to be nothing more than a marketing fraud.

  • Shameful

    Assuming there was something to it and not genetics, kind of hard to pack on muscle mass eating vegan. If i die 20 years sooner and have a bigger frame than eating meat was totally worth it. And delicious.

    Thinking that a lot of people they lump in with meat eaters eat like shit in general. A vegan is sure going to be healthier than Mr. McDonalds, but i doubt he will beat a guy who eats a shitload of veggies/juices and eats cuts of meat that didnt go through the feedlot system.

    • http://dangerandplay.wordpress.com dangerandplay

      Right. That’s what complicates the comparison. People either eat like shit or go full vegan. Not many guys who eat meat and juice and eat a lot of veggies. Of course that could be because people who eat healthy evolve away from meat. I eat much less red meat than I ate even a year ago.

      • Shameful

        Depends on goals. Animal protien (hello whey!) is a key to getting big. I know you push that a man should be as big and lean as possible, which i agree with. I’ll keep eating meat and lifting heavy. If guys out there have the genes to size up without animal protein, good on them. To me i cant even get to the health question because i cant get past the muscular issue.

  • http://charismauniversity.wordpress.com Peter Phoenix

    I still fucking love steak.

  • Basil Ransom

    Check out Annette Larkins, she beat the juicing trend by several decades, and looks the part.

    Still, the confounding variables are kind of knotty. Is it the absence of animal flesh in their diet? Or the plentiful vegetables, good sleep patterns, low alcohol consumption, and aversion to overly processed foods? It’s hard for me to imagine that say, aversion to sardines, wild salmon and grass fed beef is responsible.

  • https://twitter.com/SparksPhilly Sparks

    Interestingly enough, I had just read this today about Obese Vegetarians: http://news.menshealth.com/are-you-an-obesatarian/2012/09/19/?cm_mmc=Twitter-_-MensHealth-_-Content-MHNews-_-BeingVegetarianIsntAlwaysHealthy

    I certainly don’t suggest eating a ribeye steak every night, but I still see processed carbohydrates as an overall bigger problem simply because of the sheer amount people eat of them.

    Is it possible that veganism might be a better diet for women than for men because women don’t need as much muscle mass as men do? And because people find skinny women more appealing than skinny men?

  • http://rivsdiary.wordpress.com rivsdiary

    you keep on impressing me d&p. a lot of guys in the msphere like to make fun of “weak” men, and often a vegetarian man is seem as being a pussy. but since you have gotten so focused on health, when i saw your tweet i thought, “90% chance this dude is for real”.

    i am mostly vegetarian. i have read a lot of compelling arguments that meat, especially a lot of meat, gets stuck in your system, and rots, and makes you age “from the inside”, a concept i am sure you understand.

    two books i have read which i really liked were “skinny bitch” and “the kind diet”.

    http://www.amazon.com/Skinny-Bitch-Rory-Freedman/dp/0762424931

    http://www.amazon.com/Kind-Diet-Simple-Feeling-Losing/dp/1609611357

    “people who eat healthy evolve away from meat.”

    exactly.

  • derthal
  • Matteo

    Steve Jobs was strictly vegetarian (And I think also vegan for many years of his life) and died horribly, having contraced cancer multiple times in his life. In his last years, he was getting weaker and weaker because he couldn’t digest even a small bit of animal protein.

    Despite enjoying lots of greens, I think I’ll never be a vegetarian. Check out how Mark Sisson is ageing.
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/photos-mark-sisson-age-58/#axzz275sWsBe8

  • Jack

    The variable contributing to health here is not the lack of meat, its the consumption of lots of fruits and vegetables. If the average guy here continues eating lean meats and just adds lots of fruits and vegetables, he’ll experience all the benefits these celebrities get from veganism, and he’ll be able to build muscle better to boot.

    • http://dangerandplay.wordpress.com dangerandplay

      That is my personal opinion as well.

    • crunchie

      And let’s not forget, the high quality of fruit and veg these people eat. There’s a big difference between the stuff Annette Larkin grows, and what you find in the typical supermarket.

  • http://averagemarrieddad.com AverageMarriedDad

    I was a vegetarian for a year after reading The China Study. Doing regular chronic cardio (triathlon type stuff) I still was skinny fat (weak with a gut). When I switched back to meat, I felt better, when I went with a much more “Paleo/Primal” type diet along with heavy lifting I put on 20# of lean muscle and have never felt or looked better. Not sure the answer, but for us, it’s hard to do a vegetarian diet while still getting good protein (avoiding soy) and avoiding processed vegetarian pseudo-food. You may be ok if you ate eggs, maybe dairy, “good” fats and plants only, but that’s REALLY hard to do in today’s world.

    • http://dangerandplay.wordpress.com dangerandplay

      Were you eating rice, bread, and other processed vegetarian staples?

      • http://averagemarrieddad.com AverageMarriedDad

        Yes, soy burgers, grilled cheese, all that crap.Not enough vegetables, too many legumes.

  • Cesare

    If vegetarianism is the answer, what could the question possibly be? Put the cabbage down, son and keep your hands where we can see them.

  • AnonJohn

    I was vegan for 18 months. At the time I was competing in muay thai at 205 lbs (walking around at around 230). I never looked better in my life, or so I thought. Until people started saying to me that I looked “like i had just come from a concentration camp” or that i looked “drawn” or “emaciated.”

    It was definitely the best way I have ever found to get lean. And it also catabolized plenty of my muscle, I’m certain of it.

    I didn’t eat processed carbs. fruits veggies nuts lentils beans and lots and lots of veggie protein powder.

    but eventually my body started craving the meat. I could tell that my lifts were stalling. that I wasn’t making any more strength progress at all. sure, my cario was through the roof, but my muscle was not keeping up.

    so i started back on the meat/paleo.

    and since then in march 2011 I have gained 30 lbs. sure, some has been a little fat, but all my lifts are up, my strength is better than ever and my bloodwork looks great (except for the low-ish T levels).

    all wild salmon, grass fed beef and probably more veggies than when i was strict vegan. i juice daily.

    there is a reason that most, not all, but most vegans end up looking very very lean and thin…whether its difficulty in getting the calories in, or the lack of animal protein, its pretty clear that being vegan will not get you big.

    of course mike mahler will disagree.

    • http://dangerandplay.wordpress.com dangerandplay

      From the pics I saw, I thought you looked good physically.

      Lately my diet is about 60% vegetables and fruit, 20% or so vegan protein and BCAAs (which are made from god only knows what), 87% dark chocolate, and then eggs, salmon, organic chicken, lamb, and occasional red meat.

      Never felt or looked better.

  • banana

    i am a hindu so i have more first-hand knowledge about this than anyone

    vegetarianism is a religious obligation for us
    my entire extended family is vegetarian
    all of my family friends and members of my community are vegetarian

    this is hundreds upon hundreds of vegetarians who i know

    and i will say, they are not particularly glowing, ageless, trim

    on the contrary, they are flabby, diabetic, lethargic, have heart problems, aches and pains
    our high-carb, low-protein diet does not work wonders

    the reason why vegetarianism works for these celebrities is not because meat is bad and something that should be avoided, but because they have otherwise good eating habits and discipline

    in other words, the trendy, health-focused, but imperfect vegetarian diet of an intelligent SWPL, which includes a healthy dose of veggies and practices portion control, is ultimately better than the average western diet, which includes some good meat but mostly lots and lots of refined carbs and few veggies

    the best diet, as we all know is paleo-ish: high protein and fat in the form of meat and veggies, with a low amount of carbs

    i’m a reverse vegetarian. i was a vegetarian in the hindu mold up into my early 20s until one day i was like, fuck it, fuck vishnu.

    since i’ve started eating meat and cutting down on all the rice and naans, my hindu lethargy has vanished. i’ve noticed the following:

    weight-loss
    more energy
    higher libido and more intense/pleasurable jizzing
    better sleep
    better tolerance to cold
    less maladies (flu, cold, cough, inexplicable weaknesses and pains)
    my poop is more dense and log-gy and sinks to the bottom of the toilet
    less flatulence

    yeah man

  • banana

    here is a better quality video of the 72 year old lady. i have no audio here at work but i’d wager that her (relative) youthfulness comes not from the meatlessness that is the main characteristic of her diet but from

    1) the intelligent, disciplined parts of it – veggies, portion control, no junk food – which keep her slim and with i guess relatively good skin;

    2) her decision to grow her hair out long and dye it blonde – extremely, extremely rare at that age;

    3) and there might be some genetics involved.

    • banana

  • (R)Evoluzione

    Jack LaLanne was most emphatically NOT a vegetarian or vegan. He ate occasional red meat, but ate a lot of fish. Of course, he was big on the juicing train as well. There’s an interview with him in his 80′s floating around somewhere with him talking about this stuff, how vegetarian & veganism is great for cleansing, dropping weight, and detoxifying, he said that it became too hard to hold muscle on his frame without some form of animal protein. Nutritionally, this fits–we need carnitine & B12 to build muscle, which only come from animal sources.

    I did vegetarianism for a couple years, then veganism. It was a very clean way to live. But I was 20lbs lighter, making me almost Ethiopian in my build. I’ll take the muscle & roll the dice on the longevity thing.

    BTW, I totally support the meat & tons of veggies & juicing gig. Best of both worlds.

  • Cranberry

    Two words: nutrient bioavailability.

    I only have anecdotal evidence from my own experience and that of two friends, but eating a good portion of your food, including animal products, in a raw or only lightly cooked state, seems to help. I eat most of my veggies fresh or lightly cooked in broth or sauteed, and if I’m grilling, my meat just looks at the fire and I consider it cooked enough to eat.

    Super-nutritious foods like liver and marrow (from grassfed beef whenever affordabel) are overlooked in our culinary culture. I eat a serving of liver twice a week and make large batches of bone broth as a daily beverage. I save the marrow and tallow from the broth for various purposes, usually to season sauteed veggies or rendered to fry root veggies or other meat products.

    Vegan diets can be nutrient dense and usually are, but vegans can surely eat like crap given the available vegan foods like peanut butter, potato chips, veggie burgers, soy stand-ins, and a plethora of candies and seasonings that rely on sugar, salt, modified starches, or all three to create that feeling of eating meat or fat that is missing in the diet.

    Approaching a dietary regime from a stand point of “what is optimal for my health?” is better than embracing a strict philosophy bordering on religion. I went without steak (and all other animal products) for years, to my detriment. Upon eating steak again, I finally felt like a satisfied animal. Haven’t looked back since and have never felt better. Human omnivory is not a matter of debate; what is debatable is the quality of our food and whether or not we are consuming it in a state that renders the nutrients contained therein bioavailable and complementary to our overall health.

  • Random Angeleno

    Carbohydrate addiction is a huge problem in this country. Way too many people shopping in the middle of the store. I think of the diabetics I know and I’m pretty sure they all have that carb addiction in common. Breaking these diabetics of this addiction supposedly can be done, but I am not entirely convinced.

  • Thor

    You CAN put on muscle while being a vegeterian. Just look at andreas cahling.

    Its not about being strict raw its about majority of food being raw veggies and fruits and when you do eat meat eat it once a day and make sure its clean wild caught or organic grass fed. Staying away from sugar And processed carbs is where its at. Plants and animals only and you cant go wrong.

  • http://xsplat.wordpress.com/ xsplat

    I’ve heard bad things about red meat Maybe it was about cardiovascular health – I forget. But I don’t recall hearing bad things about fish and foul.

    I’ve had to cut out flour from my diet, and suspect that has helped keep the fat levels where I want them. Carbs can get your appetite modulating hormones (insulin and ghrelin I think) out of whack.

    There are many plant polysacharides and tannins with good effects. Some help prevent neural degradation, which is the ultimate long term health concern.

    Cutting out flour severely limits the diet, but no flour sugar or alcohol is going to be positive step for most people, I’m sure.

    • crunchie

      With regards fowl, what can you realistically buy? All you can buy is factory farmed sickly chickens of some sort or the other.
      I find it silly to say that chicken is healthier than red meat on the basis that it is reasonably easy to find grass fed beef or lamb and harder to find the equivalent chicken,

      • http://xsplat.wordpress.com/ xsplat

        I hope someone in the know chimes in on that – if grass fed beef is known to have the same detrimental health effects as the beef used in most health studies has. I only have vaguely remembered glimpses of “some studies” about the negative effects of red beef.

        But I’ve never heard anything negative about any kind of chicken – free range or otherwise.

  • ProofNeeded

    A lot of the debate around diet; paleo vs. vegan; Lean protein vs. Red Meat; raw vs. cooked; seems to me to be about as useless as the debate over which martial art is “the best.”

    Don’t eat shit that comes in plastic, stop eating carbohydrates, and eat organic. Want to be a little bit more built? Go paleo. Want to be a little bit more cut? Go vegan. Correctly followed diets based around the above principles will only result in improved health and performance.

    “Well I’m doing Gracie Ibarra and I’m a Vegan so I’m better than a paleo boxer!” You’re probably just a keyboard warrior and need to STFU.

    Most men just need to stop doing stupid shit and hit the gym. When you’re at the top of your craft/diet then you can start talking about the minor dietary changes that your lifestyle choice has over other lifestyle choices. Until then don’t flap your gums.