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CoeyCoey 07-02-2010 03:50 PM

You are both very emotional about this which makes it difficult to have a logical discussion. I used to be just like both of you. I found every justification I could to continue eating an unhealthy diet and I never kept the weight off. I finally succeed when I put emotion aside and used logic to dictate my lifestyle.

Lets see who is in better physical shape at the end of the year? Both physical looks and health screenings? Are you guys up for the challenge?

Here is a list of athletes on a plant-based diet. Considering that people who consume a plant based diet consist of less than 1% of the population in the US, the number of champion athletes who consume a plant-based diet are proportionately very high.

Ridgely Abele
Winner of eight national championships in karate

Surya Bonaly
Olympic figure skating champion

Brendan Brazier
Professional Ironman triathlete

Peter Burwash
Davis Cup winner and professional tennis star

Andreas Cahling
Swedish champion bodybuilder, Olympic gold medallist in the ski jump

Chris Campbell
Olympic wrestling champion

Nicky Cole
First woman to walk to the North Pole

Ruth Heidrich
Six-time Ironwoman, USA track and field Master's champion

Keith Holmes
World-champion middleweight boxer

Desmond Howard
Professional football star, Heisman trophy winner

Peter Hussing
European super heavy-weight boxing champion

Scott Jurek
Ultramarathoner, Course Record Holder at Badwater and Western States
Audio interview with Animal Voices: MP3

Debbie Lawrence
World record holder, women's 5K racewalk

Sixto Linares
World record holder, 24-hour triathlon

Cheryl Marek and Estelle Gray
World record holders, cross-country tandem cycling

Ingra Manecki
World champion discus thrower

Bill Manetti
Power-lifting champion

Ben Matthews
U.S. Master's marathon champion

Dan Millman
World champion gymnast

Martina Navratilova
Champion tennis player

Paavo Nurmi
Long-distance runner, winner of nine Olympic medals and 20 world records

Bill Pearl
Four-time Mr. Universe

Bill Pickering
World record-holding swimmer

Stan Price
World weightlifting record holder, bench press

Murray Rose
Swimmer, winner of many Olympic gold medals and world records

Dave Scott
Six-time winner of the Ironman triathlon

Art Still
Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs MVP defensive end, Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame

Jane Wetzel
U.S. National marathon champion

Charlene Wong Williams
Olympic champion figure skater

And please do your own research on the destruction of animal agriculture. Start with the UN report here. Rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars, UN report warns

yauncin 07-02-2010 04:15 PM

As a disclaimer, I've been following these boards a little while now and I have a lot of respect for tandoorichicken. He has done a lot of research on his own, more than I have it seems, and though I may not always agree with him I do listen, respectfully. Now with that said I don't disagree with everything CoreyCorey has said but when it conflicts with tandoorichicken I tend to agree with tandoorichicken. But that is based on the research I've done. Now I have not read the China Study but I wouldn't base my entire nutritional outlook on one study. I like to see the empirical evidence and draw my own conclusions. So it is good that both of you have sited particular sources.


We are only human and we cannot know everything nor do we, with a few exceptions, have total recall. Therefore when we make arguments or discuss issues we tend to fall back to fallacious arguments. Calling each other on these is legitimate since it helps keep the argument honest. But in order to cut through hype and misinformation, we must always be on the look out for fallacious arguments, especially since it is so prevalent in our media.


As stated by tandoorichicken he did not actually present an ad hominem fallacy. Actually, I don't think he presents a fallacy at all.

Loren Cordain is trying to sell everyone a diet and his studies and references are sponsored by industries that are favored by his diet. He developed the diet, then developed data to support his theory.
Quack Definition -
1) A practitioner who suggests the use of substances or devices for the prevention or treatment of disease that are known to be ineffective.

2) A person who pretends to be able to diagnose or heal people, but is unqualified and incompetent.

Quack definition -
1) a fraudulent or ignorant pretender to Medical skill.
2) a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to skill, knowledge, or qualifications he or she does not possess; a charlatan.

So your premise here is that Dr. Loren Cordain formulated a diet and then 'developed data' to support his diet. If it is true he just supplied data to support his diet then this would fall in the fraudulent category. So just because you don't expressly say quack doesn't mean you aren't calling him one. I don't think it helps that in a follow up you say:

If I wanted information on how to exercise properly, I would consult Dr. Cordain, a PhD in Physical Education. If I wanted to know something about nutrition, I would consult Doctor Campbell, a Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Here you are saying because of his degree he is not qualified to present such information in the first place. Which again implies quackery.

Actually now that I think about it, your reply in essence could be taken as an ad hominem attack on tandoorichicken since you are erroneously attributing something to him expressly to help discredit his position. Wording is everything.


From CoreyCorey:

Now, the high protein crowd will run studies with people on high carb diets versus high protein diets. But if you read the studies and not just the abstracts, they use things like potato chips, white bread, pasta, and other processed carbs to skew the studies to show the benefits of high protein. Anyone trying to sell you a fad diet is going to show you studies that are skewed to their way of thinking. Loren Cordain is trying to sell everyone a diet and his studies and references are sponsored by industries that are favored by his diet. He developed the diet, then developed data to support his theory.


Dr. Colin Campbell is a scientist in the strictest sense. He was actually hired to prove that protein deficiency was causing cancer in children. He performed a very scientific study with no pre-conceived bias and eventually his study became the most thorough study in nutrition ever conducted. His data taking has been peer reviewed and found to have exceptional accuracy. He has around 750 references in his study. He promotes a lifestyle based on health and performance and not one that focuses entirely on looks. How many athletes do you know who eat a high protein diet? The best endurance athletes in the world eat 75%+ carbs in their diets.
This could be construed as a fallacious argument. What makes Dr. Colin Campbell better than Dr. Loren Cordain. You are obviously trying to discredit Dr. Cordain here even so far as not using his honorific but what makes Dr. Campbell any better. He was hired by someone, you said, so that could already introduce bias. Was Dr. Cordain's research peer reviewed? That would be an important piece of information. You say, Dr. Campbell has 750 references in his study but were these cherry picked?


I could keep this up. And though I see the most fallacious arguments with CoreyCorey I see a few with tandoorichicken as well. The point of an argument is to sway your opponent or audience to your way of thinking. But I think we should try to do it ethically, meaning with the least amount of fallacies as possible. I think some are unavoidable like appeals to authority especially when you can't site specifics and we are all guilty of using anecdotal evidence. At any rate, I hope we can all agree that we are trying to present in our own opinions the best advice we can for our fellow fitdayers. So with that in mind, I think this thread has been very educational and because of it I will be expanding my library.

CoeyCoey 07-02-2010 04:31 PM


You are twisting my words to create fallacies. Stating someone has not used sound scientific principles or is less qualified then another person is not the same as calling them a quack.

I thought I could have a logical discussion on this board. I guess I was wrong.

tandoorichicken 07-02-2010 07:41 PM

Originally Posted by CoeyCoey (Post 14941)
I thought I could have a logical discussion on this board. I guess I was wrong.

It would seem that your idea of a logical discussion is one in which you aren't presented with any counter-arguments for which you don't have readily available responses.

You disrespect the posters on this forum by abusing data, attacking yauncin for trying to keep the discussion MORE logical than both of us are doing, and avoiding addressing my valid points by claiming that we're getting "emotional." You appear more emotional due to your sarcastic tone. I'm just trying to understand what you already understand; we only grow as people when we try to understand each other. But your last response merely repeated your previous response, and failed to address my points about the traditional Inuit diet as studied by Steffanson or the suspect interpretations of Dr. Campbell's own data in his book, "The China Study."

But let me now address the list of athletes you provided. I tried to find a biography or reliable source that could back up your claims that these are really vegetarian athletes. I also broke your list down into strength sports, endurance sports, mixed sports, and not a sport.

Endurance sports:

As rpmcduff said, these athletes burn calories at a remarkable rate. Michael Phelps (more of a mixed sport athlete) maintains at over 10,000 calories a day. Even amateur marathoners routinely eat more than 3000 calories in a day (as evidenced by my dad when he ran the LA Marathon). The most convenient source of this many calories is grain products, which also have a satisfactory amount of protein. Rote calories are required to keep the body from eating itself; protein is an afterthought. That said, even Brendan Brazier's own website states that "Brendan Brazier is one of only a few professional athletes in the world whose diet is 100 percent plant-based."

According North Pole Women's history of arctic expeditions, there is no mention of a Nicky Cole ever having existed. She does appear on several vegetarian sites as part of lists similar to the one you provided.

Similarly, there doesn't seem to be any record of a Jane Wetzel American marathon champion.

Martina Navratilova recently started eating fish again because it was difficult to maintain her protein intake while on tour. Dave Scott, who won his Ironman titles as a vegan, is no longer a strict vegetarian.

Peter Burwash, Ruth Heidrich, Brendan Brazier, Debbie Lawrence, Scott Jurek, Sixto Linares, Estelle Gray, Cheryl Marek, all check out to be vegetarians. They appear to be doing well and have found what works for them, and I can respect that. Paavo Nurmi was a vegetarian from a young age and had an unsurpassed love for his sport.

Mixed sports:

For Ridgely Abele, who passed away last year after a battle with cancer, I was unable to find a biography that listed him as a vegetarian. Peter Hussing also appears on lists of vegetarian athletes, but these assertions are impossible to verify. Dan Millman's own website doesn't mention anything anywhere about his vegetarianism.

Bill Pickering is 210-lbs shop owner who set a record for crossing the English Channel in 1955. I can't verify that he is a vegetarian.

Art Still is vegetarian football player who lost tremendous weight when he switched to his new diet. That season he injured himself numerous times. The following pre-season he showed up to practice at 250lbs, which he achieved by stuffing himself with even more fruits, nuts, and yogurt, and covering his nutritional bases by taking up to 60 pills a day (source). That's no way to live.

Keith Homes, Desmond Howard, Murray Rose check out as vegetarians in this category.

Performing Arts

Like figure skating. Not a sport in my opinion, but let's have a looksie.

Surya Bonaly is an "ethical vegetarian" but this hardly attributes to her success as an "athlete." She was known to be highly technical but struggled with her artistry.

Charlene Wong Williams happens to be a vegetarian as well, but again, it's tough to say if this made her an elite figure skater.

Strength Sports

Strength athletes require copious amounts of protein because they're constantly breaking down the muscle in order to rebuild it bigger and stronger. For the record, I don't really consider bodybuilding a sport, again more of a performing art, but strength sports are the means by which bodybuilders achieve their ends, so I've included them here.

Andreas Cahling turned vegetarian after he had begun competing in bodybuilding. Bill Pearl became vegetarian after he had already won several national titles. Both men are lacto-ovo-vegetarians, and both men built their physiques on dairy, eggs, and meat, then maintained them with their lacto-ovo-vegetarianism. Find me someone who has built this level of physique on a purely vegetarian diet.

Stan Price is another athlete for whom I can find no historical evidence of ever having existed. The powerlifting record database (here) makes no mention of a Stan Price or Stanley Price anywhere.

Chris Campbell's wife converted him to vegetarianism well after his prolific wrestling career, around the time he became a coach (source).

Ingra Manecke is a vegetarian but I was unable to find out if this transition was pre- or post-career. As a German national it is unlikely she was raised in a vegetarian household.

From looking at this list I conclude that world record holders are not defined by their diets, but their passion for the sport and determination to win. You won't find vegetarians somehow stacked on top of the rankings. Their diets just happen to be part of their lifestyle. And they certainly don't comprise any more than 1% of top athletes.

Additionally, athletes are special people with special needs. I don't presume to assume that what they eat is what I need to eat, whatever it is that happens to make them successful.

Finally, to Coey's final point, it stands to reason that feeding cattle diets they have not evolved to eat causes them flatulence, much like processed grains and unnatural trans fats cause me flatulence. I consider myself an "ethical omnivore," eating grass-fed-and-finished open pasture beef, free-range chicken and eggs (not on a vegetarian diet), line-caught open water fish, whole dairy, and organic fruits and vegetables. I don't consider myself contributing to the type of pollution put out by CAFOs and fish farms.

In any case, I've blabbered on long enough. Respond if you have something that adds to the discussion.

CoeyCoey 07-02-2010 07:55 PM


If you can reach your goals with your diet and be able to maintain them, then more power to you. I already surpassed my goals and have maintained them for years. Now I have new goals of greater fitness that I never thought possible.

tandoorichicken 07-02-2010 08:04 PM


Thank you. You've clearly found a healthy lifestyle that works for you and you are using it to its fullest advantage. As I am doing with mine. Every day I am pushing the boundaries of what I thought was possible for myself to achieve.

Let's work from where we can find common ground :)

waynegretzky 07-03-2010 04:10 AM

Maybe this is oversimplifying things but the best diet is one in which you eat less calories than you expend during a day and then you lose weight. Doesn't matter if it is from carbs or protein or fats.
After the first month i went to a dietician and she turned me onto this fitday site to log food and check for daily nutritional requirements. I still didn't use fitday for a few months and just went on a wing and a prayer!! But after i started logging food i changed mine and my wifes diet accordingly to get the daily nutrition needed of everything listed.
However one achieves this is their own journey. And if your food log does show you are low on some things, then you should change your diet until it is good while maintaining a good calorie deficit to lose weight.

cjohnson728 07-03-2010 04:38 AM

Very well said, waynegretzky ;). I especially like the part about it being everyone's own individual journey. If you don't own it, you won't do it.

NessaSonic 07-03-2010 12:43 PM

Originally Posted by rpmcduff (Post 14910)
Thank you for your tactful and thoughtful rebuff of CoeyCoey. You took offense with the protrayal of Loren Cordain's research as coporate backed and skewed and CoeyCoey could only muster "I pointed out a truth of which you are well aware." Well I am sorry but the truth is CoeyCoey you skewed the facts to match your argument. For example: "The best endurance athletes in the world eat 75%+ carbs in their diets." Why is that? It may have something to do with their training which consists of running 50 miles or more a week. The caloric burn is tremendous. They, unlike most of us "normal people" that are here on Fitday, can eat anything they want because they are burning so much. They have to eat enormous (again compared to us "normal people" ) amounts of calories to meet their energy needs. As Tandoorichicken pointed out, who wants to look like a marathon runner? What is the average weight of a male marathoner? 140 or 150 pounds? I can admire their athletic ability but their physic is not what I want to emulate.

Please try to moderate your eat only vegetables rants. You have been on the Fitday forums for 2 days and you are already attacking members who have provided thoughtful, information and suggestions, that have helped many others reach their fitness and weight loss goals. I personnally take exception with your implication that someone on a meat based diet is destroying the earth when compared to someone on a plant based diet. Your argument assumes that your could simply remove the cattle from the land and start growing vegetables. The fact is most cattle are raised on land that is not farmable. The western half of the united states is dry. Most crops don't do well there without irrigation (and irrigation is not available or practical everywhere). However, cattle can be raised on that same land. The fact is, if the land were suitable for raising crops that is what would be there. Crops have a much higher return than cattle. While I believe the cattle industry (and especially feed lots) have their own problems I don't think they can be construed as the cause of world hunger. I understand that you are committed to your opinions and ideals but please back your statements with facts and not just "Does anyone disagree with this?". (By the way grass fed beef is higher in Omega 3 than salmon, but then again you are against eating salmon also.)

These forums should be about providing information to those who are seeking knowledge so they can eat healthier, be more fit and improve their lives. Please keep that in mind when posting in the future. I am sure you have some good information, for me your presentation makes it a little (pardon the pun) hard to swallow.

I very much agree with this and Tandoori's thoughtful rebukes. The only thing I do not agree with is the rebuttal on land used to raise meat versus plant-based foods. You need to remember that, when you consider the land used to raise animals, you have to take into account their feed. All of the acres of produce being grown solely to go into the meat we eat later is significantly higher than simply growing the plants outright to eat. We are using a lot of healthy farmlands only to feed the animals we eat later. I want to point out, though, that I do still eat animal products (grass-fed when possible, and no hormone added milk).

You don't have to cut out all animal products to protect the environment, you have to just be more conscious of where it's coming from, how it's raised, and (just like your plant-based products) how far it needs to travel to get to the store. Cutting down some animal products (especially corn and grain-fed) is usually beneficial to the environment, but I don't think that has to mean a lower protein diet at all.

I know, in my experience, protein is very important in maintaining my muscle when losing weight. I strive for about 75 grams a day, and that seems to do it. I am trying to gain muscle, however, and I know I need to increase my protein.

I want to point out that there are also a lot of ethical issues with how we grow/ pay for/ treat our fruits and veggies around the world. Just look at the banana industry!!!

NessaSonic 07-03-2010 12:53 PM

I also want to say that I agree that different diets work for different people. It's not all about what diet is the best, it's about how the individual feels about their decisions and how it makes them feel about themselves physically and emotionally. Diets are as much mentality as they are physically transforming.

My sister-in-law is a raw-foodist and it works for her. She lost over 100 lbs and, although she is struggling a bit lately, has kept it off for a few years now. However, I don't want my body to look like hers (she doesn't look like she has much muscle mass, which also has to do with her lack of weight training/ challenging exercising rather than simply her diet alone), and I didn't feel healthy and well on a raw food diet when I attempted it for a month. I also didn't lose much weight because I wasn't tracking calories or nutrients.

Now I am concentrating on physical goals and not limiting my diet as much, but making sure I get as close to 100% nutrition as possible. This is the closest I've ever come to meeting my goals. I have lost more weight than I ever have before because I'm just living my life healthier in accordance to my own beliefs.

I definitely don't believe there's a one diet fits all.

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