Pies-In-Face Attack Roils Anarchist-Vegan World

Funny story. I read that headline, and I tried to think of a way to rephrase it to make it more entertaining than it already is.  I failed. So there it is, exactly as it first appeared. Here’s the story.

Lierre Keith is a woman who was a vegan for 20 years, then she decided that the lifestyle was unhealthy (it is) and that agriculture was destroying the world (also true), so she wrote a book called “The Vegetarian Myth” last year explaining these things.  Now, let’s just clarify, even though I just said this like ten words ago.  It’s a book.  Granted, books sometimes provoke people to extreme anger, but who’s this one going to piss off.  Vegans?  Please.  They’re barely people.  Here’s the vegan food pyramid.

You’ll notice that there are 27 total servings of food on that pyramid per day.

You’ll also notice that everything on that pyramid sucks and does not count as food.  As exciting as bean alternates and fortified soymilk are, it’s not a natural diet.  No calcium is bad.  Soy products in huge quantities are bad.  I don’t know what that turd-looking thing in the upper right is, but it looks terrible.  And dosing yourself on vitamins, unless you have an actual deficiency, doesn’t work.  You just pee them out, and that’s expensive.  Also, there’s no meat.  Humans are designed to eat meat, our digestive systems thrive on animal proteins, our whole bodies are designed to be carnivorous.

Just one sparkling white example.

If anyone tells you that they turned vegan and they feel so much better oh my god you would not even believe Jessica I’m like a new woman, it’s either because they switched to veganism from a diet of mozzarella sticks and ranch dressing, or they’re light-headed.  It’s anemia, they’re malnourished.  Ignore them.

Regardless of how you feel about vegans, you would probably agree that the phrase “militant vegan” is absurd.  Nonetheless, Keith was speaking at her book tour in San Francisco, and she was attacked.  Apparently, three people in masks and black sweatshirts ran up to her and threw pies filled with chili peppers at her face and then yelled “Go vegan!” in the most pathetic form of protest ever.  Seriously, just picture people screaming that and try not to laugh.  But the even more hilarious part is the reaction this has prompted.

According to the article, the incident has “prompted blistering debates on radical Web sites.”  Yes, that’s right.  Radical vegan websites.

I swear this is a real photo.

Now, a lot of people are defending Keith’s position, saying that she has a right not to be attacked and also IT’S A FUCKING BOOK ABOUT VEGETABLES.  Others, however, are saying that she was “dishonest and abusive to vegans and should not have been invited.”  Which is a valid point, because veganism is totally a progressive and eco-friendly lifestyle movement and not a retarded modern hipster eating disorder.

“Police are investigating the incident” and trying not to laugh at the same time I assume, and Keith has . . . sore eyes.  From the peppers.

But the best part is from the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, or NAMBLA, which defended the pie-throwers.  They say that “Keith was wrong about veganism, referred to her as an ‘animal holocaust denier,’ and scolded her for calling the ‘agents of state oppression’—the police.”  They also—and this is choice—called her assailants “masked marvels who made their statement very eloquently and succinctly on behalf of the billions of animals she advocates killing.”

Yes.  A pie.  In the face.  Was eloquent.

Vegans are fucking priceless.

29 Thoughts

  1. A searing comment indeed. I appreciate your unsupported assault on my intelligence almost as much as I appreciate . . . I don't know, veganism.

    Have you not read anything here? This is a place of rationality and carefully researched—albeit caustic—articles. I never say anything without having a reason to say it.

    With that in mind, I welcome all opinions of my views or my writing or the width of my embedded videos or really anything. But bring some evidence with you or fuck off.

  2. I don't know about you saying that vegans have anemia though! Anemia runs in my family so i get checked regularly (I am also vegan) and I am well above average. I have quite a few omnivorous friends who are anemic. Vegans can be malnourished but vegans often have more of an interest in nutrition so that usually counteracts this. So basically, unless you have conclusive information to back this up, don't say it!

    I am all for well researched information, but statistics are often misused and there is not a lot of research into veganism… anywho this is just beginning to sound like a veganny rant!

    bleh, do what yeah want really, just don't misinform people!

  3. ahahah. you're totally off about vegan nutrition ((1) i eat little soy, no “bean alternatives,” and plenty of calcium; (2) take a few seconds to find a non-vegan food pyramid and you'll see comparable numbers of servings per day; and (3) i promise you that carrot-wielding guy is joking around), but as a vegan, i thought the rest was pretty funny. i mean, for real, surely we can do better than pie throwing.

  4. Ahahafuckyou. You think I didn't research this? First of all, eating little soy and no “bean alternatives” does not make your diet more intelligent, because you still need animal protein and you're not getting it. Calcium can come from lots of places, so I'll grant that a vegan can just eat a lot of broccoli or kale and make that up easily, but there's still no animal protein there.

    Secondly, the USDA food pyramid no longer has number-of-serving recommendations, just proportions and general guidelines, like eating whole grains, dark vegetables, lean meat, oils from vegetables and fish rather than butter and lard, and low-fat dairy. It's been that way since 2005, and if vegans were so damn in tune with what the body “really” needed, maybe they'd have gotten there first.

    Thirdly, the carrot-wielding guy is not joking around. He's from a French website (down at the moment I think, I couldn't translate the error message). There are also plenty of websites out there that have equally comical attitudes of extremist veganism (extreganism), like mourning the fact that when you breathe in, you consume microorganisms (not really true) and the fact that when you breathe out, you contribute to global warming and that hurts the animals. They also provide tips for trespassing on farm property (“Sometimes it is difficult to determine if it is better to go on foot and risk needing to run or to take your car so you can drive away.”) and news about “witch hunts” after animal activists. Now, I'll grant that there are people who are unjustly prosecuted for their activism, but these are people being prosecuted by a grand jury for ARSON. Burning down goddamn buildings.

    My point is that veganism is not a lifestyle. It's a dietary choice. Whatever your reasons, it's still on par with me choosing not to eat tater tots or Twinkies. It is not something to be yelling at people about, and it's certainly not something to attack people over.

  5. I said I eat little soy or 'bean alternatives' to correct your article's inaccurate insinuation that “bean alternates and fortified soymilk,” “no calcium” and “soy products in huge quantities” are necessary features of vegan diets. They're not.

    If you really did your research, I think somewhere you would have come across the official position of the American Dietetic Association (that a vegan diet can be nutritionally adequate for anyone, including athletes, infants and pregnant women), or the positions of dietary organizations of comparable size or significance in other countries, such as the Dietitians of Canada, the British Nutrition Foundation, or the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, all of whom espouse similar positions. What exactly about animal products does your “research” tell you is so necessary and exclusive to animal products? Iron? Zinc? DHA? B12? D? Protein in general? I assure you, I – and many other vegans – have it covered.

    Whether the USDA recommends particular numbers of servings or not has little bearing on the absurdity of your use of the number of food servings on a vegan food pyramid as an attack on the nutritional soundness of vegan diets. Since you're apparently too lazy to do a google search yourself, here's a link. http://www.google.com/images?q=food+pyramid&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1280&bih=620
    You'll notice comparable serving numbers on many of these meat-inclusive food pyramids, yet you don't hear vegans making asinine comments like 'maybe if meat eaters were so damn in tune with what the body really needed, they'd make food pyramids reflecting the USDA's absence of serving recommendations.'

    The rest of your post is irrelevant to everyone except those who suffer from the delusion that most vegans are militant ecoterrorists whose sole goal in life is to come door to door confiscating your hamburgers and chicken nuggets. As for the carrot-wielding guy, his shirt and tattoo may be serious, but until you get me a quote from him saying otherwise, I refuse to believe he had anything other than humor in mind when he chose to wield a carrot in that fashion. The only people I know who mourn the microorganisms damaged by the process of breathing are Jains, who don't represent the (mostly non-religious) general vegan population. And before you dismiss allegations of “witch hunts” for animal rights and environmental activists, take a look at the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. I could potentially serve a longer prison sentence for spray-painting “meat is murder” on a McDonalds than I could for rape.

    If the purpose of your post is really what you say in your closing remarks, maybe I misjudged you. You're not an asshole; you're just really, really stupid. Most vegans ARE perfectly content to make their own dietary choices, and you're the one breeding hostility with your smug, unfounded and generally douchey little quips. Anyone who describes a group of people as “unhealthy,” “fucking priceless,” or “barely people” – or their diet as a “retarded modern hipster eating disorder” – with the intention of reducing dietary hostility must have a pretty subpar understanding of human communication.

  6. My problem is the self-righteousness. Now I know that not all vegans have the same holier-than-thou attitude that I've seen as predominant, just as not all Christians believe that the world is literally less than 10,000 years old. But the culture is there. There is a smug overtone, in my experience, as though you're somehow in on a secret that I'm not, and you're better than me for it. There is the assumption that my decision to eat meat and milk and honey and red M&Ms is born of ignorance, and if only I knew better, I'd stop doing such horrible things. I do know better. I know the conditions in dairy farms and beehives and slaughterhouses and so on. And I eat meat anyway, not because I don't care, but because my moral sense does not extend to cows in the same way that it does to humans.

    And finally, there's the idea that vegans are some kind of oppressed minority. They're a minority, to be sure, but oppressed? Discriminated against? You may be offended by McDonalds, but you don't have the right not to be offended just because you chose not to buy into it anymore. When it comes down to it, veganism is a choice in the most blatant sense of the word. Moreso than religion. Moreso than where you live. Moreso even than the route you drive to work every morning, it's a conscious, easily and instantly reversible choice, and just because you watch some PETA videos at the age of 19 and suddenly stop eating meat does not give you the right to vandalize, assault, and slander the people whose ranks you just left.

    At my school, vegans are among the groups against whom attacks are considered hate crimes. Even you must think that's ridiculous. Attacking someone because they're black or gay or Jewish is enormously worse than attacking someone because they won't eat pizza, and that's not reflected because of the injured attitudes of those who choose to eat a certain way.

    In the end, I stand by every word. I do think it's unhealthy. I do think that taking offense at a book that disagrees with you is as ridiculous and dogmatic as the Muslims that screamed for Rushdie's blood. I do think that describing the act of throwing a pie (vegan, obviously) at an author as “eloquent” is fucking priceless. I do think that anyone familiar with my hyperbole or anyone else's can acknowledge that the “barely people” remark was probably sarcasm, just as when I called someone a “pathetically, benightedly, cripplingly unintelligent piece of man-swine,” I didn't mean he was actually part pig. And I do think it's a retarded modern hipster eating disorder, albeit a voluntary one.

    But in your very last sentence, you misunderstand me greatly. I have no intention of “reducing dietary hostility,” whatever the fuck that actually means (I believe it means that your food is mad at you). My goal has nothing at all to do with making peace or reconciling my differences. If I think someone is being irrational, or stupid, or over-sensitive, I will point it out, and I don't give a shit if you don't like it. In the words of the Metro State Atheists, “I've read the First Amendment up and down and nowhere does it say that I have to care about your feelings.”

    I'm glad you're making your opinion known, and I'm glad you actually brought in evidence to support it. I do actually stand corrected on some points. But my main point about the “movement” and that particular story stands, and until I feel that vegans in general have real, rational, well-thought-out reasons that they'll drink coffee but won't eat oysters, it will continue to stand. Deal with it.

  7. If you can't figure out what I mean by dietary hostility based on the context of the rest of my sentence, I stand by my statement about your general intelligence. When you hear phrases like “racial hostility,” do you think people mean their race is mad at them?

    I wasn't critiquing your comments on the pie (I acknowledged my disappointment with such childish tactics in my first post); just your abusive generalizations. It's vegans – not the pie-throwing and not just those vegans who described it as eloquent, but “vegans” – that you describe as fucking priceless. A lot of what you say in the rest of this post I never took issue with, so I'm not sure why you're saying it, unless it's just to cover your losses. Speaking of which, I'd love to hear your rationale for acknowledging that you “actually do stand corrected on some points” and simultaneously deciding to “stand by every word.”

    I'm just as baffled by the smugness I see in some vegans as you are – you'd think smugness would be the last thing on the mind of someone who believed creatures with moral rights to life and freedom from pain were being slaughtered by the billions. As far as presuming you ignorant, that's just us trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, and the vast majority of people deserve it. You may be an exception.

    Oysters and most other invertebrates are not of primary concern to most vegans, and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous. Neurophysiologically speaking, most animals we farm feel pain when we confine and kill them. Even farming an animal “humanely” and killing it painlessly denies it the chance of ever feeling pleasure again. It's not that my moral sense “extend(s) to cows in the same way that it does to humans,” just that all you have to do to prevent animals from suffering this fate is to eat different food. I have a lot of trouble seeing the choices of anyone who acknowledges these facts and continues to eat meat or industrially produced animal products as anything other than selfish and a bit absurd. Vegans' hostility to non-vegans – or at least mine – stems largely from these sentiments. There are also layers of environmentalism behind some people's veganism – the greenhouse effect of methane produced by beef and dairy cattle, the eutrophication of nearby water bodies from the ammonic runoff of poultry and egg farms, the carbon footprint of driving all these animal products from their very consolidated production sites to the many corners of the country, etc.

  8. Considering the final paragraph of your previous post, I can only interpret the penultimate paragraph of this one to mean you'd like vegans not to “yell at” or “attack people” for their diets while maintaining that meat eaters should feel no compulsion to do the same for vegans. If you're going to attack people for over-sensitivity, why should others refrain from attacking you for financing what they see as unnecessary cruelty?

  9. I totally respect your opinion about vegans, but raising livestock takes up more land then veggies. You can actually grow more veggies with less land then cattle, AND use less energy. Growing vegetables is more environmentally friendly then raising animals for food.Therefore agriculture is destroying the world no more then her new nonvegan diet. You can look it up. That lady who came up with excuses to not be vegan anymore is clearly an idiot. I understand if you don't like vegans for whatever reason, but you don't have to waste your life going around and contridicting vegans, when you could have done proper research. I assume you just looked at other vegan hate pages with false and stupid information. By the way I get my blood takin twice a year and not once have I had one deficiency. I also do not take vitamins. Maybe it just doesn't occur to you that some people actaully care for their health by eating well and nutritionally. Also may I add that just because your body has something doesnt mean you need it? For example we have pinky fingers, but really do we need them? Generations from now people won't even have them. Vegans are generally nice and caring people, which is why they do what they do. I don't mean to be rude if it seems that way to you. I'm just trying to give you usful information. Not all vegans attack people either. It's a personal choice for myself and I respect if someone else wants to eat meat. My whole family does and I respect there choice and expect the same in return. You just have false information is all. There is no need to hate.

  10. I'm so damed sick of hearing the “canine teeth” argument. Hell, even giraffes have canine teeth. Having canine teeth proves one thing and one thing only…you have canine teeth.

  11. I could get into the more complicated metabolic arguments, but they involve real science. And this post doesn't even get into the far more complicated and less defensible moral issues with veganism. Which I've also written on.

  12. Hey Boy Genius, old (october) Anonymous here. Yes, some vegans are silly. That has no bearing on the presumptuous, poorly researched and generally anti-intellectual aspects of this post that I've detailed above. Don't embarrass yourself by making more generalized arguments.

    that kid from before

  13. Ok, I'll admit that this was not my best-researched post, and that my main problem with the vegan movement is the self-righteousness and general intellectual indefensibility of the very idea, as written about here:


    and here:


    The health and diet thing isn't really what bothers me, but I didn't try very hard on this post so it's not great.

    I offer you a genuine apology.

  14. a functionally useful distinction for someone who wishes to feed themselves on a diet that causes minimal harm, that is.

  15. continuing: as far as i can tell, the only argument in either link truly pertinent to veganism, and not just some vegans or vegan groups, was that it's unclear whether all animals suffer in meaningful ways, so drawing a species line is indefensible. this is really just semantics; many vegans are perfectly comfortable with the idea of eating parts and products of animals who lack a central nervous system or the psychological infrastructure to suffer in meaningful ways, but the fact is that the vast majority of the animals that commonly appear in non-vegan diets are perfectly capable of experiencing “mental anguish, sadness, stress, fear, and the like,” as well as physical pain, so the species line is a very functionally useful distinction, even if there are occasional outliers.

  16. trying again:

    i'm glad to hear you acknowledge the poorly researched nature of the post, and – heh – appreciate the apology. but those links make me think you don't mean it. you see, attacking PETA is another one of those embarrassing generalized arguments we talked about. i'll be the first to call them out on the tastelessness and sexism of their ads, not to mention the atrocities they commit under the guise of “shelter” services. you'll find many, many vegans and animal rights advocates who agree.

    as far as i can tell, the only argument in either link truly pertinent to veganism, and not just to some vegans or vegan groups, is that it's unclear whether all animals suffer in meaningful ways, so drawing a species line is indefensible. this is really just semantics; many de facto vegans are perfectly comfortable with the idea of eating parts and products of animals who lack a central nervous system or the psychological infrastructure to suffer in meaningful ways (e.g., oysters), but the vast majority of the animals that commonly appear in non-vegan diets are clearly capable of experiencing “mental anguish, sadness, stress, fear, and the like,” as well as physical pain, so the species line is functionally an overwhelmingly useful distinction despite occasional outliers. you can attack it, just know it's irrelevant to the underlying philosophies of the vast majority of vegans.

  17. It always surprises me how easy it is to make fun and expose veganism and vegetarianism – at least in their more militant variations.
    Still, being easy doesn't mean that everyone gets it. Either because you are part of the cult or you don't bother to use your brains and think if what you are doing is right.

    As for the cult itself, I love these two facts about them:

    1) They thing they have the high moral grounds.
    and thusly, like any cult…
    2) They feel the deep need to proselytize.

    Silly? Silly.

    Anyway. Good article.

  18. How sneaky of you to put the North American Animal Liberation Press Office gag near the end, it looks like none of the agricultists have had enough energy to read carefully that far. Well done, sir.

  19. Actually, if we’re not doing harm to others, it’s okay. The ones you mentioned are more, well, extreme, but they don’t represent the whole vegan population. Sure, we might not get enough nutrients and all that, but we still can get them from supplements, no?

    No offense, though.

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