The other day while I was in the corner store, I was flipping through a mixed martial arts magazine. An article profiled a UFC fighter who was a vegan, that is, he eats only vegetables–no dairy or eggs etc. In the article, the fighter was interviewed. He stated that when he first came into the UFC, the fighters were given a bench press test, probably similar to what is given to college football players at a combine. He practically boasted that he could only do two or so repetitions, while all of the other fighters did about twenty. This fighter bore all of the hallmarks of a vegan-athlete: Sallow and pale skin, overly thin. To make matters worse, he seemed to have taken up a rather odd ritual prior to his fights: Drinking his own urine. He stated that in order to ensure his system was clear of any foods, he would begin drinking his own urine until he defecated nothing but urine….

With more wins than losses in this fighter’s short career, I applaud the fact that he’s managed to do what he’s done, despite the fact that everything he’s doing with his diet is counter-productive and downright lunacy. To me, this fighter is acting like the bearded lady at a circus. People want to watch him, not because he’s a great at something, but because he’s an oddity.

A fighter can always make use of strength. Let’s not be too romantic about technique and all of that garbage. Punching hard and fast or being able to lift another fighter from the ground and slam him onto the ground before taking a mount position is all the technique some need. It’s called ground-and-pound, and it’s worked very well for many. And even if a fighter is a master of submissions or a great technical striker, having great strength and knowing how to use it can only help. Strength need not be divorced from technique. When we did New Army Combatives in my training, (It’s basically Brazillian Ju-Jitsu), I found that I was stronger than every person I faced. All of the techniques they had been shown didn’t much matter. I’d lay them in my guard, clamp their head against my chest with an interlocking grip, and arch my back hard. Most would tap in less than thirty seconds. One guy told me he could feel his vertebrae seperating. Now, as the week bore on, each day starting with almost two hours of grappling, I found my strength waning. Fatigue was setting in. I had to rely on technique more and more and there was not the instant domination of before. This proves that strength is an important factor. Though I was never beaten in training, there were two people that I was unable to force to “tap out” in our three minutes of alloted grappling time.

Getting back on track–veganism is a horrible choice for any athlete, and for most other people. It’s yet another way people try to make the world be as they think it should be, not as it is. The human body cannot digest most plant matter. Most of the digestable portions of a plant are encapsulated within walls of cellulose,and since we’re not cows, our bodies don’t have the enzymes to break down those walls. Chewing and cooking can release some of the nutrients however. That’s why raw veganism is even worse than the ordinary sort of veganism.

The USDA recommends about .75 grams of protien intake for every kg (2.2 lbs) of your body weight, per day. For athletes, the requirement is much higher: from 1.2 grams to 2 grams per kg of bodyweight. It’s very difficult to acheive this with a vegan diet, and people will see a significant decline in strength and sense of well-being if those levels are not met, particularly if they are training hard. I’ve experimented myself with vegetarianism. I’ve also gone high protein. There’s no comparison. I need protein and lots of it.

Tony Gonzalez, the All-Pro tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, went vegetarian last year. Look at his performance now. I never see a highlight with him in it, while before, he was probably the best at his position, in the game. In an interview, he said that when he first started his new diet, he could barely lift any weight in the weightroom; he’d experienced a significant decline in strength since becoming a vegetarian. Only after adding lots of beans to his diet did he regain his strength. That seems like a circuitous route to his goal.

Some want to talk about veganism being a moral choice. I don’t think it’s moral to go against nature. There may be arguments as to what nature actually constitues, but here the message is clear: Vegans are physically weaker, thinner, have weaker bones and their diet lacks important B vitamins obtainable only through meat products. The long term effects of B vitamin deficiency are psycological problems ( I could get further into the mental make up of most vegans that I’ve met, but i’ll spare you), vision problems and nerve damage. How is this moral?


14 Responses to “Veganism”

  1. December 1, 2008 at 11:36 am

    I guess I do actually understand what’s meant by drinking urine until you defacate nothing but urine but man, I just can’t let my mind go there. i’m pretty open minded and willing to try darned near anything, but how for the love of god can that sound like a good idea? If it was good for you in any way, your body wouldn’t pee it out, it’d keep it around and recycle it. Although sterile when it comes out, it doesn’t ‘keep’ well so hopefully old boy is drinking it straight from the tap (another really awful thing to imagine) lest he end up dying of some heinous infection.

    So I’m wondering the thinking process this guy has. He looks around, sees Tito Ortiz banging Jenna , sees the Iceman just being a bad ass, and thinks “Naah, I’m going to go vegan and drink piss until i sh*t it out”. If there’s ever been a more perfect way to ensure you don’t get laid, even if you’re a UFC stud, Urine shots has got to be it.

  2. December 1, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    I don’t know, liberal chicks may really dig this sort of thing. That, plus the veganism/ emaciated body? He’d probably get mad props from a chick with hairy arm pits, uncombed hair and a hemp purse.

  3. 3 kernunos
    December 2, 2008 at 12:09 am

    You know better than that. Liberal chicks will find confident, conservative, “macho” men more attractive than Lib-weenie cake-boys 10-1.


    Oh, and GO FEDOR!!!!!! I would like to see an interview with him being asked what he thinks of urine drinking boy.

  4. 4 Mike Rozos
    December 2, 2008 at 1:02 am

    The whole Tony Gonzalez thing is just plain sad. That anyone would endorse the vegan lifestyle is utter madness.

    Eat meat. Your body cannot digest cellulose. Is that not sufficient evidence that you were meant to be an omnivore?

    When I eat a steak, or, as only Magus knows, a moose steak, I know I was not not meant to be a vegan. When I’m 90, and all the vegans are dead, we can have this debate again…

  5. 5 Mason
    December 2, 2008 at 5:52 am

    Fedor Emelianenko wouldn’t say anything. He’s just knock him out.

  6. December 4, 2008 at 4:56 am

    im vegan and im hardly weedy, 5’8/5’9 and comfortably 155lbs

    mac danzig is VEGAN and he’s hardly out of shape, he won the ultimate fighter fot fucks sake

    carl louis, olypimpic gold medalist was a VEGAN!

    fucking morons

    of course meats packed full of protein, protien from the plant based diets those animal were living on!

    your eating second hand protein from the corpse of a defensless animal, how tough and macho :/

  7. December 4, 2008 at 1:33 pm


    Lack of B12 vitamins can also cause anger managment issues.

    I never stated that it’s impossible to succeed athletically while being a vegan; the human body is remarkably efficient. You’ve pointed to just a couple who have succeeded while on the diet (though Carl Lewis had most of his success in the mid 80s; he didn’t become a vegan until 1990.) and since I’m always willing to give the Devil his do, I think that the diet can be heathy, in that, if done correctly it tends to have its practitioners consuming FEWER CALORIES ON A WHOLE. And that’s healthy. However most “vegans” that I’ve known cheat, and eat meat every once in a while. But it’s oh-so fashionable to show up at the party and announce, “Hey, I’m a vegan! Where’s the vegan food?” How elite…

    It should be noted that there are a number of endurance athletes who are vegans, but very few strength athletes. This is probably due to the associated higher testosterone levels acheived through the consuption of meat.

    Here’s an excerpt from a couple of studies:

    “A more authoritative source of information is the paper by Campbell et al. (1999), who conducted a 12-week study to compare the effects of a vegetarian diet with an omnivorous diet on changes in body composition and skeletal muscle size in older men (51-69 y) in response to resistance training. There were substantial benefits for omnivores, who lost 6% fat mass, gained 4% fat-free mass, and increased Type II fiber area by 9% relative to the vegetarians. A trend towards higher total protein intake (self-reported) in the omnivores might explain the effects, but higher concentration of the anabolic hormone testosterone is more likely. Campbell et al. did not measure testosterone, but Raben et al. (1992) found higher testosterone in young men consuming a high-protein, meat-containing diet compared with those consuming a high-protein, vegetarian diet. If testosterone is involved, a difference in total protein intake per se would not account entirely for Campbell et al.’s findings, because Volek et al. (1997) showed an inverse relationship between protein intake and testosterone concentration.”

    Many of the vegan web sites I’ve looked at are so idealogical I can’t trust them. I’ve always been willing to use sensible experimentation on my own body, and the results are declarative: I’m better off with meat in my diet.

    I’ve seen studies too, that show college-level female athletes who consumed extremely low-fat diets were more prone to injury. In fact, I believe this may have contributed to two serious knee injuries that I suffered at the age of 18 and then at 22. I consumed a very low-fat diet, was athletic, and yet inexplicably the ACL in each knee ruptured. This is anecdotal, I understand, but I think I may be on to something.

    Find a culture that’s vegan. Go ahead. Look through history and around the world. You won’t find one.

    Again, you’ve proven to me that veganism is somewhat like a religion, at least in the way that its proponents defend it.

    I’m sure it will comfort you to know that I’m a member of P.E.T.A.: People Eating Tasty Animals.

    All I can say to you, my angry animal-loving, non-spell-checking friend (it’s Carl Lewis and Olympic), is don’t make your diet a religion–make it make you healthy and strong….

    Tofu hotdog anyone?

  8. 8 kernunos
    December 4, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    On a semi related sidenote. In this case if Consevatives thought Veganism was wrong we would just say so trying to influence people or maybe just stating an observation. Life would then go on as usual with everyone going their seperate ways. If this were Liberals trying to say eating meat was wrong then they would try to make sure no one could eat meat anymore. With a Liberal it is not just a personal choice. It is also forcing their ideology on everyone else through laws and mandates.

    Sorry, just thought I would add a slight political slant to the talks.

  9. December 5, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Actually, veganism seems to be very political: All vegans I know are liberals.

    In their world there is no God, yet they say it’s immoral to eat cute, furry animals. Their morality–just like all life according to their beliefs–miraculously springs from nothingness.

    In my world, there is a God and he made animals for me to eat. (And for other reasons)

  10. December 11, 2009 at 5:19 am

    I stumbled across this blog by accident, hoping to come across useful information. Unfortunately, you’re perpetuating biases that have no foundation in reality. It’s very hard to study nutrition and avoid all of the compelling research supporting a plant-based diet, which makes me think you haven’t studied nutrition at all, or you’re simply ignorant.

    As far as finding a culture that’s vegan – China, Japan, India, and most non-western cultures follow a predominantly plant-based diet, and have significantly lower rates of diseases that ravage western cultures. The vast majority of these people generally consume less meat in a week than most americans do in a day.

    Your claims that veganism is somehow deficient, even for weight-training, is bogus, and is rooted deeply in social conditioning. Read a book, or twenty.

  11. December 11, 2009 at 8:30 am

    As I’ve stated in other responses, vegan and vegetarians seem to be very angry people. I mean this. It should be studied.

    One of the countries you name, India, has horrible nutrition problems, and China eats nowhere near the amount of rice that people think they do,. Many of the health benefits that China and Japan see are a result of just eating less in general; the 80% full rule. If you look at other countries that are very long lived (longer lived than China or Japan) such as Sardiania, the people eat less than we do and eat plenty of meat.

    If you get more B vitamins you’d be more happy and probably be able to keep a boyfriend (guys hate angry, overly ideological women).

    Try some steak.

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