They Did It Again
The Game Changer movie is out and is sweeping through the minds of men of all ages! Yep, they will try the vegan diet because of the penis part of the movie. I am not going to talk about the penis story. It was the highlight of the movie in the eyes of all men for sure!
There is nothing better than to appeal to the ego when we want to sell a story (or an expensive car or purse or jewelry). Humans seem to live for being different from thy neighbors. While a designer purse or red convertible are likely to catch the eyes (not heart) of a young female beauty on the street, getting more and bigger erections (while sleeping and you have no clue about them) may be an equally provocative eye-catcher for men. I am not a man so just guessing here.
Any Truth to the Story?
Nope, not one bit of truth to any of what was in the film. However, I find that most attacks on the film get nowhere–not even with me, who really thinks the film is recruiting the gullible, clueless, and vulnerable into the vegan movement. One cannot prove that the vegan diet is unhealthy by showing that eating meat is essential. To prove that the vegan diet is unhealthy, one must prove that the foundation on which it stands is false.
Since the film is long and I am thinking about writing a bigger article on this, here I just want to bring light to one key area that stopped me in my tracks while watching the movie.
Gladiators and the Vegan/Vegetarian Diet
I was absolutely shocked to hear that the purported benefits to athletes from eating the vegan diet is based on the “fact” that gladiators ate a vegan/vegetarian diet. The idea came from this paper, which visits a few grave sites of “gladiators” in Turkey. I placed gladiators in quotes because there are two widely understood categories of fighters (also mentioned in the article): those that were meant to die, such as slaves and prisoners, and those that were meant to win, such as the trained gladiators.
Reading this article, it is clear that most gladiators found in the graves were the slaves and the prisoners. Of course, one would not expect that they would get any great food; they were meant to die. The graves of these gladiators contained women and children as well. And yep, their bone study, via various isotopes, revealed that they mostly ate grains and beans.
The other gladiators, the ones that were supposed to win, were in different graves. There were two distinct groups in this particular paper–mind you only a handful of true gladiators, so not sure how we can make any judgment of the entire era of gladiators and all gladiators from this one site in Turkey, and the few bodies found there. Anyhow, of the two groups, one group was “local” and one was from somewhere else–origin unknown but differences were established based on the food isotopes in the bones. One of these non-local gladiators was a woman by the way.
So What Did They Find In The Bones?
Many things. The most prominent item they found was ash. Ash, according to archaeological knowledge, was in a drink made from herbs and ash, which was drank in great quantity by professional gladiators. It was believed to have had healing properties for fast recovery from wounds and muscle fatigue. They also found isotopes indicating grains (barley was typical) and beans and other pulses, often peas. They state the following:
“…supported by stable isotopes data, that the diet of the group with the high Sr/Ca-ratio consisted of both low-Ca vegetable food and green plants providing high Ca and Sr levels. The group with the low Sr/Ca was assumed to have had a clearly Ca-enriched diet including a considerable amount of milk and dairy products that supply the organism with highly bio-purified Ca…”
Ok … milk??? So being vegan is out. Now let’s see more information.
“The female from the gladiator cemetery (EPH-DAM 72/93 rFEM-1) and one gladiator (EPH-DAM 248/93 rFEM 6) show extraordinary d34S values of more than 10%(Fig. 4), another gladiator shows d34S values close to 10% ( 9.7% EPH-DAM 187/ 93 r FEM 2). All other individuals have lower sulphur ratios which mean that they can basically be assigned to terrestrial ecosystems. Both individuals with values higher than 10% had probably migrated from another geographical region and/or they consumed more fish and seafood than the others.” (emphasis by me)
Ohhhh ok.. so fish… what about meat?
“15dN values also indicate a generally minor consumption of animal proteins, like meat and dairy products.” [15dN is nitrogen and would represent meat]
And the most interesting sentence in the paper is this:
“…the most probable cause for the depletion of 15dN could have been a frequent consumption of legumes…”
Huh? What this means: If you eat lots of pulses like beans and lentils, which were the staple in that area at that time, traces of animal protein consumption would become depleted.
So Were The Gladiators Vegetarian/Vegan?
It is not possible to demonstrate that the gladiators didn’t eat meat. Even in modern nutrition science there is quite a bit of discussion about the presumed benefits of plants chock full of antinutrients, such as lectins, phytates, and a host of others, which block animal protein absorption, prevent nutrient absorption and, if not enough meat is consumed, protein (or its consumption records) may be depleted(1)(2). Therefore, we cannot tell if the gladiators ate or didn’t eat meat–some certainly ate fish and most drank milk. This excludes veganism 100%.
Having a movie made–which I must admit is amazingly done by non-other than James Cameron, an Academy Award winning filmmaker, known for movies like The Titanic and Avatar–on false premises is a major oops.
Will the majority of people know about the false premise? Nope. Will they inquire about the premise? Nope. They will believe because it is in a film! Right?
So why can’t we beat the vegans to it? Because to make a film of success, we must focus on how it looks and feels and not what it says or how true what it says is. The entire vegan movement is based on lies and look at the number of followers.
So what are we, enlightened ones, to do? Nothing… The only thing we could do is pay millions to James Cameron to produce a movie about eating LCHF, or carnivore, or keto, hire on famous athletes, movie stars, etc. We also need to make sure first that we give Cameron shares in products we eat to encourage some financial benefits long term. After all, he and his wife are the founders of Verdiant Foods, an organic pea protein company.
It also would help if we had some sort of a religious organization behind us like there is behind the vegans. Most funds are put up by the Seventh-day Adventists in support of all vegan agenda; after all they are the founders of the vegan movement and they wish to spread their religion around the world. Veganism is a religion. Just like any other religion, its goal is to increase its membership, to do away with all other religions, and make everyone Seventh-day Adventist. The vegan diet is just a tool. People who follow the diet are not necessarily religious and they may not have any idea that they were captured by a religious movement.
Can science-based nutrition win over a religious-movement-based nutrition? Not any more than science can win over religion.
- Effects of antinutritional factors on protein digestibility and amino acid availability in foods. Gilani GS1, Cockell KA, Sepehr E. J AOAC Int. 2005 May-Jun;88(3):967-87.
- Bioavailability of minerals in legumes. Sandberg AS. Br J Nutr. 2002 Dec;88 Suppl 3:S281-5.