Monthly : May 2012

Weeks 10 and 11 Update: New Recipe – Cognitive Dissonance + Kool-Aid

Am I drinking too much of the raw vegan kool-aid?  Probably …

More than a few of my friends have pointed out that I’ve become less discerning over the last few weeks.  It’s true.  I’ve posted with a less critical eye not only here (the girl in this video does come across as a bit … well … zealous to say the least), but also on my facebook page.

For example, I posted this list of interesting facts about veganism (from Freelea and Harley over at 30 Bananans a Day) and did not include caveats about the obvious potential flaws.

  • they didn’t include a source for the “facts”
  • calling them “unavoidable” facts does not allow for different interpretations of the data
  • correlation does not equal causation, of course
  • etc

Not to take a swipe at the excellent work Freelea and Harley are doing, but normally I’d refer to a page like that a little differently.  I would have either pointed out the potential errors in thinking or I would have posted to it rhetorically asking my readers to discover the flaws themselves.

Why didn’t I do that?  Well, even though I understand Cognitive Dissonance quite well, like everyone I’m susceptible to it.  The 80 10 10 diet is so far outside the mainstream I find myself defending it several times a day.  Even though I tend to preclude these conversations with things like “this is just an experiment” and “I don’t have a firm opinion on it yet myself” I find myself wanting to justify my decision.

Justifying the reasons for embarking on the experiment is only rational.   Justifying the diet itself before I have more information to support a well-researched opinion is not.

Yet here I continue … My working hypothesis so far is that the diet is valid.  When I am on the diet I feel, think, and act better than when I am not.  This is, of course, only one man’s experience, but what I’ve observed in others tends to support the hypothesis as well.  Still, I need to be more vigilant about my personal intellectual honesty.

Week 10

  • no sugar
  • no alcohol
  • 15 – “banana island” meals
  • 2 – 80 10 10 meals
  • 2 – cooked vegan meals
  • 2 – meat meals
  • successfully resisted New York pizza when in NYC!

Week 11

  • no sugar
  • no alcohol
  • 19 – 80 10 10 meals
  • 2 – meat meals