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Starting Strength in the Real World

Let's Feast: An Open Letter To Vegans

by Daniel Oakes | September 21, 2021

small steak resting on a cutting board

Proximo : [laughs] So, Spaniard. We shall go to Rome together and have bloody adventures. And a great whore will suckle us until we are fat and happy and can suckle no more. And then, when enough men have died, perhaps you will have your freedom.

A few years ago I asked my then-coach a common question: “Our ancestors surely never ate 200g of protein per day – and certainly modern tribespeople aren't huge and jacked – so why do you recommend so much meat and dairy? Surely it's unnatural to eat that much?”

My coach simply said, “Protein is scarce in the wild” – and immediately I didn't understand what he meant by that; and I arrogantly assumed he hadn't answered my question. He didn't answer it directly, at least.

It was only until I learned about phenotypic expression in Mark Rippetoe's article Physical Potential that something dawned upon me: “The expression of a genetic trait depends on its presence in the genotype, but it is also quite dependent on the environmental conditions that determine whether or not it gets expressed during the development of the organism.”

Just because running around in the jungle and eating mangoes seems more natural than lifting man-made barbells and eating sausages, it doesn't mean that the former is the best way to maximize human potential. The latter in fact maximizes phenotypic expression (bones become denser, muscle bellies become thicker and more pronounced, etc.), whereas the former leaves our species skinny and weak.

“Protein is scarce in the wild” makes a lot of sense now. Sorry, Noah.

Flesh Feasts Upon Flesh

It sounds a bit Lion King, but Noah also reminded me that when I die I will be consumed and my nutrients will be utilized by another life form. So life, for me, is a race to consume before being consumed. But it appears that the contemporary vegan feels a lot of shame for their presumed seat of superiority to all this. They wither and whine while animals are splayed out before them; and they turn their noses up at all that meat! That's the real pity.

Surely nothing would make you want to hastily stuff your face with meat and maximize your existence more than this quote by Christopher Hitchens: "It will happen to all of us that one day you'll be tapped on the shoulder and told – not just that the party's over – but slightly worse: the party's going on, and you have to leave. That's the reflection, I think, that most upsets people about their demise.”

That quote was so affecting that I had a dream one night, where I was on my deathbed and I could see a glimmer of sunlight through the hospital blinds. I could hear the free-racing traffic outside – but I was stuck, slipping down into a tunnel where others were eternally running from.

Surely any vegan on their deathbed must regret not eating a burger or a sausage? The realization of approaching death makes me ravenous. The lack of time makes me want to "cram things in," pun intended.


It's time to stop hating humanity for what it is – what you are. A scorpion doesn't hate itself and neither should you. Maximize your genetic potential by lifting heavy weights, eating lots of meat and doing as little running as possible (don't needlessly wear yourself out). You no longer need to present like a mogli-esque peasant. You can become thick and strong, something many humans don't have the luxury of doing. You aren't Gandi, so stop feeling sorry for every bird, leaf and flower. Hell, you should want to eat them, not stroke them like a dog!

Many people in the world would love to be you right now. I bet if they could get away with it they would stick a pitchfork in your ass and take everything you have. Simply put: stop being arrogant and eat!  

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