It was sort of entertaining, but I must admit it left me a little frustrated.
In his closing statement, Richard (the cooked flesh eater), claimed that Harley (the calorie counting vegan) was more debating against general omnivores than Paleo specific, but to be honest, Richard was doing exactly the same, debating more against veganism than Harleys more specific version of low fat, and raw.
Neither party really went overboard loosing their cool at any time, which admittedly surprised me with Richard, as when I briefly attempted a discussion with him over at his blog, his responses (and those of the bulk of the rest of his disciples) were generally quite primitive in nature, and consisted of a fair bit of name calling.
Richard gave a bit of an odd response to the question about whether he at all felt any moral qualms about his chosen diet, stating something about the rights for humans not coming from the fact that we can feel pain and suffer like animals, but rather that we can think. As if animals are themselves incapable of such, or as if every human is capable of such. Clearly neither is true.
He also very much showed his ignorance by stating his view that a vegan based lifestyle would destroy the earth and kill off animals by destroying their habitat. He clearly has neither an idea how much land is lost due to livestock farming, nor how much more environmentally sound an agriculture based predominantly around fruit tree growing has the potential to be. Perhaps he is comparing more a nomadic based lifestyle, of hunters and gatherers living in small tribes, something likely far afield from his own lifestyle choice.
The point was also made about Harley being too skinny in the eyes of a Paleo, but when Harley countered that his body weight and size was comparable to most other endurance athletes, Richard fully dismissed this, saying that his athletic prowess had nothing to do with the debate at hand.
Then there was that whole comparison he made of liver versus a bowl of fruit.. I mean yuck, who cares how much nutrient is in either (!).. one is dead and unappealingly disgusting, the other is vibrant, colourful and sweet..
Harley handled himself pretty well, but I do know that he has a tendency to exaggerate the truth at times. Not about his athletic fetes, I don't doubt those for a second, but he does state that he shares a flat with a paleo flat mate, and if it's the guy I believe it to be, then I don't think it's quite factual to be labeling him as paleo.
He also brought up the old adage about sticking a rabbit and a piece of fruit in with a baby and see which one it eats.. I used to like that one, but honestly, if you think about it, most omnivore parents would not give their babies living animals to kill themselves. They would kill and rip it open first. I would guess that an innocent baby would want to stick both items (the apple and the flesh) in their mouths, as that's how babies find out about the world.
Sure though, I will merit that the vast majority of humans don't have the heart to take a knife to a cows throat and kill it for lunch.
A little too much talk of triglycerines and the B12 critters (whatever they are) and their ilk for my liking, but I guess for many that's what they want to hear.
When Richard claimed that "the china study" had been debunked, Harley countered that, yes, by a 21 year old girl who he doubted the existence of. Personally I thought this a pretty weak response.. I mean, it's not that I myself have read the China study, nor have any great desire or intention to do so, nor have I seen the debunking response, but dismissing a debunk purely on the supposed age and gender of the debunker is a little unfair. (it may well be the debunk is weak by it's own merits, but if the author is genuinely a mystery, it may also be there was far more research put into it than Harley is aware).
And, this has little to do with his side of the debate, and is more about me wanting to be that small voice for fruitarianism, he also made that statement about not knowing anyone that eats just fruit (he knows Kveta and myself at least). But I guess he is entitled to believe that those of us that claim we do, are all liars, though I can't help but think still that Harley somehow feels threatened by the idea.. Also, I am quite curious to know where he get's his data from when he states so matter of factly that Ross Horne was not vegan.
Anyhow, Kudos to both parties for stepping up to the microphone and airing their view points. If you want to listen to it, here it is:
Listen to Harley vs Richard -
DurianRider vs the Animal Debate
Or if you want your own copy of the debate, then you can order one here: