The Dark Side Of The Health Industry


Amidst all the “save the world; let’s make it a better place” ethos of the health industry at large there is a deeper and darker side. One that you may well have never come across. It’s the ‘us versus them’ war; a story that has been played out time and again through all manner of industries – and it’s a war that doesn’t appear to be growing old. We all accept that, when it comes to health, other people do not believe what we believe. We know that there are opposing views to oppose every view, and for those who’ve ever begun a battle of science we also know that there are studies to oppose every study! So we base our beliefs not only on science and written or visual evidence, but also on our own innate logic about what seems right, coupled with the reality of what we can prove or disprove on our own physiology. I’m talking about the war between the carnivores and herbivores. Yesterday I got trapped as an (almost) lone carnivore in the midst of a group of VERY committed herbivores. So committed in fact, that, well – see for yourself. What I’m showing you here today is 30-minutes worth of back and forth from a Facebook comment thread I jumped in on earlier this week. You can read my commentary, or just the comment screenshots; that’ll definitely give you the story! I know, I know, I should have walked away from this conversation or probably never even have started it, and possibly I should just let it go now. But hey –  it’s been a while since I’ve had a good rant! And truthfully? I’d love to get your feedback on this.

Am I being completely delusional to suggest that we can all keep our different views and still have basic human compassion and respect?

Should I do as my attackers do and look at anyone who doesn’t accept my views with a mix of disdain, pity, and a ‘why waste time on the lost’, sort of attitude? Would I be doing the right thing in trying to spread what I believe to be right and factual by responding with lists upon lists of studies, even stuff that I’ve seen repeatedly undoing the infamous China Study and other well-known anti-meat texts? My point of just trying to all respect each other as humans was completely swept up in an attack on my beliefs, and an assumption that they’re not factual. I chose not to respond with the facts of my case because really, why bother? I certainly don’t have a self-appointed mission to convert non-meat eaters into flesh-tearing-beasts such as myself.

My mission, with my business, the example I try to set in my own life, and through this blog as well as all my writing, is to inspire and to empower people – YOU – to take control of your health, your body, and even your life. To live your best life, dare I say! Yes, I also aim to educate, but to do so in a compassionate manner.

My personal mission with my writing is to feel good about making you and my other readers feel good both inside and out (and I’m talking physically as well as emotionally), not to feel sanctimonious and puffed up about how effectively I tore someone else down!

Nor would I imagine for a second that such an approach might be effective in sharing my message or ‘converting’ those who I may quietly (or not apparently :)) see to be mis-led! I’ve given up on trying to be a writer who summaries science as

a) my passion is not purely in stats and figures,

b) I know you guys want inspiring and interesting food for thought rather than lists of links and research to wade through, and

c) the people who want me to ‘prove’ something to them are never asking out of a genuine desire for me to do that.

Now I may not always succeed, but when I write, I try to respect where other people are coming from, and the fact that they are entitled to form their own beliefs based on their own experiences and research.

Yes, I hope that my writing promotes change in the way people see healthy living, fat loss, and even in the way they follow their life purpose or passion, but I simply cannot come to terms with trying to change someone by being patronising or insulting.

It just doesn’t make sense to me!

And I know I’m not alone; in the midst of all this back and forth I received 2 private messages from people I didn’t know, saying they agreed with me and thought it was good that I was standing up against the attacking attitude put fort.

So how about you – does it make sense to you?

Should I be spouting forth science in an effort to show how informed I am and how uninformed others are?

Or should I just do as I’m told and run along … back to this blog and other happy places where I know people will be nice to me and each other?

Perhaps I have it all wrong; perhaps the health industry should be about verbally beating the ‘non-believers’ into either submission or intimidated withdrawal?

Vote now! [poll id=”3″] As well as voting, please have your say below in the comments – please do! I’d really like to know you think about all this.

And remember – Life is Now – and it won’t be forever. Is it so naive to think we can all get along as we ‘press play’?

Kat PS: Writing this piece has reminded me why I blog – it’s not just about ‘eat this; eat that’, ‘do this; do that’, it’s also about being passionate about something and wanting to hear the thoughts of a like-minded community! Thankyou for being part of my community.

PPS: Coffee – yes, I would be saying it’s good for you 🙂 And yes (sigh) – I have seen more studies than just this one!


18 responses to “The Dark Side Of The Health Industry”

  1. Lyndsey says:

    Oh Kat,

    I enjoyed reading your blog very much today!!

    You really inspire me and I admire you, keep it up


  2. Brenda says:

    Hi Kat,

    The first time I ever got sucked into one of these types of situations on line I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. It was a spiritual type of blog and the guy that writes it had eaten a no meat diet. In his blog he stated that he had started to eat animal flesh of some sort again because he didn’t have any energy……which led him to feeling so much better. Oh boy the comments section turned into a diet debate which wasn’t even the main focus subject of the original long blog. I piped in my two cents worth and kind of regretted it later. But it was my first experience with hearing vegetarian/vegan intensity. It got pretty nasty….much worse than your facebook experience. It was pretty shocking.

    Plus once I sent you some info on “The Great Diet Debate” that took place everyday for a week on line. That also turned into the meat eaters vs. the plant eaters battle. Sally Fallon actually told vegans that they should not reproduce because it isn’t fair to the children………oh my. Imagine that. She got lots of hateful comments. By the end of the week I was pretty tired of the battle. I did leave comments but was nice about it. I did learn some things too. It was an education in how passionate people can get.

    I totally understand how you felt about your exchange and no it doesn’t do any good to offer evidence. It is a shame that we can’t totally trust scientific studies and many are tainted or slanted toward what they were wishing the results to be. I’m sure some are good studies but one has to be experienced in spotting the signs that may show whether it may have been biased. I would think most people are not trained to do that, but since you are a professional you probably have a better idea than the random person.

    My daughter now works in a organic market and she has to be polite to all kinds of people on all kinds of diets in person. But she can spot a Paleo/Crossfit person from down the isle because of how great they look. They turn around and have a Crossfit t-shirt on and they ask where the nuts or the beef jerky is………hahaha. Then she knows she is with her own kind.

    Yes-The non-meat eaters do seem to be higher up on the soap box because they often base there believes on emotion (save the planet and the animals even though that is debatable also) so anytime they are challenged that just escalates. If I was going to say anything at all in those situations it would probably be…….”I am glad that you feel so good on your diet because that is what we should all be striving for. In my experience, even though many vegans feel good for a certain period of time it doesn’t always last and they decide they need to make a change and add some animal products. It is always good to keep and open mind.” They still may not like it but it would be a respectful way to plant a seed.

    Good post Kat…….some good “food” for thought.

    • Kat says:

      Hi Brenda – I think what you said at the end there is perfect. A good tip for me for next time to be more concise 🙂

      Lucky Sloan working at a market; I’m sure that would be lots of fun. Even if she does have to keep her feelings to herself much of the time about her approach to nutrition!

      I don’t think that this debate is one that will ever end … but that’s okay 🙂 I’m just going to keep ALL my opinions to myself in future unless I especially feel like a good to’n’fro!

      • Brenda says:

        I was thinking more about this after my comment and I remembered that in that spiritual blog the moderator didn’t even post all of the comments that she could have because of how nasty it got. You are right-people should be able to debate respectfully. And the guy they were attacking for eating meat again certainly didn’t deserve it. In fact he is someone to be respected on all levels.

        Yes-Sloane is loving her new job. It is a great company to work for and feels very lucky to to hired when lots of people applied. She enjoys the challenge of knowing where things are when people ask and the physical nature of the job. She wore a pedometer one day and walked over 5 miles in one shift. Ha! Plus stocking shelves and unloading palates is fun to her. The company is going to be scheduling employee hikes too.

      • Kat says:

        Sounds like a great organization for her to work for 🙂

  3. A Watson says:

    Hi Kat,
    The whole key to the debate was the fact that we are NOT machines and as such have individual dietary requirements. It does not mater what evidence can be produced, at the end of the day its what works for the individual that counts and surely its every intelligent human being’s right to choose how they wish to be fit/healthy. Also as we age and undergo life changes on a daily basis our dietary requirements also change, are we not also allowed to move with it?
    There just is NOT a single prescription of diet that is beneficial to the human race. And surely this dogma style of “diet education” that preaches “One way the only way” is a form of bullying and a negative approach. By the way I have been Vegan many years, but sometimes my body seems to need some meat and I respond to it. I am healthy and fit and also able to cope with the psychological aspect of stepping outside my ‘label’ if MY body requires it. BUT this is MY diet, tailored to MY needs and I respect others right to manage their own diet without judgement. I think you handled the discussion with extreme politeness and professionalism.

    • Kat says:

      Thankyou! What you’ve written exactly expresses my thoughts … I guess I should have just summarised them as such and left it there! I love how you honestly talk about being vegan but also recognising when your body needs meat. I’m on the flipside, I eat high protein (animal) most of the time but I also have vegetarian or even vegan days! It’s all about figuring out what works for you, and as you say that can change over time!

    • I couldn’t agree more with you on this! Even if the person is strict about their diet, it’s really about how they control themselves when they are at home already.

  4. Michele says:

    An interesting site you may want to post for the perusal of the doubters (from one of their own ) 🙂 anythnig by Lierre Keith she has done multiple interviews and is a very interesting woman.

    • Pip says:

      I too, thought of Lierre Kieth as I read through this “conversation”. (I’m part way through The Vegetarian Myth as we speak!)

      Kat, you presented a voice of reason even as they missed the point that you were trying to comment about how we engage respectfully with others online .

      I think it took strength not to be pulled in to defend your viewpoint scientifically nor attack the lack of science (or in even logic) in some of the arguments presented.

      I’m off for lunch now, some grass fed beef and a big pile of organic vegetables!

      • Kat says:

        Yum pip! I have Lierre Keith’s book at home, it’s brilliant. It really helped me understand the science and reason behind much of the stuff I know intrinsically to be true! Thanks for your kind comment; I knew there was no point going down the science path – not when people are only asking so they can then try to refute! Besides which, as you say, it wasn’t why I jumped in in the first place!

  5. Lou says:

    Whoa, that is insane. I was a vegan/vego for 8 years but I never ever got up about it like that!!! Well I did sometimes-as a very short joke! It was actually a health thing for me, and I found I went from being anemic on a meat diet to having great iron and energy levels on a vegan diet (all while being an elite athlete!). Now the tables have turned, my body has changed and I am doing much better on a high protein primal diet… Every body is different and every one can change.

    Mind you I do get a little bit preachy about sugar… Probably because I see how it (the elimination of) could impact on my relatives lives!

    • Kat says:

      Ha, I get preachy about stuff too; I know I do! I’m trying to do it nicely though; I don’t see any point to arguing my point by calling someone else an idiot (indirectly or not!). Thanks for your comments Lou … so interesting hearing from people who have made such drastic changes in their own lives!

  6. Silje says:

    Hi Kat,

    Just wanted to drop by a note and say that I still follow your blog and find the content of it highly informative and educational. You rocked that facebook thread, it takes a big heart to be so calm and open minded (and respectful) as you were right there,being thrown such stupid comments at. At least you can go to bed with a certainty that you know the value of discussing without judgements =)
    I am still following my high fat/protein and low carb eating, as I have been ever since I stumbled upon this blog a long time ago… And I am maintaining my -23kg weightloss with great pleasures food wise! I really don’t miss all those foods that gave me sugar cravings and jo-jo energy levels (funny thing, huh?) Never ever will I leave this for veganism, low-cal diets, surviving on fruits, vegetarianism or any other ridiculous food plan!

    Keep up the good work and ignore ignorant people


    • Silje says:

      May I correct that to *rediculous food plan FOR ME, because I have tried them all before. I completely agree that there is not one diet for all: but this one is what fits me!

    • Kat says:

      Hi Silje, great to hear from you! Thankyou for your support – and well done on keeping up what works for YOU. That’s what it is all about, after all 🙂