2020s: Can we still avert a fake-news driven Orwellian vegan dystopia?
If you are a vegan, stop reading here, this post is not for you! This post will anger you, frustrate you and make you hate me, so for both of us, please stop reading now. This post isn't anti-vegan, its anti-fake-news, but I'm pretty sure you won't appreciate the distinction.
For the rest, please continue reading.
It's 2020, a new decenium and time to reflect and look forward. I am very much interested in nutrition and health. I have been for a long time. I wasn't exactly dealt a great hand, genetically, and as such diet and lifestyle are of great importance to my personal survival. With nutritional science though being in the state it is, I have bumped my head a few times due to following nutritional paradigms that as it turns out aren't actually beneficial to my health. Another subject I've spent quite some time studying, not so much from necessity, but mostly researching my last novel, is climate science. Compared to nutrition science, climate science is much closer, yet still, quite a bit removed from being hard science.
I think if there is one thing we can all agree on regarding the 2010s is that it has been the decade of Fake News and neither nutritional science nor climate science, or at least how these two branches of science have been portrayed in the media this decade, have proven to be immune from this trend. An interesting trend we have seen in the 2010s is that was before the last decade it was easy to distinguish false narrative by its source, the 2010s have shown us a new phenomenon. The consolidation of false narrative between different fake news sources. I think it might even be fair to state that the 2010s have been the decade of fake news consolidation.
One major example of false narrative consolidation touches on at least four fields. All fields I care about and know something about:
- Nutrition science.
- CVD and related pharmaceuticals.
- Climate science.
A false narrative is bad by itself, even if it has a single clear and identifiable source. When pharma companies create false narrative regarding opioids (watch this episode of Patriot Act), things are simple. When rapeseed oil companies create a false narrative to discredit olive oil or coconut oil, things are simple. When fertilizer companies create a false narrative playing down the problems with washout, things are simple. When things, however, get a few steps more complicated is when the organization creating the narrative manages to get people with good intentions on board to spread their false narrative for them. One example of such a thing happening is green anti-nuclearism. There is nothing green about opposing scalable, relatively safe and environmentally friendly alternatives to the use of fossil fuel, but still, the fossil fuel industry managed to basically recruit a large portion of the environmentalism movement to its false narrative. Most environmentalists now realize green anti-nuclearism was a huge mistake and much time has been wasted that should have been spent on low (or negative) waste nuclear fission research, reducing fossil GHG emissions and getting the grid fossil-free. Today you can buy an electric car and act as if you are doing something good for the environment, the grid is still mostly fossil powered thanks to decades of the green anti-nuclear narrative. So in the end, until we can rid ourselves of the legacy of green anti-nuclearism and finally move away from a fossil powered grid, electric cars are just virtue signaling, basically.
We all collectively fell for green anti-nuclearism, surely we won't fall for something as obviously anti-productive ever again, right? Well, a huge part of the population is doing just that right now.
Now the next diversionary tactic used by the fossil fuel companies is: blame the cows. And doing so this time, they have recruited the vegan community to basically infiltrate the environmentalist community. But it gets worse.
This time around it isn't just a single phrase of narrative promoted by a single poorly hidden actor. No, this time around more than one group of evildoers has discovered the gullibility of the vegan community when it comes to letting people with good intentions do all the lobbying for them. Find a line of narrative that allows them to blame animal agriculture for something. For anything, really. If you do so, the vegan community will gladly throw both time effort and sometimes even funding at spreading your fake news.
We've already covered fossil fuel, so what other lines of narative are there:
- Seed oil companies that benefit from the message, long-debunked by actual science, that unhealthy highly processed, heat unstable, often high in omega six PUFA, seed oils are somehow healthier than heat-stable minimally processed animal-sourced fats and/or coconut oil.
- Big food companies that increase their profit margins by replacing relatively expensive animal-sourced ingredients with often unhealthy highly processed cheap to source vegan alternatives.
- Pharmaceutical companies selling cholesterol-lowering drugs, that benefit from the vegan narrative perpetuating the scientifically now very much controversial theory that lowering serum cholesterol lowers the risk of heart disease.
- Chemical companies producing fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, etc pretty much profit from the vegan narrative that animal agriculture, not plant agriculture is the number one agricultural pollution agent threatening the environment.
Big oil, big pharma, big food, big chem, all working together in unison with the vegan community, and again part of the environmentalist movement, to spread their fake news as part of the new unified vegan narrative.
So how will this work out for the 2020s?
Have we learned enough from the disaster of green anti-nuclearism to not let this turn into an Orwellian vegan dystopia? Or will the decade of fake news be followed by the decade of the vegan ministery of truth?