Apparently using the WFF as a prop for promoting life threatening and unqualified supervised water fasts in Costa Rica was too much of a liability for Mike Arnstein and Co.
Now will Harley and Freelee be reinstated?
women mensturate men masturbate no one talks about either, the thought of women mensturating although "natural" tends to make us fellas sqeemish also speaking from expeirience the week leading up to the event a little scared by the whole thing, so if all women were raw vegans and no longer had their monthly cycles and the dreaded "TENSION" we would not need to sray from the original topic of Doug being elbowed from WFF. I love you all peace!
I do not feel the entirety of the issue weighs on one video. What I would say about the video in question is that not only are there female and male prudes, but squeamishness is in both genders. Some of the worst in my experience on the issue of menstruation have been women. Some women I have known do not want to talk about it at all, especially with males.
Having said that, even if the merits of the video are 5 star, imagine pulling up a youtube channel on market investing and seeing someone discussing enemas or something. There is a WTF/what does this have to do with market investing/gross out factor for a percentage of people. If I'm being introduced to a youtube channel on eating bananas and the most recent videos in the margin are on my past life stripping, or my views on marriage, or sex, or sex acts I will or won't do, or spats with low level youtube personalities, I'm not sure how that brings in people who want to know about eating bananas. These are hot button divisive cultural issues that turn off as many as they may turn on. I'm not sure how that dovetails with the idea of spreading the vegan message of getting of animal products and processed foods.
The newest video is not the dealbreaker, people are going to have different views. The larger issue for me is presenting veganism and healthy eating in a way that makes us look like responsible adults instead of fringe whackos. A good example would be Joel Fuhrman. Even though he is not technically a vegan I don't know anyone who has persuaded more people to get off garbage and animal products as staple food. He's articulate, an incredibly good teacher, walks the walk and doesn't push people's buttons and as a result he's on almost every PBS station there is.
AFAIK veganism isn't catching fire, it;s a slow burn, and as a new vegan I believe we have no one to blame but ourselves. I spent 20 years thinking vegans were mentally impaired, largely because of the poor PR. You have to listen to the customer. You can't do the same things and expect different results, etc.
I said my piece. I think we as vegans need to raise our game, the WFF thing being a case in point. It made everybody look bad.
I agree, but I also understand why Freelee & DurianRider do what they do on Youtube. In fact, DurianRider has talked about their marketing approach on multiple occasions, including in his new book. Quoting from page 247 of CTFU: (emphasis added)
Youtube pays around 2500-3000USD per million views. Ive over 10 youtube channels. My main one gets 2-4 million views. The others get a few million views combined each month. Yep, easy money isn’t it. Just for doing videos on health, sharks, bike stuff and pimping out my girlfriend. Hey, sex sells and so does the fear of sharks. We troll the internet with the health message and use what ever means possible to get that message out there. Even if it involves wearing a vegan t-shirt whilst I talk to kids about sharks and the worlds biggest zit that was caused from eating cheese...
They have 2 primary goals:
Financially-speaking, if I were to buy everything I wanted to (fresh, organic, raw fruit), it would literally cost thousands of dollars a month to feed me. In the summer months, I eat at least 10 mangos a day. Currently, a single organic mango costs $3.99 at the store - each. 10 mangos times 31 days in a month is 310 mangos; 310 organic mangos @ $4/each = $1240 (plus tax). Yup - $1,200 in mangos alone each month, and that doesn't even cover half of my day's calorie requirements!! And don't even get me started about paying to get fresh dates shipped in! Since I personally don't have a minimum of $500 a week to cover my food bill that lifestyle, I can certainly understand why the frontrunners of this movement would be willing to pursue an alternative path that brings in large quantities of money.
One of the things I keep saying is that this is a definitely a diet for open-minded people. Aside from the craziness of eating an all-fruit diet (well, primarily fruit, at least), one of the reasons is that people, in general, are very influenced by living examples. Freelee & DurianRider are very strong examples of the success that this lifestyle can bring. Freelee's physique & DurianRider's energy (like his amazing 500km+ bike ride, where he didn't even seem super tired afterwards) instantly speak to that.
But anyway, going back to my point about being open-minded, it's exactly what you said in your post - I send both of their channels to people via email when they ask about my diet, and people always end up asking things like: "why does that guy swear so much?", "is he angry from being on a sugar high all day?", "I thought this was a health channel, why is she pretending to kiss an old guy?", "if the diet is so great, then why do they have petty arguments with other people on Youtube?", "why are all of the thumbnails of a girl in a bikini posing suggestively?" (get that one particularly from women, a lot of whom are kind of offended), etc.
Yes, it's ridiculous, but there's a couple additional aspects to it. First, if you're really looking for knowledge, you'll push through the BS & get to the hard data - that's why we're all still here, right? Again, the results speak for themselves. Second, Youtube is a virtual cash cow: if you can post entertaining & controversial content, you are pretty much guaranteed to make money from advertising. Freelee's "Jenna Marbles" video currently has 2.7 million views; assuming she made the base amount of $2,500 that DurianRider mentioned in his book, then she pulled in over $6,000 from that video by leveraging her viewer base & Jenna's viewer base. That $6,000 can cover 3 solid months of organic fruit for a single person. It lets her pay her bills & support her lifestyle.
From that perspective, I don't really have a problem with it. It is annoying when people are interested but get turned off by the content, but then again, very few people are ever going to go on this diet, and those who are truly interested will take the time to watch the videos, read the 80-10-10 book, and dive into all of the other great resources available for learning more about the how-to & benefits of living this lifestyle.
I do agree with you that we could definitely use a more...mature approach for advertising this diet. The trouble is, look at Doug Graham - he wrote an amazing book years & years ago, and even though I've been into fitness & health for what, 10 years now? I hadn't come across it previously...there is just so much information out there that you could go your whole life without crossing paths with it. Taking the traditional route doesn't get your message out there - posting silly & controversial videos does, however, especially in this day & age and with this generation of people growing up. If you sort Freelee's channel by viewcount, the top five videos alone have brought in nearly 10 MILLION views. That's pretty good advertising!
I also agree with you about having people like Joel Fuhrman on the scene. My dad has had some health struggles in his life; I showed him the Forks over Knives documentary and he was so impressed with what Fuhrman & the other interviewees had to say that he switched to a primarily vegan diet practically overnight, no joke!
As far as bad PR, I agree about that too. I think most people's views were that vegan people were the typical pale, unhealthy, and "vegan religious" type. They were annoying to be around because they expected respect, but didn't want to grant it to others (i.e. bashing on meat-eaters). I had come across Chris Califano's videos a few years ago & thought it was cool, but more or less dismissed the idea of a raw fruit diet, but tucked it away in my notes anyway. Then a couple years ago, I ran into a girl who had been raw vegan for nearly 20 years and was healthy, vibrant, energetic, and young-looking. She didn't push her views on me (and in fact, wasn't even an ethical vegan - she did it purely for health reasons) & happily shared her lifestyle & results with me. I had no concept that you could not only survive but thrive on that type of diet - I had used recipes from the Thrive Diet often, but not as something to live on for long periods of time. So her good example kind of kick-started me down the path...good PR. We're all human and want to be accepted and not bashed on, have good information shared with us, but not forced down our throats, etc. PR makes a difference!
Anyway, yeah, I feel you. Vegans have an image problem, but it's getting better. Because there are so few fruitarians out there, there's even more of an image problem, especially if a person's only interaction are the semi-"wild" videos (in terms of language, modesty, and topics of discussion) that Freelee & DurianRider post. We can downplay that all we want, but people still have to get over the idea of "eating 30 bananas a day" and if they turn away right off the bat, then they lose whatever knowledge they could have gained otherwise.
I'd really like to see some in-depth scientific studies done on this diet. The historical stuff I read is pretty sparse (ex. Essie Honiball being one of the few scientifically tracked ones that I know of). I'm not a scientist, but maybe we could put together a Kickstarter or something to gather some more data. I think hard data is important because science delivers facts - you're not just taking someone's word for it, there's actual tested, measured information to back up the claims. I think most people's perception of the fruitarian diet is, "well Steve Jobs was a fruitarian and he died of pancreatic cancer, and Ashton Kutcher tried it for his movie role & he went to the hospital for pancreas issues too", so having stuff that people in lab coats say is true has a lot of power to convince people to give this diet a harder look than just a passing glance.
Swon that was so well put together and interesting! superb...
Nice post Swon. I wonder if all the recent videos from DR and FL - the rants, trolling, piggybacking on other youtubers etc - are actually growing their audience sustainably or if moving away from the core message will hurt them in the long term. Personally I don't bother with DR's channel anymore because you have to wade through a lot of trash to find the occasional vids that are worth watching, and Freelea's channel seems to be heading the same way. Perhaps they're just running out of topics to cover?
Can I ask who the 20-year raw vegan was? That's much longer than most of the long-termers at the WFF or on youtube.
She's not online unfortunately, and isn't fruitarian, just raw vegan. I thought she was my age (30's) when I first met her and she was actually in her early 50's. Lots of energy, in great shape, youthful look. Like many of us, a history of illness got her into it and she felt so good she never stopped, and that was back in the mid-90's before a lot of the information we had today was available, so that's pretty incredible. I had never met anyone who had been raw vegan more more than maybe a year at most prior to that, so that's kind of what got me looking into it again as a more long-term, sustainable dietary lifestyle. Success is the best PR!!
As far as the videos, I am a big fan of what I'll call continuous-fire motivation vs. flash-bang motivation, to use some military-esque terms. A lot of us got a sudden interest in this diet, but the problem, as with anything, is keeping it up over time. Long-term motivation is a hard thing to keep. By providing us with constant videos & a forum to keep the discussion going, it keeps us in the game mentally & helps us keep on track. So rather than just getting excited about the initial idea, that continuous motivation encourages us to keep going.
I mean, there's only so many topics you can cover with fruit, you know?. If you want to drill right down to it, it's as simple as a single line to summarize the overall idea: eat enough calories of fruit every day, and finish off with a raw salad containing greens, nuts, seeds, and maybe some raw veggies & avocado depending on your fat requirements. Boom, done. The rest is for discussion, motivation, education, inspiration, etc.
Swon, excellent points.
As someone still transitioning, and judging by the activity on the website, I think there is plenty to talk about still. Yes there are a lot of repeat questions but that is a good sign.
I would like to apologize if my tone seemed to negative, I've just had some bottled up frustration for a few months now. I said my piece. Hopefully it's onward and upward.