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Your thoughts on another celebrity vegan's premature passing?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 21, 2012 at 3:20 AM

So Robin Gibb, member of the Vegan Society, died today from a colon cancer that had spread to his liver. He was 62. Just curious about your thoughts on this? I don't follow celebrity news that well (or at all) but this is not the first time that an outspoken vegan has died young from a diet related illness, no? Steve Jobs? Any famous Paleos who maybe also died of similar causes?

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 21, 2012
at 02:43 PM

That might be going a little too far. Whenever I get the chance to talk to a politician (not too often), I recommend that they don't run for reelection. Recommending veganism would probably get a much better response.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 21, 2012
at 01:37 PM

There is no reason to think that veganism was the cause of death. That kind of "post hoc ergo propter hoc" is a common logical fallacy that we would do well to discourage here. Also, Jim Fixx died of a heart attack WHILE RUNNING. Same fallacy applies. Did anyone "wake up" to the negative effects of long distance running? Nope. At least, not until recently - mostly due to real evidence.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 21, 2012
at 12:56 PM

Paleo is not anti-vegan.

4ccf5d9bba64e54fc95802fe8ae33c47

(900)

on May 21, 2012
at 12:01 PM

Yeah, I guess that's pretty much how I feel about it myself. It was late and I was tired yesterday when I heard the news and asked the question. Plus I was probably more concerned about a different death I learned about yesterday within my extended family. I was a vegetarian and almost vegan long ago for many years, for animal rights reasons. I am just upset, vegans make me angry because I feel they destroy more than save, and manipulate mother nature, and are proud of their vegan dogs, which imo is animal abuse.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on May 21, 2012
at 11:45 AM

Sooo... we should recommend to our politicians that they go vegan?

5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on May 21, 2012
at 11:21 AM

Yeah, this is an important part of the equation, and a reason why singling out his diet is a bad idea. Both Robin and Maurice had a similar congenital defect in the form of twisted intestines. Neither was diagnosed until well into adulthood (in fact, I think Maurice died from a blockage caused by it before anyone knew he had it). Robin's wasn't dx'ed until years later, when he had cancer; they were fraternal twins, so who would have expected they'd have the same defect? And that adds a layer of complexity to his particular case.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on May 21, 2012
at 11:05 AM

It won't be a wake-up call, as this can happen to anybody. Diet doesn't cure everything. After all, Thomas Edisons assistent died of cancer by just being exposed to radiation. I don't think it has been proven that Steve Jobs was a vegan, I think he ate some fish.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on May 21, 2012
at 08:17 AM

Everyone has to die of something.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 21, 2012
at 05:40 AM

I am very sorry to hear that. But I think it should be a wake up call for others in Vegan community. I always feel bad for people who are being sucked in into believing something that is not true - whether it is Santa Claus, David Wolfe's preaching or veganism.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 21, 2012
at 04:22 AM

I'm with you there. Not only do we not know exactly what caused his cancer, but if we start going 'told ya so', we're not really being any better than the 'pious vegans'. Gotta let people make their own choices, based on what they think is right, and not push ours on anyone, no matter how convinced we are, that our choices are the best.

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on May 21, 2012
at 04:01 AM

It is dangerous, but the tit for tat feels good when aimed at the pious snarky vegans or their media and establishment enablers. It is only worth, however, making a list only for when the trolls appear mud can be slung right back.

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5 Answers

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11
5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on May 21, 2012
at 09:58 AM

As bad as I think veganism is for the great majority of people, one thing I have noticed over the years is that very few vegans actually remain vegans. I lasted two years, then gave up; despite being skinnier than I'd ever been in my life, I was tired of feeling like crap.

Veganism, for most people, is very hard, if not impossible, to sustain. Can some--a tiny percentage--live that way for decades and be healthy? I'm sure they can. But most simply cannot (judging by the number of sickly vegans I've known). Most give up and resume eating at least some animal products within a few years. (And this is why I don't worry about vegans--chances are excellent they'll eventually de-convert on their own, with zero input from me.)

The ones who do stick it out permanently are usually motivated by a genuine desire not to harm animals. Robin Gibb was; Pam Anderson, Bob Barker, and Alicia Silverstone are. It's a humane issue, not a strictly dietary one.

So the percentage of vegans who keep at it for more than 3 years is small, and the percentage who stay with it for a decade or more is tiny. Among those long-term vegans will be people who do well on it (Robin Gibb does not seem to have been one of them; he got really scrawny and remained chronically underweight, unable to gain, as a vegan). The sample size is still too inadequate, and not enough is known about them, to draw conclusions. Robin Gibb died at 62, Steve Jobs at 57--but Bob Barker, longtime vegan, is still kicking at 88.

I don't feel any need to argue with or defend myself against the very few obnoxious, self-righteous vegans I meet, and even if I was I'm not interested in using Steve Jobs or Robin Gibb as poster boys for Why Veganism Fails. Frankly, neither of them deserves that. And there's so much I don't know about either man's case--I can speculate, but I still won't have all the facts. I wouldn't be much better than the vegans who claim John Wayne had 25 lbs of impacted waste in his guts when he died because he ate meat. I just don't care to go down that road.

And, frankly, chances are good the vegan I might potentially argue with isn't even going to be a vegan in a couple more years anyway, so why bother? I had to figure out that veganism was bad for me as an early n=1. I didn't listen to other people's arguments back then; why should new vegans listen to mine now? Let them conduct their own n=1. And if they truly love animals enough to not eat or exploit them, even if that means damaging themselves? Well, you know, that's their choice, and they're free to make it.

4ccf5d9bba64e54fc95802fe8ae33c47

(900)

on May 21, 2012
at 12:01 PM

Yeah, I guess that's pretty much how I feel about it myself. It was late and I was tired yesterday when I heard the news and asked the question. Plus I was probably more concerned about a different death I learned about yesterday within my extended family. I was a vegetarian and almost vegan long ago for many years, for animal rights reasons. I am just upset, vegans make me angry because I feel they destroy more than save, and manipulate mother nature, and are proud of their vegan dogs, which imo is animal abuse.

25
A1a7413b99e03bc77f02d95c4170ea43

on May 21, 2012
at 03:55 AM

I think this is a dangerous road to start to go down... We have no idea what exactly happened or what caused what, so speculating is only going to end up biting us in the ass. Did his diet cause it? Maybe, maybe not. Is our diet keeping us healthy? Yup, so I'm just going to stick with that, and let other people do their own thing.

Just my two cents here.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 21, 2012
at 04:22 AM

I'm with you there. Not only do we not know exactly what caused his cancer, but if we start going 'told ya so', we're not really being any better than the 'pious vegans'. Gotta let people make their own choices, based on what they think is right, and not push ours on anyone, no matter how convinced we are, that our choices are the best.

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on May 21, 2012
at 04:01 AM

It is dangerous, but the tit for tat feels good when aimed at the pious snarky vegans or their media and establishment enablers. It is only worth, however, making a list only for when the trolls appear mud can be slung right back.

4
5cd8441bd01fc10816085bfc092477c4

(925)

on May 21, 2012
at 11:00 AM

I think Robin GIbbs passing is more related to genetics than anything. He suffered from myriad intestinal and bowel problems before the cancer really set in, and his twin brother, Maurice, died from twisted bowel in 2003.

5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on May 21, 2012
at 11:21 AM

Yeah, this is an important part of the equation, and a reason why singling out his diet is a bad idea. Both Robin and Maurice had a similar congenital defect in the form of twisted intestines. Neither was diagnosed until well into adulthood (in fact, I think Maurice died from a blockage caused by it before anyone knew he had it). Robin's wasn't dx'ed until years later, when he had cancer; they were fraternal twins, so who would have expected they'd have the same defect? And that adds a layer of complexity to his particular case.

3
E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on May 21, 2012
at 03:57 AM

I don't care. I'm just sad Steve Jobs is gone and we're still stuck with a lot of ftards in politics.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 21, 2012
at 02:43 PM

That might be going a little too far. Whenever I get the chance to talk to a politician (not too often), I recommend that they don't run for reelection. Recommending veganism would probably get a much better response.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on May 21, 2012
at 11:45 AM

Sooo... we should recommend to our politicians that they go vegan?

2
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 21, 2012
at 01:57 PM

First off I would like to say that you are a massive tool for posting this a day after his death. While I am not personally sad about his death, I do think he was a great musician, and I feel sorry for his family and loved ones. You are incorrect in that he was an outspoken vegan. How many people here knew of this former BeeGee as a vegan, nonetheless an outspoken one? I had no clue, but maybe it's just me. Also, you're very naive to think that any particular diet can absolutely prevent disease. What if he had a strong family history of colon cancer, and adopted a vegan diet because he thought it would diminish his overall risk? What if he would have died at 45 had he adopted a primal diet? We have no idea. What you infer from a headline reinforces your naivety. Hubris is deadly too.

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