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Mike Tyson Goes Vegan

usatoday.com | 05/04/10

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According to the AP Story linked below, Tyson has gone vegan and credits feeling really good to that, saying he's not got the drama in his life he had.

He sure is looking good, having lost weight and slimmed down. Click below to read story.

Read the whole story here.



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12 Comments | Leave a comment

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I would say the verdict is still out as to whether he actually eats a vegan diet. Many people these days use the term vegan, not realizing exactly what it means. And also he races pigeons. I don't doubt he cares for them but clearly that is not a vegan activity. Meanwhile I hope he does eat a vegan diet. He looks great.

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I was disturbed to see this article, entitled "Mike Tyson Goes Vegan," yet the referenced article clearly states that Tyson is racing pigeons. Pigeons, of course, are sentient beings, and one does not actually "race" them like one might race cars or toys—pigeons must be exploited to produce a "race." Participating in the exploitation of nonhuman animals acts explicitly against the interests of those beings. This violates principles of nonviolence, animal rights, and veganism. Moreover, Tyson is glorifying such exploitation by starring in an Animal Planet series based on this exploitation.

VegSource might have avoided this error by instead clarifying that Tyson is eating a "vegan diet" or a "plant-based diet"—although I'm wary of even trusting that much from the media. But it is clear that, even if Tyson and others inappropriately use the label vegan, VegSource should not perpetuate this misunderstanding. The distinction between veganism and a vegan diet is profound. Please avoid confusing the two, and confusing your audience.

Perhaps most importantly, though, VegSource could have avoided jumping on celeb-veg bandwagon in the first place. As Mylène Ouellet demonstrates time and time and time again through her blog, we need to stop idolizing "veg" celebrities. Ideally, there wouldn't have been a VegSource announcement about Tyson, but at the very least, we should get our terminology straight.

Respecting animals means going vegan—and that means not using them as our things. Going vegan is better for us, better for the planet, but most importantly, it's the morally right thing to do.

Veganly Yours,
Tim

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Just saw this quotation from Eva Batt in 1956.  Note the section on sports.

~Tim



But veganism is by no means concerned only with food; vegans deplore the slaughter or exploitation of any creature for any reason:

FOOD—Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, cream, lard, honey, and all made-up foods containing any of these;
CLOTHING—Wool, leather, silk, reptile skins, etc.;
ADORNMENT—Fur, feathers, pearls, ivory, etc.;
TOILETRIES—Soaps, cosmetics and creams containing animal fats and oils, lanolin [wool fat] and perfume ingredients obtained from animals under grossly cruel conditions;
HOUSEHOLD GOODS—Hair and wool rugs and carpets, woolen blankets, feather pillows, brushes and brooms made of hair; oils, greases, polishes, etc., that include animal fats in the ingredients;
SPORTS—Hunting, racing, shooting, fishing, etc.;
AMUSEMENTS—Circuses and all acts which include performing animals or birds; zoos wherein naturally free creatures are imprisoned—national parks and wildlife preserves are so much better and more rewarding for all concerned;
MEDICINES—Vaccines, serums, etc., made from animals, not forgetting that millions of animals are used yearly for “testing” all kinds of drugs as well as shampoos and “beauty products”.

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Veganism is a path. Nobody goes from meat eater to vegan in a day. Many times it starts with the dietary/health aspects of veganism and then they move towards the compassion side of veganism as they evolve in their thinking. To judge and demean someone's attempt to become vegan, even to a small degree, and even if it is only "vegan" from a dietary standpoint, is non productive and makes the person making the critique, in my ever-so-humble opinion, look like one of those "look at me, I am veganer than thou" types.

Good for Mike. I hope that he grows and develops as he opens his mind to all things vegan.

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Yes, people do go from meat-eater to vegan in a day. (I did, but not for animal rights reasons. And that's not to say I'm "veganer than thou." It's merely to state that you are factually incorrect about "nobody" going vegan in a day.)

Compassion is wonderful, and it should be developed and cultivated wherever possible. However, one does not typically describe, for example, a non-rapist as being compassionate for not raping people. The non-rapist is fulfilling a minimum amount of justice owed to others. Veganism is not charity or compassion (although they may grow in kind). Veganism is the minimum amount of justice we owe to other animals.

Nor is being clear and consistent about the meaning of veganism equivalent to "judg[ing] and demean[ing] someone's attempt to become vegan[...]." If a "feminist" was telling sexist jokes, or participating in the exploitation of women, I (and hopefully, you) would not feel out of bounds for explaining that such behavior is not compatible with feminism. Nor should I (or you) be chastised for being "feminister than thou," no matter how "ever-so-humble" that chastiser's opinion.

I, too, hope Mike Tyson "grows and develops as he opens his mind to all things vegan." However, my post clearly stated a criticism not of Mike Tyson, but of VegSource for perpetuating inaccurate representations of veganism. This is a journalistic problem that I raised, not a "veganer-than-Tyson" display of arrogance.

All the best,
Tim

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Tim, I swear, I typed in, "With the exception of you, Tim, I'm sure, nobody goes from meat eater to vegan in a day." HAHAHA! I took it out, I guess I should have left it in.

With all due respect, I guess as much respect as you can give someone as you call them a fibber, I don't believe you. Sorry, I don't. I just don't believe that you went from zero to completely vegan in one day.

Your examples that you give don't wash. The two examples you give are not only morally and legally wrong, but they are also ubiquitously shunned by society at large. Munching animals, wearing leather, wool, or silk is not illegal, nor morally denounced by society at large. The fact is, you and I might believe it to be morally wrong, but you and I represent about 1 percent of 1 percent of society. Running around as the vegan police, declaring who is vegan or not vegan is non productive and just makes you look like a nut, in my ever-so-humble opinion. Many vegans are not yet evolved to the level that you are. I know I shouldn't say this, because I am certain that you are the most vegan guy there is, but there are other people that are more advanced than you are. I know, tough to believe. All vegans are at different stages in their evolution as a vegan. Are you going to declare Dennis Kucinich is not vegan because he may wear a silk tie or a wool suit?

The point of the article, and one of the main purposes of VegSource (in my unofficial interpretation) is to advance a healthy lifestyle using a plant based diet. Mike Tyson claims that he is going with a vegan diet, which is completely plant based. Is it up to VegSource to go raid his house for leather, silk, and animal ingredients in his shampoo? I mean really, is this really productive?

If you want to get your point across, without looking like a nut, you could have easily just complimented Mike for making such a wise and compassionate choice and welcome him to continue to evolve in his path to become a lifestyle as well as a dietary vegan.

I was at a vegan conference once where one of the speakers spent a good amount of time discussing the types that run around yelling, "Your not vegan! He's not vegan! I am vegan, but they aren't vegan!" and pointed out how these people turn far more people away than they ever win over. Just saying.

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Vegan Vagabond,

Please stop your ad hominem attacks.  They do not further discourse or prove your point.  For more information, please read The Thinker's Guide to Fallacies:  The Art of Mental Trickery and Manipulation (available online, with ad hominem attacks being one of the "44 Foul Ways to Win an Argument").

Since you've taken a personal interest in me and been so inappropriately bold as to call someone you don't know on the Internet "a fibber," I invite you to read about my introduction to veganism.  Whether you believe it or not is up to you, but it's freely available nonetheless.  Moreover, even if you irrationally discount my experiences, then you are still faced with the need to irrationally discount other people's experiences of going vegan in a day.

You stated in your third paragraph, "Your examples that you give don't wash. The two examples you give are not only morally and legally wrong[...]."  However, you did not justify such a dismissal.  If you want to carry on an exchange, then please support the statements you make.  It is insufficient to merely say that my statement is wrong without actually justifying your position or refuting my point.

You continued, writing that the examples I used for analogies "[...] are also ubiquitously shunned by society at large."  Yes.  Yes, they are.  That's the whole point of an analogy:  compare something commonly accepted with the issue in question, such that the audience can grasp some component or principle or feature shared by the analogized examples.  In my first example, I analogized moral obligations owed to others (from a potential rapist to a potential rape victim) to demonstrate that it's not an issue of compassion but of justice.  In the second example, I analogized the clarification of veganism being described as "[t]o judge and demean" with the clarification of feminism being described in the same way.  To learn more about analogies, I recommend the Wikipedia page on analogies.

Let me take a moment to further a point in my second analogy, as I'm not sure it was received.  When you posted your first comment to this page, the only people who had commented were "The Vegan" and I.  Both of us pointed out that pigeon racing is not a vegan activity.  (That's not being judgmental or demeaning; it's an objective matter of definition.)  We also both mentioned that it's unclear from the article whether Mike Tyson's diet is vegan, with The Vegan noting that many people misuse the term "vegan" these days, and I went so far as to link to three articles of veganism being misrepresented in the media.  (Here's another, published after my initial comment, which includes the topic of Mike Tyson.)  Therefore, it was inappropriate of you to make implicit accusations of being judgmental or demeaning.

Returning to your most recent post, you state that animal use is neither illegal nor socially rejected.  As should now be obvious, that was entirely the point of employing analogies (again, comparing one accepted position and one unaccepted position).  Your ensuing comment about "[r]unning around as the vegan police[...]" was another ad hominem, but more troubling is the rest of that paragraph.  I recommend that you re-read my previous reply to you in which I explicitly state that I was not "declaring who is vegan or not vegan"—I was making a journalistic statement about VegSource's objective inaccuracy.  I did not call or e-mail Mike Tyson, nor did I post a criticism on his website, nor did I even post a comment to VegSource saying that Tyson is not vegan "enough."  What I did, and what is easily verifiable by reading the comments on this page, was to make a statement that nonvegan actions are nonvegan, which I imagine should be noncontroversial, and suggest that VegSource could have easily remedied the mistake by specifying "vegan diet" or "plant-based diet" instead of perpetuating an error.  You then proceeded to make several more ad hominems about me before concluding the paragraph with an irrelevant question about what I would "declare" Dennis Kucinich to be, when I have already explained several times to you that I didn't even do that regarding Mike Tyson.

Your next paragraph states, "Mike Tyson claims that he is going with a vegan diet, which is completely plant based."  However, you will notice, upon reading the VegSource article and the article referenced from the AP, that VegSource states Tyson has gone vegan while the AP states that Tyson says he's gone vegan.  Neither says that Tyson is on a vegan diet or a plant-based diet, which you mistakenly wrote in your fourth paragraph.  Your statement is misleading, because even if you're correct that Mike Tyson stated "vegan diet" or "plant-based diet" elsewhere, the two referenced articles did not.  Moreover, my criticism was explicitly about VegSource's handling of this definitional distinction, and it holds irrespective of whether Mike Tyson claimed anywhere ever in the history of the world to be on a vegan diet or plant-based diet.  You then pose an illogical question about VegSource's role in raiding Mike Tyson's house.  Once again, I make no such claims, and you are using several fallacies to malign my argument.  VegSource is not required to raid Mike Tyson's house, but I think it well within reason to expect a site entitled "VegSource" to be able to note the distinction between "vegan" and "vegan diet" in its articles.  You conclude that paragraph with the fallacies of thought-terminating cliché and appeal to ridicule:  "I mean really, is this really productive?"

You flow right into your next implicit characterization of me as a "nut"—yet another ad hominem attack.  In this penultimate paragraph, you again mistakenly confuse my comments as being for Mike Tyson (they are for VegSource), that wisdom or compassion somehow inhere in having a vegan diet (which is clearly not true, as impoverished warlords can have vegan diets without caring at all about any reasons of wisdom or compassion), and you use the phrase "vegan diet" instead of the "vegan" label to which I called attention (when I was criticizing VegSource's use of "vegan" I actually advocated that they use "vegan diet" instead).

Your final paragraph returns to the now well-worn mischaracterization of my argument as having anything to do with Mike Tyson per se.  Your final two words were "Just saying."  Here's a Daily Show clip about "just sayin'."  I'm not sure whether you intended it as Stewart explains, but it seems to me to perfectly conclude your disingenuous, malicious, and inappropriate post.

I sincerely hope that, from here on out, you will fully read posts before replying to them, as a significant portion of your errors appear to stem from unfamiliarity with the post to which you reply.  I also sincerely hope, for the sake of anyone with whom you might ever converse in the future, that you read the critical thinking PDF to which I linked in this reply's first paragraph.

Also, I hope that you stop vegan-bashing.  You have repeatedly ridiculed me regarding how long I've been vegan or how "advanced" I am, how "veganer than thou" I am, and, of course:  "I know I shouldn't say this, because I am certain that you are the most vegan guy there is, but there are other people that are more advanced than you are. I know, tough to believe."  Not only was that juvenile and disrespectful, but it was logically irrelevant to my posts.  That's worth reiterating:  your attacks against me were logically irrelevant to the points I made.  Please read posts and reply to their content rather than shirking rational discourse for playground sand-slinging.  It is well within reason to ask that "vegetarian" not be used by VegSource to describe people who eat pigs, just as it is well within reason to ask that "vegan" not be used to describe people who enslave pigeons.  "Vegan diet" is a sufficient replacement.  (To preemptively answer the challenge, my posts, unlike yours, were not vegan-bashing.  By definition, it is not vegan to race pigeons, and, more relevantly, I didn't bash Tyson in any of my posts.  You, however, engaged in vegan-bashing against me, attempting to impose your conceptions of vegan arrogance onto me.)

Finally, I strongly encourage you to read the Wikipedia guidelines on assuming good faith.  While they are crucial to Wikipedia's success, I feel they are also crucial elsewhere in life to intelligent and rational discourse in which parties may disagree.

If you have content-related concerns or arguments to make, then I invite you to do so.  I will not, however, return to answer any more forum abuse, as it has now become trolling.

All the best,
Tim

P.S.:  The most appropriate argument to be made against my admonition of VegSource is that VegSource couched the announcement of Mike Tyson's veganism in this introductory phrase:  "According to the AP Story linked below, Tyson has gone vegan [...]."  However, three problems remain.  First, the VegSource title ("Mike Tyson Goes Vegan") is still incorrect.  Second, referencing another agency does not discharge VegSource's obligation to journalistic integrity, particularly accurate reporting.  Regarding this second point, it would be permissible for VegSource to have posted:  "According to the AP Story linked below, Tyson has gone vegan [...].  However, the article also reports that Tyson is racing pigeons, so it appears he follows a vegan diet or plant-based diet."  With this example, VegSource would have reported on the AP's characterization while also making the distinction (even if not explaining the distinction) between vegan and vegan diet.  Regardless, using "according to" does not discharge responsibility in reporting.  The third problem with relying on "according to" as a defense against my admonition is that the AP story linked does not actually state that Tyson has gone vegan—it states that Tyson says he's gone vegan.  If VegSource had made this distinction, then they would have entered the realm of technical correctness (which they didn't), but an entity such as VegSource, I feel, has the obligation to be more explicit when evidence to the contrary is available within the referenced article.  (Similarly, a motorcycle publication should be held to higher rigor when reporting on motorcycles than could a general news agency for whom inaccuracies might arise due to ignorance.)

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By the way, Timothy, you inspired my latest blog post. I don't want to be too harsh on you, as I do admire your conviction.

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OK, Tolstoy, when I find a free hour or two, I'll read this long-winded reply. In the mean time, something that you might want to look up is how to get your point across succinctly. A large volume of words does not make you right.

The whole point is, we have societal standards and cultural standards running against us. Again, we may feel it is immoral to use animal products, but we are 1 percent of 1 percent of a population that sees absolutely nothing wrong with it. We need to be welcoming, encouraging, and supportive. "You're not vegan! You're not vegan!" is not the way. You will push people away and you will look like a nut.

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By the way, Tim, I did take a look at your story. How interesting that your story of going vegan is solely based on your dietary switch to veganism, which happens to be something you are admonishing VegSource for doing. Odd. But, by your own high standard of journalistic integrity:

But veganism is by no means concerned only with food; vegans deplore the slaughter or exploitation of any creature for any reason:

FOOD—Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, cream, lard, honey, and all made-up foods containing any of these;
CLOTHING—Wool, leather, silk, reptile skins, etc.;
ADORNMENT—Fur, feathers, pearls, ivory, etc.;
TOILETRIES—Soaps, cosmetics and creams containing animal fats and oils, lanolin [wool fat] and perfume ingredients obtained from animals under grossly cruel conditions;
HOUSEHOLD GOODS—Hair and wool rugs and carpets, woolen blankets, feather pillows, brushes and brooms made of hair; oils, greases, polishes, etc., that include animal fats in the ingredients;
SPORTS—Hunting, racing, shooting, fishing, etc.;
AMUSEMENTS—Circuses and all acts which include performing animals or birds; zoos wherein naturally free creatures are imprisoned—national parks and wildlife preserves are so much better and more rewarding for all concerned;
MEDICINES—Vaccines, serums, etc., made from animals, not forgetting that millions of animals are used yearly for “testing” all kinds of drugs as well as shampoos and “beauty products”.

You failed to address your purging of non vegan toiletries, medicines, cleaning products and clothing from your lifestyle, which, of course, you didn't do over night. I claimed that nobody goes from zero to vegan in one day, and I stand by that statement. You are claiming that you went from zero to DIETARY vegan in one day and that is completely different. You are violating your own jouralistic integrity to claim you were vegan, when you still wore non vegan clothes and used non vegan cleaning products and toiletries. There's more to being vegan than just what you eat, remember?

Whatever.

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This story is for Tim and Vegan Vagabond ~

Michal and Kental started arguing as to which of them wrote the better music. "My music is better," Michal said." My melodies bring tears to the eyes of all women."

"No, my music is better," Kental disagreed. "My scores are more enchanting than anything! Your music couldn't move a cow, my poor Michal."

"And what do you think? That your scores would make it dance?"

The dispute was in full swing when a peasant passed by, leading his cow back home from the field. The two musicians saw an opportunity to put their theories to the test.

"Hello there," they said. "Would you mind if we played something for your cow?"

"Well, if it gives you pleasure, why not? She's seen a lot worse in her day, I can tell you."

Michal warmed his hands, tuned his balalaika (a stringed instrument of Russian origin) and played the most beautiful melody ever heard by a cow. But without result—the beast ruminated without moving an ear.

Vexed, Michal passed the instrument to his compatriot, who played a lively score with the same result—no reaction from the cow.

"It's a lost cause," Michal cried. "Your cow does not have a musical ear."

"Well, I don't know about that," the peasant replied. "If you would lend me your instrument for a moment, I could play something for her."

Intrigued, Michal and Kental handed over the balalaika. The peasant did his best to imitate the humming of the flies and the mooing of little cows. The cow lifted her ears, started whipping her tail from side to side, and walked closer to the peasant as if to hear the music better.

The main point of the story according to Godefrey is that ”if you have trouble communicating with people, it may be that, like Michal and Kental, you are not playing the music they are used to hearing.” This is really profound wisdom!

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It's great to vegan i think.Tyson u are doing a great job. I am with you. I also a vegan.
Vegan Weight Loss

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