Aug 12 2014

Episode 7 – Being Vegan and Fermentation

Paul BatesCan you be vegan and also be involved in fermentation? I go into this and other topics on today’s show.

After living a vegan lifestyle for about 10 years now, I think I can talk to a few of the issues that people bring up all the time. I feel this is one of the best ways to live, but I also think that if you’re living a sustainable lifestyle and you’re not vegan, you could actually be doing more GOOD than the typical vegan idealist is.

Also, if you ARE vegan (or vegetarian), have you truly thought about what your definition of vegan (or vegetarian) is for yourself? Have you actually gone through the thought process and traced the path of where your vegetarian food comes from and how it’s processed?

You can truly be a good force in the world showing your passion for being vegan, but blindly following anything can also have great pitfalls and be harming the planet more than you think it’s doing good.

I hope you enjoy today’s show. Let me know what you think in the show notes!



  • Why did I turn vegan and what got me thinking about going vegan 10 years ago?
  • What are some great books on veganism etc.?
    • Any books by John Robbins
      • Food Revolution
      • Reclaiming Our Health
      • May All Be Fed
      • Healthy at 100
      • The New Good Life
    • Other books
      • The China Study
      • Slaughterhouse
      • Mad Cowboy
  • The story of my dad and why that still drives me to learn about health and nutrition
  • The arguments as to why you SHOULD go vegan
  • The arguments as to why you should NEVER go vegan
  • My conclusions after 10 years on the following arguments for and against vegan diets including:
    • You get more fiber on a vegan diet
    • You aren’t consuming cancer-causing meats, dairy products, and eggs
    • Less accumulated toxins from bioaccumulation
    • You’re not killing animals on a vegan diet (or are you?)
    • You’re not supporting a system that’s abusing animals
    • Cycling grain through animals is unsustainable
    • Grazing animals leads to the degradation of soil and how we could use this to our advantage
    • Animals produce large amount of methane and create pollution and how we could harness this energy
    • Plants don’t have enough protein or where do you get your protein?
    • Plants don’t have complete protein
    • There’s no natural form of B12 in a vegan’s diet
    • You don’t get enough vitamin D such as the amount in milk
    • Never been a culture history that’s lived on a purely vegan diet
    • You get more grains on a vegan diet and we’re not meant to eat grains
  • Can anyone truly be vegan and what is the definition of vegan?
  • What is sustainable and can you be sustainable without being vegan?
  • I compare being vegan to that of the organic label and how this is not a compliment
  • Different eating styles that are based on starch like The McDougall Diet, the hunter/gatherer paleo diet, the Mediterranean diet, and
  • Examples of things I eat on a regular basis
  • Can you be vegan and involved in fermentation?


I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s show so be sure to comment below or if you have an idea for the show, email me at paul at fermentationpodcast.com or just click on the Contact button on top of this page and fill out the form. I look forward to hearing from you!


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  1. Letha

    Great show. I’m finding there is lots of room for fermentation in a starchivore diet. You talked me in to reading “Healthy at 100”. Lucky me, I was able to reserve it online from my local library. Best wishes.

    1. Paul Bates

      That’s great Letha! I think Healthy at 100 is such a great book to read no matter what kind of a diet someone’s following. If you can find the population of people around the world that live to 100 regularly, they must be doing something right.

  2. travis

    Critique on the China Study interpretation by Campbell: http://chriskresser.com/rest-in-peace-china-study

    B12 deficiency: http://chriskresser.com/what-everyone-especially-vegetarians-should-know-about-b12-deficiency

    1. Paul Bates

      I’m always open to new information when it comes to health and diet so I’m always considering new data.

      As far as The China Study, I don’t think any study is really perfect, but I think it does have a lot of great information in it that does seem to hold up in terms of populations of people living with less amounts of heart disease and cancer. For me, I think the main idea that I take away from a lot of books and studies really is just getting closer to the whole food and away from processed junk.

      For B12, I’ve been vegan for about 10 years now and my levels are fine. It’s possible some people out there might have a deficiency and they would have to supplement, but I think it’s pretty rare. The body has a pretty amazing mechanism for storing B12 in the liver where there’s a 3 year supply, and then it’s reabsorbed, stored, and recirculated again giving a person who went on a strict “no B12″ diet a 20-30 year supply before they would actually run out.


      I’ve seen so many people healthy on so many different diets though. It’s just one way to live your life.

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