The purpose of this podcast was to debunk the recent documentary The Game Changers produced by James Cameron. Chris is an expert on nutrition and diet and you can check out some of his material for the podcast here: kresser.co/gamechangers

-Are claims about how veganism is wonderful, just cherry picking data to suit their case? Did the film The Game Changers do this?

Yes, absolutely.

Confirmation Bias – human tendency to only look at the data that supports your view and discount the rest of it. Even very good scientists can be susceptible to doing this. This film did this.

Rogan: “Blatantly Deceptive.” Film claimed that gladiators were on a vegetarian diet based off bone analysis. But, forgot to mention that gladiators were actually prisoners or slaves that were sent to die for the pleasure of entertainment. Yes, they were fed scraps and shitty food. They were not the world class Olympic type athletes that Hollywood makes them out to be.

Kresser makes point that yes you can thrive on plant based diet. But, problem is film takes it one step further, saying plant based diet is optimal. Not true.

Concept: Vegan honeymoon. People will get a natural boost (honeymoon) when switching to plant based diet from crappy American diet. But, over longer period the person is likely to develop nutrient deficiencies.

Film claimed 3 oz beef is equal to a peanut butter sandwich (protein). Very deceptive. It’s not enough to ask does the item have the correct Amino Acid chains, but does it have enough of them too?

Bio-availability: protein is not worth much if your body cannot absorb it.

Kresser likes Leon Festinger quote in relation to this film and vegans:

“A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.”


Joe doesn’t mind argument for veganism. They make lots of valid points about animal cruelty, horrible conditions of livestock, animal processing and harvesting. But, making the claim that veganism is the optimal way for human nutrition and performance is complete bullshit.

Question to ponder – Does the harvesting of crops kill animals too? Does the harvesting of an acre of crop kill more animals than eating a cow? It’s an important question to ask, because many, many animals are killed when an acre of crop is harvested. Rats, lizards, birds, insects are all killed.

If everyone went vegan, we’d have to be supplementing heavily for nutrients/vitamins. This would have a catastrophic effect on environment.

Lots of downstream consequences of veganism that haven’t been thought through.

Rogan and Kresser talk about child dying of malnutrition article.

Life-cycle of cow emitting methane actually could help environment if done in a certain way. How regenerative livestock agriculture works: link

Recommends videos of Dr. Ryan Lowery: debunking Game Changing

Joe mentions you don’t actually need vegetables, there are a whole group of people thriving as carnivores. Kresser counters that just as there is a vegan honeymoon, there’s probably a carnivore honeymoon too (short term boost, long term malnutrition). Kresser says data points to omnivorous diet being the best, with the proportions of meat and vegetables differing from person to person.

Comanche Indian tribe example. Joe highly recommends Empire of the Summer Moon book, again lol.

Many examples of pro athletes trying to go vegan and it fucking up their performance.

  • Cam Newton – NFL
  • Novak Djokovic – Tennis
  • Damien Leonard – NBA
  • Tony Gonzalez – NFL
  • Gerald McCoy – NFL

Travis Barker is vegan. After his horrible plane accident, he had to eat meat for a while just to help the healing process. Then he switched back to veganism.

“Micronutrients really run the show, not the macronutrients.” – Kresser

2013 study compared B12 deficiencies among vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores. Data speaks.

  • Vegans – 92% likely to have B12 deficiency
  • Vegetarians – 77% likely
  • Omnivores – 11% likely

Gorilla argument film makes is BS. (Gorillas eat veggies and fruit and are big and strong.) Kresser makes point that it’s because we started eating animals that allowed our brains to develop to make tools and fire. Our ancestors came down out of the trees to hunt.

Boner argument that veganism is better for fertility/boners. Totally unscientific. Don’t make claims unless it’s a real experiment of science! (No peer reviews, counter experiments).

Kresser: 2 out of 3 people living are lactose intolerant. Suggests avoiding dairy and gluten for boost.

Illusory truth effect – If you repeat something enough times, it starts to sound true. Politicians are great at this. This film tries to do it with: meat is bad, meat is bad, meat is bad. Total BS.

Eat oysters, great for fertility and contain lots of nutrients, zinc.

Kresser recommends checking out Friends of the Earth. Lots of good stuff about regenerative agriculture practices of the future.