Monday, May 19, 2008

The Raw "Cult"

As Raw Food Enthusiasts,
we have to be careful not to sound like
born-again Christians spreading the gospel.

Most people don't want to hear them,
and its likely that most people don't want to hear us either.

Sometimes I feel like I talk about it too much,
but then again, people ask me about it.

I really dont want to turn people off about it though,
so this is my quote for the day.

"What you DO speaks so loudly that no one will
ever hear a word you are saying."

I don't even want to talk about eating live foods to
people who aren't interested in the first place.
The whole reason why I started this website, and why
Im so enthusiastic about the living foods lifestyle is
because I have seen the results in my own life,
and Ive seen the results in others who have REALLY given
it an honest try without cheating a bunch,
and I want EVERYONE to feel this good and be this vibrant.

I became happier, leaner, and my mental clarity skyrocketed.
I want YOU to be raw because I want more raw brothers and sisters
here on this planet with me. That is my motivation.

I have nothing to sell you except ideas on how to improve your life.

Observe my results and make the decision for yourself.
If you want to keep eating cooked food, then that is totally cool.
I wont judge you or not be your friend. Just promise me
that you wont imagine that I AM silently judging you when we are
spending time together. I'M NOT. I really don't care anymore.

We are on a path of our own creation, and we will all
reach truth in our own special ways.
I'm simply a signpost...if you like the direction
that I'm pointing in, take a stroll down this path of life.
If not, I am here for you anyways...its all good.

We must not project the idea of the RAW CULT.
This notion is already present in the minds of
many of our friends, co-workers, and family members.
We would be better off just living our lives and keeping our
mouths shut about raw unless someone asks about it.

If they ask, give them two simple ideas.
"Every other animal in the wild eats RAW food, except us and our domesticated animals",
VERY STRONG scientific evidence shows that we evolved for millions and millions
of years on an uncooked plant-based diet and only in the past 100,000 years
have we been eating some cooked food and it was always ALWAYS wild and organic.

Their subtle attacks are based on ignorance and fear,
so dont take it too seriously. People defend their diets more
than their religions...I kid you not.
People MAYBE go to church once a week,
but they take cooked communion 3 times a day.

SO...lets LIVE the truth...and let it speak for itself.

Here is to more RAW humans...



ephedran said...

I have a friend who uses raw foods quite a lot. I dont really know much about it but it seems quite bland. But then again the soup she made when I was sick man!!. that was just sweet.

Its better than eating all that fatty stuff and then going for the Ephedra

Natanya said...

Thanks for the post. An important message well said. Today I got teased a little by some friends for the smoothie I was drinking in class. I joked along with them realizing that what they think doesn't change the wonderful qualities of the smoothie! I enjoyed my drink and a few laughs and we all moved on. Maybe I inspired them, maybe not. I do whats authentic for me and thats all I can do.

yardsnacker said...

Anthony, raw bro, lemme tell ya, this post really rings true for me right now. Doing is much more than talking about things. The fact of the matter is, living this lifestyle is the antidote for welfare corn which is killing our nation. The movie King Corn explains this well.

tash said...

Well said, Anthony. Thank you. Shanti.

Kristen's Raw said...

Great quote :)

~Kristen's Raw

Anonymous said...

bravo! very well said.
My new mantra & motta "lets LIVE the truth..and let it speak for itself!"
thanks anthony.
a lurking lover of your blog.
Beth :)

Jan-Niklas said...

I'm not raw (yet?), but you could copy and paste that for veganism itself, too.
Very wise. You're great :D!

Anonymous said...

"be the change you want to see in the world" --Ghandi.

beautifully said, ANthony. i have learned that when people ask me about my raw or ask questions..i answer, otherwise, just like you, i just keep quiet and know that 'to each their own'..



Mueller said...

Two thoughts...

First, I sometimes get turned off even in the online raw food community by people preaching that there certain version of eating is the 'best'

Second, I've come to realize that most of mainstream America would just assume to continue eating bacon for breakfast and taking a pill for their 'cholesterol'

The overall message...Do what works for you, live strong on your path and the world will be a better place for it.

Anonymous said...

You are so right! People defend their diets more
than their religions...
My dad has fibromyalgia, he drinks pots and pots of coffee and smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. When I suggest he cut back on these things to help with his pain, he says they're not the problem and that he needs new medication!! Seriously what is wrong with us?
I love your blog, thanks for the motivation.

Jennifer said...

As a born again Christian, I just want to put a plug out there for those of us who do not feel that its appropriate to shove our religion down people's throats or talk about it when people aren't interested.

One of the best ways to "share the gospel" is by building relationships with people, meeting needs, putting others before yourself, serving people. Many raw foodists have a lot of the same goals. Perhaps the best way to "share the gospel" (gospel simply means "good news") about raw foods is to do some of what I mentioned above.

Let them see that its not about "conversion". Its not about forcing them to think just like you (and neither is Christianity, but that's beside the point ;-) . Its not about being judgmental of others.

Live your life and if someone asks you what makes you tick, you share with them. I think its that simple.

Ryan said...

Interesting website Anthony… As you pointed out there are many benefits to eating raw food. However, you are pedaling the proverbial "snake oil". As if being 100% raw is the ultimate secret to human health, no question it's a huge improvement over the SAD diet, but that is a very poor comparison.

Contrary to your statement, Paleontologist research overwhelmingly supports that we didn't solely develop on an uncooked plant-based diet. He had a diverse omnivore diet. Some of the healthiest and longest living cultures in history were not raw vegans, they were not even vegetarians.

I was a raw vegan for a many years. Research, experience, and my health taught me a lot about the problems and the various fallacies associated with being a 100% raw vegan.

I recommended checking out this comprehensive website with lots of creditable research that the “raw vegan gurus” are seriously lacking:

I don’t mean to attack you on your clams of eating raw. Eating raw is better than what most people are eating in todays unhealthy, over processed and inorganic world, but it is not the best for optimum human health. Best of luck.

Jessica said...

I agree. I've thought the same thing about the environmental movement. It's one thing to live your life in a way that inspires others, and another to try and shove your way of living down people's throats.

My only comment though is that referring to it as "dead" food instead of "cooked" or "non-raw" food does imply judgment and would make it hard for people to think you aren't secretly judging them.

Anthony said...

In response to ryan,

Plant BASED would mean mostly plants. Not 100% If we were to go full on natural according to evolution we should start eating grubs, ants, and pretty much anything we could put in our mouths. Maybe its the path of the conscious homo-sapien to rise above that and become more discriminating though...we have so many more options now. Its like everything is falling into place for our hyperspeed spiritual evolution now.

And yes..the "dead" food comment might be judgemental, but is it not true? I still dont judge.

Aaron said...

"we have to be careful not to sound like
born-again Christians spreading the gospel.

Most people don't want to hear them,
and its likely that most people don't want to hear us either."

For one, saying you need to be carefull not to sound like a born-again christian is giving a negative connotation to the christian religion. I wouldnt even say that about any religion. And saying most people dont want to hear them is an assumption and also leaves a bad taste regarding one's chosen religion. Those statements are very judgemental. I would say the same if you referred to Islam, Buddism, Christian or Jewish faith. Be positive or find a different analygy that might not be pointing at people you might be trying to teach about raw food. You will be taken more serious. Dont feel the need to post this on your site... Just my opinion....

Anthony said...

You know as well as I do that no Jew, Muslim, or Buddhist has ever tried to recruit like born-agains do. Lets be realistic here.

No other religion spouts off so enthusiastically about their faith as evangelical christians. Nothing judgmental about it...its a very objective observation.

And yes...most people dont want to hear from them. Who likes to have Jehovah's Witnesses come to their home. People dont want to be bothered with another's religion, and they dont want to be bothered with another person's diet.

There is a very strong correlation here, and you know its true.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, have you hit a nerve with me. I have talked to people who have been raw for 30 to 40 years in silence. They have talked to me about the emerging "Raw cult" leaders. I feel the same way! I walked into one's lecture at a place that I go to get supplies, not knowing he was there, and walked out. In another raw food restaurant another(proclaimed "expert")came in. The staff told me he was wearing a robe like the an annointed one.
So, with that said, let me tell you how I have my WHOLE family eating more raw. I made it "TASTE GOOD!" I spend hours and hours in the kitchen and come up with a masterpeice. I am so amazed how it causes people around me to eat more organic fruits and veggies. Raw is a lifestyle that takes a commitment and for most, that is not possible. But... the desserts are so good!!! Life is to enjoy, to have pleasure and I make sure that everyone, even for one meal, without a lecture, enjoys it! And to be honest, at times, they enjoy it more than me...

Natalie said...

Anthony, you more than anyone else these days are the reason for the enormous smile on my face. Keep up the high vibrations.

Speaking of smiles, I heard this the other day and it has been my mantra ever since: "Be the smile you wish to see in the world." It's magical.

AJoy said...

Hi Anthony,
For quite awhile now I have read your blog and looked forward to every new post. I've shared it with several friends and really been inspired by it. I completely understand what your getting at with the correlation between what you call "born-again christians" and possibly a little overenthusiastic or pushy raw foodists, however I'd have to agree with what a few of the others have said. I've always respected what you have to say in your blogs and the respect you give life and living things, but I think you are a little out of line when making such pointed statements. Its important to stand for what you believe or don't believe, but saying such comments is rash and not objective. Being tolerant is what creates peace. I definitely do not like it when I get knocks on my door from strangers handing out tracks, or preached at on the subway, but I sure don't condemn them for it. Such comments that you made in response to Aaron's post come off very ignorant and disdainful. Keep raw food real, not religious or political. Again, I get the point your making, but being tactful is key.

debbiedoesraw said...

Hey A! I hear you loud and clear, I don't talk about my diet unless asked. Some folks really freak out about it, even the ones that know I have leukemia. Most are supportive and want to be enlightened.
I let them come to me first...
hey, come read my profile on Dhurmil.. yours is next!:)

Anthony said...

There is just a HUGE slippery slope argument going on here.

I simply commented on one aspect of some religious people, and how it turns off others they are hoping to convert.

It gets really slippery when people start assuming that Im criticizing the ENTIRE religion.

This is a very important thing to realize. I dont care what your religion is...thats your deal, not mine. Just dont try and overtly recruit others. Very simple.

Positivity...dont get slippery.


Anthony said...

This was supposed to be about FOOD...lets keep it there as much as we can.

And Z...Im a Pantheist now...

Anonymous said...

toniferous - I think it's time to take the modeling out of the rawmodel and start truly living your beliefs! You'll be happier and a better person for it.


ps - don't be afraid to spout about atheism, shout it from the rooftops! it is more important than ever to be honest and open about your beliefs!

Anthony said...

Yeah...I have to admit I WAS an atheist for a while...but Ive gone further and now I believe that each one of us is God inhabiting a different body.

I dont feel like getting into it though...Id hate to jam that idea down people's throats. I dont need any more hypocrisy.


Anna said...

This was a great post. I am so excited to talk about raw foods with people because I believe in it so much. I completely agree that it is about being an example and not letting our words overshadow what we actually do.

I don't mean to go there about the Christianity thing, but to be honest most people that know me probably have no idea I am a Christian. I try my best to live my life a certain way and it is interesting that more people probably know that I am raw. I think it is because I know there are many Christians that have made a bad name for us and I don't want to contribute to that. That being said, I should recognize that and act in the same manner when talking to my family about raw foods-I push it on them and never have done so with my beliefs.
Thanks, your post helped me to see I should not force others about raw like I don't with my beliefs:)
I always enjoy your posts!

Other Side said...

hmm... all christians aren't like that. Some are, but not real christians. Real christian are an example not just a mouth piece. I'm not trying to be rude in anyway, so please don't take it that way. I'm a christian, but I try to be an example more then just words. You don't have to put this comment up. Really I just wanted you to know that real christians aren't like that at all, and there are some really good people out there, so please don't knock christianity, just because of a few people and christian television. There are a few that actually follow Jesus' teachings and then there are the rest.

Anthony said...

AGAIN...its the slippery slope argument. Im simply commenting on those that consistently preach to others about their faith. Im not knocking christianity in general.

I really respect the teachings of jesus too...let's try not to jump to conclusions. Just pointing out one little aspect of one fragment of one religion.

LolaBloom said...

Amazing post and they always are when they spark such commentary. I especially understand the "DO"ing and "BE"ing vs the talking... Rawleen had a post the other day about Veganism and touched on the same thing you did in your post...

Which then also reminded me of a post by Urban Vegan not too long back, she was interviewed by the NY Times and spoke to how there are a few radical vegans out there (Vegangelicals she referred to them as) just as there are radicals or extremists in practically every arena you can think of... the overall point made is that those radicals do not make up the whole nor do they reflect the ideas of the whole...

This is something I think we struggle with in our society/culture... we've been taught to aggressively defend what we believe more than we are taught to be compassionate. I honestly still have a hard time not being bothered by some things, I know I will get there, in the meantime, I am focusing on BEing the change I want to see and focusing on living with compassion and integrity.

Very thought provoking post and I hope that even though some folks get defensive or feel you need to change the way you say things, I appreciate that you speak from your heart, I hope that future posts won't be censored.

Anthony said... are AWESOME. Thank you for your support.

I know...I dont want to self-censor because I feel that so many people do that right now and it just makes it so tame and monotonous. I try to bring some new thoughts and issues to this site, instead of just being all "sunshine and rainbows".

I really appreciate your comments...thanks again.

We cant please everyone....

Anthony said...

And just so everyone realizes...I approve all the comments on here, so if you see someone say something bad about me, I chose to put it there. I could have hid it all from you.

In the spirit of open debate, and not being so damn PC...


Anonymous said...

A-You cannot win. Just live, do your thing, and be happy. I died went to the other side and came back. The last thing that I will ever talk about is one's belief. I used to argue with my father all the time, until the day he died. I knew when he left, there would be peace, for then, he would know. So again, live, let live and be happy. Today is all you have.

Anthony said...

The big secret is that in the end, we ALL win. We have much more than today, I feel we have eternity.

I'm a huge believer in reincarnation. To criticize one little aspect of a group of people is not to negate the rest of their beliefs.

I knew this post would get a ton of comments...good to see it. Thanks everyone for putting in your two pennies...

Gina Laverde said...

I'm so with u on this, Anthony. this post resonated with me on many levels. Not much else to say that u didn't cover. Just that u are sort of reading my mind today.

Many blessings,


Anonymous said...

Okay, wow let's put the ego's awaayyyy.

I was reading through the comments and starting LAUGHING.

We all get sooo touchy for WHAT????? He said she said? I need to PROVE my point? Make you wrong, me right??

come on.. what a waste of energy. Save it. Stay Neutral. no need to get your feathers ruffled. Anthony is spreading LOVE


Anonymous said...

My co-workers love their pizza. But I don't criticize them about it I just let them enjoy. I don't go up to my supervisor and tell him "by the way those cookies you're eating have trans fat."

It doesn't matter how vocal or not vocal you are food is a huge part of our lives and although you choose to keep your mouth shut sometimes it can be allienating. That being said the reason I have been somewhat but not completely vocal about being raw is because I don't really care if people will call me a raw food nut or whatever. I have seen so many people suffer from ill health because they didn't know better. I have a co-worker who said that she grew up hating salads but now she eats them and I see her bring raw carrots to work.

So please remember there will be a few sly remarkes but there will be an abundance of people who will feel the urge to eat better. Even though there won't be a strong possibility that they'll become raw you have to give them credit for making better food choices. Then know that you have made a positive contribution by opening your mouth.
My mother had a dinner party and unfortunately we have soda in the house.
Before the guests had a chance to sit down, I conspired to fill all the glasses with water. My mother asked the guests if they wanted soda. Not a person asked for any other beverage besides water.
Is that so wrong for me to somehow encourage or conspire to help people eat better? It certainly benefits me. It benefits America. Food has much more impact on the country than voting does. So let people laugh at me for being a raw foodist but sooner or later they'll get the drift.


RawBin said...

I loved this post. Last week I visited with friends that I hadn't seen in a while and had planned on not going on a long lecture of reasons why everyone should be raw... I lasted 2 days and then someone asked a question! Dun dun dun... I listed, and listed, and jabbered on and on about the great foods I've been eating, all raw of course, and they listened politely... Afterwards, I wondered if they were thinking I was judging them for all the cooked, processed, and stained foods they'd been eating all weekend. This post came at a perfect time for me.
I don't want to sound "preachy". I don't want people to shut down as soon as I open my mouth. I do want my family to be healthy. I look at my daughter's complexion, my dad's swollen diabetic ankles, my husband's gout, my friend's excess weight and I think, "I can help them!" If I just word it right, maybe they might try it for a month. They'll feel the difference...
Instead, on Anthony's advice, I'll work on showing by example; I eat raw, I'm not starving, I eat well, I feel great, I glow. In addition to this, at gatherings, I'll continue to offer favorite recipes, only I'll serve them in healthier ways. Raw.

Aaron said...,

I completely get where you are coming from. I would like to say that there are good things to come from alot of debates and conversations though. I think some people maybe would get the wrong idea after reading some of the posts that even Tony and I write back and forth....ajoy even mentioned that Tony seemed to come off rude or ignorant in his post to me but it might be because Tony and I are good friends and us having debates on different subjects can often be the norm. We both have learned from each other and continue to do so. I doubt it would have sounded the same if he was responding to someone he doenst know but maybe I am wrong on that. It really isnt about ego if you ask me but just for people to have exceptance and understanding that even if you dont believe in something, just respect others and support them in what they believe. Dont judge because as even Tony can tell you, the meat eater you are talking to might, someday, be the next raw model. They just might not have reached that point on their path.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog quite some time and I totally appreciate it. As far as the religious stuff goes, I totally hear you. Most of my family members are Christians and I never met a more cruel and judgmental group. Anthony, you inspire me more than words can say. I love you dearly for that. Rock on! Raw is the Law. -First Year Law Student and Faw Foodist aka Tallgirl

nancycola said...

Hey Anthony,

I was hesitant to add the 39th comment as it seems unnecessary to add to the accolades found here. But I have to say that this post has really rung true for me recently as I see more and more extremists on some of the vegan and raw foods message boards.

What the world really needs is, as you say, more compassionate people living their truth and without judgment to others for their differences.

I was esp. put off recently by the backlash from vegans and raw fooders at Oprah's attempt at veganism. The venom spewed at her was sad and a bit shocking.

Thanks for not being a raw vegan 'shock-jock' type.

Very well-written post.

Josie said...

Hi this is Josie from Canada.This is a great website Anthony. I've been Raw Vegan for 5 weeks now.I see a lot of unhealthy and unhappy people. I would not force my opinons on them. Live by example they say. The reason I decided to go Raw vegan is after realizing that following my parents diet will give me the same results. I want to improve my health and after seeing Raw Foodies looking beautiful young and healthy, that is what I want.So far My colon has improved and I went down a dress size. Again thanks Anthony for this site